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Shadow of a Life

Novel By: M K Brown
War and military

Craig joins the Royal Marines hoping to find a challenge for the first time in his life. He finds more than he bargains for. He falls in love with a woman he has never met, he tackles the stress of his first deployment and then, when he finally sees things settle down; he has to cope with an invasion of the United States. The enemy advance catches everyone by surprise and when the UK sends forces to assist their long time ally, Craig must choose between rescuing the love of his life from the grasp of a brutal enemy, or doing his duty and standing by his friends. View table of contents...


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Submitted:Jul 24, 2013    Reads: 33    Comments: 13    Likes: 9   

Naomi closes her eyes as she waits for the kettle to boil in the break room. Taking a deep breath she releases it slowly and uses the process to clear her mind and escape from the residual fear that lingers in her mind from the encounter only a short while before.

She inhales deeply again, shutting out everything except the sound of her breathing. Focusing completely on the calming simplicity. Opening her eyes, she lifts the kettle as it finishes boiling and pours the water into a mug. Throwing a tea bag in, she stirs the liquid slowly and watches intently as the water changes colour. Scooping the bag out and throwing it in the trash, she adds a dash of cream to the mug and grabs a handful of sugar sachets. Tearing them open, Naomi then pours the equivalent to 5 teaspoons worth into the tea, stirring it until she feels all the sugar dissolve.

Smiling, she takes the handle and carefully turns towards her friend.

Jack sits watching every move she makes as if in a daze. His hands won't stop shaking and he feels like a coward. He wonders if he really could have protected her if the weird douchebag had decided to go through him. He hoped so, he hopes he'd have lasted long enough for Naomi to make her escape and for the police to arrive. Sighing, he looks at her green eyes - so full of gratitude - as she hands him the tea.

"Drink, it'll settle your nerves."

Jack smiles and nods.

Naomi assesses him as he drinks. He's so terrified, his face is white as a ghost. This is my fault. Poor Jack, she thinks as a little colour slowly returns to his cheeks with each sip of the sugary drink.

"Thank you," she whispers, he hears her and lifts his head giving her a sweet smile.

Her eyes narrow as she recognises the self-doubt in his eyes.

"What you did was incredibly brave," she ventures again, quietly, he replies with that same smile and same hint of doubt in his soft, brown eyes. "I know you must have been terrified, but to step up like that anyway? That takes balls Jack. Please don't see it as anything other than a truly courageous thing."

He blushes but doesn't respond, his hands are still shaking but not as bad as before.

Looking at the clock on the wall, Naomi sighs. "Ok, I got to get in there before dick breath kicks off on another epic rant. If you need anything just come to my office."

She sees his head sink while walking away and can't help but feel sorrow for dragging him into the warzone that is her life. After a few minutes she has dodged and squeezed her way past numerous desks and reaches the door to her office. Sitting down and flicking on her computer, it fails to boot up.

Looking around, she is at a loss as it was working fine yesterday. With an explosive exhalation of air, she picks the phone up and taps out the IT extension number - which she knows off by heart.

"Hi, Dave," she smiles to herself, she is the only person in the office on first name terms with the head of the IT department, probably due to being technologically challenged. "Have you guys been messing with my computer,"

The person on the other end laughs. "Hi Naomi, I thought I was about due for my regular call from you."

Cheeky bastard, she thinks.

"Ok, so what's the problem?"

"I switched it on and no lights, nothing,"

"Nothing? You sure?"

Ha, he sounds puzzled, she thinks. "Yeah, I'm sure."

"Is it plugged in?"

Naomi looks under the table... "Fuck!" she replies articulately. "Ok, stay on the line."

Climbing under her desk whilst trying to maintain her modesty - should the boss decide to walk in at this awkward moment - is not the easiest thing in the world. After a struggle she eventually grabs the plugs and pushes them into the sockets. Climbing back out, she straightens up and pulls the hem of her skirt down, followed by adjusting her blouse to fix her "girls" into a more comfortable position.

Grabbing the phone and placing it to her ear. "Plugged in, still not working," she continues to curse under her breath as Dave chuckles.

"Did you happen to flick the socket switch on while down there?"

"Suck my fucking dick," Naomi responds in frustration.

Once again she climbs under the desk and after a few moments of more struggling and a lot more swearing, she flips on the socket switches. Some unlady-like grunting follows as she reverses out of the inexplicably small space under her desk.

Hearing someone clear their throat behind and above her, Naomi finally extracts herself from the awkward position and stands up - still swearing - as she realises her skirt has ridden up to flash her panties. Her blush intensifies as she spots her boss and a client.

"Good morning gents, bit of a technical issue but," she flips the computer screen on with a flourish. "It's all sorted."

She smiles brightly, trying to disguise her embarrassment whilst not-so-subtly tugging at her skirt, which seems to have been trying to reach her chest.

Naomi can't tell which is worse; the glare from her boss or the shit-eating grin on the client's face.

She smiles. What next? Am I going home to find my condo has turned into a fucking trailer? Gaaaah, her internal voice weighs in.

The director turns away and motions for the client to follow. The man leaves with a wink and a smile as she sits down at her desk.

Oh shit, she thinks, remembering that Dave is still on the line. "Dave, you still there?"

"Yeah what happened?"

"My boss just walked in - with a client and I was crawling around under my desk with my skirt around my ears. Fuck. My. Life."

The guffaw of laughter from the other end really causes a look of thunder on Naomi's face as her fury picks up. "You're lucky I might need you again or I'd come down and smack the laughter right out of you. That's it working now. Thank you, as always, for your professionalism."

She hangs up and logs into the computer, ready to begin her working day proper.


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