"Good morning, Gina." he says absently as he passes by me in the dark access way leading from the cargo hold to the cockpit. Well, I guess I should be thrilled that he remembered my name.
As I watch him disappear into the cockpit, out of the corner of my eye I catch Henry smirk at me. "Bombed out again."
"Mind your own business." I retort, turning back to my work replacing another power coupler. The way the team operated, changing out half a dozen of the things after each mission wasn't unusual. Fortunately I'm small enough to fit into the tight spaces needed.
"Eh, I'm almost done with this anyway. Why do you moon over him when you could have me?"
"My idea of fun involves more than happy hour at the local bar." Picking up a tool, I try to look busy enough so the jerk gets the point. Just because he's accomplished at communication systems and passed all of Galaxy Security background checks doesn't mean I have to like him. Henry reminds me of a slug: Not visually appealing, leaves a trail of slime everywhere, and shrivels up as the salt of real life touches him.
Finally, the connector slides into place and I have hope of quickly escaping the slug. Activating the test sequence confirms that it's working and is now communicating with the main Phoenix system. Giving the connector one quick tug to make sure it's firmly seated, I grab hold of a pipe to push myself out of the small space.
Then I feel a pressure on my leg. And then on my hip. Suddenly, I can't move my legs as a weight bears down on them.
"So, tonight I was thinking of heading out to the Point. We haven't been there for a long time."
Jerking my head backwards to look out of the tight compartment I have my upper body in, I see Henry almost climbing up my body. Good lord, is he drunk? No, he doesn't look drunk, just sleazy, and suspicious. Something more is going on here.
Not that I really care what it is, anyway. This is more than enough. Taking the two pronged tool that I used to slip the power coupler connectors into place, I aim it for his throat. His body stiffens and his eyes go wide just as I stop short of his bobbling adams-apple. "Give me an excuse to use this, worm! Now get your hands off of me!"
The next second I see a small dark blur descend on Henry's back and then Henry disappears. The weight off my legs, I quickly push myself out of the cavity and look up.
Henry's feet are off the ground as a towering G-Force member holds him up by the collar, leaving Henry gasping for breath. Immediately I blushed, realizing who it was. How much had he heard?
"Someone bothering you?" he asks.
"Some days more than others." I remark before I can stop myself. I quickly stand up, blushing even more.
"Just what were you up to?" he demanded of Henry, who was now turning a gorgeous shade of reddish purple.
Henry looks at me out of the corner of his eyes, and immediately I know I'm going to regret whatever he's about to say. "Just trying to keep my girlfriend from bothering you, sir. Seems she's developed a crush on you."
"What? Why you slimy..." I start sputtering. Inside something died. Okay, so I had this fantasy of a sexy black dress with a pearl necklace, waiting for him in his pilot's seat. Oh, and one in the engine room, in that little cubbyhole next to the main thruster array. But never had I wanted to be noticed like this.
"Hey, what's going on?" a voice from behind asks.
I groan and turn around. Sure enough, there is the leader himself, all in white. Great, could this get any worse?
"Seems we have someone here who doesn't know how to keep his hands off his co-workers." the Owl answered back, lowering Henry to where his tip-toes could now reach the ground, allowing Henry to gasp in a lung full of air.
"I'll take care of him. We need to finish the outfitting." A second later Henry was pushed off to the Eagle, who dragged him out with him, leaving me alone with the Owl.
After all my rejections, Henry had made good his revenge. Sabotage me with the one person I would give anything to be noticed by. Cautiously I look up at him, and at his question about my general welfare, I nod that I'm okay.
"Sorry about that. We'll make sure it'll never happen again." he says with an apologetic smile.
I smile back weakly, my mind running frantically, trying to find something I could say back. But as usual, my tongue is tied, and my mind can't string more than two coherent words together. Before I know it, he is gone. Looking back down at my tools, now scattered all over the floor, my heart sinks even further. I'd had his complete attention, it would have been the perfect time to say something!
Maybe the little black dress wouldn't be such a bad idea.