Approx. 1600 words
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2015 SJ
written by SJ
Thunderhawk Mesa looked like a giant monolith of hope as Cheyenne's ‘G' class sun made its final bow for the day behind it. Lana Lyu LaFong got a good look at the encouraging spectacle as she finished her last lap around the track, bringing her up to almost five kilometers. Walking off the long run, the woman staggered, breathing heavily, holding her stomach; even after almost four months, it still felt like she had something loose inside.
The next day, at her normal time for exercising, on the way to the track, she met two friendly bozos, an encounter that kind of startled her.
"Little Sister...you're working too hard. You gotta take a break." Bull pleaded.
"Special Ops will still be here waiting for you when you get back." Gannon added.
"Get back?" Lana wondered.
"The Blast Zone!" Both men shouted at once.
She let out a long beleaguered sigh. "Oh...not tonight, guys."
"You promised." Gannon looked like a boy scout leader looking down on one of his troop.
Lana was going to protest...however, the big man's previous comment was too logical to ignore. Specials Ops would still be here when she got back.
"Oh...okay." She agreed. "But I'm not wearing anything special...same stuff I'd wear going to the rec room."
The two men howled, then told her they'd pick her up outside the main barracks.
After selecting a clean pair of standard, Cheyenne Ranger, light- and dark-brown, camouflage military trousers, a pair that fit snugly comfortable, and a tee shirt, one that was a little small, but had the blue-grey color still bright, not faded like many of the others she had, Lana walked outside the main barracks. The two men were there waiting.
At the Blast Zone, she was still a little apprehensive; but after all she had gone through recently, this couldn't be any worse. This time, she would stay with the guys, not look around...sit down at their table, with their friends–-try not to do something stupid. However, she was still glad she agreed to come along.
As planned, once they had arrived, she followed Bull and Gannon to a quaint corner of the night club. Seated at the table were three women and one man. After comically making sure Lana was there this time, Gannon introduced her to the group.
She had planned to follow the guys into the club, sit down, relax, get to know everyone...and have fun. However, as with any plans, something usually goes wrong. This time it was a simple matter of nature--She had to go to the bathroom.
After getting directions, she made her way past the club's dining section, then left to the restroom facilities. On her way, back, she stood to the side to allow a man past, who also did the same for her. She could swear he looked familiar, but she wasn't going to say anything.
However, he spoke first, stopping in front of her, looking like he had seen a ghost. "LuLu?"
She looked at the man, surprised. He was wearing casual clothes this time, and she didn't recognize him at first. After all, it had seemed like a lifetime ago since her last trip to the Club.
"Do you remember me? Chad...you know, from that time at the pool table."
Maybe she just didn't want to remember him. But it WAS him. However, she was still too stunned to saying anything.
He spoke again, actually sounding sincere. "A few days after that...pool table incident, I went to the Base–-to look for you. But I couldn't find you...they said the Rangers had been shipped out. I came back in a couple weeks when I heard you guys were back. When I went back to the Base--they told me you'd been killed."
Lana was shocked. As soon as she had recognized him, she was going to just continue walking. After hearing him this far, she couldn't leave now.
"Killed? Who told you that?" It seemed almost absurdly comical.
He had to think to remember. "I went to the main barracks first, then they told me to go to the Base Hospital. It was...someone there, I don't remember."
Lana was almost going to laugh. Yes...it was about that time, she most certainly felt, dead.
After a short sigh, the man continued. "Well...I just wanted to tell you...what a fool I was that night. I'm very sorry. And that woman, Sharya, wasn't my date, she was my ride."
Lana was shocked again...even more so that when she heard about her untimely death. She didn't know what to say.
He continued, this time lowering his head sincerely. "When I heard that you didn't like pool...well, I just had to figure you were there to--" He sighed deeply. "Any guy that would ignore a nice, friendly, good-looking, woman like you, especially after you stood up for me when I got hit with the pool ball, is a fool. I'm very sorry."
When he started to leave, she had to speak up, trying to smile a bit. "I'm sitting over with some friends of mine. If you want to come over with me...you're welcome."
He was hesitant at first. "Are you sure." He smiled. "I'd love to of course."
"Come on. I'll introduce you to a couple friends of mine."
"Those two big Marines!" He seemed a bit nervous, but in a joking, unsure, kind of way. "They won't...uh...well, I wouldn't blame them if they did."
"They're a couple teddy bears." She smiled cleverly. "Just a couple great big teddy bears."
After leading the man to the table, Bull and Gannon sat back and stared at him...narrowing their eyes a bit.
Eventually, Gannon spoke up, recognizing him. "Well...if it isn't mister fancy pants."
Chad smiled, trying not to look scared. "When I saw, LuLu...well, I just wanted to tell her–-what a fool I was that night."
There was silence for couple seconds as the two big Marines remained glaring at him, until Gannon slowly smiled. "Well...have a seat, chum. Welcome to the table of fools."
After Chad had introduced himself to the group, he and Lana took their seats, opposite of Bull and Gannon.
"Chad said someone at the Base Hospital told him I had been killed." Lana mentioned, since there was a gap in the conversation.
"Hey...Marines are at their best, once they've been killed." Bull joked.
Chad smiled. However, he still really wanted to know what had happened to Lana, if anything.
"They told you she had been killed?" One of the women at the table asked, seriously astounded. "I'm a nurse at the Hospital--I'm surprised!" She frowned at the two big Marines, narrowing one eye as she interrogated, grilling them jokingly. "Did one of you two big knuckle-heads lie to this guy?"
"Not me" Bull responded.
Gannon held up his hands in surrender. "Hey...I was in there with her...don't look at me."
The nurse gave up her interrogation, then spoke to Chad. "You know...she was very seriously wounded. I'm not surprised someone told you that."
"What happened...may I ask?" Chad asked, cordially.
The women at the table really didn't want to hear about it, knowing that the gory details would make them cringe sometimes.
However, Bull and Gannon had a different view, and was glad he asked.
"She took a bolter round in the belly." That was Bull. "But, that's no problem for a Marine; she just coughed up it up and spat it back at them." He grinned.
"Show him your scar, LuLu." Gannon suggested.
"Yeah...show him your scar." Bull seconded the nomination.
Lana sighed, rolling her eyes...hoping they'd go away. But another round of, "show us your scar, LuLu" was short coming.
Finally, the nurse got in on it, trying to be the voice of reason. "You'd better show it to them and get it over with or they'll bug us all night."
After a moan and a sigh, Lana reluctantly relented.
Lana frowned, then stood up, lifting up her shirt. "See...see, get a good look–-because you're gonna have to buy me dinner to get another one."
The group at the table looked and applauded as Lana pointed at the seven centimeter scar on her belly. "See...it hit here..." she pointed at her back, "and came out back there. Nothing to it." She lowered her shirt and sat back down.
The waitress had been standing behind Lana. After she sat down, she asked, "okay, guys...if the peep show is done, what'll it be...the usual?"
The guys answered affirmative, then added in a couple drinks for their two new quests, on them.
Lana smiled, a little embarrassed. Then she told the waitress to make her drink one of those expensive imported ones; Chad asked for the same.
Bull and Gannon looked at them a second, then laughed loudly...confirming the order.
Later during the night, when Lana and Chad were alone, saying their goodbys, he had to mention, that it was an unusual, but very enjoyable evening. And that he would love to buy her dinner anytime.
When Lana got the gist of his last comment, suddenly the last several months of sexual abstinence fell upon her all at once. Her new boyfriend was now the cure for her final medical recovery. She smiled, shyly. "If you want a private showing...I would love to come to your place and arrange it."
He smiled back. "Okay..."
"You'll have to drive me back to the Base."