What, she went home…
My dinner was delicious. The casserole thing was more like a very thick Beef Bourguignon. But thick, with something else in it that firmed up when baked. I can’t believe how delicious it was. And sadly, I ate too much. Now I was just uncomfortable.
Leaving the dining area, we all walked back through the back corridor and over into the second common area. The one with the poker tables. Donny, Jacob and Stevey all said goodbye. Handshakes, welcomes once again, and accolades for a day in which they learned about talents they had no previous belief could be possible. At least in one man. I was still partially in denial about myself and those talents. I mean, ME? I never thought of myself in that way. There was still that disbelief that how I had lived my life was in any way valuable. Important.
Smiling like I had never seen him, Mac came and said to us. “Our new friend Dennis has never had the opportunity to play poker with people he couldn’t read. How about a game? Anyone up for one?”
Silent agreement as Andre, Petey, Jake and Mac all moved over and sat at one of the tables. I was unsure, I had no idea what I would do with Katy, but was certain she was waiting for me to meet with her. The earlier prelude for what we could achieve was what I hoped would turn out to be a fine evening. Somewhere. Either here, or outside the facility. I was ready.
Walking over to the table, I stood behind a chair. “Well I think I should be seeing Katy some time soon.” I informed them.
The group all were looking down, avoiding my gaze. Something was wrong. I couldn’t feel it. Their actions told me. I asked. “What’s wrong? You all seem to know something.”
Silence. They all, even those in the recliners, busied themselves with nothing.
“What?” I asked of all.
None responded. They all busied themselves, counting chips, viewing imaginary TV schedules. Anything.
Finally, Mac took pity on me. With that horrible sad look on his face, he viewed me, like a child. “Dennis, I’m sorry. Katy left a while ago.”
“What? Katy left?”
Now the group all looked as if they were elsewhere. And Mac continued. “Dennis, Katy is Happy’s granddaughter. That’s why she’s here. She knows about us. She’s lived it all her life. Jamie is her mother, Happy’s daughter. She and Katy, well, both have been here since we built this facility. She, Dennis, I don’t know what you thought, what you felt; but whatever it was, Katy is, not what you might have imagined. I think we all know her extremely well, and although she is without a romantic partner at the moment, she's dated in the past. And even brought one here to meet us. An approval process I suppose since we're all a big part of her life. What you did to her in front of her grandfather must have been quite embarrassing.”
Yeah, no kidding. I was a bit shocked to hear this now. After I had been feeding her orgasms psychically. “Couldn’t you have warned me Mac? Anyone? A heads up would have been nice.”
Moans from the table, and the recliners. Tony then piped in. “Sorry Dennis. But man, no one here had any idea how strong your projection ability is. Donny can project that concept of sex to someone. I’ve seen him do it in bars. Everyone there feels it. It just isn’t like the intensity that you projected to Katy. I didn’t know. I don’t think any of us thought it would be like that.” Looking around, there were nods from them all.
I couldn’t feel too badly, they were unaware. “I guess I’ll apologize to her tomorrow.”
Mac now looked at me. “Nope, you have an early day tomorrow. The VP. Remember. You won’t be back until late. And Katy won’t be here over the weekend at all. So, Monday.”
Sighing, I was truly sorry for what I had done. And was ready to talk to Happy tomorrow about it. For now, poker. I took a seat. “Okay, what’s done is done. Tomorrow is a new day. And as I stated earlier, I have no money. Is this a cash game or how do you work it.?”
That loosened everyone up, they all looked at me, thankful that I had forgiven them. Even if it was unsaid, they knew.
We played, nickel ante. Fifty cent max. Using chips to keep a total. They all said they would keep a tab in the chip box until payday. Dealer’s choice, we played a variety of games, some I had never heard of before. And I lost most of the hands. Mac had been correct, playing without any knowledge of the feelings or excitement of the others was a lot more difficult than I had imagined.
After an hour, most got up to retire. Claims of being on the Presidential detail from some. Others, because they claimed it was late and I needed to rest for my excursion tomorrow. Settling up, I was down eight bucks. I needed to relearn how to play.
The short walk to my room I was accompanied by Tony and we talked about what to expect tomorrow. It was what I thought. Boredom and hatred from the regulars. Parting ways, Tony shook my hand and again told me how glad he was I was there. As he walked off to his room, I entered mine. Turning on the light, I looked at the bed and on it, was a note. With a piece of chocolate. Opening the note, all that was there was ‘Thank you, soon. Katy.’
Smiling, I then showered and made ready for bed. Tomorrow would be interesting I hoped. And soon, couldn’t come soon enough. I set the alarm for three thirty, and slept soundly.
Right at four, I was in the classroom, dressed in my black suit, tie tied and feet already hurting a bit in the brand new black shoes. Crap! Why didn't I think to try and break in the stupid things before hand. I mean I knew I would be wearing them. Well, we would see what happened. I already saw that there were two more pairs in the closet. I needed to check out each. And find out how to shine them. That wasn't something that I had ever learned to do. Sneakers had been my footwear of choice for most of my life. Now I had big boy shoes. Adult shiny black Oxfords, that hurt my feet.
Within a few minutes, Tony, Donny, Andre, Jake and Happy all walked in to the room. I noticed that none had on shiny black shoes. A joke maybe? They all had black sneakers with their black suits. That surprised me. I had been led to believe that even though we weren’t regular Secret Service, that looking the part was, or should be, a part of our task. Blending in, looking like we belong. “What’s up with the shoes guys?”
They all laughed. Andre was the one to tell me. “Man, even da regulars wear da sneakers man. Day has to run somes times Denny. They all wear dem.”
“I wish I had known. Except, well, I don’t have any black ones. Just the white ones.”
Happy now smiled at me. “Don’t worry, Katy wants to take you shopping tomorrow on her day off. And Dennis, I’m okay with what happened. She’s an adult. She thinks she likes you. So…”
“Happy, I am so sorry about what I did yesterday. I had no idea…”
Raising his hand to stop me, he elaborated. “Dennis, it’s okay. I was absolutely fascinated with what it was you were able to do. That was incredible. And as I said, Katy’s an adult.”
“She wants to take me shopping?”
Now they all were smirking and low chuckles. Tony then told me. “Yeah, standard regular issue for new members of our group. Six black suits, eight white shirts, ten ties of conservative coloring, and those stupid three pairs of dress shoes. No one wears them.”
“Except when you are on assignment at the White House. Then it’s a requirement. So break them in anyway.” Donny told me.
Well, I was okay with that. But something bothered me though. “Um, guys. My first couple days of detoxing are a bit hazy. Is that when they measured me for these clothes?”
They all shrugged. Happy spoke up. “I think so. Mac was pretty sure you would pass the tests and he wanted to have them ready for you here.”
I was impressed, the suit fit quite well. Even the sleeves, which were always a problem for me as I have these really long arms, fit nicely. They had to have been tailored. I just don’t remember any additional fittings to correct any problems. I looked down at my sleeves. My thirty-nine inch arms were completely covered by the shirt sleeves peeking out the end of the suit arms.
Just then the double doors to the garage opened. In walked four regulars. I could tell, they had on black suits. And black sneakers. Grim faced, and bleak outlooks from all of them. Probably because once again we were to accompany them on their task. Two of the men pointed at Donny, and then as they turned to go back out the way they came in, Tony and Andre followed. Now it was just Happy, Jake and myself with the two regulars. The fear and hatred coming from them was palpable. My new friends were correct, it was going to be a problem separating their feelings from anyone in the crowds where we would be. Training. I needed it.
Pointing at me, the older of the two gave his commands. “You, new guy. You’re to stick to the Doc here like glue. You’re not wired, we don’t want any false alarms, nothing to cause any trouble. You see anything, you tell him. Got it?”
Nodding. I was ready. I got the impression that small talk was out of the question.
Leaving the classroom, we walked over to a towncar parked in the first spot. We all entered, those two up front, the three of us in the rear. That feeling of doom now began to pervade my thoughts. What had I gotten myself into? I hoped it would pass soon. I wasn’t sure this was what I thought it would be like.
Leaving the garage on the elevator, we drove out of the barn, down the roads and out past the small town. The diner was lit, and there were patrons there. It was then that I realized I hadn’t had anything to eat. Noticing me glance toward the diner, Happy reached into his jacket and pulled out a paper wrapped bundle. Handing it to me, he said, “We all were in the kitchen. Your first time, I brought you something.”
Unwrapping it, there was an egg, bacon and cheese on a whole wheat roll. “I didn’t know Happy.”
“I know. Your first time. Next time you’ll know.”
“Thanks.” Was all I could say. I devoured it. Then, looking around for a trash container, Happy shook his head. I crumpled the paper up and stuck it in my pocket. Then the nod.
After a drive down the highway, we entered DC proper and drove passed the Pentagon again, and down streets toward what I thought would be the White House. Instead we drove down a side street and entered the parking garage below a nondescript building with no markings on it. The garage was filled with the same black towncars and a number of limos lined up at one end of the row. The driver pulled up next to the elevators, and sat there as the one regular in the passenger seat got out. We opened the doors and filed out and went into one of the elevators. A quick ride up to the third floor and we left to go down the hall to a meeting room. There were already a dozen other regulars there. A large white board was on one wall and one agent was busy drawing a diagram. We took seats in the back, our regular sat next to Jake. He wasn’t happy. But then none of them were.
Waiting. The man drawing the diagram finished, then went to the right of that drawing and began another. There was a sheet of paper he referred to on occasion as he drew. Finished with that one, he then moved to start another. This one was an obvious representation of a stage, where we would be for the actual event that was the reason we were all here.
Once finished, the man then stood in front of the group. Although there was no talking amongst the regulars after we arrived, he looked about at the crowd and said. “Okay, let’s have your attention everyone.” There was little shuffling. They were all engrossed in watching the drawing, busy not paying attention to us. Wow! They hated us. Training. This was what I would experience in the future whenever I was doing what I had chosen to do. Or I guess, what I had been chosen to do.
Then the discussion began. The lead talked about placement, openings, travel, movement. And only three times was there any mention of us. It was a quick mention, we were to stay in specific spots. And not get in the way. Once for each drawing, each situation. Afterthoughts.
The two hours it took for the briefing seemed an eternity. I understood everything from the second the little Xs were drawn on the boards. To the lines of travel that the regulars would take in the moving of the VP. To the paths that each was given as to where and when each was expected to take. To stand. To protect. But then I remembered everything. Always.
Finally, we got the signal. The man giving the briefing said to us. “All right, let’s go. Let’s not have any incidents. And Doctor, keep your new man under control.”
And that was it. Standing, we exited. All of us headed toward the men’s room.
It had been several hours. I wasn’t the only one that had to pee.