Authors: Dawn Marie Snyder
Tags: #General Fiction
Dawn M. Snyder
Copyright © 201
Dawn Marie Snyder
All rights reserved.
To my rock.
An easy life…
Aston Martin man
Silence is torture
Dinner for two
Reflections and reality
Oregon or bust!
Speeding tickets and heels
Old flames and withering hearts
Goodbye, goodnight and let’s run away
Don’t worry, I won’t
The last goodbye
This wouldn’t have happened without the support of some very special people
Wes – this was all you and I thank you for telling me to believe in myself. And thank you to my family for believing in me. To one of my favorite APD officers and his wife for answering my annoying questions and to the Marine who corrected me when I needed correcting. My dearest friend Melissa for encouraging me every
step of the way – you know you
are the BEST!
Finally, to the teachers and my friends at St. Therese Catholic School in Albuquerque. You ladies have given me not only encouragement and support but have taught
me true friendship. Thank you.
Prologue – the dream
It’s always the same dream – I am underwater struggling. I know I am near the surface because waves are crashing above me, and the current is pulling me farther and farther from shore. There is light above and I try desperately to push through to the surface of the water, but as I do the water surrounds me pulling me further down into its dark depths.
I’m not sure exactly when it all changed, but one night it was different. Suddenly there was so much more, a hand piercing the surface of the water. I kicked my legs desperately to reach the hand and eventually I did. It was warm and the heat radiated through my cold body, comforting me. It was a struggle against the waves and current, just to reach it.
It was painful; emotionally and physically. My body ached as I wanted desperately to fill my lungs with something whether it was the air that would bring me life, or the water that would bring death. I didn’t care; I wanted something to complete me. As I struggled and tried to reach the surface I could see more than just the light and the hand. I could see the woman reaching through. She had dark hair and the greenest emerald eyes I had ever seen. She looked through the water and even with the crash of the waves I could hear her call my name. Suddenly everything around me was calm, but I still couldn’t find the strength to push myself up. And I could feel my hand slipping from the warm grasp that had been trying desperately to save me.
Each night the dream grew more complex, finally to the point I was afraid to fall asleep. I was sure, eventually the dream would come to an end, but would that end bring death, maybe peace? It changed once again; I was out of the water lying wet in an empty room divided by iron bars. I still couldn’t fill my lungs, but I could see the woman clearly now on the other side of the bars. She stood there calling my name telling me to fight, to fight and save myself. It was then I realized I wasn’t worth saving – I had fallen to depths that I couldn’t climb out of. I watched as she fell to the ground reaching through the bars trying to grab a hold of me.
“I’m not worth saving,” I finally managed to whisper before everything turned black. She was suddenly gone but I could hear her sobs as I drifted further into a hell of my own making.
An Easy Life….
I lived what I thought was a perfect, easy life. I worked odd government jobs making good money. I hurt for nothing and lived a comfortable existence on my own. I was never home for more than a week or two and in the span of ten years had pretty much seen more of the world than anyone I knew. Each assignment was different – different people, places and tasks. I had never considered changing my ways and settling down. It wasn’t an option. To be honest, I truly feared the emptiness I thought settling down would bring. But most of all, I feared dying alone.
This was an existence I accepted. That is until the day I watched her rushing through Dulles International Airport trying to catch her flight to Tel Aviv, Israel. There was something about her that was so familiar, so intriguing. Even the picture I had been given haunted me. I knew her, but I couldn’t place her anywhere in my life. It seemed I was constantly reminding myself she was only an assignment. She was someone for me to watch and keep safe and that was my task, to protect her, even if she didn’t know I was there. My gut told me otherwise though; it told me this was different and my gut was never wrong.
Her name was Alison Lawrence and she was on her way to a symposium In Tel Aviv. This was her first time on her own attending one of these, as her boss Tom usually attended them while she remained behind to hold down the fort. He was the man I was usually sent to protect as it was his job to hand over technology to friendly countries as our government saw fit. Only problem, most of the technology he gave was stuff that was forbidden by international treaty. It was one thing for a government to make the rules, another thing entirely for them to follow those rules. This in itself made my job all the more interesting.
As we reached the departing gate, I kept my head down and did what I did best, blend in with everyone else. Alison chose a seat close to the terminal window and watched all the activity outside on the tarmac. She paid little attention to all the people and happenings around her. I sat a few rows away facing her, but far enough away to go unnoticed. My partner on the assignment was Seth, an obnoxious loud red head, who was sitting a few seats away from her talking
to another passenger. Seth had the same job I did, as a matter of fact, we were a team. Seth, however, did his job a little differently than I. Where I chose to blend in with the crowd and watch from a distance, Seth loved to be noticed and made sure whoever we were watching knew of his presence.
As I watched her, I noticed her hair and the soft curls that hung around her shoulders. She wore dark grey dress pants and a white blouse that hugged her curves. She was relatively short, 5’ 4 or 5, but she walked through the airport as if she were a giant. She had turned a few heads as she made her way through the terminal. She seemed older than the age listed in the file - only twenty six. But her age had no relative bearing on anything. I was there to protect her, not to admire her and wonder about her. But, ironically, I couldn’t pull myself away from her.
The movement of a family caught her attention as she turned away from the window toward them. Her eyes were glowing as she watched the children hang tightly on to their mother’s clothes. She moved her hair away from her face and behind her ears and her eyebrows furrowed as she realized that the plane we were about to board pulled into the awaiting gate. To the casual observer she was confident, but to the trained eye, I could tell she was nervous about the trip. Anyone in their right mind, heading to the Middle East had to be nervous. If you weren’t then you were someone like me, waiting for the next shoe to drop or bomb to go off.
I wanted desperately to get up from my seat and introduce myself to her. I could easily envision pushing the strands of soft brown hair out of her face and behind her ear. I wanted to touch her, hold her and get to know this woman I was supposed to be protecting. It was a feeling that left me questioning who I was and what I was doing. The feeling was so intense; I reached for my cell phone wondering if I should pull myself from the task at hand. She didn’t realize it but she pulled me in, in every way imaginable.
Time passed by way too quickly and before I realized it she was boarding the flight with Seth not far behind her. Much like in the terminal, I sat far enough away from her, and Seth sat as close to her as he could, thanks to numerous compliments he had fed the ticket agent. I almost felt sorry for Alison, because any flight with Seth was a long flight. And I wasn’t surprised when, true to form, he annoyed the hell out of her the entire time. From where I sat diagonally in front of her, I could occasionally glance back and read the look on her face. By the time we reached Tel Aviv, she was practically running off the plane toward customs and the waiting soldiers, weapons in hand. Seth and I followed not far behind and as she made a break for the ladies room. We waited form a distance, watching the people around us.
“How’d I do,” Seth asked a huge grin on his face.
“Stellar.” I didn’t want to say anymore and encourage the behavior. I actually felt sorry for all the passengers that had sat near the man.
“Stellar? Come on, that’s it?” His face was full of disappointment but I knew for a fact, he knew better than to take my word for it.
“Record breaking Seth. I don’t think anyone has ever wanted to hurt you as much as she did. Matter of fact, I think the crew almost had the air marshals on standby.”
A huge grin appeared on his face as he reveled in his success.
“You better hope you don’t have to deal with her later on. It might not be pretty.” As I finished my sentence she walked out of the ladies room and headed toward baggage claim. “I’ll follow to the hotel. Meet me there in an hour or so.”
Seth nodded in agreement. “Sure thing.”
I could only shake my head as I walked away from my friend. He was as good as anyone in our line of work and he enjoyed it. Alison was a few paces ahead of me and from my vantage point I noticed one more thing about her I liked. She had a nice butt.