Aeron's world exploded with light and a bright, cheery voice exclaiming, "Good Morning Sunshine!" She groaned and buried herself deeper into the covers, trying to escape the painful light. Abruptly, the covers were torn from her body and the pillows disappeared from under her head.
"Time to get up, Doc. We have ghosts to find and mysteries to solve. I have something for your head."
The redhead glared at her bodyguard from beneath her bangs. The bloodshot eyes gave her a demented look. "I hate you."
"Doc, I can't help your headache go away if you don't get up," warned BJ.
"How can you be so chipper?" grumbled Aeron as she slowly maneuvered herself into an upright position. "Doesn't your head feel like it's going to explode?"
"Nope," came the annoyingly cheerful answer. "Practice makes perfect."
The doctor slowly stood on swaying legs. "I feel like death eating a cracker."
Aeron gazed blurrily at her friend. "I don't feel well. I'm going to go recycle all the poison you fed me last night into the toilet. Excuse me." She made a mad dash for the bathroom.
"I didn't hold a gun to your head. You're the one who chugged the two pitchers of pina coladas. Half the reason you're sick is because of the sugar high." The ex-officer shook her head. "I told you to drink more water."
The doctor emerged shakily from the bathroom with the sound of flushing in the background. "OK, where's my headache cure?"
BJ escorted Aeron to the table in the dining area of the suite. It was obvious that she had attempted a clean up, since there were stacks of glasses in the sink, all of the room service plates were stacked up and thankfully, back under the cover the plates came on. The bodyguard sat the doctor down in the chair furthest from the tray and brought her a glass of orange juice and two aspirin.
"Drink this and take these. You need to level out your blood sugar and the aspirin should take the edge off your headache."
BJ left Aeron to her juice and returned to the bedroom. Aeron could hear her rummaging around in the bedroom as she nursed her OJ. The shorter woman returned and placed Skeeter on the table facing the doctor and went back into the kitchen. Aeron stared at the teddy bear with tears in her eyes. "Thank you," she whispered.
"Hey, if I was feeling bad, I'd want my buddy here to cheer me up too." BJ returned and placed 2 pieces of toast on a plate in front of Aeron.
"No, thank you for understanding about Skeeter. You're the first person that hasn't made fun of me or ignored him. Thank you."
BJ sat down at the table next to Aeron and waited for the doctor to look up and meet her eyes. "I don't really understand Skeeter, but he's important to you and that's all I need to know."
Blue-green met green in silent understanding.
"Now, eat the toast and let me take a shower. Then you go to your room and take a shower. I guarantee that you'll feel 100% better."
"Just like your guaranteed jetlag cure?"
"Hey, it's 8 AM local time. Do you still feel off keel?"
The doctor took stock. "No," she said slowly, surprised. "I still feel like death eating a cracker, but I don't feel off sync like I usually do for days after arriving in a different time zone."
The dark haired woman grinned, "See, I told you. Once you get used to drinking, and learn NOT to drink sugary drinks all night, you'll no longer have nasty hangovers either." BJ stood up and patted the doctor on the back. "Now I'm off to get clean. What kind of clothes should I wear, boss?"
"Jeans or slacks is fine," mumbled Aeron around her toast.
"All righty then. I'll see you in a bit."
Aeron just looked at Skeeter while thoughtfully munching on her toast. "I made a friend last night, Skeeter. She's the first one I've had in years."
Aeron discovered BJ was correct in her assertion that the doctor would feel better after food and a shower. As Aeron finished toweling her hair, fully dressed and waiting for her assistant, she remarked as much to Skeeter."I'm glad you feel that way. I like her a lot too. Let's just hope weird things don't freak her out."
"Depends on your definition of weird," joked BJ as she walked into the room.
Aeron felt herself examining her assistant's appearance, taking in the way the tan slacks fitted her form in all the right ways, and appreciating the way the t-shirt emphasized her flat stomach where it was neatly tucked into the slacks.
"Do you like it?" asked BJ
"Huh?" was all Aeron could manage as she snapped herself out of a trance.
"The shirt, my friends got it for me as a going away present."
Aeron quickly read the shirt. Don't make me get my flying monkeys! "Yeah, now that I know you graduated from KU, it's very appropriate."
"It's the closest thing to a new Kansas joke since the movie came out in 1939. Walking around with a Kansas driver's license makes you appreciate the frustration of hearing the same old jokes that have been around for years."
"Or maybe your friends just thought you were a witch?" teased Aeron.
"My, my doctor. Was that a joke? Oh how the innocent have been corrupted."
"Ok, fun stuff over. Work stuff now. We need to get set up down the hall in the other room. What I'll be looking for is a certain type of energy reading, as well as temperature shifts, and I will be recording video to see if I can pick up stuff that way. Can you grab those two cases while I grab this one and my laptop?"
"Do you actually expect to find anything? I mean, to be honest, I thought all this ghost stuff was people's imagination run wild."
The doctor hesitated before answering. "Yes, I expect to find something. What though, I'm not sure." And with that cryptic answer, she grabbed her stuff and walked out of the room.
BJ grabbed her assigned gear and hurried after Aeron. "Wait, you aren't going to go all X-Files on me. I'm not Scully and you're not Mulder. Come on now!"
Aeron was setting up her equipment and BJ was pouting in the chair in the corner of the room.
"BJ, for the last time, I'm not withholding information! I don't know what we'll find. I just have a feeling that we'll find something." She glanced over her shoulder.
"Will you stop pouting?" the doctor sighed. "Look, go back to the room and grab the orange CD case in my room. Here's my room key." Aeron tossed her key to her glowering assistant. "Stop that. That look doesn't work on me. I know what a softie you are."
While a barely audible growl, BJ stood up and did a fair impression of stomping across the lushly carpeted floor of the executive suite they were setting up in. She exited the suit and turned to go to their rooms. As she neared the door, she noticed an employee coming out of the room. "Hey, did you forget the room service trays?" she called to him in English.
The man turned and looked at her, then bolted for the elevators.
"Hey!" yelled BJ, and took off after him.
The man ran to the elevator bank and repeatedly pushed the elevator call button. Risking a glance in BJ's direction, he noticed that she was almost on top of him and he bolted for one of the EXIT signs at the end of the hallway. BJ was close on his heels as he hit the bar and charged into the stairwell. She followed him as he flew down the stairs, skipping the landings by vaulting the railings the last few steps above the landings and jumping to the top few steps of the next set of stairs. The bodyguard followed his example and added in a couple of slides down the rail to try and catch up with him. After several stories, the man burst out of the stairwell into the hallway and took off toward the elevators once again. He quickly pushed the call button and glanced back to see BJ's progress down the hallway. Once again, when BJ got too close, he took off towards the stairwell as BJ thundered past the elevators just as one binged and opened.
The man hit the door with a resounding bang, and BJ caught the door on its rebound from the concrete wall behind it. "Goddamn it! Can't we do this chase in the elevators like the movies? Why the hell do we have to run all the way down to the 1st floor from the top of the goddamn hotel?" she bellowed down the stairwell after the running man. Footsteps slapping concrete was her only response. BJ groaned and picked up her pace on the man. The man burst out into another hallway 5 more floors down. By the sign on the interior wall next to the door the man had taken, BJ figured they were somewhere on the 25th floor, which was where a lot of the conference rooms were. She burst out into the hallway that had people scattered through it. She noticed the man as he nimbly dodged around some banquet people as they were pushing carts out of a door marked Employees Only'. She took off after the man, dodging people and carts along the way. She pushed her way into the back part of the hotel just in time to see the man's grin as the elevator doors closed, taking him away from sight. The binging sound, signaling the other elevator's arrival, interrupted the pounding of her fists on the metal doors of the elevator. She pushed past the woman pushing a cart full of drinks and asked in Mandarin, "Where does this elevator go?"
"To the banquet kitchens," was the startled woman's reply before the doors closed.
BJ paced impatiently while the elevator descended to the L level marked on the panel. When the elevator stopped and the doors opened, the bodyguard burst through like a wild animal released from the cage. The startled squawks of indignation from the kitchen staff caused the man she had been chasing to turn around.
"Gotcha!" she crowed as she spotted him across the kitchen.
His surprise at seeing her caused him to slip on the greasy floor when he tried to escape and BJ pounced on top of him. The ex-officer let out an explosion of air as the man struck backwards at her with one of his elbows and caught her in the diaphragm. Taking advantage of her momentary release of his jacket, the man scrambled for the exit to the outside.
"Motherfucker! That hurt!" muttered BJ as she got up rubbing her abdomen and continued after him.
The short woman caught up with the man just as he reached the exit and tackled him, sending them both through the exit door and tumbling down the steps to the alleyway behind the hotel. The alley was where the trash was collected for the hotel and the smell was less than pleasant. BJ was momentarily stunned from landing on the bottom of the heap, and as the man stood up, she grabbed his ankle.
"Wait a minute, I got some UFFF," the man kicked her in the chest, freeing his ankle and stood an arms length away from her. BJ stood up slowly, rubbing the spot where he kicked her. "OK, now I'm pissed off."
As she stepped toward the man, he released a flurry of kicks and punches, driving the bodyguard backwards until her back encountered one of the trash bins. The resounding bang as BJ ducked a kick, drew no attention from the inside of the hotel. The ex-officer managed to block most of the kicks and punches, while landing none of her own. Realizing that she was outclassed, she looked around for something to use as a weapon, since no help seemed to be forthcoming from the hotel. She spied a trashcan and feinted to the left and dived to the right, coming up from a roll to stand next to the trashcan. She grabbed the lid and threw it like a Frisbee at her attacker and followed that up with the whole can. In retrospect, BJ supposed the impromptu weapon would have been much more effective if the can had been metal as opposed to Rubbermaid. As it was, the man shrugged off the blows and hit the bodyguard in the chest, stunning her. As she slid down the wall, trying to remember to breathe, the man flashed a cocky grin at her and sauntered down the alley to disappear into the crowd on the street.
"Son of a Bitch!" gasped BJ in defeat.
Aeron looked up from her work on the laptop. "What's taking her so long? The case was in plain sight on the table." With an irritated huff, the doctor stood up and untangled herself from the web of wires she had strung from various pieces of equipment to her laptop. "If she's still pouting, I'm gonna kick her butt!"
The doctor stomped down the hallway towards her suite. Hearing the elevator bing behind her she glanced to see who it was and tripped over herself when she got a good look at what walked out of the elevator.
"What happened? I sent you to go get my CD case, not to some kickboxing match." Aeron took in BJ's messed appearance. Her assistant was limping slightly, and holding her side. Her shirt was completely untucked, and the right knee was torn out of her pants. To top it all off, there appeared to be a spectacular bruise forming around her left eye.
"Apparently room service was not satisfied with our tip," drawled BJ.
"BJ, let me get you into the room so we can clean you up. Are you hurt badly enough to go to the hospital?"
"No," the bodyguard groaned. "Only my pride was seriously injured. I got my ass kicked."
"I can see that," said Aeron as she took the room key from BJ. "Let's get you inside and you can explain what the hell happened."
The red head helped her smaller companion into their rooms. As she opened the door to her suite, she stopped in shock at the carnage that was left of her room. Everything was overturned or opened. All of her electronics were smashed, and the disks were scattered all over the room. "My god! We weren't gone that long! How did they have time to do this?" asked Aeron.
BJ limped into the room and righted a chair to sit in. "I came back as the gentleman who did this was leaving. I chased him down to the alley behind the kitchens where he proceeded to kick my ass up and down the alley. Aeron, what the hell is going on?"
"Come on, let's go into the bathroom and get you cleaned up." The doctor helped her companion pick her way through the debris to the bathroom. She sat the bodyguard down on the toilet seat and reached over and turned the shower on high. She then picked up a washcloth and got it wet in the spray and started cleaning the smaller woman up. "I don't think there's a ghost here anymore."
"No really? And what gave you the first idea? The bugs or my face?"
"Actually, the bugs are expected. Corporate espionage you know. Only big wigs in the companies stay in these hotel suites. It's pretty common to have places like this bugged trying to find any and all little details about what's going on in the business world. People will pay big to find out information like where they are staying, who they are meeting with, what is discussed, etc, etc."
BJ raised her good eyebrow at the red head. "How do you know all this?"
Aeron blushed as she continued to work on cleaning BJ's hand. "Simple, I live in Silicon Valley. I saw a news special on it on one of the local networks. I figure if it happens there, it happens here, since this place is just like the Valley."
"Go on." The bodyguard was becoming distracted by all the little signals her body was sending to her about how nice it was that the doctor was holding her hand and rubbing a washcloth over parts of her body. Not now. She tried to tell her hormones. Hurt. Injured. Those are bad thoughts when I can't take a deep breath. Ok, those are bad thoughts anyway. Down girl!
"But the little things aren't adding up. There's no history of ghosts problems in this hotel before a couple of weeks ago. And Mr. Li said that Mr. Yakamoto saw a ghostly couple fly over his bed, still in their wedding clothes. Ok, I checked the newspaper accounts online while I was waiting for you. There's no record of a honeymooning couple meeting an untimely demise while staying in this hotel. In fact, I'm wondering if they even used these rooms for newlyweds since there are a couple of Honeymoon' Suites on the lower floors. So I'm wondering if it wasn't Mr. Yakamoto that they were trying to scare."
"So why go after him, and who is they'?"
"'They' are who ever Mr. Li is really working for and the guy who beat the crap out of you and trashed the room. As for why Mr. Yakamoto, who knows? Maybe when we find out who they' are, we'll find out why Mr. Yakamoto."
"So why did Mr. Li bring us in to begin with? I mean, if he is in on whatever is going on, won't asking us here mess up his plans?"
"Mr. Li didn't bring us here, the head of the Asian division of Hyatt hotels brought us here. Mr. Li probably wasn't even consulted."
"Ok, here's the plan." BJ took control of her wildly rampaging hormones. "You run your tests for the rest of today and tonight and you are never outside of my field of view. Then we pack everything up, hop on the next flight back to San Fran, and send them our report and the bill."
Aeron started to interrupt and BJ held up her hand. "Doc, I'm your bodyguard. I was hired to keep you in one piece and out of trouble. I just got my ass kicked. We are so outta here. Take it up with Mrs. Post if you have a problem."
The red head subsided as she took in BJ's pained expression and posture. "Ok, it won't take that long if I find an electronic device used to generate the ghost's image. Of course, if they've taken it out "
"I understand. That's why I'm giving you until tomorrow morning. I'm going next door to change. You start cleaning up. Once you've secured what you can, we'll call Mr. Li in and see what he has to say about this little incident."
"I thought you said you didn't want me out of your sight?" teased the doctor.
The bodyguard's only response was a single finger from her left hand as she walked into her room.
"Does this mean I can come watch you change?" called Aeron.
The sound of a slamming door echoed across the entryway.
"I guess that means no."
"My sincerest apologies, ladies. I have no idea where the breakdown in our security came from. That man should never have been in your rooms. If you will produce an inventory of everything that was broken or stolen, the hotel will be more than happy to replace or reimburse you for the property." Mr. Li was the epitome of apology and regret.
"I thought the only way to access these floors was by special keycard, Mr. Li. How did this burglar get the keycards? It's not like they are marked differently than the other floor keycards or anything," asked a red-faced Aeron.
BJ placed a hand on the doctor's lower back and rubbed in small circles, trying to bring the red head's blood pressure down. If she doesn't calm down, that little vein in the middle of her forehead is going to burst, then I'll really have some explaining to do to Mrs. Post.
"Dr. Monroe, I have no idea how the burglar got access to this floor. There will be an investigation as to how he might have gotten access to this floor. Meanwhile, may I escort you to your new rooms?"
Aeron shook her head. "No Mr. Li, we will be staying in the haunted' suite. I've suffered too many distractions lately and I need to concentrate on my job. It is really the best solution all around. You don't have one of these rooms tied up with comped guests, and you have me working 24/7 to solve your problem."
"I don't think it's a good idea, Dr. Monroe. Everyone needs their sleep after all."
"I insist, Mr. Li."
Mr. Li seemed agitated, but could find no logical reason to dispute the doctor's wishes. "If you insist. At least allow my people to move your things."
"I don't feel that will be necessary, Mr. Li, there's not that much left to move. I'll have my assistant do that while I do inventory and see what equipment we have left. Now if you'll excuse me, we are both very busy people. I'm sure you have a line of guests and managers waiting to speak with you." Aeron turned around and walked back into her suite of rooms, dodging various hotel investigators and police along the way.
BJ looked hard at Mr. Li's retreating figure, and then followed Aeron into her rooms.
"Pack up all of our clothes, BJ, and move them down to the other suite. I'll work on salvaging what I can of our equipment." Aeron started searching through things scattered on the floor. Not seeing what she was looking for, she moved to another pile and started frantically digging through the pile of bedclothes. BJ noticed this, and walked over to where the dresser drawers were dumped, and after a little looking, came up with Skeeter.
"This what you are looking for, Doc?" the bodyguard asked holding up a slightly battered teddy bear.
Aeron choked back a sob and ran over and snatched the bear from BJ's grasp and cuddled the bear against her chest, murmuring words of comfort to it. The ex-officer patted Aeron's back reassuringly as she looked around the chaos that was once an elegant hotel room. Spying something on the floor, she left Aeron to her bear and walked over and retrieved the orange CD case that Aeron had sent her after.
The doctor raised her tear-stained face and looked at her assistant.
"I got the CD case," said BJ, waving it in the air.
Aeron just looked at her bodyguard like she was nuts, then slowly started to smile. "You took too long and left a mess. No tip for you."
Aeron was busily playing with her computer as BJ brought a load of luggage in.
"That's the last of it." The bodyguard dropped her load and brushed her hands together. Noticing that the doctor hadn't even blinked when the suitcases hit the floor, BJ tried a different track. "Hey, I moved all of the stuff from over there to here. Did you find anything interesting?" Still no response from the doctor. "Hey, hostile aliens have landed and are kidnapping the parking meters!"
BJ walked over and shut the lid to the laptop.
"HEY!" Aeron glared at her bodyguard as she opened the laptop back up and started working on it again.
"Aeron," growled BJ as she slammed the laptop closed again. The doctor formed a perturbed expression on her face and crossed her arms as she glared at the smaller woman. "I've been trying to get your attention. I've finished moving everything. What do you have for me?"
Aeron continued to glare at the bodyguard as she opened the computer back up. She quickly opened a window and started typing on it.
THIS ROOM IS BUGGED AS WELL. IT ALSO HAS SOME WEIRD FLUCTUATIONS IN THE WALLS.
BJ reached over and typed over Aeron's shoulder.
WHAT DO U MEAN
Aeron typed back.
THERE'S SOME STRANGE WIRING IN THE WALLS. I'M PICKING UP WEIRD POWER SPIKES. IT'S ALMOST AS IF THE WALLS WERE SOME GIGANTIC ENTERTAINMENT CENTER.
THE WALLS ARE WIRED DIFFERENTLY THAN THE OTHER ROOMS. THE OTHER ROOMS HAVE SLIGHT ELECTROMAGNETIC IMPULSES ALONG WHERE THE POWER LINES ARE RUN. THESE WALLS HAVE STRONG ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS ALL OVER THE WHOLE WALL. I WOULD BE CONCERNED TO PLACE ANYTHING LIKE A DISK OR TAPE NEAR THEM FOR FEAR THEY WOULD BE ERASED.
IS MY CREDIT CARD SAFE?
IF YOU HAD A PACEMAKER, I'D BE CONCERNED. I THINK THEY PUT SOMETHING IN THIS ROOM TO MAKE IT HAUNTED. I WAS TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT WHEN YOU SO RUDELY INTERRUPTED. I COULD HAVE LOST MY FINGERS!!!!!
BJ grabbed Aeron's left hand and kissed her fingers before she realized what she was doing. "Sorry."
Aeron blushed and pulled her hand back. "I need that back."
I'M GOING TO LOOK AROUND AND SEE IF I CAN ISOLATE WHAT IT IS THAT IS GIVING ME THESE READINGS. YOU SIT AND WATCH A MOVIE WITH THE VOLUME TURNED UP TO DISGIUSE WHAT I'M DOING. THERE ARE DVDS IN THE BLUE CD CASE.
WHAT DID YOU DO BUY THESE THINGS IN BULK?
NO. I REALLY LIKED THEM AND AFTER BUYING ONE AND FILLING IT UP QUICKLY, I WENT BACK AND BOUGHT ONE OF EACH COLOR THEY HAD. THIS WAY I CAN FIND WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR QUICKLY.
BJ straightened up and went over to Aeron's backpack. "Hey, super genius, do you mind if I watch a movie while you work?"
Aeron closed the window on her laptop and went back to work. "No, the DVDs are in my backpack. Help yourself."
BJ found the blue CD case and opened it up and started flipping through her choices. "Should I be worried? These have the titles written in marker on them. Anything in here you don't want me to look at?" The bodyguard wiggled her eyebrows.
"Huh?" Aeron looked up from what she was doing and caught the innuendo after seeing the look on BJ's face. She blushed. "No, no. Um, all of them are fit for watching. Nothing that didn't play in a movie theater."
"Which kind of Movie Theater?" BJ was having fun at the doctor's expense.
Aeron blushed even harder. It was hard to tell where her skin ended and her hair began. "A, uh, regular one?" she sounded unsure.
The bodyguard laughed, "If you're sure "
Aeron just concentrated harder on her screen. The nasty thoughts that came up when she pictured what kind of movies BJ was suggesting and if they could watch them together were unsettling to her. What is wrong with me?
The dark haired woman was examining the titles more closely. Wait a minute "Aeron, where did you get these movies?"
"Um, off the internet?" Once again, the doctor sounded unsure of her answer.
"And since I know for a fact that this movie was just released in the theater last week, are these legal?"
"I have no idea what you are talking about." Aeron tried for an innocent tone, but could tell by the look on her assistance face that she failed.
"Aren't you just the little pirate," laughed BJ. "Cool, I've been wanting to see this movie and I hate going to theaters. People never shut up. I waste most of my ice tossing it at people to make them be quiet."
The doctor looked relieved. "Do you like Buffy? I have some episodes in there too. I don't always get a chance to watch them so I download them from the net. I never miss an ep that way."
"Do you have any Babylon 5 in there?" asked the bodyguard as she placed the DVD into the player on the in suite entertainment system.
"No, I don't follow that series, but I can get them for you."
"Cool. I missed the one where Ivanova and Talia got together and " BJ stopped herself and looked to see if Aeron caught her mistake.
"Just tell me the name of the episode you want and I'll download it for you." Aeron didn't seem to catch the blunder.
Of course, she doesn't follow the series, and she doesn't speak Russian so she doesn't know that Ivanova is a female. Or, maybe, she doesn't care. BJ cued up the movie with the remote and left Aeron to her own world.
BJ awoke with a crick in her neck. She managed to extract herself from the awkward position she managed to contort her body into after falling asleep in the armchair. She rubbed her neck and glanced at the TV. The screen was blue; indicating the movie she had fallen asleep watching was over. The bodyguard glanced over to see how her charge was doing and started laughing. Aeron had managed to wrap herself up in cables and wires, resembling a fugitive tied up with whatever was available. The part that really tickled BJ's funny bone was the fact the doctor was facedown on her keyboard asleep. The bodyguard could hear the beeping sound coming from the keyboard, indicating that an incorrect key was being pressed, but that didn't seem to interfere with Aeron's slumber. BJ stood up and stretched, listening to her back pop back into alignment as she did. Then the dark haired woman rotated her neck, and sighed in relief as her neck audibly popped back into alignment. With a quick jerk to the left, then the right, she finished her wake up maneuvers. With one last twist to free up her lumbar region, the bodyguard walked over to wake up her boss.
"Aeron," BJ shook the doctor's shoulder. "Aeron!"
"Five more minutes," the red head mumbled.
BJ smirked, "I'm going to the bathroom. When I come out, you better be up."
" Kay," came the nasally reply.
The bodyguard left the doctor face down while she went to the bathroom. When BJ returned, she had a glass of water in her hand.
"Last chance," warned BJ.
With no movement forthcoming from the doctor, BJ poured the water down Aeron's back, taking care to keep the water well away from the laptop.
"SHIT!" Aeron jumped up and tried to run away from the water being dumped down her spine. The wires and cabling made that impossible and succeeded in catching the doctor halfway out of her seat and tripping her up. The resulting crash as Aeron rebounded back into the chair, overbalancing it and causing the chair to overturn with her in it, almost took out a laughing BJ as she stood observing her boss's antics. Aeron lay quietly while her supposed bodyguard stood over her, laughing, the tell tale empty glass in her hand explaining why the doctor's back was wet.
"Are you through?" asked Aeron calmly.
BJ held up a hand indicating she needed a moment, and a fresh eruption of laughter doubled the woman over. Every time the bodyguard seemed to calm down, she took another look at Aeron trapped in the chair, laying on her back like a helpless turtle and started all over again. Finally, when the hiccups started, BJ calmed down enough to carefully reach over Aeron and place the empty water glass on the desk next to the laptop. Using both hands in an effort to clean the tears off her face, she looked back at her boss. "Yes?" she inquired innocently.
"Could you give me a hand?" the too calm request from the doctor started setting off alarm bells in the ex-officer. "I seem to have fallen and I can't get up."
"Sure," BJ, sensing danger, quickly helped untangle her boss and pulled her to her feet. "Anything else?"
"No, thank you. I'm fine. I think I'll take a shower while you get us all packed up. Call the corporate travel number and arrange to get us on the next flight out of here. I contact Mr. Li before we go and tell him I will forward him the report from San Francisco." Aeron gathered up her toiletries and headed for the bathroom.
"So you found something?" asked BJ almost bouncing in excitement.
The doctor glanced over her shoulder at the troublemaker, "Perhaps," and walked into the bathroom and locked the door, leaving a stunned bodyguard staring at the door.
"Uh oh," muttered BJ, "She's good."
While BJ took her turn showering in the bathroom, Aeron was preparing a little surprise for her bodyguard. While she worked, Skeeter looked on from his perch on the desk next to the laptop.
"So she wants to know what I found, eh Skeeter?" muttered Aeron to her bear. "I'll show her what I found. Do you want to give me a hand?" The doctor cocked her head. "I promise that I will not lay one single finger on her." A pause. "No really, not one finger, hand, arm, foot, or little pinkie toe." Another pause. "Oh all right. I will not toss anything at her either, satisfied?" Aeron huffed. "But I would like your help." The red head grinned evilly. "You're not scared of heights are you?"
BJ walked out of the bathroom, drying her hair with a towel. "Aeron? You're not still mad about the water this morning are you? Our flight leaves in about 2 hours. What are you going to tell Mr. Li?" BJ removed the towel from her head when she received no response from her charge. "Aeron?" The bodyguard started to frantically check the room for the missing doctor. "Well, there's Skeeter, and the doc wouldn't willing leave him behind. Come on little guy, let's go find your YOW!" BJ's hand passed right through the teddy bear when she leaned over to pick it up off the dresser. The bear then started to glow as it rose up off the dresser and started spinning. The bodyguard started backing away from the now eyelevel spinning bear. Skeeter started to spin faster, and BJ never took her eyes off the possessed bear as she backed hurriedly away from it. She tripped over a suitcase and scrambled back on her hands and feet as Skeeter started dive bombing her head.
"HOLY FUCK!" screamed BJ.
All of a sudden, the dive-bombing bear disappeared and the scared woman could hear the sound of laughter coming from the closet to her right. Looking closely at the door, she could see cables snaking underneath. The ex-officer stood up, ran her hand through her damp hair, and walked over to the closet door. The laughter cut off abruptly when she started to turn the doorknob. Opening the door, she found the red head sitting on the floor of the closet, laptop in her lap, using the back of Skeeter's head to muffle her laughter. The tears continued to stream down her face and her shoulder's shook with repressed mirth. The bodyguard just stood there, looking at her boss with no expression on her face. Aeron managed to catch her breath after removing Skeeter from her mouth.
"Gotcha!" the doctor gasped. "You should have seen your face. Oh wait, I caught the whole thing on the video camera. Want to see the capture?" That set the red head off once again, and BJ shut the door with the wildly laughing Aeron still inside.
"I'm going to go finish getting ready." Drawing what was left of her tattered pride around her, BJ left the howling scientist in the closet while she locked herself in the bathroom.
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