Justice Page 34
One of them gave her permission. She pulled out her license and handed it through the bars. ’’Justice North spoke to Senator Jacob Hills early this morning and offered me a job at Homeland. I wasn\ expected at any certain time but here I am.’’
One of them handed back her license. He hesitated before reaching for something on the wall out of her sight. He pulled out a clipboard and ran his finger down it. ’’Let her in. She\s on the list.’’
The second officer unlocked the gate. Jessie walked inside, paused and watched the gate lock behind her. The first officer gave her a polite smile and indicated she should follow him. Jessie gave the protestors a one fingered wave before she stepped out of sight. The walls around Homeland were thirty feet high and had walking corridors above where more Species officers patrolled.
’’It\s standard procedure to check your bag. Everyone has to be searched. We also have to pat you down. I apologize but due to serious threats against the NSO it\s necessary. I can call a female officer to pat you down if you are uncomfortable with me touching you. I can have one here in under ten minutes. We have some bottled water and sodas available so you can comfortably wait. We do have to search your bag now though. We need to make sure there aren\ any weapons in it or bombs.’’
’’I understand. I usually carry a gun, I have a permit but I didn\ bring it with me. I realize it isn\ good here so I left it with my team.’’
The man blinked. ’’What team?’’
’’I worked with the Retrieval Human Task Team to the NSO until this morning.’’
He smiled. ’’I didn\ know they had any females.’’
’’I was the only one.’’ She turned to face the wall and spread her limbs. ’’Go ahead and pat me down.’’
The man was efficient and didn\ make Jessie want to punch him. His hands ran over her br**sts but they didn\ stop, squeeze or grope. He crouched down and started at her ankles and ran his hands all the way up. He used the back of his hand to make sure she wasn\ carrying a gun inside her panties. He stood and moved back. Jessie turned and stared up at him.
’’Thank you. We have notified the office of your arrival and they are sending a Jeep for you, Miss Dupree.’’
’’It\s just Jessie. Thank you.’’
He smiled. ’’I\m Flame and my partner over there glaring at the protesters is Slash.
Thank you for the amusement when you talked to that man out there. He loves to taunt us.’’
’’My pleasure. When he starts up again just start chanting Elvis and I bet he\ll shut up.’’ She winked. ’’It\s the best way to deal with them. It will totally piss him off, he\ll know it\s an insult but it won\ sound that way to anyone but him.’’
The officer laughed. ’’I\ll remember and pass it on to the others.’’
’’It\s only fair you give it back. I\m sure you have to put up with a hell of a lot. May I ask a personal question?’’
He shrugged. ’’Sure.’’
’’Why did you pick Flame for your name? I could see it if you had bright red hair but yours is light red.’’
He grinned. ’’I love watching a fire burn and often spend my nights sitting outside in front of a fire pit. The smell of burning wood is pleasant, the flames are beautiful and so lively.’’
’’I always like to ask. You\ e lucky you get to pick your names. I got stuck with Jessica Marlee Dupree.’’ She shook her head. ’’My parents said it was pretty. I think they were smoking drugs to rhyme two of my names.’’
’’That\s why I insist on being called Jessie. I hear someone call me my full name and just cringe. It sounds like I should be crooning old country songs or something. You have meaning for your name.’’
’’You are a joy to be around.’’ He grinned. ’’Your parents did something right.’’
’’You are really going to work here?’’
’’Yes. I don\ know what I\ll be doing but I got canned from the team this morning. I was sent here.’’
His smile slipped. ’’You mean fired? Why did they fire you?’’
’’I got shot. It was just a graze, really. I killed three ass**les too but they deserved it.
It\s a long story. It was a good shooting but my dad is Senator Jacob Hills so he freaked out. He fired me to make sure I\m not in danger anymore, or put in a situation where I might have to kill ass**les.’’ She smiled to soften her words. ’’I guess he figured I\d be safer here.’’ She studied the high walls and armed Species officers patrolling above with large guns. ’’I can see this place is pretty secure.’’
Flame grinned. ’’Where did you get shot?’’
She turned to show him her back and reached up into her hair. In seconds, she\d parted it to reveal a shaved area about two inches long and an inch wide covered with a bandage. ’’It was just a graze. The bullet took some scalp but...’’ she released her hair and turned to face him. ’’Remember to always wear your vest on duty.’’ She glanced at his. ’’I took two rounds to mine in the back from a sniper.’’ She pointed to his vest.
’’They work well. All I have is a few bruises.’’
’’Amazing.’’ He grinned. ’’Do you have any friends here? Working with the task force must have made you some.’’
’’No. I\ve met a few people but no one I spent a lot of time with.’’ Except Justice . She didn\ mention him aloud though.
’’Why don\ you give me a call when you get settled? We have a bar here. I\d love to buy you a beer and introduce you to everyone. I think you\ll make a lot of friends. You are really funny.’’