Anders's Angel:Heroes for Hire, Book 16(10)

By: Dale Mayer

“Nope, sure can’t,” she said. “But Nate and I were talking between ourselves.”

“The problem is, people never talk about me, so I feel unimportant,” Steve joked. “And then Mother Nature goes into overdrive, like this storm today, and reminds us that we’re all completely unimportant to her agenda.” He got out of his bunk and stood in his thick thermal long underwear, staring out the small window. “I didn’t see this one coming.”

“No. We didn’t have much notice,” Angelica said. “But we’ll be fine.”

“How is the food supply?” Steve asked with a mock worried tone. “You know me. The minute I run into any kind of danger, I need to eat three times as much.”

“Maybe this time you won’t get that option,” Nate joked. “The fact of the matter is, depending on how long we’re here, we might end up with less food than we were hoping for.”

“Hard to say,” Angelica said. “We won’t know for sure until this passes. In the meantime, there’s plenty of work to do.”

“Knew you would say that,” Steve grumbled.

“Of course I would.” She chuckled. “It’s still my deal. And you know I’m all about the work.”

“Yeah, you definitely need a new boyfriend so you’re all about something other than the work.”

“Not happening,” she said with a smile.

“Okay, then how about you get a new girlfriend?” Steve suggested with a chuckle. “Maybe that’ll stop you from being so uptight.”

“It’s hardly what’s making me uptight,” she said. “If I am uptight, maybe it’s because you keep throwing me at every other person, male or female, who we come across.”

“Maybe,” Steve said. “But seeing that you keep turning me down …”

“I’m the wrong sex for you, Steve,” she said, as she had stated many times before.

“Maybe you could change my mind,” he said cheerfully. “I’d at least give it a shot.”

Nate burst out laughing. “Wow, that’s really flattering. I can’t see why women aren’t jumping all over you for that comment.”

“Hey, it’s not that bad,” he said. “Just think about it. You’d be a first-timer.”

She groaned. “It’ll be a long three days if all you want to talk about is getting laid.”

Both men just laughed.

With that, she returned to her data charts.

Steve asked a few moments later, “Do you ever wonder if our work is all for naught?”

She looked at him and shrugged. “We’re doing the work that needs to be done. We’re collecting data that’s important. If not for today, it’s for tomorrow and the tomorrows after that. If it’s not your thing”—she smiled—“I’m sure a strip bar somewhere would hire you.”

Hannah’s voice came rolling through the small shack as she laughed out loud. “That’s a good one,” she said. “I’m not sure anybody would pay to see him strip.”

“Hey, that’s not fair,” Steve said in an aggrieved tone. “No need to get personal.”

“What the hell would you call what you’ve been talking about with poor Angelica if not personal?” Hannah jeered.

Fit as a fiddle, hardy and sturdy, older than Angelica, Hannah normally was healthy as a horse. But she’d been feeling under the weather since yesterday. Angelica studied her teammate’s face as she approached. Hannah wore heavy long johns with a long quilted overshirt. She poured herself a cup of coffee and, when she caught Angelica’s look, said, “I feel much better.”

“That’s definitely good to hear,” Angelica said. “This isn’t the best place to get sick.”

“No,” Hannah said. “Yet, I have a really shitty track record at it. I think it’s something to do with the hiking. As if I need a day or two to recover, and it always manifests as a cold.”

Angelica thought about that and realized the other two times Hannah had come up with them that she’d also been under the weather after the first day. “It is a stress getting up here,” she admitted. “I love it every time, but it is physically taxing.”