Fiddlestix is back in the arms of Deacon Scott, a place she feels both safe and out of sorts. Though she loves him, the ability to commit is something she’s had trouble finding. However, Deacon remains a hopeful hillbilly. He takes her to a meeting with a couple of representatives from other branches of the Shine Clan. The results aren’t exactly what he expected.
Fiddlestix picked the representative from Texas out of the crowd. She was attractive in a hard edged, overly made up way. Her auburn hair was teased into a veritable helmet. Her figure was voluptuous. Her uniform clung to her curves in what, Fiddlestix was sure, was not within regulations.
The representative from Virginia was a man in his sixties. His green eyes and red hair marked him as MacGregor Clan. His name drifted into her mind, Ewan MacGregor. He was speaking to Deacon, so she forced herself to pay attention, but her gaze kept drifting to the Texan contingent. There was something about that woman she liked very little and trusted less.
“Deacon,” McGregor’s deep voice was strongly accented, drawling his vowels. “Aren’t you going to introduce us to the young lady?” His green eyes glittered as he glanced her way, inclining his head in greeting.
“By all means, General Scott,” the woman added. “I’d also love to hear your reason for being fifteen minutes late.”
All eyes on him, Deacon chuckled deeply, going a bit red around the ears. “Ladies and gentlemen, I apologize for the inconvenience. Generally, I am the very soul of promptitude. However, as Colonel MacGregor has pointed out, the lovely young lady with me, is my fiancée, Hannah Braun. She arrived her from Florida yesterday, and we’ve been – getting reacquainted.”
Fiddlestix blushed beautifully, calling more attention to herself.
“General, you’ve embarrassed the lady,” MacGregor said in a mocking tone.
Deacon reached over, patting her hand. “I apologize, my dear. I don’t mean to be a crass bastard, it’s just my way.”
At the mention of Florida, the woman from Texas stiffened, shifting uneasily in her seat. The movement was not lost on Fiddlestix, who was determined to find out more about this mystery woman. She decided to use the naive, confused mien she had perfected years ago. It had served her well in gathering information. If people thought you a dumb blonde, they were more likely to slip up and say something incriminating.
“I fear you all have the advantage over me,” she smiled winsomely. “You all know who I am, but I have no earthly idea who any of you are!”
“Well, if you think you can remember us all. I am Captain Amber Garwood. I represent the Texas branch of the Shine Clan.”
“Oh, you aren’t the leader of the army there?” Fiddlestix feigned curiosity. It was really a snub. “I thought the leader would come personally.”
“Colonel Metzger is involved in a bit of a crisis at the moment. He was unable to attend.”
“Perhaps we should dispense with the introductions and get down to business,” Deacon wanted to continue.
“Do you really think it is appropriate to include your fiancée?” Amber Garwood spit the last word, making it as insulting as she could.
Deacon cut her off abruptly. Anyone who knew him would have recognized the look. He did not appreciate the barbed comments and was now going to deal with Garwood.
“I believe I am still in charge, Captain, and may have whomever I like in my meeting. I don’t appreciate the implication that Hannah has no business here. As my wife, she will be involved in the running of the Shine Clan. Her military training will be invaluable to me.
“However, if you find yourself uncomfortable speaking in front of her, I am sure we’d all be glad to allow you to go home. A replacement could be found amongst your entourage.”
“Forgive me, General.”
“You owe me no apology, Garwood. You owe the lady one.” He crossed his arms, sitting back in his chair, waiting.
© 2011 Dellani Oakes