It was four when the finger food and socializing petered out. I had shaken the hands of more Senators, Representatives and VIP’s than I would ever be able to remember. The green carts carried us back to the Suburbans. I walked to driver’s side only to be stopped by Marcy.
“No you don’t; Ambassadors don’t drive, they get driven. Get your butt in the back seat and don’t forget to buckle up.” Never argue with Marcy when she is that direct; you are not going to win.
The General walked up, “I will follow you back to your office, then I need to find a motel room close to you as your liaison until you depart for Kampala.”
Marcy’s driving was as fast as Jenny’s; I knew who was giving who driving lessons. The trip from Washington in rush hour was normally an hour and a half; we were sitting in front of the gym in an hour with a minute or two to spare.
On the way home I had asked the three girls riding with me what they thought about having the General stay in one of the upstairs bedrooms for the five days. Crash and Marlene were staying in one while they were there; the other three were empty.
“We are not changing our life style. If he does not like it, he can leave,” Marcy replied.
I called the Inn and reserved a group of tables for us for supper. I thought that since I was going to be gone for a while that I should enjoy some of the foods that I often craved before I left. I had little else to do since I was in the back seat.
When I turned the phone on I started receiving text from all afternoon. Most of them were congratulatory; several were business related. I had time to respond to them.
Andy wanted a VCATS as soon as I was able. There was a partial list of things he wanted to discuss; that would wait until we arrived at the gym.
It took ten minutes to finally make my way to the office because of the well wishers. It seemed everybody was happy and supportive. The eastern shore media was blasting out Hanna’s report and the interview at every news break. The General was by my side every step of the way. I wondered if he was a liaison or a spy: he was staying so tight.
The first order of business was to page Andy.
“Congratulations, Ms. Ambassador,” Andy said as soon as the system keyed ‘Live’.
“You know I am going to put your ass on the floor for that Ms. stuff,” I replied with a laugh.
“I’m bigger that you are,” Andy replied.
“That means your ass will just hit the floor harder, that’s all,” I replied.
“Yeah, you’re probably right about that, you have a faster reaction time than I do,” he replied.
“Can you acquire the construction blueprints of the embassy at Kampala? I am thinking about doing some blast reinforcing after we arrive. The prints will tell me how much we will need to do and where,” Andy asked.
“I think I can; I will find out for sure in a few minutes,” I replied.
While I was talking I sent a text to Victor with the request.
“What’s on the list to bring so far?” Andy asked.
“Two of the older armored Suburban’s, the four drones and the hardware Howie has been working on. We are live testing them in the morning,” I replied, “Oh, and one Blackhawk with a pilot.”
“Are the air freighters going to be JBG or Air Force planes?” Andy asked.
“DOD plane – I would imagine – not that it makes any difference. Whatever we need will be on the plane no matter what. I will ask my DOD liaison as soon as he gets situated. I had him wait in the meeting room while I made a few calls,” I replied.
Our supper reservation was for 7 so we had time to work more on the planning. Today I had the General sit in; I wanted to keep my eyes on him instead of allow him to wander around. Cindy and her three new assistant administrators – Stacy James, Lynn Smart, and Kurt Williams – were joined by Mark and his two assistant administrators – Cody Kims and Karl Schiff.
Lynn, Kurt and Karl were new promotions; they had been clerks for the security department. Yesterday was the first day as junior management and the start of 6 months of probation for the position. Today was the first meeting they had attended. There were now 10 assistant administrators in my security department.
Yesterday I opened the door to management changes for the security department while I was gone. Today the security department was going to be temporarily split up.
Vicky chose the embassy security; she had been with me and shot at in the first embassy we visited. Since then she had visited more of them than I had. She loved the long hours in the plane, learning new languages and cultures.
Ching Lee chose the college security; she didn’t mind flying but liked the shorter flights to the colleges we had and liked the challenges at the college setting.
The changes were necessary, first because I was leaving for six weeks and second, we were getting all those additional embassies. Those new embassies would add 1100 new employees to the division before October 1st.
Not to be outdone, Marcy was now bidding on two more colleges for the college division; growth is good if it is orderly. I worried about the orderly part now.
Cindy and her administrators would report to Vicky and Mark and his to Ching Lee. I did not say anything, but even after I returned the two divisions were going to stay separate.
The girls were going to have to handle all the press conferences and the documents for the air freight companies. The first will be with UPS next week and the other two the following week.
Then there was the trip to Canada in a little over two weeks, if Lockheed stayed on schedule. Marcy and Lorrie were going to have to make those PR events in my absence. I would have loved to see the planes freshly painted and new JBG decals before they were flown home.
As with all important things we did, no one but the six of us knew that additional planes were in the works in case the plan went down the tubes at the last minute. The intention was to not to tell the pilots. They would be told the trip to pick up the planes was for additional training.
At six thirty we walked out of the meeting room to head for the Inn. I went to the refreshment center to see if the homeless girls wanted to go. I had reserved enough seats for them. The General was already in tow.
As I rounded the corner I saw the four with Eric and Allie. “I have reserved tables at the inn for supper; you are invited to go along if you want.” Allie was ready to go and so were Alica, Paula and Amanda.
Joni and Eric said they just wanted a light salad from the salad bar in the center so they stayed. I would have to look at the camera tapes to see how serious this was getting.
I had reserved just enough tables for all the family and guests; tables were put together to make it work. Several county council members and other county department heads were in the restaurant. The county executives did a public meeting at the Island High School once a month. Another round of congratulations followed.
Tonight was seafood night and all you could eat crabs. I ordered the seafood combo, blackened salmon, crab legs and crab cakes and savored every mouth full.
At home we showed the General to his room and then we hit the hot tub for an hour of private time before bed. The two boys were in carriers on a high bench beside the tub Dad had made so we could see them when we were in it.
The cold wine coolers went down smooth and easy as we relaxed. Of course intimate touches were returned, a hand here, a touch there. Tonight was my night to spend with Vicky; she was sitting next to me when we first got in the tub, now she was in my lap with my arm around her. It was the same every night in the tub.
The intimacy started in the tub or whatever evening event we did. Jenny was with Lorrie tonight; they were opposite us and just as close.
The timer was showing that we had another 30 minutes before it shut down. Crash, with the General tagging behind, came out to the refrigerator for a couple beers.
“Do you girls want anything while I’m in the fridge?” Crash asked. Any time we went to the store to recharge the fridge, Crash always kicked in $40 bucks.
We settled on another round of coolers.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.