“I can’t believe I’m stuck on this assignment with an idiot,” the red-haired woman holding hands with him fumed under her breath, just loud enough so that he could hear her.
“The feeling is mutual, Shortcake,” he retorted. He drew in a sharp breath when she dug her nails into the palm of his hand in response. “Classy.”
“If you screw this up, I am going to personally kill you.”
He couldn’t help rolling his eyes as he replied, “If I screw this up, we’ll already be dead. Now, claws in, honey, and start acting like my girlfriend.”
She cursed a thousand creative swear words in her mind as she walked hand-in-hand with the tall, narcissistic idiot by her side. Of all the agents in the world, she had to be stuck with this annoying excuse for one.
And that damn Shortcake reference. Ever since Day 1 of FBI training, he had dubbed her Strawberry Shortcake because of her red locks. He thought he was so freaking clever.
She took a deep breath and willed herself to calm down. She was one of the best damn undercover agents the FBI had, and she was not going to let today change her reputation.
She saw them as soon as they stepped on the path. The slender redhead and the quintessential tall, dark and handsome. They looked so much like a magazine-cover couple, she had to suppress a snort. This was what the FBI had sent out to acquire her? Ginger Barbie and Broody Ken? She felt almost insulted.
She adjusted her curly white wig, smoothed down the front of her frumpy disguise, and resumed her knitting. She had her semi-automatic tucked safely in her giant tote bag next to her, but she didn’t want to get into a gunfight if she could help it. Not a good idea to create a scene in the middle of a crowded park. No, best case scenario: Barbie and Ken walked past her, not registering her under all the fake wrinkles and saggy latex skin, and she met up with her client today to arrange another hit. Everybody walked out of the park, safe and sound.
They got closer. She kept her eyes down and she knitted.
“Well, I’ll be damned. She went the old-lady route. She’s even knitting, what is that? A sweater?” Shortcake said, as they strolled closer to their target.
His lips turned up slightly. He had to admit, he couldn’t believe one of the most dangerous hitman-uh-hitwoman in her case, ever to grace the East Coast, was currently sitting on a park bench, knitting a red sweater. Did she really think they wouldn’t see through her disguise? Or not know that she would come disguised in the first place?
He had to resist the urge to chuckle and instead, told himself to focus. Shortcake was rambling on about how beautiful the park looked, and whether they should come back next week for a picnic.
He plastered a fake, yet completely convincing smile on his face and relaxed his features. He smiled at Shortcake with what he knew was an adoring expression.
Find out how the hits get arranged. Bring her in. Alive. Wounded was okay, too. As they walked closer, she looked up at him and smiled as he suggested items for their picnic. However, her ears and eyes were alert to every snippet of conversation they walked past and he sneezed. She blinked at him. Wait, what. Sneezing was not in the script. Then she noticed the wetness of his eyes. Another sneeze. What in Hades’ Hell did this idiot think he was doing?
She chanced a sly glance up from her knitting needles when she heard him sneeze. Redness around his eyes. Tears coming down any second. She smirked slightly. Another disguise this morning before Broody Ken reported for work, and the classic switch of his allergy medicine with sugar pills just outside the FBI building. Just an extra precaution. She mentally patted herself on her back. Sometimes, she was just so good.
© Jade M. Wong 2016
Another repost from a couple years ago.
Credit for the beautiful photo goes to Rula Sibai.