A Campbell flashback in honor of the BN marathon leading up to the 6-4-09 season premiere. Thanks to USA for showing them all again.
No copyright infringement intended.
Campbell tried to smile at me. It was a weak, puny little thing that looked more like a deformed smirk. I didn't feel like smiling back. I had been walking down the street, minding my own business for a change. I was restless, for some reason, and had to get out of the loft. He saw me first or I would ducked into the lingerie store, which happened to have the closest doorway. I used to be a spy, a master of the disappearing act. How could this guy always spot me, before I could scurry away?
Then, I thought about it and gave him a big grin. Fi must be around here somewhere. We weren't too far from her condo. She had had a big delivery scheduled for the morning. She promised to call me when it was done, but she'd probably just forgotten. She'd met up with Campbell and ….well, whatever. It was just a relief to know she was back.
Except that I couldn't see her. Campbell and I came together in front of the adult bookstore. We were peering around each other, like one of us was about to pull Fiona out of a hat. We looked at one another; we had one of those moments when each suddenly knew what the other was thinking. I thought she was with you.
Who knew that Campbell and I had a psychic connection?
"I thought you were busy today," he said
I was starting to think that I should have been busier than I was. I had offered to go with Fiona, as backup. She'd refused, as usual. Sam thinks she's trying to keep me from committing my two-hundred-and-fourth felony since my arrival in Miami. I think it's because she's afraid her contacts would be embarrassed to have someone else see how this little bitty bad-ass snookers them. She's good about letting me know when the deal's done, though. Which, if everything had gone as planned, she should have done about two hours ago.
"So, have you heard from Fi?" I asked.
I'm the master at gathering intel. I've had twenty years of military and intelligence experience. I'm fluent in half a dozen languages and can get by in as many more. I'm famous, over a goodly section of the globe, for managing my human assets. My life often depended on reading the situation, the enemy, the odds. But, I've never had a grip on this guy. It's like grabbing a handful of water. You get wet, but it's all for nothing..
"No," he said. He has this big, loose grin that that makes him look really goofy. It irritates the hell out of me. "You?" he asked.
"Me? No, why would she call me?"
We chuckled together. Neither one of us sounded very sincere. I had often wondered what she had told him about me, about us.
"You know Fi!" I tried to look amused. "No telling what she could get herself into. Maybe you should give her a call," I told him.
"She said she had a meeting this morning. I wouldn't want to interrupt her." Campbell giggled.
I hate men who giggle. And I didn't know what he was laughing about; he hadn't the faintest idea what kinds of things Fiona could get into. I knew, too well. And it scared me, sometimes. Well, most of the time.
"No. No, she wouldn't mind," I assured him. "She'd probably think it was romantic."
He didn't look convinced. He may be dim, but he has a good sense of self-preservation. "I asked her to lunch. She thought maybe," he said, "when she gets back from her business meeting."
"The business meeting. Yeah." If you could call it a business meeting when you get together at 4 o'clock in the morning in a deserted parking lot at the trailhead in Shark Valley in the middle of a swamp. With a trunk-load of guns to sell.
"If you hear from her, tell her to give me a call." I was casual about it with him, but I was starting to get that itchy little feeling in the back of my throat. It wasn't post-nasal drip, either. It was a tingle of alarm, controlled but disquieting. She should be back by now. I needed to hear her voice. I could usually tell by her tone whether she was in over her head. "It's about work," I said. "Some … soil samples for work."
"Okaay," he drawled.
It was almost like he didn't believe me. Damn, we were both having trouble with the sincerity thing. I gave him a wave, something between good-bye and be-gone-with-you. We headed in opposite directions. I stole a look over my shoulder. He was peeking back at me.
It was like we were twins, separated at birth.
And weren't we? In a way? We were bound, not directly, but through her, by our ties to her, by the strong undertow of the fascination we both felt. Right now, apparently, we were bound by the same nagging worries. Why wasn't she back yet? Okay, time to hit speed-dial #1.
"Michael." Her voice was warm, languid with an undercurrent of satiation. Her tone sent a tiny, but effective, jolt to the primitive pleasure center of my brain. "I found the mother of all shoe sales. I may have to hire a truck to get them all home."
I let out my breath, on a long and silent exhale. "Your job must have went well," I said.
"Huge mark-up on the M249 SAW's. They've become very popular. Did I ever tell you how much I love Miami? Thank god you're not from New Jersey."
"Way worse than Uzbekistan," I agreed. I thought about the corresponding brain waves that Campbell and I were sharing earlier. "If you're through trading guns for shoes, let's meet up for lunch."
"Sure, if you're up for a fashion show," she said.
I tried to keep her from hearing the smile in my voice. "Great. I'll wear my new Converses."