Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Lights

My Zimbio  This chapter may be inserted halfway through Ukraine Skies, Baltimore Lights.  At this time, it will appear in novel releasing summer 2017, tentatively called "Warrior's Edition."

"I hear you know a few things about flying."
Olya glanced up at her boss, Deputy Chairman of NATO's military committee.  "Well, sir, can't claim I have thousands of hours as pilot in command, but I've got a pilot's license and am planning to study aeronautics."

He nodded.  "Taking a break?"

Olya smiled.  "A rare opportunity to spend a few years in Europe.  I'm working on advancing my higher math skills and understanding this byzantine organization."  Shessler smiled.  "Let me know if you figure it out."

Olya was a few hours away from a long weekend in Baltimore.  Six months to accrue the vacation and "good will" to get away.  She glanced out the window.  Not a bad view of Brussels.  Shessler had eased into the role without fanfare, just as he had just walked past her desk into his office.

She smiled as she contemplated the introduction to her "twin."  Her interview at Norma Jean's was scheduled for Saturday.  They had told her she would begin work that night.  Olya had found an exotic wardrobe shop close to the airport and had the phone number for the frat social committee chair where the lacrosse team were (mostly) members.

Then she placed a call for a cab.  "Yes, to the airport."  She stood, walked to the closet where she had stowed her carry-on.

##

The interview had gone well.  The manager liked her "look" and agreed to give free entrance to the first ten from the frat she invited.  She was up on stage for the first time, under the burning lights, though she wasn't sure whether the heat she felt was from them or the flush color red she turned taking her clothes off for the first time.  "These boys are enraptured," she thought, as one, then another, folded a dollar in her g-string, staring at her subtle, firm shape.

She smiled at the tall one with black hair, flirting with her eyes.  "Team captain?" she wondered.  One of the others whispered in his ear.  His eyebrows went up and he glanced at her face.  "Vanessa?" he asked.  She bent down, patted him on the cheek, then walked into the dressing room.

"Mission accomplished," she thought, slipping on her jeans and heading to the door.

##

"Word around campus is that you're dancing at Norma Jean's."  Cammie thought that was a bit out of character for her room mate.  "What?  Who told you that?"  Vanessa wondered.  "Kids from the lacrosse team were there last night.  Said you were great," Cammie added with a laugh.

"Why would I do that?  What my scholarship doesn't cover, Mom's professorial benefit does."

"I guess girls do it for lots of reasons."  Vanessa thought, she knows me better.  Then a thought crossed her mind.  She checked the address and hopped on a bus.  It was about an hour and a half before she was staring face-to-face with herself, swaying naked on that stage, twisting around the pole, gathering dollars.  "I wonder," she thought to herself.

Olya walked right to her table after she left the stage.  "Vanessa?"  She just stared.  "Great to finally meet you.  I hoped you would come.  Olya," she said, extending her hand for a shake.

"I'm going to kill you.  I thought you were in Europe."

"A little vacation.  I get around."

"I'm planning on getting a security clearance and keeping my scholarship."

"You mean my scholarship?"

Vanessa said nothing, only glared.  "I thought this would be a fun way to meet you.  Anyhow, today's my last day."

"Sessai will kill you.  How did you get here?  Do you need money?"

"Don't worry about me.  Really, we can try to be sisters.  How is Tom, by the way."

"Sisters?  Ha..." Vanessa glanced away and back at Olya.  "What did you do there?  He called me non-stop for two weeks and suggested visiting me here multiple times."

Olya smirked.  "This is actually a bit tame compared to what happened at Cornell.  I was on a bit of an emotional ride at the time.  Cut off from my life, and all."

Vanessa took a deep breath.  "Listen, I hear you are well settled in Europe and Sessai tells me you have an awesome future in store.  This is the only place where this kind of thing can be a disaster for me."

"Really, I just wanted to meet you.  Ok, I wanted to take a dig, since you are enjoying what I worked so hard for.  I'm not sure I can trust Sessai, but if all the things he says are true, you're right, things will be great."  Olya looked at Vanessa.  "Mostly I miss my Mom."

Vanessa glanced up at the next dancer.  "Yeah, I guess I understand that.  Call me anytime.  Let me know if you need anything."  Vanessa handed Olya her telephone number on a small scrap of paper.  "Please don't write this on any toilet stall walls."

"Thanks, I won't," said Olya, glancing at the number.  "We ought to coordinate interactions with Tom."

"I will let you know if he calls again."

"Okay.  Good luck with the lacrosse team," Olya added, smiling.

"Bitch," was Vanessa's response.  "Nice to meet you too," said Olya.  "Yeah, nice to meet you," said Vanessa, as she got up and walked out the door.  Halfway back to campus on the bus, her phone vibrated.  "Trust you enjoyed the swords and the books."  Ah, so those were from her.  Interesting, thought Vanessa.

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