I have more background that I can’t decide whether to put up or not. I have never written fiction before, or fiction for blogging so don’t know how much I’m supposed to explain. As I have to totally focus on moving, can’t put the background in later chapters and 1500 words is really pushing it for a fiction blog post. Would like 800 word chapters. This might go on forever. Here’s a page of prior chapters.
Justin, Rachel, Denny and Del had been recruited, for The International Security Bureau (ISB) while still students at Crandell University 20 years ago. They had been best friends since early childhood and made a pact to go to college then grad school together. Justin, Denny and Del could learn languages and computer skills at will, and excelled at martial arts.
The ISB tried to maintain peace in a world that seemed to be at war with itself. Nell’s abilities lied in reading people. Her intuition was right 97 out of 100 times, an all time record for agents at The ISB. To be the best at The ISB meant she was the best known intuitive anywhere.
Rachel could get men and women to say or think anything through the oldest professional skill in the world. She had never thought her ability to have sex with anybody would pay her way through school and life.
Nell and Justin had no desire to be agents, but the agency made few demands on their time, paid them well, and they were serving a higher purpose. Nell was going to be a book designer. Justin was going to write books. That part came true. The agency owned publishing companies. Nell did her own covers and they almost forced people to want to open the book. Justin’s almost sci fi post cold war novels were considered seminal. The agency might have given them a start but their talent took them to places they had dreamed of. Thing was they had dreamed of being masters of their fields together.
Junior Year, at Crandell, Nell and Denny had married almost on a whim. She might have been great at reading other people, but had screwed up her own perfect life when Justin had a crush on another girl Spring of Sophomore Year. Nell and Justin had been a couple since Ninth Grade. They had been planning on marrying eighteen months after graduation. They were going to live in different cities for a year to make sure. Nell and Justin were the opposite of impulsive. They did everything with much forethought.
They had let love get away from them. Nell couldn’t read anything to do with her own life. She thought she read that backwards or sideways but never correctly. One night she and Denny were on their way to a movie. They were supposed to meet Justin later. Nell spotted Justin with a girl, Anna. They looked as if they were embracing. She had seen Anna looking at Justin and Justin looking back. For weeks, she had been wondering if anything was happening with them. Denny had been telling Nell that Justin had a crush on her. Just a few minutes before, he said that Justin was going to act on his crush. Nell hadn’t wanted to believe him, but she watched Anna draw Justin into a clutch. She saw Justin kiss her back.
Instead of going to the movie Nell and Denny went to Las Vegas where an Elvis impersonator married them.
Nell and Justin didn’t talk for a year. She missed him. Nothing seemed to happen with Justin and Anna, but he had another girlfriend each month. One night at the campus cafe, they found themselves talking until dawn. About absolutely nothing of consequence. They tried to avoid each other. They tried to seek each other out. They tried to forget.
Four years into a marriage with Denny, Nell was realizing that they might have known each other since nursery school but had absolutely nothing in common. It was getting so bad that when they had sex, Nell substituted Justin’s face and body for Denny’s.
Justin had a girlfriend Lilith. Nell knew all she had to do was say something….Her pride wouldn’t let her.
Denny and Del designed software for an agency funded computer software company. Nell thought she liked one thing about Denny. His loyalty to an agency that really did do good. One afternoon, fifteen years ago, she came home from work early and took a nap. She thought she was dreaming when she heard Denny on the phone. He couldn’t be saying the things he was saying. He couldn’t be working for Universal Security Corp, (USC). They funded projects that worked directly against The ISB.
Nell’s training quickly kicked in and she recorded the call. Fortunately she had been napping in her office, the old maid’s room. It had a separate entrance out of the apartment. She quietly left.