|Meddling IS Caring|
|What: Bethany's employees care about her a little too much sometimes.|
"New client?" Sal pops up the moment Bethany's feet hit the main floor.
"A friend." She takes the tablet he's offering her and scans it, then thumbprints it.
"Friends are good. Especially ones who know your favourite flowers." Now he's walking backward in front of her, grinning toothily.
Salah Sundara has been with Bethany since she was nineteen, hired as her driver when Alexander was on assignment in Abuja. She dubbed him Sunny Sal--rightly so, he's got the disposition of a pot-smoking saint--and hired him onto CMS as soon as she could. He's short and skinny with brown skin, piercing black eyes, and fine black and silver hair that seems to catch every passing breeze.
"What are you smiling about?" Bethany feints with the tablet, then flicks her fingers at Sal's nose and almost gets him.
"Very handsome," Sal says thoughtfully, nimbly backing up the stairs to the Fish Tank. "Is he still upstairs?"
"No, he's gone. And he's -just- a friend." Bethany rolls her eyes.
"How'd he leave? Your room?" Sal dodges through the security door at the Tank before Beth can get him again. "Because you could use a little company up there."
"You could, you know." Farah doesn't even look up from her station overseeing the rest of the Tank. "I'm not finding him on file, by the way. He's not some CIA jerk, is he?"
"Will you two cut it out?" Bethany reaches over and cancels Farah's image search. Farah Adair does incredible intel work but she's as pushy as Sal. Everyone else in the Tank keeps their head down. "I know who he is. I don't need a backgrounder. And he's just a friend."
"He brought her daisies," Sal whispers to Farah.
"Is he coming back?" Farah puts her chin in her hand. With her sleeked-back hair and sharp nose, she looks like a hawk eyeing her prey.
"Possibly." Bethany picks up a new report on conditions in Pakistan. It's not as though she can tell them the truth, not right now. "But it's not business and he's just a friend. I'm married, remember?" She flashes her rings.
"Yeah. We know," Farah says. Bethany can hear the eyeroll from here. They've known her too well and too long not to have an opinion on her marriage.
"How could we forget?" Sal sounds as grim as Bethany has ever heard him.
She wonders if their opinions would change if they knew they were talking about the Lord of Mischief and Evil. A glance over at both of their expressions suggests that the answer might be "no".