10 Wounded

Wounded

© Copyright 2009

Written by Mr. and Mrs. Banzai Ben

banzaiben@gmail.com

 

Wounded Chapter 10

 

Monday 10 December

 

Present – Ben - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I don't know whether to feel anger, sadness, or worry: I know my arm is messed up, but the news Crispy gave me was not even as good as my worst nightmare. After he left and while Jens is distracted by cuddling with me I sneak a look at my hand. It looks like it has the measles from all the spots he poked with the needle but I didn't feel any of them.

 

I'm tired of the emotional rollercoaster I've been on all day and need a break. Cuddling with Jens is just the distraction I need. But teasing her a little will be even better. "It's so nice holding my submissive little wife-to-be."

 

She looks at me, "What are you talking about?"

 

I grin at her, "After telling you to shut your mouth during my little talk with Glen I now know I wear the pants in this family."

 

She starts getting upset but then surprises me when she cuddles close and purrs, "Yes dear."

 

I look at her big grin and say, "Can you tell I'm yanking your chain?"

 

She bats her eyes at me and declares with a great deal of innocence, "You are? I didn't know."

 

I'm disappointed and ask, "Jens, are you serious?"

 

She sits up and looks at me. "Ben I told you a very long time ago I'm not a femi-nazi and I meant it. I also just told you I'd do anything to make our time together the best ever for you. If you want me to be your 'submissive little wife', I will do my best to fill that role for you."

 

I'm now in shock and utter, "Jens, you can't be serious!"

 

She grins and says, "Serious as a heart attack. So tell me, do you want a 'submissive little bimbo wife' or would you rather have Jens?"

 

I finally figure out she's yanking my chain and now it’s my turn. "I think I like the idea of you being my submissive little bimbo wife. So get your ass up and make me a sandwich."

 

"Like hell I will! Make your own damn sandwich!" She fires back. "Submissive little bimbo wife my ass – shit you've got another think coming if you believe that!"

 

Boy, submissive sure didn’t last long! I grab her, pull her close and say, "Now that's the fiery Jens I know and love. Come here and give me a kiss."

 

She struggles to pull away from me and declares, "Not until you apologize for the submissive little wife comment."

 

"Okay, okay, give me a minute." She stops struggling, looks at me and I grin really big, "I'm sorry you're not a submissive little wife."

 

She starts laughing. "You are impossible sometimes. It's a good thing I know you're just teasing me, otherwise I'd have to kick your butt." She snuggles up next to me but her phone rings, "Shit, who the hell is bothering us." She changes her tune when she looks at the phone, "Oh goodie, it's…"

 

Present – Jens - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

Oh yeah! We're back to the loving couple we've always been. I know because Ben is teasing me about being a 'submissive little wife.' Shit, like that will ever happen! There's more of a chance of me letting Glen and Evelyn come to our wedding than me ever become his blonde bimbo – I won't be anyone's blow up Barbie doll. But it's fun to tease him back. I even get him worried until he calls my bluff.

 

We just start cuddling again when Liz calls, "Hey sister, long time no see or hear. Do I have news for you!"

 

Liz answers, "And I have news for you too, let me go first."

 

"No fricken way because mine is better! You need to get your ass back here and help me plan our wedding. I can't do anything without my maid of honor here."

 

The phone goes silent for a very long moment and then I hear her voice, "Jens, that's great news. So you two are going to finally get married. Why the big change?"

 

I tell her about Ben taking a medical discharge and how we're headed back to America today. And then I go over all the other details.

 

She answers, "Wow that's great news! We will make so much money from your wedding videos."

 

I tease her by saying, "But no videos of the wedding night!"

 

She laughs and replies, "Too bad, those would be priceless."

 

Ben motions for the phone and I hand it to him. "Hey Liz, how are you doing and when are you coming back?" I wait for him to get his answer and then he hands the phone back to me.

 

"Yeah sis, when are you coming back?"

 

"Jens the joy I feel can't be expressed over the phone. Some things can only be said in person or in writing."

 

I tense as I hear the code words we established in Kabul ages ago. "I understand sister. What's going on?"

 

"Not much, I'm in Dushanbe and I was just thinking about when you and Ben pretended to be pirates on Glen's sailboat." I tense at hearing Glen's name but continue listening. "It was a great time until Frankie fell overboard and Ben almost died saving her."

 

Then it hit me - Liz is telling me Ben is in danger! "I remember how he almost died. I was so scared."

 

Liz continues, "What was the name of the pirate he called you? It was from the Gina Davis movie Cutthroat Island?"

 

I remember the name and reply, "Yeah Liz I know who you're talking about, but I'm much sexier than she is."

 

"Yes but her names are much sexier than Jennifer Donaldson. Especially if you combine them by putting her character name first and then follow it with her real name," Liz adds.

 

"Are you being odd again?"

 

"I'm not being odd today, but someday I'll get even with you for the comment. I want to let you know Matt and Jim are leaving soon for Ramstein so don't leave without them. Well I hate to cut this phone call short but I'm busy as hell here. Love you sis, give my love to Ben and I'll be back soon to help with the wedding."

 

The phone goes dead and I look at Ben while I try to disguise my concern. "Jens, I don't know what you two were talking about, but it was a strange conversation." He looks closely at my face and asks, "And what are you so worried about?"

 

I jump out of bed and start pulling on my clothes. "Ben, I'm not sure exactly what’s going on, but I need to find a computer right now! First I need to get an MP to our room!"

 

He starts to struggle to get out of bed and demands, "Jens, tell me what the hell is going on!"

 

I bite my lip, and decide he needs to know. "Ben, our conversation was in code and I won't know everything until I can get to a computer. But Liz let me know she thinks you're in danger."

 

I see an amazed look cross his face as he says, "Jens, she must be wrong. I'm in a hospital on an Air Force base. How much safer could I be?"

 

"Ben she doesn’t think she’s wrong on this since she's even sending Matt and Jim back to help. I don't know anything else right now. Listen to me for once and don't fight me." I reach in my purse and hand him a Cold Steel throwing knife. "It's not a Ka-Bar, but it's all I could fit in my purse. Hide it under the sheet."

 

I watch as he balances the knife in his hand, "No, but for throwing this is better than a Ka-Bar. I wish you had a pistol in your purse. Aren't Matt and Jim still in the Marines?"

 

"Ben it's a long story and I don't have time to tell it all right now. They now work for us as our bodyguards. I'm going to see Dr. Crispin to arrange for a guard, and then I'm going to find a computer." I hug him and cry a little, "Take care of yourself and don't you dare die!"

 

Present - Liz – Dushanbe, Tajikistan

 

I get ready to call Jens and Mira stops me, "Ms. Morgan, your mobile phone is not secure so be careful what you say to Ms. Donaldson."

 

I look at her and say, "Thanks for the warning. I'll handle it another way."

 

I call Jens to give her the bad news but she's so excited to tell me her good news. Except her good news about planning the wedding is the worst thing I could ever hear. I start to sway from the shock and Mira grabs and steadies me. I recover and even pretend to be happy about her news. Then I give Jens the code words, and as much detail as I can fit in a short conversation and I hang up the phone.

 

"Mira, I need to get to a computer right away."

 

She smiles and says, "You are in luck. There is an Internet café just a half block away. So Ms. Donaldson and SM Blaine are getting married?"

 

A few tears form in the corner of my eyes as I reply, "Yes they want me to help plan the wedding. I guess I always hoped something would happen and I could marry Ben."

 

Mira hugs me, "Ms. Morgan it bothers me because you are so upset. Are you sure we cannot do anything to fix this problem?"

 

I pull myself together and look her straight in the eye, "Mira, I'm going to tell you for the last time and I want you to tell Ira: They are my best friends and I want you to protect them exactly the same way you protect me."

 

She smiles sadly and apologizes, "Sorry Ms. Morgan for suggesting it again. But we just hate to see you so sad. We will not mention it again and we will precisely follow your instructions."

 

"Then, let's get to the Internet café." We walk outside and find Ira and the guys guarding the front, "Matt and Jim come here a minute." Everyone gathers around me and I tell them what's going on, "Matt and Jim, I want you to go to the airport and get to Ramstein as soon as possible. Take the jet but make sure to send it back here."

 

"You got it boss lady." Matt says.

 

Jim adds, "Are you sure you'll be safe?"

 

Ira gives him such a nasty look, "I should kick your butt for being so disrespectful."

 

He challenges her and remarks, "Like you could really do that."

 

Quick as a flash she's behind him and has a knife to his neck. "You will apologize to us right now."

 

I need to defuse this situation quickly, "Hey, all four of you cut this out or I'll kick all your butts."

 

Ira drops the knife to her side, looks down and walks over by me, "Sorry Ms. Morgan, but he made me angry when he implied we could not protect you."

 

Jim looks relieved and starts to apologize, "Sorry Mira….."

 

"That's Ira," she interrupts.

 

"Sorry Ira, I just want to make sure Liz will be safe."

 

"You should call her Ms. Morgan because it is more respectful." Ira grumps.

 

"Okay, that's enough of this bickering. Now kiss and make up."

 

Ira looks at me, walks over to Jim and gives him a big kiss. When she finishes she reaches into her purse, pulls out breath spray and puts four sprays in her mouth.

 

I chuckle, "Ira, 'kiss and make up' is just an American expression. It means you need to become friends again. I didn't order you to kiss Jim."

 

She blushes and replies, "Sorry Ms. Morgan. I thought it was an order."

 

Jim was finally all smiles, "And I'm sorry too. I really didn't mean to insult you."

 

"Apology accepted, just do not do it again." Ira pulls out a phone and makes a call, "A taxi is coming for both of you."

 

I motion Ira over to me and whisper, "Ira I'm so sorry you thought I ordered you to kiss Jim."

 

"Thank you Ms. Morgan, I do not like him and it was nasty. But if you would have ordered me to kiss Matt I would have enjoyed that." Her eyes twinkle as she grins at me.

 

Mira interrupts, "We are going to the Internet café as Ms. Morgan needs a computer." We start walking down the street in our standard formation. The twins are talking to me about clothes and shoes and asking me a million questions about America. I suddenly stop and look at them, "Shit, how am I going to get you two to America with me? We need passports and visas."

 

They both give me a sad look and answer, "Sorry Ms. Morgan we have passports but did not think about visas."

 

I give them a different look and reassure them, "Don't worry about it, I have a few friends who owe me some favors. I'll have your visas by tomorrow."

 

That promise earns me stereo grins and Mira says, "Thank you Ms. Morgan."

 

"Don't you think you should call me Liz?"

 

Ira gives me a scared look, "Oh no Ms. Morgan. It would be disrespectful to call you Liz."

 

I wonder what sort of training they've been through to make it so hard to call me Liz but decide to explore it later.

 

As we reach the Internet café, Ira says, "Please wait here and I will go in and make sure it's safe." The next thing I know everyone is leaving and Ira comes to the door and waves me in.

 

"You didn't have to chase everyone out."

 

She smiles and confirms, "Yes I did because they were possible threats to you. Here is the best computer for you and I switched the language to English."

 

"Thank you Ira, but I won't be using much of this computer as it is right now." I reach in my bag and pull out an eight gig Kingston Traveler flash drive. Good - it's a Dell computer. I plug in the flash drive, start the computer reboot, and press F12. The boot menu comes up and I tell the computer to boot from the flash drive.

 

It takes a bit for the computer to boot and the first thing the flash drive does is check the BIOS to make sure it's not infected. It takes a few more minutes and then I'm prompted for my password. I look at Ira and she walks away to give me privacy. I mess up the password the first time. Shit! I only have two more tries and then the drive gets wiped. I get it right the next time and it boots into a secure OS.

 

I fire up a secure browser session, go to Google and create a new account under the name of MorganAdamsGinaDavis, a combination of Gina Davis and her character's name from Cutthroat Island. I give it the password ogndmGnDvs all the even letters from the two names combined. It creates my account and I compose a new email. Then I get busy typing.

 

Sister, great news about you and B! You two are the perfect couple and I love being your best friend. I can't wait to get back and plan the wedding with you but all hell is breaking loose here in Dushanbe.

 

I came here to make sure B didn't marry the girls and thank God he didn't! But they are dangerous little bitches because they won't stop trying to get married to him. Don't be pissed at him about it because he has no control over it.

 

I was detained by the NSC and thought I might have to go to work for them, but I was able to escape. In the process of getting free, I picked up two of their best agents as my new body guards. They are twins and are two of the most drop dead gorgeous and dangerous women I have ever met and they have already saved my life so I'm bringing them back with me.

 

What I did determine is the truck B stole from H had a fortune of gold in it and everyone in the whole world is looking for the truck and the girls. I accidentally let slip B probably knows where the girls are. My new body guards think the NSC will accidentally let the information leak and said B and anyone he cares for will be in danger.

 

The Russian mafia has already tried to grab me twice and I think they will be going after you soon. Watch your back sister and keep your man safe.

 

XOXO (One set for you and one set for B)

L

 

I made sure I didn't leave anything out, then I clicked save and made sure the message was in the drafts folder. I signed out of Google and then logged into my secure server and fired up my email. "Hey Ira, do you have your passports."

 

"I have mine and will get Mira's." She walks to the door and says something. Mira walks over with her passport. Ira walks back, hands them to me and starts to leave, "No, please stay. I want you to see this."

 

To American Embassy, Dushanbe Tajikistan

Attention: Sam Clark Ambassador,

 

Sam, I need a big favor from you and will be very appreciative if you can pull this off. I'm hiring two Tajik women to work as bodyguards for me and I need work visas for them tomorrow. I know it's short notice, but I know you can work miracles and like I said I will be very grateful. I would be even more appreciative if you get the paperwork started for their naturalization.

 

They are twins and here is their passport information.

 

Miranda Sedankina               Number 1027895        BD 01/01/1986

Irina Sedankina            Number 1027896        BD 01/01/1986

 

There might be one issue: They are both former NSC agents.

 

One more thing if it's not too much to ask. I'm in a couple of situations here and I don't feel safe staying in my hotel. I was wondering if you could provide a room for the three of us tonight.

 

Thanks, you’re a sweetie.

XOXO Liz Morgan

 

I send the email and look back at Ira.

 

"Ms. Morgan, you would do this for us?"

 

"Of course, you two saved my life."

 

She looks at me, "Do I understand you offered to be trained by him to get our visas?"

 

"I'm sure he will require it, probably more than once."

 

I see her start to cry, "Ms. Morgan, no one has ever treated us as well as you have in just the last few hours. We-we-we are just your bodyguards."

 

I stand up and hug her, "Ira, you and Mira are more than just my bodyguards, you're my girlfriends. And you've saved my life. I think it's time I take my two new girlfriends out clothes shopping and then for a nice dinner."

 

She grins and leads the way outside. I only see Mira and she explains, "Matt and Jim have left for the airport."

 

Ira excitedly tells Mira something in their private language then Mira comes over and hugs me. "Ms. Morgan, Ira told me about the letter and what you have offered to do for us. I am embarrassed because it is the bodyguard which should do this for their boss, not the other way around. When we get to the Embassy I will offer us to the Ambassador in place of you."

 

I step back and look at her, "Like hell you will. I'm not letting my two very good girlfriends be abused. It's no big deal to me since I've done him before."

 

I watch as they both start crying, I open my arms and they fall into them giving me a big hug. Several minutes later they pull away, open their purses, pull out hankies and dry their eyes. Then they fix their makeup, "Sorry Ms. Morgan. We are not used to being treated this way. It is not professional for us to cry."

 

I grin at them and explain, "Sure it is! You are women and even professional women cry. That's what makes us better than men. Now, lead the way to the best shops in Dushanbe."

 

Mira replies, "First, you need some body armor like ours. Then we will shop for clothes which will fit over it."

 

Ira calls a cab, we jump in and head towards their body armor tailor.

 

Present – Jens - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

Son-of-a-bitch! Now Liz has me really upset! She told me Ben is in danger of being killed but she can't tell me anything more on the phone because she is concerned someone is listening. I almost drop the phone when she says, "Some things can only be said in person or in writing."

 

I haven't heard that phrase since Kabul, when we were trying to rescue Ben. Fucking Glen and Evelyn had Blackwater and a bunch of others hunting for me. Shit! she even used our fricken money as a bounty for my capture. Ben and I earned that money and it just isn’t right for her to use it as a reward for capturing me!

 

Every bit of our communications was being monitored and we needed a safe way to communicate. So we stole a page from fucking Al Qaeda and set up bogus email accounts. Then we'd post a message to the drafts folder and others could log in and read it. Because the connection to the email server used SSL1 the connections were impenetrable. And because we never sent emails from the account, Echelon2 couldn't intercept them. This was the same fricken technique Al Qaeda used to organize 9-11.

 

1 SSL - Secure Sockets Layer: cryptographic protocols which provide secure communications on the Internet.

 

2 ECHELON is a name used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UK-USA Security Agreement (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States).

 

Liz gives me all the information I need: The account name, and password. Now I need to get to a fricken computer so I can retrieve the message. I am in such a hurry as I leave the room I forget to nicely ask Ben to stay in bed and wait for me to return.

 

I walk into Dr. Crispin's office, "Hello Dr. Crispin."

 

He looks up from his computer, "Jens, what are you doing here?"

 

I lie just a little and reply, "I came to find out when we're leaving and to tell you Ben is getting restless. I think he's going to try to escape again."

 

He looks at me, "Then why didn't you stay with him. You have a very calming influence on Ben."

 

Rats, I need to be careful, "I decided I want to lease a plane so I was wondering if I could use your computer."

 

"You couldn't do it over the phone?"

 

I smile and lie again, "I didn't have the phone number and I need to look it up. You really should go check on Ben."

 

"You're sure about this?"

 

"Oh yes sir! I think he's trying to escape about now. Make sure you take at least one MP."

 

"Okay, I'll go check and let you use my computer. But don't mess with the patient records."

 

"Thank you sir, I promise I'll be a good girl."

 

As he leaves, I run over to get on the computer. I fire up the web browser and go to Google and then right into gmail. I enter the account information and log right in, well almost right in since I mess up the password twice because I am so nervous. Finally I'm in and I read the message: It's such good news Ben didn't marry the fricken girls! I was still worried about it and now I don't have to worry anymore.

 

The twins sound so interesting and they must be really good if she's sending Matt and Jim back to keep us safe. I can't believe the story about the gold and I'm a little pissed that Liz mentioned to the NSC that Ben might know where the girls are hiding. But I think she's probably correct because it sounds like something Ben would do and I need to ask him about it. I decide to write a quick reply so I start a new email.

 

Sis, thank you so much for all the work you've done. But you should have told me where you were going! I've been so worried and lost without you!

 

OMG B wanted to call the chaplain and marry me today and I almost said YES! But you know how much I want a big wedding. Do you think I'm doing the right thing????

 

I also don't trust those conniving little bitches. I can sense they tried to seduce B while he was asleep but they couldn't get it done. I did tell B they can't come to America until we are married. So if he knows where they are and tells me, I'll leave you a message. You can find a way to sit on them until after were married. If they try any tricks, I'll put them in a fricken military school.

 

Thanks for sending M and J back since it sounds like we can really use them. I'll make sure we wait until they come before we leave.

 

Well, I need to get back to B and make sure he's not doing something crazy - you know, something Marine.

 

Love you sis

XOXO from B and me!

 

I click save and watch it go into the drafts folder. Then I clear the browser data and close it. I look at the desktop of the computer and notice the patient information database, I want to open it and look at Ben's medical file, but I've lied too much today and feel very bad about it. I hit Ctrl L and lock the screen.

 

I jump up and almost run back to the room. I walk into the room and Ben is…

 

Present – Ben - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

Jens just told me I was in danger and went flying out of the room like her ass was on fire. I waited for about fifteen minutes and got bored. I don't know what the hell is going on, but I'm sure not going to lay on this bed and wait any longer. She forgot I don't have any tubes or monitor wires to restrict me and they never took away the scrubs. And she never asked me to stay in the room - not that I would have listened.

 

I tuck the throwing knife in my sling and start getting out of bed just as Glen walks in the room. "What do you think you're doing Marine? You have orders to stay in bed."

 

Shit, seeing Glen and hearing him order me to do something sets off a huge mental turmoil. My initial response is to salute and obey his orders. But a hell of a lot went on between Jens and her parents and that's changed my feelings towards Glen. Plus, since I asked for a medical discharge I no longer feel I’m a Marine – well that's not quite right since I'll always be a Marine, but I'll never again be one of Glen's Marines.

 

I give him a dirty look, "Then I'm breaking those orders and any others you give me. I have things I need to do and they don't involve lying in this bed."

 

"I'll have you before a court martial."

 

I laugh and start walking towards the door, "Glen, it doesn't matter anymore to me. Court martial me and bust me back to a PFC. I don't really care!"

 

Dr. Crispin and an MP block the doorway. The MP gets tense and Dr. Crispin looks at me, "Hey Ben, are you taking a little walk?"

 

I smile at them and explain, "No, I'm not going for a fucking walk. I'm going to find Jens and figure out what the hell is going on. You two need to get out of my way because I don't want to hurt either of you."

 

Four more MPs show up. Crispy answers, "Ben Jens told us you were going to try to escape again. You can't go running all over this hospital with your arm. If you keep fucking it up, you're going to lose it."

 

What a lying little sneak Jens has become: Telling them I'm going to escape. When I see her again I'm going to spank her ass for real! "This is the last time I'm telling you Crispy, get the fuck out of my way."

 

He stands to the side and I glare at the MPs, "Well, five MPs against a one armed Marine - this might almost be a fair fight. Move out of the way or I'll kick your butts."

 

Glen yells from behind me, "I order you to stand down Marine!"

 

So I yell back, "I order you to shut your fat fucking pie hole!"

 

One of the MPs pulls a funny looking gun and points it at me. I laugh and say, "If you shoot me with your fucking toy gun, I'm going to take it away from you and make you eat it."

 

He grins and pulls the trigger. I watch as two barbs connected to wires stick into my chest. The next thing I know I'm thrashing around on the floor getting the hell shocked out of me. It stops after what is the longest thirty seconds of my life.

 

Crispy leans over me and explains, "Ben that's called a Taser and if you continue to fight he will shock you again. Do you understand?" I nod my head.

 

"Let's get him back to bed," Crispy orders and the MPs start to gather around me to help me up. As they reach for me, I rip the barbs out of my chest and jab them into the closest MP's leg. The doofus with the Taser is too slow and shocks the hell out of the MP. I spin around on my back and take down the others with my legs.

 

They're cussing and swearing and I'm kicking the shit out of all of them, as they try to hold me down. I grab the Taser gun from the MP and shock the hell out of the MP already lying on the floor. I'm fighting with the other MPs trying to get their Taser guns and I'm almost free when Jens yells, "Ben what the fuck are you doing!"

 

Everyone stops fighting. I look over at her and see she is extremely pissed off. Then she sees Glen in the room and her anger multiplies, "And who the hell let you come into my room! Everyone out of our room right now or I'm going to kick some butt!"

 

The MPs get up off the floor, except for the one that's been tazed. Since he pissed himself and passed out, they have to carry him out of the room. Glen comes over but Jens glares at him, "Don't say a fucking word to me or I'll kick your fat fucking ass. I'm sure this is all your fault!"

 

He laughs as he walks out of the room, "Ben you're going to get your ass chewed."

 

She looks at me on the floor and then to Dr. Crispin, "Please help me get Ben's ass back in bed." They both help lift me up and put me back in the bed and Jens continues, "Dr. Crispin, please check his arm. I want to know if he's damaged it anymore."

 

He checks my arm and finds the throwing knife in the sling. He grins and hands it to Jens. "Well, it's bleeding some more, but that's about all. I don't know why he didn't mess it up."

 

"Thank you doctor, will you please leave us alone and close the door on your way out."

 

He looks at me like I'm a condemned man and shakes his head, "Yes Ms. Donaldson. Do me a favor and don't hurt him too much."

 

Jens is standing beside my bed. I give her a big smile, she returns the smile, jumps into bed with me and asks, "What the hell do you think you were doing?"

 

"I missed you and wanted to come find you. Why did you tell them I was going to escape?"

 

She grins at me and explains, "I realized I didn't ask you nicely to stay in the room and knew you were going to try to find me. So I had to improvise a solution."

 

"How did you learn to be so sneaky?"

 

She replies, "You taught me."

 

I think to myself - yeah right, if anything you wrote the book on being sneaky. She senses what I'm thinking and pinches me, "Hey I did not write the book on being sneaky."

 

I grin, "Well then you co-authored it with me. So tell me what the hell is going on."

 

Present – Jens - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I'm so happy Ben didn't marry the girls, there's no way I can stay mad at him. Besides it was funny as hell seeing him rolling around on the floor kicking the shit out of the MPs. I had to pretend to be mad just because it's expected of me.

 

I snuggle up close to him and decide to have some fun, "Ben, tell me more about the girls."

 

He wiggles uncomfortably, "Jens, I'd rather not talk about them."

 

I nibble on his ear and continue, "Why's that my love? Did something happen I should know about?"

 

"Oh no, nothing happened at all. It's just, well I don't know. Why don't you tell me what's going on?"

 

Oh boy this is too much fun, "Well, Liz is in Dushanbe looking for the girls."

 

He gets very anxious and asks, "Did she find the girls? Are they safe?"

 

"I thought you didn't want to talk about the girls. Do you want to talk about them now?"

 

He looks at me but I can't hide the grin on my face. "Why you little snit, you're teasing the hell out of me. It's not fair."

 

I give him a big kiss and say, "You're right it's not fair but it was certainly fun!"

 

He turns away, "Fun for you, but it's torture for me."

 

Now he's gotten all grumpy at me again. He sure is moody today! I start nibbling on his ear he whines, "Hey quit it, you know how much that bothers me."

 

I'm distracted and didn't notice where his hand was until he starts tickling me. I thrash around on the bed trying to escape. "No fair tickling! You know I hate it."

 

He stops and grins at me, "You're right it's not fair but it is certainly fun!"

 

"Okay, this means war!" I yell and attack him. I'm biting his ear and neck and he's tickling the hell out of me. We keep it up for about ten minutes and then I collapse on him, "Uncle, uncle you win." But he is still tickling me, "If you don't stop I'm going to wet the bed!"

 

"If you do you're changing the sheets," He replies.

 

I slip out of his hold, jump out of bed and glare at him. "Ha, looks like I win this time!"

 

He sticks his tongue out at me and taunts, "I let you win. Besides I didn't want to smell like pee - again."

 

"Again! I've never peed on you before!" I shout.

 

He tips his head back and laughs. God it's good to hear him laugh again. "Okay Jens, come back to bed and this time tell me what's going on."

 

Oh well, I guess I can't distract him forever. Now I have to tell him the truth.

 

Present – Ben - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

Jens was distracting as hell and I found out why when she started telling me what was going on. She wanted to keep from telling me so I wouldn’t worry.

 

"Ben, as I said before you interrupted me, Liz is in Dushanbe looking for the girls. I guess she thought you had married the girls and she went there to determine the truth." Jens pauses and looks at me.

 

"Jens I didn't interrupt you and I most certainly didn't marry the girls."

 

She grins at me because she is still teasing me, "And now we know for sure you didn't. Liz and I were both worried they might have tricked you into it." She falls on top of me and starts kissing me again, "I was so worried they had tricked you, or married you when you were drugged."

 

I push her away from me and she pouts, but I say, "Quit stalling and finish."

 

She gets another worried look on her face. "I'm sorry, Ben. I believe you but I could sense all they did to you and all they tried to do to you. Ben I don't trust them and I worry what they will do when we bring them to America."

 

She's trying to change the subject again. "Jens I know you're stalling. We can deal with this subject later. Please continue."

 

She crawls up beside me and whispers in my ear, "Ben, was the truck you stole full of gold?"

 

I look at her and whisper, "Yes, it had some gold in it. We kept some and gave some away. Why is it important?"

 

She whispers again, "I think it's much more gold than you realize and it's no longer a secret. Liz says the whole world knows about it and everyone is looking for the truck, the girls and the gold."

 

I start to try to get up, "That means they're in danger and I need to help them."

 

She uses her body to hold me to the bed and says, "Ben, you can't do anything until your arm heals. Did you give them instructions on what to do if you couldn't bring them to America?"

 

I whisper, "Yes, I know a place I thought they would be safe and told them to go there and hide until you, Liz or I came to get them."

 

She gazes into my eyes and asks, "Do you think they did what you told them?"

 

"Jens, they didn't obey me worth shit! But in this case I think they would have listened. They are very motivated to come to America."

 

Jens gives me a very grumpy look and complains, "I’ll bet! But it’s only because they expect to marry you."

 

I squeeze her tight, "Well, soon to be Mrs. Blaine so that's just not going to happen."

 

Jens simmers down again and continues. "Ben, even though they are in danger, I still don't want them coming to America until after we are married."

 

"Come on Jens, you're being unreasonable. Who will keep them safe?"

 

I see a determined look on her face and I know I've lost the argument, "Ben, this is not negotiable. The only reason I am letting them come is because you promised them and I am doing it because I love and honor you. Once we find them, we will hire someone to guard them until after the wedding. One more thing, if they start giving me any crap I'm sending them to a military school."

 

I push her off me, sit up, look her in the eyes and say, "Jens, this is a side of you I've never seen and I have to say I'm very disappointed. I never thought you'd be cruel or mean, but what you're doing to the girls is just that."

 

I see some tears in her eyes, "Ben, I think you have feelings for them…"

 

I interrupt, "Yes Jens, I love them like my little sisters, the exact same way I love Liz. And I would do the same for Liz as I'm trying to do for them. Use your damn sense to figure this out once and for all or get the fuck out of my room."

 

Present – Jens - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

Wow did I ever piss off Ben! I made a big mistake telling him about the military school, but I was so upset I just blurted it out. He challenged me to use my senses so I am… Dammit! He's telling me the total truth, he loves them just as he loves Liz. But the difference is Liz isn't trying to take my man away and these two little bitches have made it their main goal in life. I start to cry, "Ben, you're right. You love them just the same as you love Liz. However Liz isn't trying to take you away from me."

 

He gets the huge fricken ‘I told you so’ grin on his face. I hate it when that happens. "Jens, for being the smartest woman I know sometimes I'm amazed at what you miss. Liz is in love with both of us and would marry us or sleep with us in a New Fucking York minute!"

 

I'm so shocked I almost fall to the floor, but I catch myself on the bed rail. I look at him in disbelief - it can't be! But I sit on the bed and start thinking about it. Could Ben be right? He moves and starts rubbing my back. Ohhh that feels good!

 

"Jens come back to bed and just analyze it."

 

It sounds like the best thing to do so I crawl into bed and he holds me close. I start thinking about what he said about Liz and examining everything. Finally I realize Ben's right! It's the only thing which makes sense. I'm so relieved when I realize she's never acted on her feelings - wow it must be so hard for her. Then I remember her long pause on the phone when I told Liz we're getting married and I realize just how bad it hurt her.

 

I look at him, he's still smiling and I ask, "How long have you known?"

 

"I think I knew before Liz even figured it out."

 

"I thought I was supposed to be the one in touch with their feelings. How did I miss it?"

 

He shrugs his shoulder and explains, "I think you're distracted when you're around me and don't pay attention to some things. Plus the thought of her loving us is a totally foreign concept to you."

 

I enjoy being next to him but I think some more. After a while I worry he might want to… I don't know if I could share him with Liz. Finally I work up the courage to ask, "Ben, what are we going to do about this?"

 

"Jens, sit up so I can look at you." I sit up and he's smiling at me. He takes his hand and puts it over my heart and gazes into my eyes. "Jens, I must be the strangest man in the world." I start to tell him he isn't but he interrupts, "Shhh Jens let me finish. I have one very desirable woman and two young girls who would let me do anything with them, but all I can think of is marrying you and making love to you."

 

I look down at the bed. "Jens, look at me because there's more." I look back into his eyes and he continues, "Do you remember the day you gave me a pencil?"

 

I start crying and answer, "Yes Ben, I remember that day - just a minute." I grab my purse, pull out the pencil and hand it to him. "When they thought you were dead, Liz found this in your footlocker in Jalalabad. You've kept it all these years."

 

It's his turn to be surprised as he takes it and hugs it to his chest. "I thought this was gone." I see tears trickle down his cheeks then he continues, "Jens I had a lot of time to think when I was captured and then escaped. You know I've had many girlfriends before we met, but each one of them left me emptier than before I met them." He holds the pencil out in front and looks at it - it's old and more worn than the day I gave it to him, but I still see the hearts and the BB + JD on it. "I kept this pencil, because before I met you at the race, it was the last time I'd ever felt at peace. It was a reminder that someday I would find someone who would give me back peace. I didn't know ‘someone’ would be the same little girl who gave me the pencil."

 

I fall on top of him, start crying and smothering him with kisses. I wondered why in the hell he'd kept the pencil and had no idea until now. I finally realize Ben L O V E S me and only me. All my jealousy has been silly and stupid because just as I can only love Ben, he can only love me.

 

For the first time, as I lay on his chest I don't have any worries about losing Ben. I could lie like this forever but my phone interrupts. I think about throwing it in the trash but decide I'd better answer it…

 

Present – Ben - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

Jens answers the phone and says, "Da, Ben's zedius3", gives me a funny look and hands the phone to me.

 

3 Yes, Ben's here. (translation from Russian)

 

NOTE: The whole conversation with Ivan is in Russian.

 

"Greetings my American friend, I see you have made it back to your Jens."

 

"Ivan! My old friend it's good to hear your voice!"

 

"You are a hard man to find and from what I hear even a harder man to kill," Ivan says.

 

"Yes but this time I'm hurt even worse than when we were together in Moscow. It's so bad I can no longer be a Marine."

 

"We saw it on the news. Aamir, Dhuha and Basha4 are with me and send their best regards to Yasmeen. They are wondering how she is doing?"

 

4 Yasmeen's Father, Mother and Sister introduced in "Escaped."

 

"Ivan, Yasmeen and Zarika are both safe but not with me right now." I think in my mind, I hope the hell they're safe.

 

"My good friend, I hate to bring you such bad news on the joyous occasion of being back with your Jens, but I fear I must. We were all forced to flee our houses in Afghanistan and barely escaped with our lives."

 

"Ivan what the hell happened?"

 

"I think the gold you gave us came with a curse. About a week and a half ago I noticed too many trucks around our houses so it put me on the alert. I did some checking and found out the Taliban, the Afghan government, the Tajik government, the Kuwaiti government, the Russian Mafia, Blackwater and a bunch of other undesirables are hunting for the gold, the truck and the girls."

 

"Oh shit! I hope no one was hurt!"

 

Ivan continues, "We are all fine and slipped away one night with the gold when it was dark. But neighbors said the next day our houses were totally destroyed. I guess they are following the route you took in the truck and torturing anyone they think you might have talked with. I felt I should call you and tell you to be very careful my friend because they know where you are because of the news reports and will probably try to get to you. I must go before this call gets traced."

 

"Thank you Ivan, someday I hope to repay you for this." The phone went dead.

 

Jens looks at me, "Wow has your Russian ever improved. You talked so fast I only understood a little of what you said. What's going on?"

 

"Jens, he is my good friend Ivan. He was FSB and was with me in Moscow. He had some issues and ended up moving to Afghanistan and I met him when I was coming back to you." I debate how much to tell Jens, but I need to be truthful. "Jens he is married to Yasmeen's sister and lived close to her parents. I left him and Yasmeen's parents one of the boxes of gold."

 

I look at Jens expecting her to get pissed or say something about me 'buying' Yasmeen, but she doesn't even blink. "He told me a whole bunch of people are looking for the gold. They are retracing the route we drove and are torturing and killing anyone they think might have information about the gold. Ivan and the family were lucky to escape the night before their houses were destroyed."

 

"Ben, that's not all he said. You need to tell me everything." Jens orders.

 

"You're right. He called to warn me they know where I am because of the news reports and he thinks they will try to get me."

 

Jens gets a determined look on her face, "I'm sure as hell not going to let that happen. Not after I finally get you back and figure out you really love me."

 

She flips open her mobile phone and makes a call…

 

Present – Glen – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I answer my mobile phone and almost shit my pants because it's Jens. This is the first time she's called me since… well for a very long time. I need to handle this perfectly since Evelyn is bugging the hell out of me.

 

"Glen, this is Jens and I need to talk to you."

 

"Just a second, Jens." I mute the phone, turn and instruct Evelyn, "Leave me the fuck alone and let me handle this." She gives me an evil look which lets me know I'll pay a huge price for what I said. "Sorry Jens, I needed to make sure I was alone so we could talk. I've missed talking to you."

 

"Listen, I'm still pissed as hell at you and even more pissed at the bitch you married. But I need a favor and you're the only one I can ask."

 

"Jens, come on and forgive us. Don't you think you've made us suffer enough?" The phone was silent and I thought I'd made a terrible mistake.

 

"Glen, after the wedding and things simmer down, I will consider forgiving you. I'm not sure I will ever be able to forgive Evelyn - she should be locked up for what she did."

 

I ignore the threat but ask, "What can I do for you Jens?"

 

"Glen, I can’t tell you why, so don't even ask. I want armed guards for Ben and me. They need to be sent with orders to shoot to kill."

 

I think for a moment trying to figure out why in the hell they would need this on an Air Force base, but I can't think of any reason.

 

"Jens, this is sort of a strange request and it would help if I knew why."

 

"Glen, forget it! I knew I couldn't count on you."

 

"Wait Jens, don't hang up. I'll do this for you."

 

"Good, I'm glad you will still help me. I have one more big favor to ask."

 

Evelyn's bugging the hell out of me and makes me understand she wants to be invited to the wedding.

 

"What is it Jens?"

 

I wait a little then Jens says, "We are flying out of here for Bethesda ASAP on an Evergreen charter. I would like safe transport to the airport and armed guards to the hospital when we land. Glen this is life or death serious."

 

God Damn, I think. What the fuck is going on! "Jens, that's a pretty big favor to ask."

 

I wait fearing she hung up on me but finally I hear, "Glen, if you do this for me. I will allow you and even the bitch you married to come to the wedding. But there will be no place of honor for either of you. You will have to sit in the back of the church."

 

"Jens, it's a deal."

 

"Good, I'll expect the guards here ASAP and the escort ready in an hour."

 

Evelyn grabs the phone out of my hand, "Jens, this is mom." She looks at me, "She told me to 'fuck off and die bitch' and then hung up on me."

 

I look at her but she just doesn't understand, "Give me my phone back. Evelyn, I made a deal with Jens and we can go to the wedding." I decide to leave out the part about sitting in the back for now.

 

Evelyn happily says, "I knew sooner or later she'd forgive me."

 

I shake my head and think you are so wrong! She's never going to forgive you. Not after what you did. I make the phone calls to arrange for everything Jens asked for and wonder what this is going to cost me.

 

Present – Evelyn – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

Well my fat husband finally did something right. We're going to get to go to my daughter's wedding. That means I still might be able to keep her from marrying the fricken loser.

 

I can't believe she's throwing her life away marrying a Sergeant Major when she could do so much better – soooo much better. Damn, I had it all arranged. She was going to marry this nice Colonel that's a real go getter. He's in line to take Glen's place when the time is right.

 

Then she falls in love with-with-with a fricken nobody lowly Sergeant Major. I can’t believe Glen actually likes him! I played along with her at first making her believe I felt their marriage was great and trying to be her best friend. I even encouraged them to live together since I figured it would break them up. It didn't - it just made them even closer.

 

So I did what I had to and almost had them broken up a couple of times, but somehow things didn't work out like I planned. And then everything blew up in my face. Shit if it wouldn't have been for Glen - well I shudder to think what would have happened. Being the General's wife has some benefits.

 

Present – Jens - Hospital – Ramstein AFB Germany

 

I hang up my phone and look at Ben, but his mouth is hanging open. I smile at him and tease, "Close your mouth or you'll catch flies."

 

"Jens what the fuck did I just hear?"

 

I cuddle close to him, "You just heard me make a deal with a demon and his wife the devil."

 

He pushes me up and sits up himself and says, "You know what I mean. What's this, 'I'm not sure I will ever be able to forgive Evelyn - she should be locked up for what she did.' Jens I know something went on between you and your parents…"

 

I interrupt him, "Don't you call them that. They are no longer my parents."

 

He gives me an exasperated look, "Jens why won't you tell me what happened?"

 

I give him my best smile hoping to dazzle him. "Ben, it's all water under the bridge and I even burned the bridge behind me. Trust me honey I know what's best for you and if I tell you what happened right now you will get too upset. And we need to keep you calm so you can heal for our wedding." I cuddle with him again and say, "Now be my good little Marine and rest."

 

"Jens, I won't rest until I know the truth," He grumps.

 

I ignore Ben and begin humming the wedding march and then look up at him. "Do you remember the first time I hummed this for you? It was when I gave you the pencil."

 

"Jens, don't try to distract me and change the subject."

 

I continue humming until the guards show up, "Just a minute honey, I'll be right back." I walk over to the guards to check their ID and to make sure they know I'll kick their butts if they don't take this assignment seriously.

 

I walk back and climb in beside Ben, he whispers, "Jens, tell me."

 

I whisper in his ear, "Ben I had to promise Glen I would never tell anyone. Just like you I never break my promises. But if you really force me, I will tell you. It will really hurt me if you make me do it."

 

I look at him and see he's not happy, but I know he will respect my promise. I snuggle up close to him and smile knowing he really loves me. We wait for our plane.

 

Present - Liz – Dushanbe, Tajikistan

 

I'm sitting in the back seat of the cab between two of the most incredible and modest women I have ever met. I watch as their eyes are constantly scanning the road, the sidewalk and the other cars around us.

 

I think about what Kostia did to them and the more I think about it the more pissed off I get. If I ever see him again I'm going to kick him in the balls so hard he'll sing soprano.

 

The cab pulls up in front of a little decrepit looking shop. Ira holds my arm, "Ms. Morgan, please stay in the cab with Mira while I make sure things are safe." She slips out of the cab and into the shop.

 

Mira says, "Ms. Morgan. Please lie down and put your head on my lap so no one can see you in the cab."

 

I think to myself that these two take their job very seriously as I comply. I look up and Mira is constantly scanning - she even has her compact out using the mirror to check behind us. A few minutes later Ira comes up to the door, "The shop is clear, let's go."

 

They escort me quickly into the shop. The walls are covered with body armor and weapons.

 

Mira leans over and explains, "This is Herr Henrick's shop. He's a nice old German and only does this for his friends." I expect a large blonde haired man and I'm surprised when he walks out of the back room - a small little man with a balding head and glasses. He looks like he'd be more comfortable running a book store than a weapons shop.

 

Mira and I sit in a chair and Ira starts nervously telling him about getting shot.

 

"Ira, you know better than to let this happen!" Herr Henrick scolds her like she is his daughter.

 

Ira replies, "Sorry Herr Henrick, but I had to protect Ms. Morgan."

 

He looks over at me and appraises my body then he walks over and stands in front of me. "So you are the esteemed Ms. Morgan?"

 

I stand up and respond, "Guter Tag Herr Henrick Wie geht es Ihnen?"

 

He smiles, "Sehr gute Fräulein Morgan und Sie?"

 

"Prima"

 

He adds, "Sie sprechen Deutsch sehr gut."

 

I smile and answer, "Danke, aber spreche ich Englisch besser."

 

He answers, "Then we will speak English together." He sits down beside me, "Let me talk to you about my angels." I look at Mira and Ira and they're absolutely radiant. "These two young ladies are exceptional. Ach, but you already know that."

 

"Yes Herr Henrick, I have never met two young ladies like Mira and Ira." I look at the twins and they are smiling.

 

He continues, "I will tell you something you don't know – they have talked to me for years about you. You are their ideal woman and they worship you."

 

I look at him and he nods, "Yes it is true. They have told me many times how they want to be just like you."

 

I look at them and they nod their heads. "Herr Henrick, I am not worthy of their praise and adoration."

 

He smiles and pats my hand, "Ms. Morgan, you are every bit the good woman Mira and Ira have told me about. I feel much better about my angels working for you now."

 

I look at them then I look at him, "Herr Henrick, I'm going to tell you what I told Mira and Ira and I hope you can explain this to them better than I have. I do not feel they are my bodyguards, I feel they are my girlfriends and I love them like I love all my good friends."

 

He looks at me over his glasses, "You are serious?"

 

"Yes, very serious."

 

Ira interrupts, "Herr Henrick, Ms. Morgan wrote an email to the American Ambassador to get our visas." She stops talking came over and whispers in his ear. His eyes get real big and he looks at me. "Ach, is it true?"

 

I blush and look down, "Then it is true. You would do that for them?"

 

Mira adds, "I told her we would take her place and she wouldn't let us."

 

He gives me a big hug, "Ms. Morgan, you are a good woman and will take very good care of my angels. They are lucky."

 

I look him in the eyes, "Herr Henrick, I am the lucky one."

 

I see a few tears in his eyes, "Come Ira, let me see your body armor."

 

She comes over and slips out of her dress. "Please turn around."

 

She nervously eyes him and obeys, "Ach Ira, Ira, Ira, you are a very lucky girl! Those bullets would have penetrated most body armor, take it off and let me replace it."

 

She shyly looks over at me and I tell her, "Don't worry Ira, we're girlfriends." She slips off the armor and I gasp, she has two huge bruises on her back.

 

Herr Henrick says, "Ira you did not tell me you were hurt." He touches her back, "My dear, you have a broken rib. I need to get you some medicine." He heads to the back room with her body armor.

 

I stand up and walk over to her, I gently touch her back and she winces in pain. "Ira, I'm very upset because you did not tell me about this. This is unacceptable."

 

She turns around, is crying and kneels in front of me putting her head down, "Sorry Ms. Morgan. I will understand if you want to beat or fire me."

 

I kneel on the floor in front of her, "Ira I would never beat you or fire you!"

 

She sniffles, "Then why are you angry at me?"

 

"Mira get your ass over here." Mira runs over and kneels beside her sister, she also hangs her head.

 

I reach out, raise both their heads and look them in the eye - they are both fighting back tears. "I want you both to listen to me and listen to me very closely. I am not angry at you. But I am upset you are hurt and didn't tell me. I don't know what the fuck Kostia (they both shudder when I mention his name) did to you, but you no longer work for him. You work for me. I will never yell at you, I will most certainly never beat you and I promise you - you will have a job with me for as long as you want. Do you both understand?"

 

They smile slightly, "One more thing, enough of this kneeling in front of me crap. You're not my slaves you’re my girlfriends and in America girlfriends don't do this sort of thing." I stand up and they both look at me.

 

Mira asks, "You will really let us work for you forever and never fire us, even if we make a mistake?"

 

I reach down, help them both up and smile at them, "I will put it in writing if you want. You can work for me as long as you want."

 

They start hugging me and talking in their own language. I forget and hug Ira too tight and she yelps in pain, "Sorry Ira."

 

"It is okay Ms. Morgan. You didn't mean to hurt me."

 

Herr Henrick come out of the back room with a couple pills, some water and her new body armor, "take these my dear."

 

"Herr Henrick, I cannot take these. If I take these I will not be able to protect Ms. Morgan."

 

He looks at me for help and I say, "Ira, take the damn pills."

 

She and Mira start talking in their own language. They come to a decision, stop and Ira looks at me, "Ms. Morgan we will compromise. I will take one pill now and take the other one with me for bedtime. But you must promise you will still take us clothes shopping."

 

"Ira, I can't wait to go shopping with the two most beautiful women in Dushanbe." The both light up. She takes the pill and puts the other one in her purse then slips into her new body armor and sighs, "Ah now I feel so much better." She kisses Herr Henrick on the cheek, "Thank you Herr Henrick," then slips back into her dress.

 

He looks at me, "Now it is your turn Ms. Morgan. Please take off your clothes."

 

All of a sudden I feel shy and start to blush. "Come, come Ms. Morgan you are among friends there is no reason to be shy."

 

I slip out of my clothes, and the twins start talking to each other. I hear them mention my name multiple times and surmise they are talking about how I look. It makes me blush even more.

 

Ira walks up to me, "Ms. Morgan, please give me your purse." I hand her my purse.

 

"Herr Henrick, may I please set up Ms. Morgan with a purse like ours?"

 

"Of course Ira, she might need it." I watch as Ira goes over to the counter and empties my purse and starts putting my stuff and a bunch of other things in a very classy purse which looks just like theirs.

 

Herr Henrick comes over and wraps a dress form around me and starts adjusting it until it feels like a second skin. I keep thinking the whole time about the bruises on Ira's back - she saved my life. Emotionally I'm in turmoil because I'm not used to others risking their life for me. I realize she did it not do it because it's her job, she did it because they both love me.

 

"So Herr Henrick, how many layers of Kevlar do you use in your body armor?" I ask trying to make conversation.

 

He laughs, " Fräulein Morgan, there are only two layers of Kevlar in my body armor. One on the inside and the other on the outside of the flexible form fitted ceramic plates."

 

I look at him, "Flexible ceramic, I've never heard of anything like it."

 

Mira comes over, "It is wonderful to wear because it feels just like a second skin. It limits how much you can bend just a very little bit." I watch as she bends at the waist and touches her head to her knees.

 

"And how effective is it?"

 

Herr Henrick answers, "You saw how it stopped the armor piercing rounds Ira was shot with. It will stop all handgun bullets with no problems; armor piecing Two-two-three rounds if they are over fifty meters away; and armor piercing seven-point-six-two rounds at one hundred meters."

 

I give him a skeptical look, "Ira, go in the back and get your old armor." She comes back with it and hands it to me. I look at the inside and see the two deep dents where the rounds hit. I flip it over and look at the outside. The rounds are stuck to the armor. I bend the armor and it bends real easily and then cracks at the places where the bullets hit.

 

Herr Henrick says, "That's the only problem with this armor is that once it's been hit you have to replace it. Those are Russian armor piercing rounds and they can go through over a half a centimeter of steel plate. Ira would have died with Kevlar body armor and the round would have continued through her and killed you."

 

"Herr Henrick, this is fantastic. You could make a fortune with this."

 

"Ach, I am not interested in money. I live a good life and money would just make things complicated."

 

"Herr Henrick, we are going to America and will need several sets."

 

He replies, "Of course, and when one gets damaged I will send you a replacement."

 

"Have you ever made a set for a man?"

 

Herr Henrick replies, "No, I have not found a man worthy of my invention. Ms. Morgan you ask many questions."

 

I chuckle, "I am a reporter and that's what we do. I have one more question and then I will stop. Can you make several sets for my best friend? She's the same size as me but her breasts are." I get embarrassed and whisper Jens's size in his ear.

 

"Of course, Ms. Morgan. It won't fit perfectly but it should work."

 

"Herr Henrick, I would be very appreciative if you could make three sets for all of us including the lady I mentioned."

 

"Ms. Morgan, I can do it but I'm afraid for that large of an order I will need some money for materials."

 

I smile, "Ira will you please bring me my wallet?"

 

"Yes Ms, Morgan." She hands me my wallet and I pull out a big stack of bills and hand them to him. "Herr Henrick, this is four-thousand dollars. Please take it and consider it a down payment on this order and orders I will place in the future."

 

Ira and Mira gasp, "Ms. Morgan it is almost twenty-thousand Tajik Somoni and is a small fortune."

 

"Ms. Morgan, I cannot take that much money."

 

I cross my arms and stare at him, "Herr Henrick you will take it! I have been around the world and I know the value of your product. I'm actually ashamed to only give this little amount for the best body armor I have ever seen."

 

He opens his mouth to argue with me but I interrupt, "Herr Henrick, you either take this little small bit of money or none of us will wear your body armor."

 

Mira complains, "Ms. Morgan, please we cannot do our job without our armor."

 

Ira adds, "We will die without it."

 

Herr Henrick says, "Ms. Morgan. I do not think you will do this."

 

I smile and call his bluff, "Ira and Mira, take off the armor." They look really sad and start taking off their clothes and then the armor. "Well Herr Henrick, it's your choice."

 

They look at him with incredibly sad puppy dog eyes. "Ach Ms. Morgan, you are a hard woman and are used to getting your way. You know I cannot let my angels go out without protection. I will take your money this time but do not do this again to me."

 

I smile at him, "Herr Henrick I think we will be doing a lot of business with you in the future and even if you don't like it you will become very rich."

 

He shakes his head and heads to the back room, "Tell my angels to put their armor back on and give me an hour. Ira, please show her the purse."

 

Present – Mira and Ira – Dushanbe, Tajikistan

 

Ira and I were captivated getting to see Ms. Morgan's body. She is very fit and sexy and was wearing tiny underwear. We thought it was funny when she got embarrassed and became shy.

 

It was fascinating watching Ms. Morgan force Herr Henrick to take the money. I've never seen him forced to do anything. I was so proud of her because I know she was doing it to help Herr Henrick.

 

I remember the first time we met Herr Henrick. Kostia brought me here after I had been shot. I was wearing Tajik body armor and it didn't stop the bullet. It went through the shoulder by my neck just missing the bone, nerves and blood vessels, it hurt very badly and I was very lucky. Kostia was so angry at me for getting hurt even though he knew it wasn't my fault. He gave us bad information and we were ambushed. He took special pleasure hurting my shoulder at night when he 'trained' me.

 

Herr Henrick is the only man we have ever met who treated us nicely and didn't want to 'train' us. When Ms. Morgan asked us to take off the body armor it was one of the hardest things we ever had to do. But she knew he would change his mind and take the money.

 

Ms. Morgan tells us, "Okay girls put your body armor back on."

 

I say in our language, "Ira, I'm glad we are putting on our body armor again."

 

"Yes Mira, I cannot do my job without it."

 

"I feel like I am naked without it." And we both laugh.

 

Ms. Morgan smiles at us, "You two look very happy."

 

"Thank you Ms. Morgan. Please do not ask us to take off our body armor again."

 

Ira finishes, "We feel naked without it."

 

She smiles at us, "Sorry ladies. It was the only way I could figure out to make Herr Henrick take the money. He doesn't know it, but this body armor of his is priceless."

 

Ira looks at me and I nod, "Not to offend you Ms. Morgan. But he knows what his invention is worth. Many people have tried to discover his secret or purchase his armor and he only sells it to his friends."

 

"So Ira what's to keep bad men from forcing him to give up his secret or force him to make armor for them?"

 

Ira nods at me and I smile, "Ms. Morgan, we keep it from happening."

 

I see a worried look cover her face, "What will happen when you two come to America with me? Will Herr Henrick be in danger?"

 

We both smile because Ms. Morgan shows a great concern for Herr Henrick. Ira answers, "Ms. Morgan all the 'bad people' know us and they know if they bother Herr Henrick we will hunt them down and make them die a very slow and painful death."

 

Herr Henrick walks out of the back, "Ach, the girls sometimes talk too much. I am able to take care of myself. Here Ms. Morgan, let's try this on."

 

We watch as he helps her fit into the armor and then we begin to talk in our language.

 

"Mira, Herr Henrick did an excellent job. Look how well the armor fits."

 

"It is exciting to see someone else in the armor Ira. And this will make it easier to keep Ms. Morgan safe."

 

"Mira, did you find her body a little exciting?"

 

"Yes Ira, I am ashamed to say I did. Do you think that-that-that we are becoming queer?"

 

"Do not worry Mira. I think it is just because she is our idol and we worship her. I still think about men, especially Matt. I wish he would 'train' me."

 

I giggle, "Ira, sometimes you are so slutty."

 

She giggles, "Yes just like you." We both start to giggle.

 

Ms. Morgan interrupts, "You two sound like you're having fun."

 

We both blush, "Sorry Ms. Morgan."

 

"Hey, there's nothing wrong with having fun," she tells us.

 

I look at Ira, "Do you believe what she just said?"

 

"I do not know, we have never been told we could have fun."

 

"Ira, I am not sure I even know how to have fun."

 

"Mira, I do not know. Maybe we could ask Ms. Morgan how to have fun?"

 

"She might laugh at us Ira."

 

She gives me a serious look, "I do not think Ms. Morgan would ever do that. She is too nice to laugh at us."

 

Herr Henrick is done and Liz has put her clothes back on, they are just a little tight. Ira says, "Ms. Morgan, you look wonderful."

 

She spins, and then bends and touches her toes, "I can't believe how comfortable this body armor is. It's like I'm not even wearing it."

 

I walk over and adjust her outfit just a little bit, "There now it is perfect."

 

Herr Henrick says, "I will finish the other sets and be out soon. Don't forget to show her the new purse."

 

We both take Ms. Morgan over to the counter. "So girlfriends, what's so special about this purse?"

 

We grin at her because it sounds so good when she calls us girlfriends. I look at Ira and she starts, "Ms. Morgan, this purse is made from the same material as the body armor."

 

I add, "So it is a bullet proof shield."

 

"It is also a weapon because the handles pull out and are nunchucks." Ira shows her how the handles come out and then does a few nunchuck moves.

 

"I hate to tell you girlfriends, but I don't know how to use nunchucks," Ms Morgan replies.

 

"Do not worry Ms. Morgan. You will not need to use them unless both of us are killed. But we will teach you just in case," I smile as I reply.

 

She gives us a startled look, "Hey you two better not get killed. I would just die if it happened."

 

I switch to our language, "Ira, I can't believe what she just said."

 

"I know Mira; do you think this it is real?"

"Of course Ira, she would not lie to us."

 

"You are right Mira. It is just so strange."

 

Ira giggles, "Not as strange as Kostia's tool."

 

I giggle, "Yes it was so tiny."

 

Ms. Morgan smiles at us, "You two have such wonderful giggles. It's great to hear you having fun. Is there anything else about the purse I need to know?"

 

I continue, "Yes Ms. Morgan there are many surprises in this purse. First there is a place for everything inside." I open it and show her.

 

Ira says, "We have also added a few tools." She shows Ms. Morgan some tactical weapons which look like normal items. There's a tactical pen, a tactical hair brush and even a tactical compact.

 

I smile, "But the best thing about the purse is it will let you put anything into it and it won't show up on airport security." I open the purse and show her the pistol we gave her. "Of course if you fire the weapon make sure you don't put it back in the purse because the powder residue will trigger airport explosive scanners."

 

Ms. Morgan asks, "How can it pass through the x-ray machines?"

 

Herr Henrick walks out from the back with a couple big packages, "Ach that was easy. I built a fake x-ray signature into the material of the purse so it looks just like the inside of a normal woman's purse. I am done with the armor do you want to take it with you?"

 

Ms. Morgan replies, "Girlfriends, do you think it would be safe having it delivered directly to the Embassy?"

 

Ira answers, "Yes Ms. Morgan. Especially if the cab driver knows it's for us. Should I make the phone call?"

 

"Please, and I'll call the Embassy and make sure things are moving on your visas."

 

Ira makes her phone call for a cab.

 

Ms. Morgan goes to make her phone call but I have her use Herr Henrick's phone. I cannot help listening in on Ms. Morgan's phone call.

 

Present – Liz – Dushanbe, Tajikistan

 

I feel like Alice in Wonderland with all the cool gadgets my new girlfriends have given me. And the more I'm with them, the more my feelings towards them are changing. They are becoming much more than just friends to me.

 

But more importantly, I've discovered some very important information about them which I need to research more. I noticed when I looked in their passports they had traveled extensively and it pricked my curiosity. When they told me no one ‘bad’ would bother Herr Henrick because of them, even after they move to America with me, I knew they are much more than just simple NSC agents. None of it upsets me because in fact, I've never felt more safe in my life than when I am with the both of them.

 

I get ready to call the Embassy when Mira stops me, "Ms. Morgan are you forgetting your phone is not secure? Herr Henrick, may we please use your phone?"

 

"Yes of course." He replies

 

I call the Embassy and after a short wait get connected to Sam, "Hello Sammy, long time no see. Did you get my email?"

 

I notice Mira is intently listening to the conversation. I motion her beside me and pull the receiver away from my ear so she can hear both sides of the conversation.

 

"Hey Liz, it's seems like ages since we've gotten together. Yes I have your email and I must say, it's a hell-of-a request on such a short notice."

 

"Come on Sam, we both know you can do this if you're properly motivated."

 

"Yes Liz I can, but do you know the uproar this will cause? Hiring two of the NSC agents?"

 

"Listen Sam, they both want to work for me and I can use them. They are the best bodyguards I've ever seen and have saved my life once already. So cut the bullshit and let me know what this is going to cost me."

 

Mira eye's show her shock in the way I talk to Sam.

 

"Liz you know I will gladly do this for you as a normal part of my job, we don't require any payment other than the normal amounts. But it's been so long since I've seen you I thought it might be nice to have dinner together tonight."

 

Mira gets an angry look on her face but I shake my head at her.

 

"I was wondering, are you also starting and expediting their naturalization paperwork? I'd be extremely appreciative if you’ve started."

 

"Liz, you're a hard woman to say no too, especially when you're being so demanding. But I know how appreciative you'll be when I tell you everything is being taken care of just as you requested. We even have a room for the three of you to share tonight."

 

"Thanks Sam, I knew I could count on you. I'd love to have dinner with you tonight. Oh by the way, I'm having some packages delivered to the Embassy. Will you please have them taken to our room?"

 

"No problem Liz, when should I expect you?"

 

"We need to go clothes shopping first, I want to get my new girlfriends some new outfits and I need something special for tonight. Then we need to swing by their place and pickup their things and by my hotel to pickup my things. I think it will be close to eight."

 

"I look forward to seeing you again."

 

"See you soon Sam." I hang up the phone and see Mira crying.

 

 

"Ms. Morgan, please let me take your place tonight. It is disgraceful that you are having to ‘train’ for us."

 

Ira walks up, "Yes Ms. Morgan, please this is our job."

 

I notice Herr Henrick is very interested. "Sisters, are you saying you would be willing to be 'trained' so I wouldn't have to be?"

 

They both nod their heads.

 

I look at them, "And tell me what are you to me?"

 

Mira answers right away, "We are your bodyguards Ms. Morgan."

 

I stamp my foot and yell at them, "Like hell you are! You two are my sisters first and then you just happen to be my bodyguards."

 

They both look at the floor and start to kneel, "Don't you two dare to kneel in front of me again and look me in the eyes when we speak with each other."

 

They look at me and I can see some tears, I know I need to make a point. "Mira would you let Kostia 'train' you so Ira wouldn't have to be 'trained' by him."

 

I watch her shudder, "Yes Ms. Morgan I have already done that before."

 

I look at Ira, "And Ira would you let Kostia 'train' you so Mira wouldn't have to be 'trained' by him?"

 

"Certainly Ms. Morgan, we fooled Kostia all the time this way. Sometimes one of us would need a rest so we would pretend to be the other and he never knew."

 

I cross my arms and tap my foot. It makes me realize I broke my heel when I stamped my foot earlier. "So let’s see if I have this right: You two would gladly be 'trained' so the other sister wouldn't have to be 'trained'. Am I right?"

 

They both nod their heads.

 

"I feel you two are my sisters and because of it I will gladly be 'trained' so neither of you have to be 'trained.'" I watch as they think about what I said. They look at each other and then start discussing it in their own language.

 

Present – Ira and Mira – Dushanbe, Tajikistan

 

"Mira, did she just call us her sisters and not girlfriends? Pinch me because I cannot believe she said it."

 

"Yes Ira, that is what she called us. I wonder what it really means?"

 

"Do you think she really will sleep with the Ambassador for us?"

 

"Yes Ira, she has made it perfectly clear to me. She will not let us take her place."

 

"It is… disgraceful, but it is…. also exciting. No one has ever done this for us."

 

"Mira, how can we protect her when he's training her?"

 

"I do not think he would kill her, but he might hurt her. I will have a talk with him first and tell him if he hurts her we will kill him."

 

"No Ira, do not threaten to kill him, it will get you in trouble. Tell him we will be very upset."

 

"Yes Mira, you are right. Thank you."

 

"Ah, you can also hint sometime in the future we will both be very appreciative if he is kind to her."

 

"Do you think it will upset Ms. Morgan?"

 

"Ira, she said we couldn't take her place this time. She didn't say anything about the future."

 

"Mira, I am still confused about being her sister."

 

"So am I, I was just getting comfortable being her girlfriend."

 

"Mira, I am going to be brave and ask her what she means."

 

"Ms. Morgan, I would like to ask you a question."

 

"Ask away Ira." It makes me happy she can still tell us apart.

 

"Mira and I are confused about you calling us your sisters. Is this an American word you use for girlfriends?"

 

Ms. Morgan looks in our eyes and it is hard to not look away when she does this. "Mira and Ira, sometimes it is just used as a greeting for girlfriends so it can be confusing. However when I said it, I did so because I've grown to feel like you two are the sisters I've never had but always wanted. I hope someday I will be worthy enough so you will feel I'm your sister."

 

"Ms. Morgan, please excuse us as we talk about this."

 

"Well Mira, what do you think?"

 

"Ira, it's exciting but scary."

 

"I almost gasped when she said she didn't feel worthy enough to be our sister."

 

"Me too Ira, she is the most incredible woman in the world. It is us who are not worthy to be her sister."

 

"I have never been so confused in my life Mira."

 

"That is the truth. Here is what I think we should do. I say we continue to treat her the same and see how she acts towards us. If she is more friendly then we will be more friendly."

 

"Yes Mira, it is a great idea."

 

"Thank you Ms. Morgan, for being patient with us."

 

She looks at us, "I think I have both of you very confused."

 

I look at Mira, we are both surprised. I look down, "Sorry Ms. Morgan but you are right we are confused."

 

She walks right in front of us and pulls my head up, "Hey didn't I say there would be no more looking down."

 

I blink and look in her eyes. Then she gives me a big hug - she forgets about my back and even though it really hurts, it feels so good I don't complain. She whispers in my ear, "Ira, I love you like my sister and I would die for you." She pulls away and smiles at me, I begin to cry.

 

I watch as she does the same with Mira. Mira is crying even more than I am.

 

"Mira, what did she tell you?"

 

"Ira she said she loved me like a sister and would die for me."

 

"Mira, she said the same thing to me. I think she really means it."

 

"Yes Ira she does. I want to hug her."

 

"I do to."

 

We both grab Ms. Morgan and give her a big hug. "Thank you Ms. Morgan. We are not sure how to act."

 

Mira interrupts, "And we are not sure how we can protect you when you are willing to die for us."

 

I continue, "But we will do our best."

 

She smiles at us and then surprises both of us when she says in our special language. "My sisters."

 

"Mira, she-she-she."

 

"Ira, yes I am shocked!"

 

"How much do you think she understands?"

 

"Some, but I hope not all."

 

"Yes Ira that would be embarrassing."

 

"I need to hug her again."

 

"So do I."

 

We both hug her again, "Ms. Morgan – we are shocked! How did you learn our special language?"

 

She smiles at us, "Don't worry sisters, I only know a few words for right now. But since we are sisters I need to learn how to talk to both of you. And I have been listening very closely trying to figure it out."

 

Herr Henrick is smiling at us, "Ach, you three need to get going or you will not have time to shop."

 

We both kiss and hug Herr Henrick and even cry because we do not know when we will see him again but we promise to write. Ms. Morgan even gives him a big hug.

 

We watch as Ms. Morgan starts messing with her shoe. "Ms. Morgan what is wrong with your shoe." I ask.

 

She replies, "I broke it when I stamped my foot. Dammit they were my favorite Gucci's."

 

"Herr Henrick, can we give Ms. Morgan some of our special shoes?"

 

"Of course my angels, she needs something to walk in."

 

I walk over and take some nice shoes her size off the shelf, "Here you go Ms. Morgan try these on."

 

"Thank you Ira" she puts them on, "Hey these are very comfortable. Is this why they're special?"

 

I look over at Mira and nod. Mira slips her shoes off and yanks on the heels, they slip off showing needle sharp spikes. Mira goes through a whole series of Krava Maga4 moves with the shoes then slips the heel covers back on and smiles at us.

 

4 Krav Maga is essentially a tactical defense skill. Its philosophy emphasizes threat neutralization, simultaneous defensive and offensive maneuvers, and aggressive endurance in a 'him-or-me' context.

 

Ms Morgan grins, "I recognize an expert in Krava Maga when I see them. And I love having such stylish and dangerous shoes. Does Herr Henrick have other styles?"

 

He answers, "Ms. Morgan I can copy any style with a heel and make it into my street fighting shoes."

 

She looks at him, "Okay I guess I know where we're doing our shoe shopping from now on. Herr Henrick, would it be possible for you to send a pair of each style to the Embassy in our sizes? I'd be glad to give you more money."

 

Herr Henrick gives her a dirty look, "Ms. Morgan I will be happy to send the shoes. But I will not take any more of your money."

 

She grins at him, "Not now, but you will in the future."

 

"Ms. Morgan you will drive me crazy some day." He replies.

 

She walks over and we are shocked when she gives him a big kiss, then stands back, puts her hands on her hips, and grins at him. "Herr Henrick, you have a choice. You can either take my money or you can take my body. But one way or the other I'm paying you for the shoes."

 

We start giggling as Herr Henrick blushes because we have never seen him blush, "Ms. Morgan, my wife would kill me if she knew you kissed me."

 

She grins at him, reaches in her wallet and hands him even more money, "Then you have to take my money. I would hate to have to order your angels to tell your wife I just kissed you."

 

He blushes even more and Ms. Morgan looks at us, "Okay sisters, let's go buy a bunch of new clothes."

 

We head out the door for the cab.

 

Present – Kostia – Dushanbe, Tajikistan

 

Those fucking ungrateful little bitches, I took them away from their loser parents and taught them to be two of the best agents in the world. I let them live with me, cook for me, wash my clothes and I even taught them how to be great lovers. Then they dump me like an old used shoe when Ms. Morgan comes along.

 

I went back to the office and gave my report. They were happy to get the information about SM Blaine knowing the location of the girls, but they chewed my ass for losing the twins and Ms. Morgan.

 

Those bitches made me lose face and I am going to get even with them. I knew the first place they would go was Henrick's shop. What they see in the goofy old German I'll never know. I've been waiting outside the shop forever but I know they have to come out soon and when they do I am waiting for them.