I got in late from my kids' swim meet in Florida, so I'm offering this encore Squirrel, originally posted January 24, 2010.
“This is bulls**t, Colonel!” Mick said, clenching his fists. “I'm nothing but a glorified babysitter. I should be out in the action with my team, not stuck here playing Bosley to your little band of Angels.” He gestured toward the office door, his hand trembling.
Colonel Stark leaned over her desk, resting on her fingertips, and raised one eyebrow at him. She was a diminutive woman, but her piercing gaze had brought lesser men to tears.
Mick could feel the pulse in his neck, the heat in his face. F**k.
He retreated and slumped into a chair, resting his forehead on the heels of his hands. His breath came in heavy gasps as if he'd just finished a race.
God, what kind of idiot was he? He rubbed his face vigorously and sat up straight. The Colonel remained impassive, tapping a pen against her desk calendar. He cringed, comparing his outburst to her lack of emotion, and cleared his throat. “I'm sorry, ma'am. I was out of line. I–”
“I know this is difficult for you, Mick.” She sat back into her chair and clasped her hands together. “I wouldn't have chosen you if I didn't think you could handle it.” Her eyes bore into him as she leaned forward. “This is your only chance to stay in the game. You know that. If I send you back now, they'll stick you behind a desk in Kansas.”
He had nothing against Kansas, but everything against the desk.
She was right. He should be kissing her feet for the opportunity to train this new team. He just…dammit.
They were women for Christ's sake.
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Sybir St. John