Flash Fiction Friday -- Can We Chat (he said/she said)

Today I'm doing something different. I wrote the same story twice -- once from Rory's POV and once from Frank's. It's amazing, what person's annoyance is another person's important task.

This story takes place weeks before my novel begins, and about 4 1/2 years after the previous story....

Can we chat? (Rory's POV)
© 2008 Suzanne Lazear

“Hey Richards, mind if I join you?”

This was not happening. All I wanted to do was have a quiet lunch, alone, in the corner. But no, someone declared it was Shit on Rory day. It was probably my boss Terry, since my bad mood was thanks to him. He put me on desk duty. Again. It wasn’t my fault I fucked up. Again. He knew when there wasn’t anything interesting going on I got…creative.

The fact that is was so damn quiet also bugged me. It was October. Someone should be doing something…that stupid Witch Sorority for example. I worked in a little known department of the FBI known as the “SFR” – the department of SuNat/Fae Relations. We were the real x-files. I wished I’d get a cool partner like Mulder or Scully. All mine were damn snacks who were more trouble then they their sorry asses were worth.

Looking up I glared at the speaker. His name was Frank Harris and he was a fellow FBI agent.

“Sorry Frank, but this is a private conversation.” At least he called me Richards, and not Rory. That damn Were finally figured out that I didn’t like him calling me by my first name. Other people could but not him. Yeah, I was prejudice. Frank was a Werewolf. I had no interest in getting to know Werewolves, even ones who said they were nice Werewolves. Frank knew this.

Also, I was not alone at my little table in the corner. Secret Service Agent Brian Samson was sitting with me. We had dated a few times, back when I actually dated, but it hadn’t gone anywhere. I just wasn’t classy enough for the likes of him. The odd thing was he kept asking me out on dates and seeking me out whenever he had business in our building. Like today. It was…weird.

“Who’s this Rory?” Brian looked the FBI agent up and down. Both were good looking, well educated men, with good jobs, who were going places. Neither would leave me alone and neither got the hint. Men were such dumbasses sometimes. At least Brian was human.

“This is Special Agent Frank Harris who’s going to go sit someplace else.”

“Okay, I’ll take a number.” Frank seemed nonplussed as he stood there holding his tray. “Lunch tomorrow then? I want to talk to you before I go on vacation.”

“Um nope.” Frank always wanted to talk to me. His department wanted to borrow me, he wanted to run a scenario by me, he was going to the bar after work with some friends did I want to come, could he have my email address…

“Please, it’s important.”

Now Frank was not a bad guy by any stretch of the imagination. Well, except for the fact that he had more dates than a calendar. I just couldn’t get past the whole fact that he was a Werewolf. I didn’t like them much. Frank wasn’t the only Were with the bureau and I avoided them all.

“The lady said she doesn’t want to speak with you, so could you kindly leave us alone?” Brian had much nicer manners than I did. I might be a woman but I was hardly a lady. My former roommates would attest to that.

“Who are you?” Frank looked the human up and down.

“Brian Samson, Secret Service. Rory and I are having lunch.”

Frank smirked and my fingers itched to smack it right off his good looking face. It wasn’t like it was a lunch date. Brian had hunted me down and sat down since he’d “hate to see a pretty lady sit all alone.” I could sit with my friends Roger and Ron or my co-workers. I just didn’t want to.

“Go away Frank.” If he didn’t move in ten seconds I’d move him. Ten…nine…

“If it’s so important just tell her now.” Brian was the voice of reason. Frank’s look told me it was not something he wanted to discuss in from of Brian, which probably meant it wasn’t something for human ears. I was so not interested.

The Were sighed. “All I need is a few minutes of your time. After work…before work…lunch…whatever.”

I shot him a death glare. I did not want to hear what he wanted to say. I was so hungry. Eating with Brian meant I couldn’t eat as much as usual. I was not human and had a much greater appetite. My friends at least were used to it, especially the ones who knew I wasn’t human.

We were being watched now. Half the bureau was in the cafeteria for lunch today it seemed. Most people know that Rory Richards did not like Frank Harris and that he enjoyed annoying me. But then I did annoy him back, like when I took all his pens and replaced them with ones with the caps glued on. Served him right for ratting me out for stealing someone else’s supplies. In my department we never had enough supplies.

“Please Rory.” First he had to use my first name, even though it bugged me. Second of all he laid a hand on my arm, invading my bubble. I hated to be touched.

That did it. Immediately I stood up and put him in a headlock. Now everyone was watching. Not that they hadn’t seen it before. “Go away Frank.” Maybe this time he’d get the message. He was such a stalker. Releasing him I pushed him away, giving him a death glare for good measure.

Then, as if nothing was wrong I sat back down and picked up my fork. Brian was trying to look horrified, because it was the proper thing to do, but I knew he was amused. A lot of people were amused. After all, Frank was big, and I wasn’t.

I focused my attention on the Secret Service Agent, ignoring both Frank and the buzz around me. “So what were you saying Brian before we were so rudely interrupted?”

Can We Chat -- Part II (Frank’s POV)

© 2008 Suzanne Lazear

It was another day at the FBI. Few people knew it was nearly my last. But I was excited for what lay ahead. The cafeteria was crowded today, like half the Bureau decided to have lunch at the same time.

Taking my tray I scanned the cafeteria for someplace to sit. I also scanned it for someone I needed to talk to…and it wasn’t about FBI business.

After Four and a half years I still didn’t know what made Rory tick – or hate me, aside form the fact that I was a Were and she didn’t like them. She didn’t even like me to call her by name. And if I touched her…

I liked ticking her off, but I was trying to crack her shell. After years of watching and waiting I didn’t know shit. I did know she was a damn fine agent and had the potential to be even more if given a chance. A chance she’d never get working with humans.

Ahh, there she was. The auburn haired beauty was sitting in the corner, probably in a mood. Her latest stunt was the talk of the bureau. I didn’t think anything topped getting banned from the shooting range for shooting a crossbow at other people’s targets.

Sometimes I wondered if the brass didn’t know what she was and what she really could do. After all, she got away with a hell of a lot of shit, but she always got the job done and never got caught. It was awe inspiring.

I wasn’t sure what she was, but I had seen her go against some crazy shit. Her department, the SFR, handed unusual cases. I had finally realized she wasn’t Fae or Celestial. She wasn’t human. That meant she was some kind of SuNat, hence me needing to talk to her. Soon.

Approaching her table I realized she wasn’t alone. She was sitting with some human I’d never seen before. Something about him made me want to growl. Rory didn’t date. Not anymore. Those were some funny stories.

“Hey Richards, mind if I join you?”

Rory gave me a hard stare like she was willing me to drop dead. “Sorry Frank, but this is a private conversation.” Damn she was pretty.

“Who’s this Rory?” The other guy also glared at me. He was not FBI.

“This is Special Agent Frank Harris who’s going to go sit someplace else.” Rory’s voice and expression was tart. She didn’t look happy to be sitting with the other guy. Good.

I smiled. “Okay, I’ll take a number. Lunch tomorrow then? I want to talk to you before I go on vacation.” I couldn’t talk to her with the human present. Hell, I couldn’t talk to her in the cafeteria. Would she let me take her to lunch? Probably not.

“Um nope.”

Dammit. Not that I expected her to say yes. But I was running out of time. D-day was in a few weeks. I was leaving for “vacation” soon. My letter of resignation written.

“Please, it’s important.” I cursed myself for taking to long to ask her. I should have approached her a year ago, or even two. Even if she was Fae she might want in. The Fae weren’t coming out in the great unveiling, but more than a few were helping. Why, I wasn’t sure.

The human bristled. “The lady said she doesn’t want to speak with you, so could you kindly leave us alone?”

I looked him up and down. “Who are you?”

“Brian Samson, Secret Service. Rory and I are having lunch.”

I couldn’t help but smirk. Secret Service? What did she see in him? Why did she date humans anyway? I dated humans because it pissed off my mom.

“Go away Frank.” Rory looked like she was going to hurt me. Whenever I tried to talk to her she inevitably hurt me. Maybe that was why I never tried to recruit her for our side. But damn we could use someone like her. The things I’d heard…

She might not like Weres, but may respected – or were afraid -- of her, especially if they ran illegal pixie-dust houses or lived in West Virginia.

“If it’s so important just tell her now.” The human clearly resented my intrusion.

I sighed. “All I need is a few minutes of your time. After work…before work…lunch…whatever.”

I couldn’t just come out and ask her to not only help me the night the SuNats went on TV and declared their existence to the world, and but to leave the Bureau, move to Seattle and help me in the intelligence department of a brand all-SuNat new agency.

She glared at me again with those unusual hazel eyes of hers. Why did I find her so damn intriguing?

“Please Rory.” Immediately I was in a headlock. What did I do now? Shit. I not only used her first name, but I had reached out and touched her. She hated that. But for some reason I just couldn’t help it. I didn’t just want to touch her, I wanted to pet her. If I didn’t have such good self control…

“Go away Frank.” Everyone was watching. They always did. Gory Rory was highly entertaining. The first time I met her she threw me on my ass.

What could I do? I wasn’t going to win today. But I had her personal email. Email wasn’t the best way. But maybe after reading it she’d come to believe in the cause like I did. I had bragged to Mac that I could get her. She didn’t talk to any of the few SuNats in the bureau or I’d ask for help. I felt like a dumbass.

Rory let me go and with a sigh I picked up my fallen try, ignoring the looks and snickers. Sitting down, she went back to talking to the human.

I wouldn’t give up. Not yet. Maybe she’d surprise me and show up. After all, Rory was full of surprises.


Veronica said...

Very nice, and I can see how it leads into the beginning of the first book. (I read the beginning a while ago...where they're like on a trip or something?)You know, I think these short stories would work well as an intro to the characters in your novels... perhaps a prologue?

Veronica said...

What I meant by prologue is, the stories are short and fast paced enough to give us a taste of their personalities and hint at where the story is going.