Oliver Benson and Lydia White passed back through the communications centre and into Lydia’s living quarters at the rear of sub-level Umbra.
They looked as though they had survived a navy seal training camp, with tattered hair and clothes, dust, dirt and blood from head to toe.
Along the way, Lydia had picked up some more computer surveillance equipment, and was assembling it on the desk in her room. Benson watched wearily from the bed as she meticulously connected wires and plugs, turned dials, and flicked switches.
He was impressed by her technological knowhow.
“You know, you really are something,” he said, lifting himself achingly to rest on one arm. He looked at her carefully for the first time. Under the dim light of her quarters she cut a lithe figure in her white uniform.
“How do you mean?” Lydia asked.
“All this mayhem going on around us… you seem to be perfectly in control,” Benson said.
“It’s all an act,” she laughed. “The truth be known, I’m as scared as hell. Just gotta keep busy, you know… make sure the troops are on top of it all.”
She plugged one last cable into her laptop, and the screen lit up.
“There,” she uttered, satisfied at a job well done.
Benson joined her at the desk, leaning closely over her right shoulder. Even over the smell of the desert sand and dust her perfume invaded his senses.
“What is it?” he asked, trying to shake off the warm feeling that was beginning to stir.
“I’ve just tapped back into the surveillance system of Echelon,” Lydia said. “From here, we can watch what’s going on inside the entire building. But I’m afraid we’ve been cut off from the surface again. It looks like they’ve taken out some of the radomes.”
Benson nodded. “Well, for one thing we won’t be going on any more of your little joyrides now.” Then added, “At least we’ll be able watch them as they come through the door.”
Lydia sighed. “Yeah… that is a possibility.” She leaned back and her shoulder brushed against Benson’s arm.
“We could be captured,” he said, leaning closer over her. His chin was now lightly touching her soft hair.
He found himself breathing in deeply.
“Or killed,” Lydia said softly. She was also breathing heavily, her breasts heaving up and down with every breath.
Now or never Oliver… They had been through so much in the past few hours. Benson felt a sudden attraction to Lydia. Maybe it was all the excitement… or something else. It didn’t matter to him any more. They could all be dead soon, he reasoned. Play it safe, Olly—that had always been his motto. Play it safe and never get the girl. Well, he was sick of playing it safe. It was time to act. He made his move…
He gripped Lydia’s shoulders and spun her around in the chair.
She looked up at him with just the hint of a smile on her face. “Now what, agent Benson?” she teased seductively.
He leant in and kissed her fully on the lips. She responded warmly, just like he had hoped. She reached up to him with a firm embrace.
Then, forgetting for a short while everything that was going on around them, they moved to Lydia’s bed and let the passion of the moment wash over them.