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Badar Consultant Agency
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1 - Entropic Spiral - 4C
Apr 15, 2018
6 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!EYFzuw6UUko0agWMQU1oposted on PENANA

One Week Earlier… 9Please respect copyright.PENANAfnIMPXh9u0
copyright protection5PENANAdg1RjF8e4S

“Hey, who let the dog out?” Jenna laughed when Woody slipped into the cafeteria seat across from her. He grunted at her in greeting. It wasn’t the first time she’d used that joke. It wasn’t any funnier the fifth time around. She pawed at her cold french fries as she said, “You look like hell. What was the occasion last night?”copyright protection5PENANA0JQGilcof7

Woody sniffed. He smelled like the two bottles of bourbon he’d put away last night. It made his stomach churn. Jenna on the other hand smelled like gun oil, lavender, and a lot of cheap beer. If he answered her seriously, he’d only want to know what she’d been “celebrating” herself. He didn’t want to know that much about her. He wasn’t a mind reader, but he knew she liked him. He knew and it made him ache. It made him ache because he knew her affections didn’t just end with him. But Jenna’s attention did have its uses. copyright protection5PENANAIE7TV3FLYH

Sherwood, you’re always so conflicted when it comes to women. Nothing’s changed… Keep your distance, he continued to remind himself in the back of his mind. I might have to rip this place apart. I can’t afford to feel attached.copyright protection5PENANAabYc3hRcvW

He gulped down his glass of orange juice before he answered her. “What’s the word?”copyright protection5PENANA4vFVbXgomw

She frowned at him, the good humor going from her heart-shaped face. “Jaeborn’s going to move. He Saw Jude… It’s too late for him. The last message your vamp friend sent was a warning. Jae didn’t like that, so he risked it. Took a lot out of him, but he managed to See it. Jude’s close to breaking. He’ll succumb if we don’t move in the next week.” The vibration mage kept her voice low, pitching it just between the molecules in the room so only Woody would hear. She didn’t have Charis Taggart’s noise dampening talents. Nana’s skills were developed in other areas. copyright protection5PENANAv5aDZ6HESF

Woody nodded his head shortly. “Will he still be able to teleport us all even weakened?”copyright protection5PENANAm3RkfUB777

“He said he’d manage…” Her uncertainty told the werewolf she didn’t think so herself.copyright protection5PENANA3bCJ6OHmc3

Woody picked up his triple-decker tuna salad sandwich and, after three big bites, sat back, satisfied with his quick breakfast. Jenna was giving him a look that panned between disgust and impressed. “Will he?” Woody asked, wiping delicately at his mouth with a paper table napkin as he pushed his empty tray forward.copyright protection5PENANATI84m8a3M3

She shrugged. “We’ll see… Are you still holding out?”copyright protection5PENANAJ86Btlw4sD

“Jude went under for you fucks. He’ll come up out of this for you too. When Jaeborn makes his choice, I need you to be there for me. Convince him that we’re good for it. Jude doesn’t betray lightly. Money or power or otherwise. He’s not motivated by conventional things… He’s not normal.”copyright protection5PENANAbwOOfUCWhP

“Oh, really?” Nana questioned with a smirk. “Kinda like you.”copyright protection5PENANAZby8fUgqY3

Woody raised an eyebrow at her. “I mean, he sees through bullshit. He smells it from a mile away. He doesn’t need to read minds to know when someone’s fucking with him.”copyright protection5PENANAtHcziGUOKn

“The best kind of liar detectors make the best kind of liars,” Jenna said under her breath.copyright protection5PENANAsWTgL8bo4s

Woody chuckled. “That’s a helluva compliment… He hasn’t turned on us. He hasn’t.”copyright protection5PENANAd4DMdTHujF

Jenna looked down at her fries and picked out the squishy ones that had soaked up the most salt and oil. Through a mouthful of potato, she asked, “So, the girls’ve been wondering…”copyright protection5PENANAyMnKlGrgvb

“What?” copyright protection5PENANADX8wdTFohJ

“Are you single?”copyright protection5PENANARvOvh1oZvH

Woody laughed. copyright protection5PENANAE4u1PQIg6d

“Well, are you?” she demanded playfully. copyright protection5PENANArJaAgntVML

“It’s taken you two months to ask that. Was it a courage thing, or…?”copyright protection5PENANAFEgt9yvxy0

“More like a politeness thing,” Jenna said, brushing her hands off on her pants. “You wonder why they avoid you? Why they only seem to open up in the practice ring? I told them to stay away from you.”copyright protection5PENANAfc4KeTAWaG

He frowned, but nodded his head. “I get it. All-woman compound. A rooster who’s always gone, leaving the hens to rule the house. Add one seriously unstable wolf into the mix and well… You’ve got a coup full of feathers and bones.”copyright protection5PENANAaBqkcHIGCv

Jenna was shaking her head long before he finished. “Weirdo. The average age around here is nineteen… and you know about the werewolf craze, right? I did it for your protection.”copyright protection5PENANAri9ILihgQP

Woody’s frown deepened. “So… they want to know if I’m single… because they’re a mob of supernatural fangirls who will probably cage fight to the death over me?”copyright protection5PENANAh62mQhgqeq

Jenna barked a laugh with enough force that she snorted. “Yeah. Uh-huh. Exactly.”copyright protection5PENANA7o2yJefrUS

The werewolf mulled this over before a conspiratorial expression took him over. He leaned over his tray and Jenna did the same. He asked casually, “You wanna really fuck with ‘em?”copyright protection5PENANAWma55Vomce

“I’d like nothing better,” she said, a mischievous curl taking over her thin lips.copyright protection5PENANActleQbw6CK

“I’m not. Single, I mean.”copyright protection5PENANAwK8yiRNyjI

“Oh, the scandal. Who’s the lucky lady?”copyright protection5PENANAqg4Bm9xKwJ

“Does it have to be a lady?”copyright protection5PENANAZIdkX3wta9

“Oh… I see where you’re going with this,” Jenna said, clasping her hands together in revelation. But then her face took on a confused sort of shade. “Downside is… It’s a little too plausible, isn’t it?”copyright protection5PENANAeGUmfce3Ly

Woody balked. “How the hell do you figure that?”copyright protection5PENANALcOQNaZlVw

“I dunno, it just seems a little too… predictable.”copyright protection5PENANA5UeifcmLGw

Woody let his temper get the better of himself and he crossed his arms, saying mildly, “Predictable? That’s funny coming from you. You and Jaeborn are a little predictable too.”copyright protection5PENANAVUcPhs2wvN

Jenna winced, but put her hands out and smiled. “Wow, that’s mature.”copyright protection5PENANA4h0S7O379Y

“Does Taggart know?”copyright protection5PENANADeSSx84TTL

This time Nana had the decency to look guilty. She knew he was serious then. Good. She shook her head. Then she asked, “So… is it true about you and Jude?”copyright protection5PENANApPFCEX5HtA

Woody shrugged. “You said it’s plausible, isn’t it?”copyright protection5PENANAvxSvqZku6t

“Oh, that’s cruel,” she said with a little laugh as she stacked both of their trays.copyright protection5PENANAsJIlCgtG9n

“Well, until you come clean to Tag, I’m not coming clean about my own employer.”copyright protection5PENANAszc7cR4hyy

“We love each other,” Jenna said quietly, looking around the deserted cafeteria. “Is it really any of your business, in the end?”copyright protection5PENANAS36KzwJT1Q

Woody shrugged. “You brought up the questions. Call it tit-for-tat.”copyright protection5PENANAntA6PcmiTw

The vibro mage shrugged herself, that easy smile still playing over her lips. “Tit-for-tat… Are you with Jude?”copyright protection5PENANAFl6StiKxzj

He stood up from their table and grabbed their trays. “I guess you might find out if he comes back from his assignment alive and well, eh? So put in a good word to your boss man and make sure that he doesn’t pull the fucking trigger before asking questions.”copyright protection5PENANA5rnbcWIWQJ

“So you’re telling me I could watch?”copyright protection5PENANAMedml2zHks

“You really need to get out of this compound every now and then, pervert,” Woody said, rolling his gold eyes toward the porous ceiling tile.copyright protection5PENANAe0NkTgCDOc

“I’ll mention it, Woody,” Jenna promised as he turned to drop their dishes at the mess cubby. “Hey! I mean it. I’ll make sure Jaeborn doesn’t go all… paranoid-schizo on us, okay?”copyright protection5PENANAWUEk6QgOM7

“I’m counting on you,” the werewolf said seriously. He came back over to the table and put his palms flat on the cold plastic surface. “He’s that important to me. You know that, right?”copyright protection5PENANAyzmLWHOvo9

Her face went carefully neutral. “I know… I have a family in the center I’d take a bullet for. You’re not the only one with loved ones on the line.”copyright protection5PENANAXD9LX32AHQ

“Yeah, well, your fucking family isn’t in the heart of a blood mage cell.” He stared at her.copyright protection5PENANANELrYRieG5

“Point taken,” the vibro mage eventually mumbled.copyright protection5PENANAmfEI1ApP5O

“Training yard?” Woody asked.copyright protection5PENANAY3r8OpbQ0S

“That’s your olive branch? You’ll let me kick your ass?” Jenna laughed.copyright protection5PENANAHNwseujxJ0

“Ya think it’s a shitty olive branch?” copyright protection5PENANAC6fgOgRe5X

Again, her easy, vibrant smile overtook her otherwise plain features. “We’ll see,” she said.copyright protection5PENANA330vbPUnFV

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