Sharon walked into her hotel room and tossed her coat on the bed and left her bag by the closet. She looked around at the nondescript, normal hotel furnishings and loosened her scarf from around her neck. Pulling it from around her neck her long, red hair crackled with the dry air. She smoothed it down and dug out her laptop from her bag. Her directions had been clear, if a bit confusing. She had been taught to be invisible but today she had been told to make sure to find cameras in the airport. To be sure she was seen. Then disappear and go to this hotel.
This was her first mission for the organization that had given her a second chance at life. She couldn't remember much about her past but what she did remember was foggy, and not pleasant at all. She had flashes of streets, and dirt and laying somewhere outside. She remembered seeing Brian's face above her's and then a lot of blank space before waking up in a hospital. She had been in a coma for a year she was told. Brian had found her badly beaten in a back alley in Dublin and had brought her to the hospital. He had been there when she woke up too. As her computer powered up she sat back and closed her eyes, trying to remember that moment. There had been a bright light and a beeping sound, like a heart monitor.
"Easy there now girly. You've had a rough time of it." The voice came from beside her. She slowly turned her head and saw a man sitting in a chair and holding her hand. She looked down at her hand and then back at his face. His black hair was brushed back from his face but a lock fell forward over one eye. He smiled at her and she tried to smile in return. It was hard for some reason.
"Where am I?"she asked, or at least tried to. Her throat felt like sand paper and the words sounded like an inaudible croak.
"Hold on there. Let me get you some water to help." He held a cup with a straw in it to her mouth and she gave a tentative suck on the straw. The water felt like heaven and she pulled in more, painfully swallowing but thankful for the relief of the feeling of sand. "There now, that's better. Don't push yourself right now. You have a long road ahead of you." He had withdrawn his hand to help her drink. When he set the cup down she tried to move her hand towards his again. He saw it and took her hand in his once more. She was frightened but for some reason, she felt safer when he was close by and holding her hand.
A beep from her computer pulled Sharon back to the present and she clicked on her email. She sent Brian a note letting him know she had arrived. She was glad he was her handler for this first mission. She was sure that had been by design. The past four years had been full of training and desk work. But she had wanted to get out into the field from the minute she had been introduced to Runda, the organization Brian had worked for.
She had thought he had been flirting with her when he first told her he worked for a top secret government organization in Ireland. She had been out of the hospital a week and had been staying with one of the nurses she had gotten to know during her recovery. Brian visited almost every day. taking her out to see the city to see if anything jogged her memory more.
"I'm not pulling your leg darlin. I promise. I'm assigned missions to collect intelligence and was on one when I found you. I'm telling you this because I think I might be able to get you a job with them. Something entry level. Doing desk work like a secretary. Who knows what you could work up to though."
"Why would they want me? I don't even know who I am. Don't you need proof of who you are?"
"I'll talk to my boss. See what we can do. Honestly, people without connections are preferred."
"And what if I remember who I am? My past?" Brian smiled down at her and took her hand in his.
"Then I'll say congratulations for that. Trust me, once you get a taste, you won't want to leave no matter what your past is."
He had been right. She loved her job and felt a thrill just thinking that she was finally out making a difference. She still didn't know who she use to be but she knew who she was now. She was Sharon Brennan and had no desire to change.
Standing up she stretched, trying to work the kinks out of her muscles from the long flight from London. A hot shower sounded in order. She had to wait to get her second set of instructions. As she dug through her bag looking for a fresh pair of clothes there was a knock at the door. Pausing she instinctively put her hand to her hip but there was no gun there. She had had to travel without her weapon to stay below the radar. Cautiously approaching the door she looked through the peep hole and smiled. Throwing the door open she launched herself at Brian! He caught her without missing a step and swung her around and back into the room.
"If that's how you answer your door now I'll have to come see you more often!" he laughed as he put her back down and gave her hair a gentle tug. She smiled and took his hand. She always felt better when she held his hand. She felt safe and calm.
"I didn't expect you so soon." she said. "I wasn't sure where you were." He pulled her close and put his forehead against her's.
"I'm never far from you darlin. remember that." He kissed her gently and she melted into him. Her head spun and she felt light as a feather. But then he was pulling away from her and she felt a second of sadness. "Now, we have to get to work. I have someone you need to meet. He'll tell you whats next."
He let go of her hand and she took a half step towards him before stopping herself. This was work, and Brian was her handler. But he had saved her. He had protected her and taught her. There was a connection there that wasn't there with anyone else she worked with. But now she had to focus. Grabbing her coat she followed him out the door.