Okay this is a VERY VERY VERY short chapter but it gets the ball rolling and gives you a little insight into Bella's side of things. Other chapters WILL NOT be this short but I wanted to give ya'll something to work on. I think this does a nice job in introducing our Miss Agent Swan but don't worry. Another chapter coming soon. Not sure how soon, but soon. =]
One Week Earlier
"Agent Swan. In my office. Now." I pulled my phone away from my ear as soon as I heard the click indicating I'd been hung up on without the person on the other end waiting for a response. I sighed and flipped my phone shut, sliding it into the pocket of my slacks before turning on my heel and heading back into the building I'd just exited.
I showed my ID badge to the security guard at the desk out of habit rather than necessity - after all, he had just watched me walk out and he knew me by name - and bypassed the elevator; I really didn't want to wait for it. The sound of my heels on the stairs echoed through the empty stairwell until I opened the door to the third floor. The hall was as empty as the stairwell but thankfully there were no echoes here.
The last door on the right was closed but considering the phone call I'd just received, I knew the office wasn't empty. I opened the door and stepped inside, shutting it behind me.
"You wanted to see me, sir?" I looked between my boss and the unknown man sitting across the desk from him.
Robert Dixon, the man who had so rudely hung up on me less than ten minutes ago, gestured to the empty seat beside his guest, who had yet to even look and see who had come in the door. I suppressed a sigh and eased into the empty chair, crossing one leg over the other.
"Agent Swan, this is Marcus Cameron from the CIA." Dixon directed his gesture this time at the man beside me. "He's requested your assistance for an assignment, though he's being very uninformative about it." Dixon didn't like very many government employees, as a rule. Odd, considering his choice of careers, but true nonetheless. He especially hated secretive government employees which, in all honesty, was a laugh-and-a-fucking-half because he ran one of the secret government projects that gave the need for secret government employees. Needless to say, I was lucky to be able to have a civil conversation with the man on a good day. Today, or tonight more like, was definitely not a good one.
I turned to look at the man to my left, taking in his appearance with a single full body glance. His suit was tailored and looked expensive, as did the shiny loafers that glinted dully from the lamp on Dixon's desk. His dress shirt was crisp, like he hadn't been working in it all day, and the gun carefully concealed under his suit jacket was big enough to blow a nice sized hole into whatever body part you desired. His features and dark hair put his physical age at about forty-five while the attitude he was presenting put him well within the 'ageless federal agent with stick up ass' category.
"What can I help you with, Mr. Cameron?" I asked in my most professional 'can the fancy words and cut the chase' voice.
The look he gave me said he understood my tone perfectly. "You're presence has been requested to accompany a specialized military unit in their training and day to day operations." And obviously chose to ignore it.
I raised a single brow at him, folding my hands in my lap with a glance at my boss. He just shrugged and made a small gesture for Mr. Marcus Cameron of the CIA to continue. When he didn't I sighed. "And is there a reason my presence has been requested?"
A curt nod and a clenched jaw was the only physical reaction I got before he spoke. "It has come to the attention of my superiors that this particular unit has had taken part in some questionable operations. They feel the need to investigate and have concluded that the best way to accomplish this is to send in an agent from a similar unit to do so."
I frowned, hooking my hands over my knee. "Okay. So why do your bosses want me? This isn't a military project." The military called their secret teams 'units'. The FBI called them 'projects'. I kind of liked the military version better; made me feel less like I was part of an experiment.
Marcus sat up a little straighter and a few facts clicked in my head. "This project is the FBI's equivalent of the military's Division of Logistics and Foreign Intelligence. That is the unit under investigation and seeing as how many of your objectives are shared, it is a logical choice to send in such a person as would understand precisely what is going on without the need for prior training."
I cleared my throat, trying to ignore the tickle of laughter that was trying to bubble to the surface - a highly inappropriate and unprofessional response to the annoying, overly complicated speech of a government operative who thought far too much of himself. "And the reason I was requested for this investigation is what? I have very little real investigative experience." My 'investigating' usually ended up with the person under investigation dead or severely injured. Needless to say, beyond covering my tracks, subtle wasn't exactly my forte.
"You have the experience necessary to assimilate into a military unit with the least amount of prior training." Marcus kept his focus on my boss, having only graced me with a handful of glances the entire time he'd been here. "Also, it is thought that your experience on previous assignments and collection of talents would be useful"
I snorted at this and just shook my head. I seriously doubted Mr. Cameron had any idea what my 'previous assignments' even involved, much less the experience I garnered from them. "What exactly would I be looking for during this 'investigation'?" I resisted the urge to make air quotes; I had an odd feeling that not everything about this assignment was on the level but seeing as how my gut couldn't get actual proof of such, I pushed the feeling aside.
"You will be briefed before you depart. Until then, this is the only necessary information." Marcus passed a slim folder to Dixon before standing. I watched as he fought against his military training, forcing himself not to salute before turning on his heel and walking a straight line out the door. I turned my head to watch him go and was laughing softly by the time I looked back at my boss.
"That man has 'Government Property' tattooed in so many places I'm surprised he didn't start barking out acronyms and drop zone coordinates." Dixon snorted back a laugh as he looked over the folders' contents.
"Oh, Swan, you're going to love this." His tone told me that I actually was not going to love whatever 'this' was but he was certainly going to enjoy it.
I held my hand out for the folder and all but snatched it from my boss' fingers, much to his amusement. I saw that it only contained a handful of papers: a plane ticket, a copy of a signed lease with my name on it, contact information for the commander in charge of the unit I would be joining, and a brief list of things I would need to do within the next few days. It took me a few seconds to find the little piece of information that had so amused Dixon. The destination on my plane ticket and the base I'd be working at.
Fort Bliss, Texas.
Great. Just fucking great.