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Chapter 4: Decision
palladian23 wrote in superwebnovel
Author's Notes: Warnings for this chapter - Contractual death threats
Much love to my wonderful editor gwoman for her work on this chapter!

Back to Chapter 3

Lex wandered into the kitchen then to see what she could find for lunch. She spent a few minutes staring absently into the refrigerator, considering what Kurt had said, still surprised. For a while now, Kurt had been mentioning again and again his idea that she give up job hunting and become a “lady of leisure,” as he called it. She wondered about his change of mind, and then smiled as she thought of the few comments he’d made recently about trying to be supportive of what she wanted. Figuring that probably explained it, she went about making herself a sandwich and cutting up an apple.

She took her food back into the living room to plan her attack on the paperwork. She figured she’d focus on the Testing Informed Consent and Confidentiality sections, since she’d noted on her first pass that she needed to read both of those more closely. The Testing Informed Consent document seemed larger, so she thought she’d start with that one and then read the smaller Confidentiality section. After that, she’d read what she could of the other three sections, Lex decided.

Before she started, she looked at the clock. It was a little after half past noon, which gave her four and a half hours before Carl came back. Making a mental note of that, Lex planned to finish her reading sometime before the deadline, in order to give her time to think about what she’d read and figure out how to respond. She took a deep breath while looking at all of the stacks of papers and then grabbed the one for Testing Informed Consent.

Lex had sunk into her task hard, and when she finally pried her eyes from the pages, she realized she’d eaten her sandwich and about half of her apple. To give herself some mental distance, Lex wandered into the kitchen to refill her water glass and think a little. She’d finished the first half of the section, but the subject hadn’t gotten much clearer. It had stated that as part of their normal duties, members of the team would be asked to submit to physical examinations and take various medical tests.

Some of the tests they’d used as examples (since each team member would have a customized plan) had been non-invasive, like CAT scans or X-rays, but others had been more involved, like probes of different types and biopsies. This worried Lex since she didn’t generally like medical procedures, having a tendency to pass out when doctors took her blood or when she had to get a shot. The paperwork did recommend team members to take tests that examining doctors requested, but all members could opt out of anything they didn’t want to have done.

The part she’d started to read involved treatments and had begun by stating that sometimes the physicians would detect things in their tests for which they’d recommend treatments. As she came back into the living room, Lex sat down on the couch again and scanned ahead to see if she could find out response expectations. Finally, after a long list of potential treatments, she found that, as with the tests, team members could determine whether or not they wanted to follow any treatment regimen, although it was highly recommended to take the physicians’ advice. Nodding at the predictability of the language but still not sure about the intent of the section, Lex made some notes and moved along to read the Confidentiality section.

She shook her head when she’d finished, due to the repeated dire warnings about telling unauthorized secrets and threats of jailing and death. Fortunately, this document did give specific guidance about what constituted secrets, but she found it somewhat odd. Team members were forbidden to reveal details of any assignments the team went on, any special abilities of other teammates, any medical tests or treatments given, any specific resources or equipment the team possessed, any training regimens, or anything about the exact nature of the M Agency—neither who constituted it or what it did. It would be a shorter section if they talked about what we can say, Lex thought, frowning. The document also added that, if unsure about the guidelines, she could always ask the Confidentiality Officer questions, so Lex made a note to find out the identity of the officer.

After quickly raiding the kitchen for a couple of cookies, Lex took up the Rules of the Team section, checking the table of contents against her concerns from the list. She read first about the probation period, but the only new information she found stated the time she could leave and when she was expected back on weekends off, and she found herself sighing as the brief informational paragraphs ended. The only other thing she found interesting in this section stated that, as part of their probation, new team members would be assessed in a number of ways, and that if a new member was determined to be lacking during the first six months, they could be let go at any time. She raised an eyebrow, finding it highly interesting that it didn’t seem to be described anywhere what “lacking” might be. Lex also found it fascinating that the “lacking” language was used again in the section that talked about reassessment, again without further definition.

The Transfer section explained that there were branches like the M Agency around the country, with locations listed in the document. It stated that after the member’s third year with the team and every third year after that, a member could potentially ask or be asked to transfer to one of the other agencies. Lex shook her head, knowing she wasn’t going to want to transfer even if asked, so she made a note to talk about that problem later.

She looked at the clock and decided to put the rest of the Rules of the Team section aside to read later and moved onto the Responsibilities section. Lex immediately began searching for more information about the on-call rules (including the hour-arrival rule) and how her actual responsibilities would be determined over the first six months.

She found the on-call information first. Along with stating that she’d be expected to be on call all the time, the document gave examples of things she could potentially be asked to help with—natural disaster assistance (helping people after floods, tornados, or earthquakes), law enforcement backup (controlling riots or capturing criminals that the police couldn’t handle), national security enforcement (capturing those who posed a threat to national security and whom the FBI or CIA couldn’t catch), and the rather general statement of “potentially other things as required.” Statistics in the document showed about how often the team had been mobilized over the past few years, which didn’t amount to more than five or ten times a year. Of course, the section mentioned that past call volumes could only be used as potential examples of what to expect. The document additionally stated that the hour rule had been instituted to let the team know the appropriate parameters for arriving for an emergency call and that occasional exceptions could be negotiated. The hour rule wasn’t delved into in much more detail, but it didn’t sound like the world would end if someone arrived a little late, which made Lex feel more comfortable.

Lex also felt better after reading the actual on-call statistics, though she was a little intimidated by some of the example situations. She found herself wondering what role she could play in assisting with things like that, but her nervousness soon turned to excitement as she thought about being able to help people in a real way, to stand up for others in a way she never thought she could before.

After a while, Lex shook her head sharply to break out of her daydreams and continued reading. She found the pages dealing with determining responsibilities near the end of the document. The section stated that, since all of the new team members’ skills and talents aren't known when they join, a variety of methods would be used to determine as many as possible. Once identified, they could be matched with team needs and training plans devised to enhance them, if necessary. The paragraphs that followed described in detail how new team members would be interviewed, tested, and paired with other members for mentoring, and how it would be determined how best new people could exercise their skills and talents to benefit the team. Lex found herself very interested their approach, because it sounded as if they tried to consider a large number of skills the people on the team might have and find ways for them to employ the things that interested them most. Unfortunately, the general description still didn’t give Lex a real idea of what she might be expected to do if she told them yes. She sighed with annoyance as she made a few more notes.

Checking the clock, Lex decided she’d better move on and reached for the Pay and Benefits section, telling herself that she’d scan through it for items of interest and then start her consideration in earnest. After a whirlwind review, Lex checked the clock again to find that she had somewhat less than an hour to decide on her answer. She remained satisfied with the current section, but had found one odd item. Though medical care was a life-long benefit for team members (present or former), to receive medical care, they would be required to report to the nearest agency for any treatment. The course of care would be determined by the medical personnel there. Lex sighed again, thinking that maybe it was supposed to be something like the VA hospital system, but it just seemed strange to her. She noted it down with the rest of her questions and looked at what she had left. She’d crossed some things out as initial questions were answered, and had added some notes to other items:

• Probationary period –must live at HQ for six months; every other weekend will be allowed out of HQ; inconvenient, but doable.
• Reassessment—could be dumped after a year (or a few years since relationship can be reassessed yearly) if team and sponsors agree; inconvenient, but acceptable; ask—can’t quit unless the team and/or sponsor agree?
• What will I be assessed in during the probationary period? How might I be “lacking” (there and during reassessment)?
• Transfer—after three years, they could request a transfer for me to anywhere in the US, if team and sponsors agree (even if I don’t want to do this—does this happen often?)
• Expected to be on call all the time and constantly carry a mobile device and need to be able to deploy within an hour of being called; inconvenient, but doable, ask—are there penalties?
• Actual responsibilities to be determined over the course of the first six months—I don’t have a good sense about what might be expected of me; would this potentially include anything I can’t or won’t do?
• Testing Informed Consent—How is this used in practice? Do the physicians recommend treatments often? Verify that we can refuse any tests or treatments recommended.
• Confidentiality—Could be jailed or killed for releasing confidential information? This sounds crazy. Is this something that has ever happened? How seriously is this enforced? What if someone makes a genuine mistake?
• Who is the Confidentiality Officer?
• It sounds as if all medical care will be done by on-site doctors. Why is this? What about potentially life-threatening situations?

As Lex reviewed the list, she realized that although some of the things she’d read sounded strange, none of her concerns would cause her to refuse right off the bat. Some things might become more worrying after her questions got answered, and maybe she could then tell them she’d changed her mind, but considering her current employment situation, she felt nothing she’d read so far would force her hand to tell them no. Also, she found she’d become more interested in accepting after having read about the responsibilities and training. Lex spent a minute digesting those thoughts, realizing she’d definitely have to make a decision since it wouldn’t be an automatic “no.” She sighed, thinking that would have been so much easier. Quickly, Lex put together a pro/con list, but it told her what she already knew—both sides seemed about even.

Since most of the best decisions she’d made came from being outside, deep in the woods, breathing in fresh air and letting the peace of the place seep into her, Lex immediately thought about a visit to her local park a few blocks down the road. Since she’d been there before, however, Lex decided against the idea. Every time she’d gone there it had been overcrowded with families or people walking their dogs, and it severely lacked big trees.

Instead of a trip to the park, Lex drew the blinds as far as she could. Sitting back on the couch, she brought her legs up and crossed them tailor fashion. After giving the piles of paper on the coffee table another long look, she closed her eyes. She breathed quietly for a few moments, trying to bring her heart and rate down.

She opened the eyes of her imagination then, and walked into the heart of the forest. Lex had to crane her neck to see the tops of the trees she walked beside, and the huge canopy filtered the bright sunlight overhead to scattered spots of light at her feet. As she breathed, she could taste the dew from the leaves and smell the rich scent of forest loam. Lex paced slowly among the trunks, trailing her hands against the bark and feeling textures from sharp and crumbly to soft and yielding, like skin. Lex continued walking, knowing that she’d eventually find the answer she sought.

After a while she came to a stream. She hunkered down to look more closely and saw the rocks in its path that made it sing and the grasses that bent under the momentum of the stream’s flow. Further downstream, she saw silver flashes underwater in the spotty sunlight sparkling on the stream and got up, moving closer. As Lex approached, she saw tiny fish swimming in a pool that had formed below some rocks and watched them nibbling at some of the underwater plants. She smiled to herself as she used some stepping stones to cross the stream and continued on.

Periodically now, she saw immense trees with trunks that had few branches and black bark that curled up at the edges. Her mind named them black birches, and she found them lovely. She turned in front of one and started to go down an avenue of trees that seemed as if they’d all been planted in rows. There was grass in between them, and the ground was soft, springy, and pleasant to walk on. Her gait became a confident stride, and the breeze blowing through the tree limbs overhead made her feel like the leaves whispered to her, telling her the right way to go.

Suddenly, Lex saw a figure ahead of her in the forest along the path she walked. The person was far away, just a smudge of vertical color showing against the tree trunks, but Lex now knew that she needed to speak to that person. She increased her pace, but the figure didn’t appear to be trying to get away, instead seeming to wait for her. As she approached, Lex realized that the person towered over her and had their back turned, wearing a dark opera cape with the hood up. Lex frowned, not sure what this meant, but continued to walk towards the figure. When she was a few feet away she spoke up. “Hello?”

The person turned and the cape fell away, blowing to the ground and rolling away in a sudden breeze. It was Casey, Lex realized, and the woman turned towards her with an open smile. “Hey, Lex. I’m glad you came.”

“Hi,” Lex replied, feeling a smile on her own face despite the odd circumstances. “So you came to help me out.”

Casey shrugged. “I hear you’re trying to decide what to do.”

Lex nodded and looked at the grass for a moment. She gazed back up at Casey and squinted a bit to look her in the eye, since the patch of sunlight they stood in had widened as the breeze picked up. “I have to admit, I feel a little weird talking to you about it, though.”

Laughing, Casey responded, “Well, the fact that you’re talking to me and not to someone else might say something about the direction you’re thinking about going. But remember that I’m just here to help. I’m not really even the person you met, I’m just your guide here.”

“I know, I know,” Lex answered, rubbing her hands together a little nervously.

“Let’s walk a while,” Casey said, indicating the direction Lex had been traveling in before.

The two of them fell into step together comfortably, like two old friends used to hiking around together. The very air they passed through seemed to sparkle as stray bits of sunlight made it down to their level, and Lex found herself relaxing again. Finally, she spoke once more. “So you know what I’m trying to decide, whether or not to take the job offer for the M Agency.”

Casey smiled down at her. “I told you I knew you’d get it.”

“OK, so you were right,” Lex replied, feeling a little sheepish and smiling at the ground. “What I want to know now is, do you have any advice you can give me? Some things about it sound good but some sound bad, so I’m not really sure what to do.”

Casey was quiet for a moment, looking up at the branches as they met above their heads. “Well, I have a question for you in return. What do you want out of life?” Lex looked over at Casey as she paused, knowing her own expression showed puzzlement. “I don’t just mean to marry some guy and work at some job. I think you’ve always felt that you wanted to accomplish more, to put something good out into the world. Is that right?”

Lex felt her heart jump as she thought about her previous excitement in reading about the team responsibilities and training. “That’s true.”

Casey smiled down at her again. “Well, think about what you know about the job so far. It sounds like it might offer the potential for you to do more good in the world than most of the jobs you’re used to doing. Also, I have a feeling that if you take this job, it will be the start of a long road for you, one that you’ll find some of your other heart’s desires at the end of.”

Lex thought for a bit about what Casey had said and then asked, “Do you have any idea what would happen if I refused the offer and continued looking for another job?”

Frowning a little sadly, Casey looked down at Lex again. “Yes. Unfortunately, I have the feeling that if you turn this job down, you’ll have trouble coming your way for a while.”

“Ah,” Lex replied, now frowning herself.

“I’m sorry about that,” Casey said. “I wish I had something better to tell you.”

Lex smiled up at her again. “It doesn’t matter. Thanks for being honest.”

Casey looked up at the branches overhead again and said quietly, “There’s something else, too. Maybe I shouldn’t tell you this, but I have a feeling that if you do accept the offer, you and I are meant to—“

Lex almost levitated off the couch at the noise from the intercom because it seemed unbelievably loud in the quiet house. She jumped up and ran to it, immediately responding with a hurried hello.

“Ms. McKilliam, the courier who was here earlier is back,” the person from the front desk replied.

“Please send him up. Thank you.”

Lex broke the connection and shook her head, still feeling jumpy from the jarring noise and the cascade of thoughts running through her mind as she tried to decide what response to give. Some minutes later she heard a knock. After a deep breath to calm her frayed nerves, she went to the front door. Upon opening it, she looked up to see the same wiry frame and chauffeur’s cap and smiled. “Hi, Carl. Will you come in?”

His disappearing grin shone out briefly before he nodded, following Lex inside. When they’d sat in the living room again in the same places as before, he spoke. “Well, did you make a decision?”

“I’ll take the job,” Lex replied, and immediately felt a rush of happy excitement. She couldn’t say if she felt surprised by what had come out of her mouth; it almost seemed like she’d sat watching herself from behind a pane of glass. Since she hadn’t made a final decision until that moment, instead trusting herself to figure out what to say, Lex mentally crossed her fingers and hoped she’d made the right choice.

Carl nodded, looking at her as if trying to figure out the thoughts running through her mind. After a moment he asked, “Did you sign the papers?”

Lex shook her head. “Sorry, I’ve been reading all day so I didn’t sign any yet. I’ve made lots of notes about questions I want to ask tomorrow, and if all of that goes well it shouldn’t take me too long to finish reading everything and sign.”

He nodded again, as if mentally confirming something, and the momentary smile appeared and vanished before he continued. “That should be fine. I’ll take your response back to the agency, and the papers as well. You’ll get the same packet back to finish reading and signing tomorrow. Just so you know, you’re expected to report at nine tomorrow morning to the facility you interviewed at. Don’t pack everything you own; just figure out what you’ll need for the next two weeks. Once you’ve gotten used to how the scheduling goes, you should be able to decide what else you’ll want to move over. Don’t worry if you forget anything; just put it on the shopping list and it’ll be brought to you. Will you need to have a car sent around?”

Lex thought about it as Carl packed all of the stacks of papers back into the envelope. She figured she could probably pack everything she needed into her travel bag, a backpack, and the purse she normally carried with her, but she did have another question for him. “I think I should be OK, but I was wondering what type of clothes to pack. From what I read, it sounds like I should definitely pack workout gear, but I was wondering if I would need some business clothes or anything else.”

Carl looked at her for a moment and then shook his head. “For your first few weeks, I doubt you’ll need anything like that. You can pack one outfit if it makes you feel more comfortable to have it, but I doubt you’ll need anything more formal than business casual, if that. The ladies who live there dress informally, as you could probably see from visiting. I’d say to pack whatever you feel most comfortable in.”

Lex nodded. “Thanks. I should be fine taking the metro there tomorrow, then.”

“All right,” Carl responded, now done inspecting the papers and ensuring that they all seemed to be there. “In that case, I’ll leave now. Congratulations on your new position.”

The almost intangible smile seemed a bit wry this time, and Lex smiled uncertainly in return. Even though she felt happy about her decision, she still worried that she didn’t have the full picture of what lay ahead.

She sighed with concern as she closed the door behind Carl, but quickly shook the feeling off. Looking at the clock, she realized she had almost an hour until Kurt got home and decided to do some packing before he arrived.

Lex pulled her travel bag and backpack out of the closet, wrinkling her nose slightly at their dusty smell, and began to fill them with her favorite workout gear, a couple business casual outfits, a few pairs of jeans, and some sleeping clothes. Lex went back into the living room after that to pack some things for any leisure time she might have. She added a few books detailing martial arts forms and a couple of her favorite novels to the bags. She also packed a blank notebook, some pens, and a small case for DVDs. Kurt would always laugh at her when he caught her watching them, but she loved a number of Japanese animated series and so she packed some of her favorites that she thought might help in case she had a bad day.

She left the bags open near the closet in case she thought of anything else to pack before she left the next day. Lex felt excited again, as if packing for camp or some other great adventure. She grinned at herself in the mirror as she heard the front door opening, ran to greet Kurt, and grabbed him to give him a kiss and hug.

“Whoa, what’s all this?” he asked, smiling.

“I’m just glad to see you…and I told them I’d take the job,” Lex replied, consciously trying not to bite her lip. Despite Kurt’s support earlier, she suddenly felt worried that he might be upset anyway.

“That’s great!” he said, returning her hug. “I actually made reservations at our favorite restaurant in case you did, so that we could celebrate.”

Lex smiled cautiously. “Thanks, Kurt, for being such a good sport about this.”

She felt relieved that he seemed happy about her new job, but she didn’t look forward to going to that place. Lex had been there with Kurt once before, and she’d felt like a strange animal on display the entire time. Since Kurt had chosen it to celebrate her new position, however, Lex resolved to go and try to enjoy it. The whole thing seemed odd to her, though, as if she’d stepped into someone else’s life.

“Hey, we should celebrate! Soon, you’re going to be making a lot more bank than I am. I’ll have to brag to everyone about my rich fiancée,” Kurt replied, grinning at her.

She tried to smile again, but worried that it probably came out small and sad looking, since she wasn’t crazy about his celebration pick. “I should get ready if we’re going over there. I remember the last time we went that everyone was pretty dressed up.”

“That sounds good. Why don’t you wear the dress I got you last Christmas?”

“Sure,” Lex replied, with a smile that probably looked more like a grimace and turned back to the bedroom to change clothes.

The dress he’d mentioned was an expensive, short pink one with a big bow on the back. Lex would never have picked out an item of clothing like that for herself, and wearing it made her feel like a complete ass. It also made her feel uncomfortable, since she worried that due to the length people could see some of the scars on her upper thighs. But since Kurt was being so good about her new job, Lex figured she could put up with it. She also applied makeup, something she only ever did for Kurt, and brushed her hair out until it was shiny. When she came back to the living room, she modeled it all for him. “How do I look?” she asked.

“Like a million bucks. Give me a few minutes and I’ll be ready to go.”

Lex sighed quietly as she perched on the couch without sitting back so that the bow would remain unwrinkled, at least for a little while. She found herself wishing she’d had some warning about what he’d planned so that she could have mentally prepared.

The evening passed by in a blur, Lex thought later. She remembered working hard to smile and mostly just listening to Kurt’s stories about work. The people at the restaurant had looked at her like they had last time, the same way Kurt’s parents did. Somehow they had known she didn’t belong, and they had stared at her like an oddity. Some had looked pitying and some looked curious, but none of them had really seemed to see her at all. She’d felt so uncomfortable she’d hardly eaten anything, and what she had eaten seemed to taste both flavorless and disgusting. The restaurant was in a drafty old house with the air conditioning on too high, so the short dress had left Lex shivering at several points during the evening. She hadn’t been able to help her feeling of utter relief once she sat in Kurt’s sports car again, speeding for home.

Oddly, she’d felt even worse after they’d had sex that night. Although she could come on her own, she’d never been able to reach orgasm when the two of them were together. That normally didn’t bother her, but tonight, when Kurt had fallen asleep not long after he’d finished, it had made her feel even more disconnected. It had been a while before Lex’s nerves had allowed her to rest.

Lex remembered one thing clearly during that night of fractured sleep—waking in the darkness after a dream of being back in middle school again, walking through the halls. No one there had seemed to be able to see her at all, however, not even people she’d considered her friends. She had wandered aimlessly, feeling like a ghost, until she’d finally woken up. Lex shivered for a while, lying sleepless in bed and wondering disjointedly if she’d ever find somewhere she belonged, until sleep claimed her again.

Continue to Chapter 5

Comments about anything you liked or that you thought could be improved are extremely welcome!

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And.. more background info on the team she's joining. It's good that we get to find out more about everything as Lex does, but I just wonder if some readers might find it boring having to go through so much information before the action actually starts.

I really liked the dream scene again and I'm interested to know if the dreams might be part of her abilities as well. Looks like her subconscious is telling her something's up with her relationship with Kurt too. Looking forward to the start of her training!

Yeah, I know you were waiting for that (as Lex definitely was, too). :D Thanks for the comment...I know I struggled a lot, with this chapter especially, because of that very thought. I condensed it from its original form as I edited, but I'm not sure if I'm satisfied with it even now...if I get inspired and update this some more, I'll definitely let you know.

I'm so glad you've been liking these! As I wrote, I found that her dreams/visions mean a lot to Lex, which is why they come up so often in the text. She really takes a lot of direction from what her subconscious comes up with (obviously, for good reason)...and you'll definitely be seeing more as to whether this is part of her abilities. Training will be starting soon!

It kept me interested. I liked the descriptions of how she deals with the documents. IT reveals the thoughtfulness and focus of the character as well as gives us the opportunity to experience the effect it has on her.

YES, to the dream sequences! It seems like Lucid Dreaming or Journeying, so that is very cool. Especially if, especially with Casey, it is an actual shared dream.

The dream about school is great in showing how she feels somewhat unconnected or not like a whole person in her CURRENT existence.

Writemore, kthxbye!

So very glad to hear it! One of the things that my very esteemed beta reader had to say about my writing style is that I like to take my time with my writing, so I'm happy that it seems to work well for others too, since your comment reflects a lot of what I was trying to convey there.

Yay! I'm also very happy that a lot of commenters seem to like the dream/journey sequences, especially since they're so important to Lex. Definitely more in the future about her dreams and how they work, and more writing from me as well. Thanks so much for commenting!

Things are getting interesting. :D

I'm curious to see how her first day will be like. :)

I really liked the dream sequence thing. How she decides on things by going through a sort of self-meditative state that allows her to 'talk with her subconscious'. At least that's how it seems to me. Though it could be a 'guide' in a different sense since there seems to be a sort of outside influence as well. ^^

I hope the next chapters will have more action and interactions with the team. It's starting to show how she's now starting to feel the pressure and resentment on her engagement. I'm interested on how that will play out. :D

Yay! Glad you think so. I always kind of think of the action in this story like a snowball rolling downhill...it may take a little while to get going, but once it does, it just picks up speed. :D

First day, coming up in a bit!

I'm really glad you liked that part, and yes, that's how Lex seems to like to make her decisions, thinking about it for a while first, and then letting her subconscious weigh in. I think that's why she's so good at remembering her dreams, too.

The rest of the team will be featuring heavily in the next few chapters, and we'll eventually even get around to meeting some people face-to-face that we haven't yet. That's interesting that you should mention that, too...the job and her engagement are both putting pressure on her, but in different directions, and we'll definitely see how that plays out over the next few chapters.

Thanks so much for stopping by to read, and for commenting! I'm also aware I owe you another response, which I'll get back to you in a couple of days, I swear! *hugs*

Reading through the story now. I'm really enjoying this. Lex is an interesting character and I'm looking forward to find out more about her, and of course, find out about this agency.

Edited at 2014-05-06 07:22 pm (UTC)

Re: Reading and enjoying

Thank you for coming by to read, and for commenting! I'm glad to hear you're enjoying getting to know Lex, because there's a lot more of that to come! As far as getting to know the agency, stay tuned for more of that, as well, although that's a lot more of a twisted road...

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