As the title says, today is all about the heroine. Each of my heroines has a special place in my heart, but Rosie Ramos was probably the most fun to write because she came with the least amount of baggage. Rosie has no time for angst, she’s all business. A single woman in a high testosterone career fighting to be recognized as one of the guys. I had a lot of fun writing this scene because she’s got Sam ducking and running…No small feat considering she’s 5’1″ and he’s 6’6″. Enjoy!
“Something’s bugging you, Sandy, I can tell. So spill.”
“I’m just didn’t expect to see you at Sam’s place, that’s all. I figured you’d be monitoring the cameras and Kris or Andy would be here.” Sandy shrugged and shuffled closer to the door.
“You know it’s nothing. Really. I shouldn’t have said anything.”
“Sandy?” Rosie fixed her with a glare. “You knew I was heading the team, so why are you surprised I’m here.”
Sandy’s gaze darted toward the hallway again to make sure Sam wasn’t nearby before she leaned in and lowered her voice to a whisper. “When Sam and Chad were discussing who to assign to the team and Chad said he wanted to assign you as lead op, Sam said he didn’t want you guarding him.”
Rosie stiffened as her pride in being named head of his team evaporated in a red haze. How had she forgotten the look on his face, or how he’d snarled at Chad when he’d realized she was in on the meeting? That feeling she’d had in the elevator hadn’t been an illusion. “Was it me personally he objected to, or any operative?”
Sandy’s gaze dropped briefly, darted back to the door. “Sam said…” She took a deep breath. “Sam said he didn’t want you guarding him. He was fine with Andy and Kris.”
He’d lied to her. Outright lied.
Oblivious of the flames about to erupt from Rosie’s ears, Sandy kept talking. “Sam didn’t want to have any bodyguards at all—you should have heard them arguing, I’ve never seen Chad get so riled up. But he was definitely against having you on his team.”
“Here you are, Sandy.” Sam walked into the foyer and handed Sandy his Blackberry. “Thanks for runnin’ those files over. Make sure you expense your mileage. And don’t let Chad make you work too late tonight, you hear? There’s nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow.”
“It’s no problem at all, Sam.” As Sandy gave Rosie a hug good-bye, she whispered, “Don’t make a big deal about it, okay?
He’s a guy and you know how guys are.”
Hitching her purse up on her shoulder, Sandy fled the foyer, leaving Rosie shaking.
No wonder he kept offering her a beer—he’d been trying to find a way to get rid of her. If she’d accepted, she’d have given him grounds for dismissal.
Sam wandered toward the kitchen. “I was fixin’ to make some dinner. I could grill us some chicken and toss a coupla sweet potatoes in the oven. We could finish it all up with that pecan pie you bought.”
Normally she found the way he pronounced pecan more like pehcawn sexy, but now his drawl shredded her nerves.
“No, thank you.” Rosie turned her back on Sam and marched to the spare bedroom. She pulled her suitcase from the closet, tossed it on the bed.
“Is there a problem?” Sam said from the doorway.
“Not at all.” She grabbed the clothes she’d put in the top drawer and tossed them into the suitcase.
He leaned his shoulder against the doorframe, his forehead furrowing. “Then why are you packing like there’s a four alarm fire on the floor below?”
“I’ve decided to switch off with Kris or Andy. We’ll all be happier that way.” Well, she wouldn’t be. Goddamn, when would men realize that just because she was only 5’1 and didn’t have a penis didn’t mean she couldn’t provide proper protection or run an effective op?
“Happier? You wanna tell me why you think I’d be happier with them? What bee crawled up your— What’d I do to send you running like someone tied a bottle rocket to your tail?”
She whirled, her arms held rigidly at her side. “Oh, let’s see, you wanted someone else protecting you, not a little bitty woman who wasn’t a former Navy MP or D.C. City cop or CIA spook. And then when I asked you earlier if you had a problem with me being on your detail, you lied to me. Outright lied! I’ve put up with a lot of crap, Mr. Watson, but I don’t tolerate lies. You don’t want me guarding you, fine. But you should have said that when I asked.”
“I didn’t lie. I never said I didn’t want you protecting me because you were a woman.”
“But you told Chad you didn’t want me assigned to you, didn’t you?”
“Yes, that part’s true. But—”
“Ay bendito. I knew it.” She advanced on him. “Just because I’m short doesn’t mean I can’t take you down—just ask Kris or Andy. Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I’m not a damned good shot. I’ve been trained in counter-surveillance, and bomb disposal.”
“I know that, I—”
“Just because I’ve never worn a uniform or carried a badge doesn’t mean I can’t guard you. I’ve been on details guarding an Oscar winning actor while he was making that movie down in Savannah and got him to safety when the barricades failed to hold back hundreds of screaming fans.” Then the asshole had expected her to put out in the limo. “I’ve protected those three country music singers—did I mention how much I hate country music—and let’s not forget the gentleman from Saudi Arabia with his three wives and sixteen kids, or the dozens of women from the Safe and Sound program.”
“I know you’re good at your job. That wasn’t why I wanted someone else.”
“Ha! So you did want someone else. You admit it.”
“Yeah, I already admitted it. But—”
“But you don’t trust me to protect you.” She closed the cover on the suitcase and zipped it.
“I trust you. But—damn it! I wasn’t objecting to you because you’re a woman, Rosie. Well, yeah, it’s sort of because you’re a woman. Aw, hell, you’re reading this all wrong.”
“For all your bullshit about equal opportunities, it’s still just bullshit. You want to be a big macho he-man who guards the ‘little woman’ but God help you now it’s the other way around.”
“I’ll stay until Chad can get someone else over here to replace me, but then I’m out of here. And not just this assignment but D.C. I refuse to work for someone who doesn’t respect my abilities. I’ll expect you to approve my transfer first thing in the morning. Because if you don’t, then I’ll file a lawsuit for sexual discrimination.” She stopped talking, the words clogging her throat. Oh Lord. Fifteen minutes ago, she was feeling so proud and now she was about to walk away from the job she loved.
Don’t forget to visit the other Snippet Saturday participants: