Early Morning Call

Author’s Note: So I went by Three Word Wednesday to see the words of the week, and it was my intention to use them in something new and unrelated so that it could stand alone.

No inspiration came, other than a beginning line that sounded very much like Garan, so I thought I’d end up skipping the prompts this week.

Well, I took the line and used it in the story I’m currently working on, since it was a thought Garan would and did have, and low and behold, the other two words found their way into it.

So, no, it doesn’t stand alone. It probably makes little sense out of context. Still… It had all the prompts. I’m sharing it anyway.

Oh, right. The prompts were: backfire, embarrass, and taste.

Early Morning Call

Plans would always backfire on you, and the sooner you accepted that, the easier it got. Garan didn’t think that Effie was there yet, but he’d learned that lesson a long time ago, in a way that stuck with him and never left, just as bad as one of the many physical scars that covered his body. He knew how one moment could change everything, and he knew that there was little point in expending too much effort in planning. Strategy was important, but being adaptable was better.

When his phone rang just before he could have a real taste of his coffee, he grimaced, setting down the cup and putting the receiver to his ear. “What do you want, Wilmore?”

Across the room, his aunt and uncle frowned, and even Effie got stiff. None of them liked hearing the name, and all of them knew that a call from that man was never good.

“We need to meet, Kennedy.”

“Bad idea. You do realize that if our mutual ‘friend’ is watching me, he might be waiting for an opportunity like this to get at you.”

“You are a good enough agent to ensure that you will not be followed. Thirty minutes.”

The call ended, and Garan would have thrown the phone at the wall if he didn’t know that there was another call coming. Thirty minutes from now, he’d get further instructions, and he knew better than to be late getting them.

“What is it?”

“He insists on meeting. Didn’t say why.”

Fletcher started in on a set of curses that would have made his Ranger buddies blush, and Kate reached over to cover his mouth. Effie reached across the table, putting her hand on Garan’s arm.

“I don’t care what he wants. Don’t go. It’s a bad idea. You said so yourself.”

“I know it is, but I also know if I don’t go, he’ll find a way to make me regret it. Me and anyone that might have talked me into blowing him off,” Garan said, rising. He leaned down to kiss his wife’s forehead and cup her cheek. “I’ll be back as soon as I can. This time I don’t need to leave a note. You already know I’m going.”

“I hate this. I also hate him.”

“He seems to like you. It’s surprising and somewhat disconcerting.”

“Yeah, it is.”

Kate cleared her throat. “You might want to think about changing before you go. Unless, of course, you want to embarrass yourself by showing up to your clandestine meeting half-naked.”

“He’s in his pajamas.”

“As if that’s any better.”

Garan smiled. “I doubt Wilmore would notice. True, he’s trained to notice details, but he’d hardly want to face the scars on his agents. Might force him to admit that he had a part in them getting there. No, he’d ignore it.”

“Still, that doesn’t mean you should go like you are,” Effie told him, giving his stomach a pat. “You know how I feel about others ogling my eye candy. I don’t like to share.”

“That’s hardly fair. You have a full collection of vintage clothes, and no one keeps their eyes off you.” He watched her smile get smug, tempted to carry her off and deal with that look properly, but he didn’t have time. He settled for a kiss instead, using everything he’d learned about her against her before he let go.

“Bastard,” she cursed, breathless. He smiled at her before grabbing his keys and heading toward the stairs.

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