Kathleen stared at the paperwork left her by the sergeant and warrant officer until her eyes started crossing. She was fuming, how dare they assume she was willing to just transfer and in one day? Hell, the Air Force normally gave them at least fifteen days and already had someone in mind to transfer command to. But, more often than not, everyone knew about the change a month beforehand. There was no way that was in place in this case.
Not to mention, she had to pack up and move in one day? Granted she's been in the air force for fifteen years, three enlisted, four in the academy and the rest as an officer1 and could move in a week, she couldn't do it one day.
This was ridiculous, she thought as she grabbed the packet and marched over to the temporary office set up for the general across the base. This turkey had gone too far now and he was not getting away with it. She didn't care if he was a damned general now. His high-handed methods were out of hand and maybe other women fell for it but, she was not going to be one of them.
"I want to see your commanding officer, now!" Kathleen barked at the redhead seated at the desk in front of Hawk's office. She didn't even have her beret off and the door closed yet. The sergeant didn't bother to stand at attention, but, merely looked Kathleen up and down. "Does anyone in your unit have any semblance of military protocol knowledge? The last time I checked, Sergeant, when an officer walks in the room, you are supposed to at least stand, not look at them like an alien. Or did you not learn that in army basic?"
"Yes ma'am, we did learn that, you merely surprised me." Scarlett's voice was filled with a near false saccharine sweetness tinged with a southern belle accent and attitude as she answered the woman's question while standing. "Who may I say is asking?" So this is the great Major Kincaid, Duke's been talking about? Scarlett wasn't impressed and it didn't matter that she only really learned of the General's interest in the woman last night when she arrived to perform the background checks on the incoming security personnel. Not that she cared about that, per se. No, she cared about the security of the team considering she hadn't had time to conduct the background checks on this woman and the fifteen, well, ten plus five dogs coming onto the team. Though she was fairly sure the dogs would pass muster. The eleven humans, that was a different matter altogether.
"Major Kincaid. Sergeant O'Hara." Kathleen said through clenched teeth. "Your new security director if these orders are correct." She slammed the packet of orders onto Scarlett's desk.
"Yes ma'am." Scarlett's voice was dripping honey and it was still so sweet that Kathleen felt the need to check her blood sugar levels lest the venomous honey dripping from the redhead was capable of being absorbed through the skin.
"Thank you and Sergeant, lay off the sugar and condescension. I significantly outrank you and if I had spoken to a superior officer the way you are when I was a Sergeant, I would not be wearing these oak leaves. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes ma'am." Gone was the sugar as Scarlett knocked on Hawk's door.
"General, a Major Kincaid is here to see you."
"Ah yes, I expected her, send her in and Scarlett, can you get us some coffee, please." Hawk responded.
"Yes, sir." Scarlett responded. "Ma'am, the General will see you now and how do you take your coffee?"
"Thank you Sergeant, and I take mine black."
What a witch, Scarlett thought as she watched the Major disappear through Hawk's door.
"Major, good to see you again." Hawk stood, walked around his desk and extended his hand professionally to the woman. "Have a seat. I gather you are here to talk about your new assignment?"
"Yes sir. May I first say, this is definitely not the way to get me in your bed! Not that I would consider it, sir. I don't sleep with generals."
"I understand and I feel I should apologize. While I will not hide my desire to see you personally, my behavior has been abominable and inexcusable. It is not my normal behavior and I have no excuse for it." She blinked at him incredulous at his apology. "As for your transfer, I actually have little to do with that. I leave most of my personnel decisions to my First Sergeant and Warrant Officer, both of whom you met yesterday."
"Well, thank you for your apology. My statement still stands, I don't sleep with Generals. But, what exactly is the meaning of transferring my team and I in less than one day? There is no way we can do that. First, there's no one to take over for me." She said, still standing.
"Please, sit. I give you my word, I'm not going to take advantage of you."
"Fine, sir." She finally sat as Scarlett brought the coffee in and set it in front of the two officers, giving Kathleen the look of death.
"Thank you Scarlett, and watch the look, the Major is joining the team and will be in charge of all security, including your section." Hawk stated. "I apologize for that, Sergeant O'Hara sometimes has a protective streak when it comes to the team. She's one of our founding members."
"Well, she's going to have to reign it in." Kathleen stated simply.
"I believe that if anyone can get Scarlett to do that, it's you, Major." Hawk said simply.
"Now, If I decide to do this, there are going to be a few ground rules."
Hawk interlaced his fingers on his desk and just looked at the Major intent on listening to what the lady had in mind. Of course, he was sure one rule was going to be hands off, and that was the one he didn't plan on following completely. But, he did plan on making her come to him, under her own terms. But, he was going to have her, but, she was going to have to want it and if she didn't, well, he'd have to live with that. But, if her words and Duke were correct, the feeling was mutual, but, she was holding back merely because of the rank difference. One that was just about to be a bit smaller. He was just waiting on the Air Force personnel division to update their records. He turned his attention back to the lovely major and her ground rules.
"Hawk in?" Lady Jaye asked as she walked into the office. "I've got his morning reports."
"He's in with that lady Major." Scarlett said with ire dripping from her lips like poison from a blade.
"Really? What's she like?"
"A witch." Scarlett said. "She lit into me simply because I didn't pop to attention the second she entered the room."
"Is that the only reason you think she's a witch?" Jaye laughed.
"Well that and she had this attitude that she was somehow better than me because she's an officer."
"Okay. Shana, what did you really do?"
"Nothing, I was nice."
"Hm hmm, so the southern belle sugar came out, did it?"
"Maybe a little."
"Well, that's better than you did with me." Jaye laughed. "You were such a bitch with me."
"Yeah, well you called me tawdry." Scarlett laughed.
"What do you say, we give this lady a chance? We are on an active Air Force base and they actually follow regulations we forgot."
"I guess, but, she didn't have to be so uppity about it."
"According to Flint, she's not all that happy with Hawk's interest in her. So, she's probably not happy with the transfer, either."
"I guess. Oh, how did last night go?"
"Great. When we get back to our quarters I'll show you what he gave me."
"An engagement ring?"
"No, but, I wouldn't mind one." Jaye laughed.
"Yeah, I know the feeling." Scarlett sighed.
1Literary license, if this takes place during the early to mid 1980's, Major Kincaid would not have been an officer for eight years as the first women graduating the USAF Academy was in 1980.