Chapter Eleven, Conclusion
"They're back!" yelled Epstein, running into Ops. "I just saw Miss Parker and Captain Becker entering the ARC!"
"Seriously?" asked another tech.
Epstein ran to the ADD, moving all his stuff. "Finally, I'm off the ADD! I can finally leave Lesterland!"
"Finally, I'll have a real field coordinator who can do the job!" cried Lester, grumpily.
"And every other job you want done," mumbled Epstein.
"Where is my coffee? Have you seen the armory reports from before she left? I haven't? Did you call the minister?" demanded Lester.
Epstein smiled. "Jess is on her way," was he said.
Lester huffed and walked eagerly to the Ops entrance.
In strolled a very tan Jess, holding bags followed by a smiling, bag-laden Becker.
"No, really? I thought a couple of pack mules strolled in here," said Lester.
"Yay! You haven't changed!" cried Jess, hugging him.
"Miss Parker, please!" he cried, pushing her off him. "We are behind….on everything. Get to work and save my ARC!"
"I'm sure you exaggerate," said Jess. "Fine. I'll get to work. I can give you your gift later."
She giggled, and pulled the cigars out of her bag.
Lester was speechless, looking at the fine art on the box, and the even finer cigars in side.
He smiled and retreated to his office, saying nothing.
"Wow, a happy Lester, thanks Jess,' said Epstein. "That's my gift."
She giggled. "No. Here," and she passed the spices out to everyone in Ops.
Then she heard clomps of heavy boots. She turned to see several faces peaking inside.
"How are we?" asked Lt. Vale.
Becker laughed. "Why what did 'we' do?"
"Becker, be nice," said Jess.
"Nice? They're my men. I'm not supposed to be nice."
"Yay! They're back!" yelled Carlson, running in and hugging Jess. He then quickly pulled away, glancing nervously at Becker.
Becker chuckled. "I see the ARC's still standing."
Lt. Flowers smiled. "Sorry. We tried our best."
Jess and Becker laughed.
"We sure did," said Connor, leading Abby, Matt, and Emily.
Jess ran to the them, hugging each one. "I missed you! You wouldn't believe how beautiful the Canary Islands were! Or how good the food was! The shops were divine! I got so much stuff that the customs officer cried!"
The others laughed and let her babble.
"Becker was a bit rude the third day, running off with Wallace to catch smelly fish, but then he made it up to me, and you won't believe what he did!"
"Hey, are you cheating on her with a bloke?" asked Matt, smirking and lightly smacking his chest.
Becker laughed. "It's over. I swear."
Jess giggled. "He's silly. Anyway, we saw the Kasbah, which is stark and kind of boring, sorry sweetie. Then we went in a Sultan's palace that's now a museum and it was so cool!"
"I want to hear about Lisbon," said Matt.
"Me too," said Abby.
"Oh," said Becker. "Well, the beach was nice, the water warm, the beach patrol kind of intrusive, and the Raptor was a pain in the arse."
They all laughed.
"I suppose I should thank you lot for not embarrassing me," said Lester, strolling out, smoking a cigar. "In fact, they seemed impressed."
Jess and Becker smiled at each other.
"Just doing our jobs," said Jess.
"Quite. So what else have you got?" asked Lester. "Any booze?"
"Yes, but not for you. It's for Becker's men."
"Yippee," the men in black shouted.
"Oh, lovely, drinking on the job."
"You're smoking," said Vale. Lester shot him a look. "Sir….You're smoking, sir. You look very distinguished, too."
They all laughed.
"You're still an idiot," said Becker, playfully.
Vale flashed his bright smile. "So, after work, then?"
"Yes," said Jess. "If you promise not to drink until you're somewhere safe."
"We promise," said all the soldiers.
It made Becker laugh. "You sound like kids talking to your teacher."
Jess giggled. "Now, Abby, you'll love this. The money goes to help beaches."
"Cool," she said, taking the shirt. "Very nice, Jess."
"Connor," Jess giggled. "Close your eyes."
When he opened them, she was holding a Fez. ""A fez! Fezes are cool! Thanks, Jess."
She laughed as he plopped it on his head.
"Emily, we match," she said, showing Emily her hand, and then giving her a box with the ring.
"It is lovely, Jess. Thank you very much."
"Finally, we have Matt." She handed him the book, and he flipped through it, smiling at each new page.
"Brilliant, Jess. Thanks."
Jess beamed with pride. "I'm so glad you like them."
"Of course they did, Jess. They were all perfect," said Becker.
Jess smiled. She then ran up, leapt into his arms and kissed him.
"Good lord. Show some decorum. You're not on the love boat anymore."
They laughed. "Sorry, Lester," said Becker. He let Jess go. "Back to the real world."
She nodded. "See you at lunch?"
He nodded. They all cleared out, going to their sections. Jess set up the ADD the way she liked, and got to work catching up with things.
At break, she went to the break room to get some tea. Her usual mug wasn't where it normally was. She opened cabinets searching. Finally, she found her mug, but something was crammed inside.
It was a small package that said, "Tangiers White Lemon Tea." She gasped with delight.
"We may not be there now," said Becker, peaking in, "but we can pretend."
"Yes, we can. Would you like to pretend now?"
He nodded. She made the tea and when she turned around, he had laid out some other things on the small table.
"What are these?"
She smiled and went to see. "Becker! Dried figs and plums from Tangiers, almond biscuits from Spain and the Canary Islands, and Portuguese honey sesame rolls! How'd you sneak these past me?"
He smiled. "I have a long history of covert missions."
She laughed, and hugged him. "I love you."
He smiled back. "I love too, Jess."
They sat down and had a taste of their brilliant holiday.