In Chapter Twelve: Parker poses as a servant while providing security at a very important gathering for a friend.
Forgive me if I sound a little cynical, my dear. I am — heavily involved with some people who did not follow orders, and are now reaping the consequences. You should hear the names they call me — Bitch Queen and Arresting Officer being among the milder ones!
You have prior military experience, don’t you? Before your current assignment, I mean? Somehow I could sense that. That we are kindred spirits.
Friends? Yes. Of course.
More than friends? I hope so, Robert, I do hope so.
If not now, then — in the future?
I’ve had a few of those times myself, so I can sympathize. I’ve also been on the receiving end of disobeying orders as well. So please forgive me if I sympathize with your offenders as well.
Yes, I was in the US Navy prior to my current assignment. But that was years ago. I joined up after graduating High School. My last few years in, I was a commissioned officer. Post-military I was a police officer with the Miami-Dade PD. I was a detective, a captain in fact, when I signed on with UNO SPJ. So I’ve gotten used to being in command so to speak.
As for going beyond friends, that I leave for you to decide. I find that it is preferable and more rewarding when the lady decides when a couple is more than friends.
I do sympathize with them, that’s the problem. But I’m not allowed to — I’m here to clean up a major mess.
And I’ve probably already said too much.
How do you feel about fraternization?
I believe that a man and a woman can be friends, without it going any further — unless both parties are fully aware and consenting.
I also think we have already gone beyond friends, Robert. At least — I know I have. I think of you warmly, and with affection — I hope you don’t mind.
I am looking forward to seeing you again when I come home on long leave.
Seeing you — spending time with you — am I being too forward? I hope not. It has been a long time since I have had someone I can relax with, be myself with, and enjoy myself with, without worrying. Am I using you? I don’t think so. I think we come to each other as equals, partners, and will be able to relate to each other on that footing.
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