Dominant Deception [Black Ops Brotherhood 3] (Siren Publishing Classic) (7 page)

BOOK: Dominant Deception [Black Ops Brotherhood 3] (Siren Publishing Classic)
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“How do I keep this up?” Anna asked, running her fingers through her hair.

“Wash. mousse, dry, and go, that was what I was told to do,” Ramon said, looking at Tammy.

“As always, you’re a genius!” Tammy exclaimed. “We’ve got to go. Got two more stops to make.” Tammy yanked Anna from the chair.

Anna felt lighter, as if she’d shed an old skin. She allowed Tammy to lead her to another part of the salon where a woman at a table sat idly reading a magazine. The young woman looked up from her reading as they approached.

“Is this the victim?” the woman asked.

“Sure is,” Tammy said, giving Anna a little shove toward the woman.

Anna followed the woman to a sink. She lay back and was told to relax. The woman and Tammy were talking as Anna shut her eyes. The woman put sticky stuff in strategic places on Anna’s face. It was warm and felt heavenly. The woman placed a cloth gently on one of Anna’s eyebrows and then lifted it quickly.


Ow
!” Anna exclaimed, starting to rise from the chair.

Anna looked at Tammy for an explanation.

“Sit down, it’s wax. God knows your brows need the attention,” Tammy said nonchalantly.

The younger woman continued her torture for a few more minutes. After the wax, she scrubbed Anna’s face. She finally handed her a small mirror. Anna stared at her reflection, and aside from some reddening, she seemed to look more polished.

“Thanks, Lucy,” Tammy said.

They were leaving the salon when Anna felt a buzzing in her left front pocket. She hadn’t even remembered picking up her phone. She pulled out her BlackBerry and briefly glanced at the text message before Tammy grabbed it out of her hand.

“No work today!” Tammy said.

“Tammy, I need that back. It’s from base ops,” Anna said, reaching for her phone.

“Weren’t you on call last week?” Tammy asked, bending the phone in Anna’s direction.

“Yes, but—”

“Then no work today!” Tammy snapped, pulling the phone out of Anna’s reach.

“Tammy! If they’re calling me that means they can’t get a hold of the on call, and Ed is TDY this week. I need to see what this is. It could be important.” Anna grabbed her phone back and quickly called the base operations office.

“Base ops, Airman Carter,” the voice answered.

“Airman Carter, this is Anna Santiago, from IT. You called?”

“Yes, ma’am. There’s an emergency request from the Navy detachment here. They have a problem with the group commander’s laptop. They need someone here right away. Apparently he’s going TDY pretty quick and they need it fixed. They asked for you specifically.”

“Me?”

“Yes, ma’am. Master Chief McGuire called and said the captain needs you here ASAP. His direct land line is 7-4290…”

“Can you take me to the shop?” Anna asked Tammy as she ended the call.

“What the hell? Why can’t these lazy asses answer their phones on the weekend? They do this to you all the time!” Tammy fumed.

“They asked for me specifically.”

“Who?” Tammy demanded angrily.

“The Navy detachment in my building. I wish they
would
call someone else.”

“Is it a damn server? It better be, to call you out on a Saturday,” Tammy said as they walked to the car.

“No, it’s the group commander’s laptop.”

“Wait a minute,
he
asked for you?”

“I guess…” Anna trailed off.

They drove in silence to the base. Tammy was quiet and Anna was getting more anxious as they pulled closer to the base. When they arrived at the converted hangar, she got out of the car and turned to Tammy. Before she could say anything Tammy interrupted her thought.

“What’s your size now?” Tammy asked.

“Twelve. Why?” Anna responded suspiciously.

“Which means you’re a ten,” Tammy mumbled.

“What?”

“Nothing. What’s you bra size?”

“Why?” Anna demanded.

“You want me to guess? This is the perfect excuse to dress you the way I think you should be dressed. Since you have to work, I’ll get to shop for you. You need new clothes to go with your new ’do,” Tammy said cheerfully.

“Tammy, please.”

“Your size?”

“Thirty-eight C.” Anna got out of the car.

“Bitch,” Tammy said under her breath.

“What?” Anna demanded.

“Thank you! Call me when you’re ready. I’ll be at the Forum,” Tammy said as Anna turned to look at her.

Anna smiled despite herself and shook her head.

“Okay. I’ll call when I’m done,” Anna said, slamming the door.

Tammy drove off. Anna quickly turned around, remembering Tammy had taken her glasses. She needed them, but decided she would just squint because her eyes had been pretty sensitive all day.

Anna entered the hangar and noticed lights only in Captain O’Malley’s office. She walked down the hall and took the first left she came upon. The hallway was dark, but she could see the light from the master chief’s office filling a portion of it.

“Hello, base IT,” Anna called as she pushed the glass door open.

Master Chief McGuire stepped around the corner and smiled at her. “Howdy! Thanks for coming out. Ms. Santiago, wasn’t it?” Mac smiled and stuck his hand out

“That’s right. Please call me Anna, Master Chief,” she said, reaching out to shake his hand,

“Nah, we don’t do that formal stuff here. Call me Mac.”

“Okay. You called about a laptop?” Anna asked as she tentatively looked out the door.

“Yeah, I did. Rock didn’t bring it down here. Huh, guess we’ve got to go get it.”

Mac walked to the door and held it open for Anna. She really didn’t feel like ever seeing Captain O’Malley again because he was hostile and mean. She followed Mac, resolute to get this over with as quickly as possible.

“Master Chief, do you know what might be wrong with the laptop?” Anna asked.

Mac slowed to walk beside Anna.

“Yeah, something about a virus and an e-mail,” Mac said.

“Oh? Did he say what the virus did to the computer?”

Mac held open the group commander’s office door for Anna.

“You can ask him yourself. Rock!” Mac called out.

“In here, Mac, did you ever get a hold of—” Jack stopped in midsentence as he looked at Anna. “I guess you did.”

“Yes, I got a hold of them and they’re here. Where’s the laptop?” Mac asked.

“It’s still here on my desk. I forgot to take it to you,” Jack said, turning his attention to Anna.

“Well? Is she sitting at your desk or going down to my office?” Mac asked.

Captain O’Malley stood up and carried the laptop to the conference table in the room.

“Uh, no, you can work right here,” Jack said to Anna.

Mac smiled as he left. “I’m going back to my office. Call me if you need anything.”

“Sir, I can take it down to the shop and work on it there. I can have it back to you today. It’ll take me about forty-five minutes to an hour. I think I know what the problem is,” Anna said, hoping to escape.

“No. It’s not leaving the office.”

“If I’m working on this here, I need to plug it in. Do you have the power cord, sir?” Anna asked, looking around the table.

“Yeah, somewhere. Here it is,” Captain O’Malley said, locating the laptop bag. Searching the bag, he pulled out the power cord, walked to Anna, and handed it to her. “I think there’s power over here,” he said, turning toward the wall.

Anna unwound the cord and handed the end that would fit the outlet to Captain O’Malley. As he turned away again, she noticed the curved scar at the corner of his eye. Anna calmed slightly at seeing that scar. It made him mortal and a little more human to her. He returned to his desk and started working again. She booted the computer and saw it was behaving the way most of the computers she’d worked with yesterday were acting. Anna got up and without thinking started to walk out.

“Is it fixed?” Captain O’Malley questioned.

“No, sir. Not yet. I’m going to my office. I carry a notepad with some little tricks that I write down when I see something unusual. I saw this all day yesterday. I found a way to stop it and delete the files associated with the virus. I’ll be right back.”

“Okay.”

Anna left Captain O’Malley’s command suite and went down the long hallway leading to her office. She walked in and made a beeline for her desk. Not paying attention, she was startled to see Ed in the office, sitting at his desk.

“Hey! What are you doing here? I thought you were going TDY?” she asked.

“I am. Forgot my orders. What are you doing here?”

“Base ops called me. There was a problem with a laptop. I guess my message to headquarters was released, and that Navy detachment down the hall had a problem.”

“What’s going on?”

“Same as yesterday, that annoying virus.”

“We never did get to talk about that yesterday. Tell me about it,” Ed said.

“I need to get back. The commanding officer of that new Navy outfit has it on his computer and he’s waiting for me.” Anna started to walk out.

“So let him wait. He’s not in our chain of command. We need to talk.”

“I don’t think so, Ed. I’ve already seen him in action and I don’t want to be on the receiving end of what I saw yesterday.”

“That throw down between him and Spivey? Well, Spivey gets whatever he wants. He’s the general’s boy.” Ed shrugged.

“Not this time, Ed. I don’t think the general could’ve gotten Spivey out of that one. Spivey’s probably doing whatever this guy wants whether he likes it or not. I was there yesterday. I saw what happened.”

“That’s right, I sent you over there. What happened?” Ed asked, sitting forward in his chair, anxious to hear the scuttlebutt firsthand.

“Let’s just say it got really ugly and Spivey isn’t messing with this guy.”

Anna, with her notebook in hand, walked out the door before Ed could ask any more questions. She reached Captain O’Malley’s office and sat down at the table and got to work. He never looked up from his work or even acknowledged that she’d returned. She was pleased because she hated the way he seemed to look right through her. It made her very uncomfortable.

 

* * * *

 

Jack sat looking at the screen when Anna walked back into the room. He was deep in thought. What had she said?
She’d been fighting this virus all day yesterday? Is it new?
Jack had an uneasy feeling. The room was quiet and his voice seemed to shatter the calm when he spoke.

“Ms. Santiago, was it?” Jack asked.

“Yes, sir,” Anna said, not looking away from the screen.

“How bad is this virus? Does it damage files?” Jack asked in a conversational tone.

“No, sir, it’s just very annoying. It interferes with a couple of applications and a few services.” Anna typed and clicked.

“Services?”

“Yes, sir.”

Jack got up and walked to the table where Anna was working. He sat down and could tell she was uncomfortable with him. He took a deep breath,
damn she smells good! Focus, Jack…
He could smell her all day yesterday after she’d bumped into him. He’d fought a raging hard-on on and off all afternoon because of her scent. He noticed she’d had a slight makeover. She’d cut her hair in an edgy style that made her look younger. Jack was fighting to focus because this woman seemed to make the grungy jeans and T-shirt wrapped around her curvy body look fucking fantastic.

Jack realized with the crazy schedule he’d kept up for the last few months he hadn’t had time to see to his own needs.
Man! I’ve got to get laid.
That was it. That was the reason for this crazy attraction to Anna Santiago. He just needed a piece of ass and it would all be better. He shook his head slightly. He had to get back to business.

“Educate me. What are services?” Jack asked, taking the seat next to her.

Anna stopped working and gave him what sounded like a textbook definition of a
service
.

“A service is an application that runs in the background of your computer, sir. It could run the printer, your antivirus program. Most of the time it’s the software that makes your hardware run without you having to tell it to.”

“Oh? What services does this thing affect?”

“Networking services, sir.”

Something sparked in Jack’s mind.
Network? Virus? Why is this important?

“You mean like the Internet, the LAN we use here. Could it affect the VPN I use to get to my headquarters?”

“Mostly it looks like it affects the Internet. But, yes, sir, it could affect the VPN. That is a network service.”

Jack leaned forward and looked at Anna intently. She seemed to shrink away from him as he looked at her. He could tell she was apprehensive.

BOOK: Dominant Deception [Black Ops Brotherhood 3] (Siren Publishing Classic)
4.8Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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