As the days passed, I learned so much and was quizzed over and over to make sure I had what Imi called "Maximum Retention". It was interesting that I had such a blast and my life was over a hundred times better than it was before. The step loser had moved out and I had been paying the landlady to keep the house. I may not want it, but I could fix it up and give it to a family that really deserved a home. I smiled as I got dressed for another day at work, my body had begun to adjust to the arduious work out that it went through every day. I was shocked to see that I had become more fit, my muscles toned and things that were flabby were finally the way the should be. I smiled to myself as I ate the last bite of my breakfast and grabbed my coffee. I ran out to the truck, I was a bit late and had already called Imi to let her know. She wasn't happy about it, but then again no one was perfect she told me.
I sped as fast as I could to the base and handed the guy at the gate my ID. He smiled at me and shook his head as I sped off and almost forgot my ID. I laughed at myself and grabbed my ID and rushed to the building to start my day. I got out of the truck, grabbed my coffee, turned around to rush into the building and ran into a brick wall.
"Oof." I looked up and it was like I was looking at a God. His blond hair shone in the early morning sun and his blue eyes were like pools of crystalline water. I was mezmerised by him and didn't see the hand he was holding out to me. I quickly grabbed it as he pulled me to my feet.
"Sorry wasn't watching where I was going. Maybe rockin out and running isn't such a good idea after all." He smiled a lopsided smile and I felt my stomach start to get butterflies.
"No completely my fault I am late for training and I really wasn't watching where I was going." I gasped, grabbed my things and rushed away not noticing that I left my keys behind in the mad rush to pick up the bags that held my guns in them.
As I rushed in the door and into the locker room to get fully suited up I looked over and Imi looked pissed.
"Really Ava, half an hour. I know you said you were going to be late but this is just unacceptable."
I took in a deep breath. "You are right Imi and I apologize, I will do my best to make sure that it never happens again."
She looked me over for another second before she nodded. I was expecting miracles when Tom said that she was nice, but here I stand with bitchzilla and the whole pissy possy. I just can't stand it but I push my way through. We start our day as usual with me running four miles and doing the obsticle course. I finally have it to under nine minutes and I know that she is impressed with my progress but she never tells me. After the warm up she starts to kick my ass with all different forms of martial arts. She is so quick and agile that I start to wonder if she is really human. After two hours of brutal ass kickery she finally gives me a break hydrate and cool off before the final showdown I knew was coming.
I move away from the building and start to catch my breath when the mysterious Adonis that has been in the back of my mind ambles with a group of people. I watch him as he moves, the fluidity of him makes my mouth water and I wonder just what it would be like to be touched by him. All of a sudden I am staring at him eye to eye and I can't help but lose myself in their depths. I see him say something to the people he is with before he starts to jog over to me.
"Hey I just wanted to apologize to you again about this morning. I am not the most graceful person without enough coffee to hype up an elephant. My name is Alex by the way, I go by Lex or on the rare special occasion dumbass or clumsy work just fine."
I smile at his quip and stand up and draw myself up to full height. "Ava and only Ava. Unless I run into Princess Barbie then I am Bitch, which I handle and wear just fine."
He laughs then and it is a wonderfully alarming sound. "Yes, well I am guessing by the Princess Barbie comment you are talking about Tori. Don't worry about her, they never could unjam that stick from up her ass. You have the most stunning eyes I have ever seen. Maybe we could talk again soon, I would really like the chance to get to know you."
I looked at him shocked and tilted my head to the side like a confused puppy. "You know that may have sounded sincere in your head, but coming out of your mouth it sounded like 'I want to get you drunk and fuck your brains out.' and I am just not that kinda girl. So I am going to go back to my training and when you learn what the word 'Lady' means, well then you can try again."
I stood up and made my way back to Imi to finish up the grueling hour of ass kicking she had in store for me. As I got back to her she smiled at me. "I see you ran into Lex? How interesting that you didn't fall for him like the rest have."
I raised my eyebrow at her. "You know I am not the type of person to fall for some 'I wanna get to know ya' line at all. I actually want to be treated like the lady that I am. I am done with the bullshit of being mistreated by people and I have been weeding those out of my life that don't think I am an amazing person. It may not leave me very many people but I will damn sure be glad to those very few true friends I have."
She nodded at me approvingly and then moved forward into position. I mirrored her and took in a deep breath for the pain that she was about to inflict on me. I still wasn't as fast as her when it came to hands on combat, but I tried my best. As she rushed me I started to block and block as she began to back me into a corner. I started to feel my confidence wane and that was when she kicked me in the jaw.
"Ava, get your damn head out of your ass and strike back. Staying on the defensive will get you killed in no time. If you don't fight back how are you to survive. I find this training to be a waste of time on you to be honest. You have no fight in you to do what you must. This isn't a job for little pansy ass bitches that can't get their head out of their ass. This job is given to broken women because they are stronger and have more to live for than the rest of the populous. You are showing me that the stuff your step father put you through is not enough to break you. I don't think you are cut out for this Ava, I think you like being the victim, the one that deserves pity. Such a waste of God given talent that you are just going to piss your life away like the rest of the drones in this world."
I looked at her shocked and I could feel the anger rising deep inside me. I knew what she was doing, I could feel the sarcasm as it rolled off her skin. I smiled at her and she just stared.
"You don't think I can sense reverse psycology a mile off. Fuck that shit, if you really want me to fight then fine, but honestly that isn't the way to do it. That is a bullshit method that may work on others but never on me. I am a lot stronger than I look and you may look sweet and innocent but even before I talked to you I could sense how hostile you are. I don't know what you went through to make you so fucked up but you should know to never judge a book by it's cover. You might want to try a different tactic on me and if you can't think of one then sorry for your damn luck. Unless you have walked a mile in my shoes don't presume that you know jack shit. Don't make my Barbie list cause there is no coming back from that."
Imi looked at me and I could see that she was grinding her teeth. I was pissing her off and I wasn't sure that was a good thing. She could kill me in twenty different ways with a chalk eraser and I would just have to take it.
She nodded after a second and looked at me. "Sit down Ava, you and I are going to have a discussion. There are a few things you need to know and a couple of things I want you to know. One of the things I want you to know is that I didn't think you were suited to this kind of life. I figured you for one to soft, for someone to break you so easily that you would give up all of our secrets. Now that I see you I am starting to wonder if maybe I have misjudged you. I haven't seen this side of you before Ava, and I wonder if maybe the brass had it right. They don't seem to understand that not even a third of the women that are here don't belong in this unit. To me they are just disposable assets. Yes, I know that sounds cold, but it is truth. They don't have any real talents, they want to be here because it sounds badass. None of them work as hard as we do."
I looked at her for a moment in total disbelief. "So what you think that because I smarted off to you that I am a better fit?"
She shook her head. "No because you didn't let your anger get to you, you didn't fall for the tricks I have been playing and you're very level headed. I judged you way too harshly by how you looked. I figured that since you were a red head then you were automatically a hothead but in the past few days you have shown me different. I am going to tell you something that not many people know."
I looked at her for a moment confused. I could tell she was very uncomfortable. "Imi you don't have to tell me anything that you aren't comfy with. Goodness knows I didn't want my personal business aired out, but that it was."
She shook her head. "My life wasn't always bad. I had a great life until I was headed off for college. My father had gotten into debt with the wrong people and instead of going to college I was sold and sent overseas. I was raped, beaten, burned, flayed and that was when I made a huge life decision. I learned to fight back, I was taught weapons, hand to hand and a few other things that saved my life. What I wasn't expecting was to fall in love. His name was Lolek and he was an amazing person. He helped me get the strength to escape, he gave his life for mine and left me with two of the most amazing people in my life. My twins Marek and Marika."
I looked at her shocked. "Wow, makes you wonder just what life has in store for you doesn't it?"
She nodded. "Yes, but right now I am just trying to do the best I can for my wonderful children no matter the cost. Right now my mother watches them while I am at work, they go to daycare and she picks them up if I am going to be late. Some things in life change and if you can't roll with it then it will kill you. I learned the hard way and no one should have to learn like that. You are soon to go on missions that could take you weeks or even months to get what you need, and you may have to be something you are not. You would be surprised what I would do for my children, how many times the government has tried to whore me out. I find alternatives though and I always will. Now come, there is someone that wants to meet you."
She helped me up off the ground and we talked as we headed towards an office building across the base. I never knew how immense it was and compared to the base I was going to it was amazing. I laughed as she told me about some of the blunders that the others had made, and the large head that Tori still had even after being ground into the dirt for the first week of her training. I found out that each person on her team was essential in what they did and she explained how I would fit it. It amazed me just how efficient they were and with each word I wanted more and more to be on the team.
As we entered the offices she led me straight through until we got to a very large office at the end of a hallway. As she entered I saw a middle aged man behind the desk on his phone. He smiled and waved us in as he tried to hasten up his phone call. Imi made a gesture that it was alright and her and I sat in the chairs. It felt good to sit somewhere soft other than my bed and my body luxuriated in the overstuffed chair.
Before I knew it he was off the phone and looking right at Imi. "How are you Imi, it has been a long time."
She nodded. "Yes Rodger, it has at that. Let's get the pleasantries out of the way. You called me in here and now I want to get this over with. You always call people into your office at the worst times. Hurry, I have to get her to Nora and I don't think you want to deal with her."
He nodded. "I called you here to tell you that right after her training Ava is to report to Thomas for the specs on her first mission. If you think she isn't ready well, then she will have to leave the program. Things have come to my attention and we need more resources, threats to our way of life have been detected and we need more people to infiltrate them. I know that it may sound harsh but right now we are sending in half trained assets that are coming home to us in body bags and I have no more patience for those who aren't fully committed with us."
I could feel my anger rising in me, but just smiled at him. He seemed to bristle a little bit at that and it made me smile more. "Don't ever underestimate me. I could have sworn we had that conversation about a week ago when you thought you could test yourself against me. You can ask any one of my trainers and they will tell you I bust my ass from sun up to sun down and I have probably learned more in a week than your half trained assets have in a month. Now get off my back, I am tired of people always thinking to sell me short. When I am done with my training I will report to Tom as instructed for whatever hell you think you are going to put me through." Each word was punctuated as I stood up more and more until I was resting on my fingertips poised to rip out his throat. I smiled sweetly at him as Imi put her hand on my arm and we walked out of the office.
She waited until we were fully out of the building before she started to laugh. She was giggling like a maniac, holding her sides and stamping her foot on the ground. "Oh my goodness Ava, I have never and I mean never heard anyone fuck him up like that. He was actually scared of you. Good, very good shows me you aren't intimiated by anyone. You are doing good, but you have a long way to go. Now let's get over to Nora before she reams your ass like I did this morning."
As my day progressed I thought long and hard about the things that I wanted from my life. I wanted what Imi had, the respect and admiration and I knew I would have to work my buns off to get it. As the day wore on I started to wonder if I was even good enough to fill her shoes, or to even stand beside her, and as the day came to an end I poured myself in my truck close to tears and started my trek back to the apartment. I wanted to pour my sorrows out over some tequila and I would feel right as rain in the morning.