He’d never flown in a private jet. He’d never ridden in a limo. He certainly could not remember ever being treated with the reverence he was right then. In the last thirteen years he hadn’t even been outside the compound. Every minute of his life until this one had been spent training like a fighter whose life depended on winning the next bout.
Now he had a linen napkin across his lap and a glass of champagne in his hand.
It was quite an experience.
It was more than just the ride and pampering though. It was finally being put into play that lit the fire burning in him that morning. He had been called up, the game was on. There would be no more preparation and soon everyone would know if the training he’d poured himself into was enough. If he was enough.
Would it work? Would he succeed?
He couldn’t help but feel anxious but he also couldn’t let anyone know what was going on inside him. He had to keep his feelings down.
How funny it was that a simple agent transfer would be his first real life occasion to use his training. He could not crack. He must maintain the illusion that he was the rock they depended on.
In truth he shouldn’t have even been on that plane. His arrival should have been covert. But time won out over tactic. He had to be in position as soon as possible, they told him. Grab your bag, get to the airfield. He wasn’t even briefed until the plane reached altitude.
Now, all the details filled in, he sat in a leather chair high in a clear blue sky readying himself for the next phase of his career. Below the world passed, lazy and indifferent to the danger they were in.
In his lap was her file. He turned the pages over and back again reviewing information he had memorized years ago.
A photo was pinned to the edge of the front cover. It was recent, one he had not seen yet. But, she, the long dark hair and warm complexion that seemed to pull him in, was very much the same as always. People called her pretty but it was her muscular frame and height that they clung to. Everyone had been relieved to see her grow so strong so early. Physical strength would be a benefit.
He smiled. The last year had not changed her much and it gave him a peaceful sense that she was on the inside whom she seemed on the out, friendly, open, true.
The only indication that there was something other brewing in her, was in her eyes. He noticed it a year ago but brushed it away as a photographic anomaly. This time it was impossible to ignore. The black seemed bottomless. It was not in line with the optimism of her smile. There was pain in her.
The young vibrant girl in this photo carried a heavy burden and it was taking its toll.
How long before it broke her?