Aid Conflict

The hotel

Li sighed loudly and jumped down from the ocher windowsill.

"I'm bored!" she shouted, her oriental features heavy with frustration. The seasoned, climber, martial artist and nature expert was rarely one for inactivity.

She wore only short shorts, which barely covered her tan legs and a singlet top in consideration of the oppressive Egyptian heat.

The rest of Alpha force seemed to be struggling with the change in climate too.

The two British teens also wore only shorts and singlets; the heat in Cairo noticeably affecting them.

Alex, the groups survival expert, could feel his light fringe plastered to his sweaty forehead. Beads of perspiration visibly dripped off his rangy, pale arms onto the leg of the aged chair he was seated in. He smiled to himself when he tried to think of a time when Li was not bored just sitting around.

"We wait." He simply said, his grin stretching.

Sitting on the bed next to him, Hex kept brushing the sweat from his forehead up into his hair, which was causing it to spike up into dark mountain peaks, without the aid of hair product. He was irritable, it was much hotter then he was used to and he was reluctant to open his palmtop in fear of dripping sweat on it.

As the groups hacker and technology expert, the tiny palmtop felt like his only lifeline back into the online world. With that being said, Hex was no scrawny speck who never left his screen. He was well built, with a muscled physique from the 24 hour gym down the road from him. Previous life threatening events in the groups past had emphasized to him the importance of personal fitness to ongoing survival.

His green eyes softened a little as they darted over to steal a glance at Amber, lying on her bed in her midriff exposing top and matching running shorts. Her dark skin was at stark contrast to his own, but there in Egypt, she looked like a local, albeit a rich, cultured local. I gotta stop staring, Hex thought quietly to himself, he hated to think of the embarrassment he would face if one of the others noticed his glances.

"Waiting isn't so bad" he mumbled quietly to himself, with a small smile.

Amber uncrossed her legs and sat up.

"Well it's got to be better then staring at a tiny screen all day, right Codeboy?" She remarked quickly, her caramel eyes trying not to focus on Hex. Every time she did, she would notice his broad shoulders and thick arms dripping with perspiration and the room suddenly got a little bit hotter. She distracted herself by tidying up her shoulder length dark hair.

From the other side of the room a loud Spanish accented voice piped up, "Hey keep it down Amigos, some of us are trying to siesta!"

The final member of the team, a heavily built Argentinean teen was sprawled out on a bed with his eyes closed peacefully. Having completely abandoned any facade of modesty, the light breeze from outside danced lightly across Paulo's bare chest.

"Besides," He continued. "Camilla said there was no point trying to go anywhere in the heat of the day, we should rest up for tonight when we will go out."

Li rolled her eyes. While he was among one of the most hardworking people she had ever met, Li had noticed when there wasn't something to drive, fix or bandage, their talented gentle giant would be undoubtedly sleeping if he could. Indeed, there was hardly a time when the laid back Argentinean wasn't resting up. She found it quite endearing.

"Paulo's right," Nodded Alex. "We should keep hydrated and try to get some rest like Camilla said."

Li and Amber stifled a giggle at Alex.

"Of course you would agree with whatever Camilla says, right Alex?" Amber innocently asked.

Alex flushed bright red at this; secretly, he had felt quite a connection with the pretty tanned South African girl, who was the groups' contact in the UN poverty relief team.

It was her who had organised with John Middleton the planned trip into the country of Solambia and the groups' first joint work with the United Nations. She was only nineteen and Alex had marveled so far at the confidence and ability she had to be working with the UN in some of the world's dangerous places. They appeared to share a mutual love of the outdoors, exercise and doing something better in the world.

Feigning confusion, he blustered "And what's that supposed to mean?"

Even Hex and Paulo hid grins at the reaction from their usually quiet and restrained friend.

"Oh come on Alex you both totally lost track of time at lunch, staring into each others eyes and talking about survival on the Savannah." Li teased, "She had to rush away to make her next appointment on time!"

Alex's shade of red deepened into a brilliant scarlet.

"And don't forget the 'Yeah my dad is in the SAS, so that's what I want to do too' pick up line" Amber mocked in an exaggerated Geordie accent.

Even Alex couldn't help but crack up laughing at Amber's imitation of him and soon everyone were rolling on the floor in joke, about a fact that Alex seemed to trot out all to often with strangers. Alex was soon spared from further embarrassment, as no one had enough breathe left to tease him. The group never missed a chance to have a joke at their impromptu leader's expense.

The exertion of laughing at their friend left Alpha force feeling even hotter then before and one by one they collected themselves from the floor and retired back to their respective seats.

"Alright, alright" Li conceded, quietening down the remaining giggles with her raised hands "I know it is hot, but if any of us want to be of any use tonight loading up the last of the stores at the airport we had better get some rest."

"Some of us hotter then others," Amber giggled, looking at Alex who had still not completely lost his reddened complexion.

"The heat affects everyone differently" Alex replied levelly, before slyly adding "You seemed a bit hot and bothered yourself earlier Amber, it was somewhere around the time when Hex was doing his press-ups for the afternoon."

Amber pointedly looked away, mumbling quickly "I think I'm going to go take a cold shower."

Paulo grinned from ear to ear and nudged a suddenly red and intensely sweating Hex.

"You look like you could use one too Hombre."

Hex glared back at Paulo "I think I liked you better when you were asleep."

The remaining Alpha force laughed and got ready for some sleep of their own.

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