Writer Notes: Sorry this is late…like since October late…but so many things got in the way. The Gang is my forever story. So don’t worry. It’ll never end.
Warnings: character you might recall from another story, counterparts, sad Jack is sad, interview, scared-y-Kat is scared, messy art room, scowling, jealousy begins.
Shelly waved to the front desk. “Hi, is he up?” she asked.
“Yeah, all of them.” the security guard nodded. “He’s in his office and, just to warn you, he’s not in the best of…moods.”
“Why don’t we get you checked-in, Sasha Fire, is it?”
“Whoa, are they quadruplets?” Sasha asked.
“Something like that.” the red-haired guard laughed.
“They’re wild children.” Shelly Michelle rolled her eyes.
“Who’s this little beauty?”
“Caress, this is Sasha. She will be joining our crew.” Shelly answered. “Sasha, Caress is prone to flirtation…just to warn you. Beast is the shirtless one. He’s got a temper. And Disco…well, he’s the one dancing.”
“Hush, Shelly, don’t scare her away.” Caress’s his moved up and down her body like his name implied.
“Hmm…I’m not so sure he would approve. She’s so tiny.” he giggled.
“Don’t make him more mad!” the fourth shrieked.
“He’s so mad! All the time! I try to figure out what it is, but he won’t talk to me.”
Shelly sighed. “I’ll talk to him.”
A sudden wave of fear chilled down Sasha’s spine. This was overwhelming already.
“PLEASE!” Abel shouted. “DO SOMETHING!”
“That’s what he’s programmed to do.” Shelly nodded. “But, at least, try to calm him down. It’s your responsibility to…”
“Don’t think to tell me what to do.”
“Of course not.”
“And who is with you?”
“Sasha Fire.” Shelly answered. “She’s going to be our new guard.”
“Welcome, Sasha,” he stood up. “I am Nova, the leader of the pack.”
“Yes, I know of…your band.” Sasha smiled. What was she feeling? The air in the room shifted. That cold clingy fear slipped away.
It was replaced by warmth, soothing, calm. She looked at Nova. There was something in his smirk, in his eyes. As a fire elemental, she could create and manipulate fire. What was Nova? How could he affect the atmosphere?
“Welcome to the club!” Disco exclaimed.
“She won’t last long,” Beast grumbled.
“We need someone strong, skilled, and not some pretty face.”
This wasn’t going to be easy, but when had Sasha ever had it easy?
“Hey,” Dewy said gently. “How you holding up, buddy?”
“I’m here.” Jack managed. “How did the deal go?”
“Fine.” Dewy tried to say confidently, but failed.
“Before you start, you’re not coming back to work.” he said. “I can handle it. You have…better…more serious things to worry about.”
Jack raised his head. “Sally wants to break up.”
“He’s in bad shape. Maybe I shouldn’t go to this interview today.” Peppermint said.
“That would only make him feel worse.” Drake frowned. “Besides, don’t ruin my word. I referenced you so you better be there.”
“Like you’re not going too.”
It should have been simple, walking down the street. But Kat felt eyes linger on her. Her skin crawled. The space between her shoulder blades ached. She had the urge to run and scream.
There was only one person there on the street. No one was looking at her. No one cared. She knew her fears were irrational.
The man would not hurt her. It was all just in her head.
But the fear would not go away. Why?
The problem was that she knew why. She knew the cause. She knew she was better today than a year ago. A year ago, she couldn’t have walked down the street, let alone by herself.
But to meet a guy by herself? The idea was crippling to her past self.
But Kat wanted to be free of the past. She wanted escape. She needed to be brave.
Could Clay help her?
“So I looked at the pictures you emailed,” he began. “I printed it all out to get the general idea. I think it’ll work out.”
“Really? Cool.” Kat managed, but her voice still trembled.
“Do you want to see? It’s up in my studio.”
Her past self would have run away, but Kat kept her feet flat on the floor.
“Sure,” she smiled.
“I’m really glad you decided to reach out to me.” he said. “I know we can achieve great things together.”
“…and three years as an administration assistant for legal.” Peppermint gave her best pitch. She could not tell if the handsome politician in front of her was moved by it.
When Drake mentioned this job opportunity, she did her research on Casey Ask. He was a member of the Right Movement, which was against corruption in public offices and services. Peppermint didn’t believe for a second someone could not be corrupt, but she didn’t find anything alarm raising about the politician. He seemed like the charitable kind. She tried her best to appeal to that side of him.
“So what do you think?” Peppermint asked. “Could we…I…be a good fit?”
“Oh,” he chuckled. “You’re hired. Drake’s vouch as good as it gets. I just needed to know how if you did your homework, like what you think I might find important. I think we’ll work great together.”
“Is this how you get all your information?” Venus Detango inquired. “You eavesdrop outside everyone’s doors?”
“Just the special ones,” Drake smirked. “I’m afraid I just wait for the tabloids when it comes to you.”
“Remember if it wasn’t for me, no one would know who you are.” she claimed.
“And give you the satisfaction?” It made Drake laugh. “It was you who broke me, but it was Casey that put me back together and showed me the way.”
“Great, so I’ll see you Monday, nine o’clock sharp.”
“Thank you again, Mr. Ask.”
“Please, call me Casey.”
Drake couldn’t believe it at first, but he swore, he saw jealousy in Venus’s eyes. What could cause her to feel like this, like anything?