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The Covington Journal
A Day In the Life of Recruiting
Chapter 2: Just Another Havoc Monday

I glanced up from my boot inspection when the door swung open. A man with a crew cut burst through like he owned the place, "They call me Vastatio." Wanda was digging in her purse for something, Mel snapped her head over to me whispering hurriedly as if the roof was on fire.

"Vastatio? We know him... don't we?" I shook my head no and asked her in a hush voice if he was Canadian by the way he acted. Mel just shrugged her shoulders and smiled her winning southern charm at the man, "Evenin Vastatio." Wanda waves looking him over like fresh meat, and I whisper a very private joke to Mel who giggles silently.

"Hello." He looked Mel over like she was Wanda or something. I didnít like the guy already. "What's up?"

"How are you doing Vastatio?" I ask, thinking we were just waiting around for lunch and not really up to anything.

"Playing around or playing at your job?" He asks still eyeing our Melinda over.

Mel looks at him nervously and then at me, speaking to the man. "Vastatio have we met you before?" making hand gestures under her desk at him to me. Couldnít quite understand her motions, so I thought I would have a bit of fun.

"No." He leers a bit to her, "Not yet." Did he just wiggle his bushy eyebrows at her? Where is my gun...

"With Big Rod?" She tries again still drawing something in the air with her fingers.

"Well Mel, I never knew." I tease at a particular motion that I would swear is only possible for Wanda.

Melinda chastises me, "Stop it." I start humming a tune I picked up somewhere, I could have sworn it was in a dream I had once. Turning to Mel and trying not to grin as I whistle, "Or that I'd ever see the stranger in your eyes."

Wanda gets in on the fun and circles around the fellow then to Melís desk. I couldnít make out what exactly she said, but it sounded like, "Mel... did you..." she winks, "You know..." she nudges her, "Get ze some?" Melinda shakes her head at her. "If you keep doing zat it will fall off."

Melinda ignores Wands comments as she wanders off to play with my whip while looking that man over again. Mel draws me from my observations, whispering at me again. "You know, I think that is that one fella. I know we've met him before." I shake my head knowing what fella she means. A jumped up little army boy from the Canadian reserves we met once. I remember I vowed to never go to Nova Scotia if they are all breed like that.

Vastatio turns to me prying his beady little eyes away from Mel for the moment, "Are there Naziís in this dig?" I see Wanda glance at Mel and making some crude gesture with my whip. Normally I would roll my eyes, unfortunately they were trained on this shifty fellow at the moment.

"What are you looking for on this dig?" I think a simple enough question to ask. Straight and to the point, what does he want... money, fame, women... obviously. I realize I must have rolled my eyes at that thought from the sight of his glare, I quickly answer his previous question. "Well they usually die, but yes Nazi's appear from time to time."

"Fun." He replies to me and giggles at my joke. At least he can laugh, something I look for in people. If you laugh at my dry humor you must be somewhat intelligent.

Mel and I both say in unison, "Good answer." Cause lord knows we were expecting one of the others. But I donít think I ever saw a male giggle before.

"Do you have any references?" Wanda rolls her Rís perfectly accenting her French accent. Yep sheís definitely on the prowl. Vastatio chuckles at her.

Melinda gets up from her desk and whispers down into my ear "Giggle, chuckle, all the same." Then she flutters her hand in her whereís my manners typical southern way. She pulls a seat out for this man and smiles, taking her own seat after he does. Huh, some gentleman he would have waited for Mel to sit first. Well at least he thanked her. She looks at me and raises an eyebrow.

I watch him eye Wanda and my whip. The thought is so disgusting I shudder, I have to get my whip away from her I refuse to go through that again. Took a week to clean it off. I spy our bookshelf. We have to have the most well read office in Greece. Walking over and on the tips of my toes I shove it up out of reach. I turn back and catch Mel pouting at me. I mouth to her I would promise to take it down for later.

Wanda starts to fidget and stalks just out of reach nearing the whip. I pace around Vastatio summing him up. Yep only here for a good time, canít have this. Wanda is one thing, but Mel. Oh no sir, she likes what I do. "So Vastatio, ever hear of the Xena Scrolls?" he nods and says something about here and there.

Mel crosses her arms, I canít see her cause she is behind me but I know she did it. I feel these things, must be a soulmate thing. "Janice's whip Vastatio... she keeps it close by." I turn at that and wink at her getting a devilish smile and a glint behind the lens. She focuses on Wanda making a play for my whip and pulls my chair next to her and pats it. "Wanda come back here and sit your tush down."

Wanda still trying, jumps up reaching as far as she can for the edge. I stand and giggle to myself when she told Mel to hold on. Clearing my throat and giving her my best Covington look, I remembered our rather randy guest. "Vastatio that's the assignment so far." I hand him our schedule for the next three months. Maybe this will scare him away.

Melinda shakes her head at Wanda who sits down and hands me my whip, Iíll be damned. Wanda and Mel look at him and I just sigh and return it to my belt and take my seat next to the girls on Mel's desk. They are sitting quietly, I whisper down to Wanda in French, "Behave just once."

Melinda giggles to herself as our lovable little whore puts her head down and a quiet "Oui." follows.

"Vastatio, would you be interested in a spy, cloak and dagger type dig?" I hold in a chuckle, wanting to see how much of a kid he really is.

"Janice, I didn't know we were gonna interview people today. I would have worn somethin more suitable for the occasion."

I smirk, "Oh..." pretending I just remembered something, "You get to have sex with Wanda." I bite my lip and glance down at Mel, and I have one hell of a great view. "Melinda you look fine, red is your color."

Melinda holds back another giggle, sheís gonna tear a lip doing that. Sorry Mel, I know your bra is red. A nice contrast, oops where was I? Mel stop smiling at me, we have company.

"Me too Mel." Wanda looks down at her spiffy little grey number. Yes Wanda, you are still unbuttoned.

Vastatio stares at Mel, by the looks of it he is trying to figure out what the hell I meant by that. Good, let it hit you. "Yeah sure sounds great." He says with some trepidation.

Wanda off in her own little muses, "These undies donít cut it." She wiggles in her chair and I look away, I have to say something. Itís in my blood, donít know how it first started. Doubt Gabrielle felt the need to speak up at things all the time. One day maybe I will find out.

Melinda looks shocked at what Wanda just said. Donít worry Mel I will save you, "Wanda I told you, no crotchless panties."

Wanda "Zhe edible keeps melting."

I ignore the raised eyebrow from Mel and Wanda's crude comment, and just want to finally get to lunch. "One more question Vastatio... are you Canadian?" Let's finish that little mystery right now.

Vastatio shakes his head and puts out a hand, "No Iím an American. But I have been to Canada."  He stops short and turns back to the door.  We all cast an eye on a new fellow, I raise a brow and side glance at the girls.  Wanda starts preening and squirming in her seat and I can see Melinda mouth the words Oh My.  Even I have to admit, that's one fine looking soldier.

Short red hair, are those green eyes glinting at me?  And I had to shield my eyes from his blinding white teeth.  Oh my is right, Adonis lives.   He walks in banging his hip on the doorknob, then bends down to rub it and hits hit head on the glass.  "'Ello." He winces out nearly dropping his hat before fumbling to close the offending door behind him.  "Good day frauleins, I am Cha..."  I heard that and stood moving fast as I could.

"Germans!"  I shout out and pull my spare gun hidden conveniently under my desk.

Melinda giggles putting a hand over her mouth, "Calm down Janice."

"But I've been to Canada." Vastatio attempts again. His Brooklyn accent is getting on my nerves, I lower my gun to the last button on the nazi's military uniform. His bumbling antics and now his cowering against the doorframe hides something from my sight that I should have picked up on right away. Unfortunately I was too busy looking at his sparkling teeth.

"No!" He shouts out raising a leg to protect his body, "I donít know a word of it!" The highbrow English accent was unmistakable, then I noticed the RAF insignia on his hat and uniform. Oh Covington, I shake my head slightly at myself.

Bad choice of words there buddy, I lean down hooking the gun back up under the desk. I look at the young American upstart and sigh pulling out the thickest folder I have in my desk. "Okay Vastatio, what you will need to do, cause its important..."

Wanda rushes to the soldiers' side and lays a comforting hand on his forearm, "Poor dear." WHAT? He spoke German what do you want me to do? Hell I am telling you soon us American's will be in this war, its getting hot around here as it is. This dig is a bad idea I tell you. Oh what you too Mel? They both lead the pilot to our leather couch against the window. Looking at him like he was a meal or something, oh girls, what will I do with you.

"Um.." he stammers I chuckle to myself watching him squirm, "Whatís this about? I'm Lieutenant Charles Igglesworth, I was looking for the office of the Foreign Cultural Dispatch." Oh Chuck, this isn't even the right building. I give our Italian from Brooklyn the folder and fill him in on the read, I'm such a stinker. I hide my smile when his jaw drops. Sorry buddy this isn't a dating service, now scram.

 "Interested in finding the Xena Scrolls, Charles?" Melinda! He's a soldier, he's not an... Oh I give up! Tell me when I can look again.

"I say, Xena scrolls? Whatís that about?" Oh gag me, his enthusiasm is something out of Noel Coward.

Melinda plops down next to Charles never releasing her delicate grip. Yeah Mel squeeze out a few babies for me with this one, I need a lineage. Red hair, green eyes I think, cause that's the only way I'm gonna have one these days. That bond of our love balderdash only works in bad dime store novels. I laugh, they look, I ignore it. Oh there goes my stomach. Damn it! Weeks waiting and now we get people in here, and neither of them are qualified enough to work as manual labor. I look at Mel and nod at the boys in the office, "You're turn sweetheart." I retrieve another cigar from my case and sit back awaiting the fun. Wishing that my growling stomach would give it a rest.

Melinda nods eyeing me... no, she's squinting. What'd I do now? "Yeah, what Janice just said." She looks around the room focusing on the file in Vastatio's hands, "Oh mmmm..." Oh great scholarly thing to say there Mel. I wipe my face, damn I'm getting bitchy and it's only half past.

Vastatio shakes his head up and down "But Iím having fun here." Wanda giggles at this, oh there goes my eyes. Getting a headache from eye-rolling-strain and now my poor stomach. I watch the smoke rings I make twirl up into the ceiling fan. At least its not too humid today. What am I thinking, when it's humid Mel always takes off her blazers, and with that white little blouse on today, in the heat, the red...

"I have no idea how. But it sounds rather interesting." Charles eagerness brings me from my fantasy

I start contemplating that bullet hole in my hat. Damn Smithe, I shouldn't do this... hell I didn't know Mel yet. I, in all honestly had no idea that the scrolls were really under that earth. No idea the God of War had a tomb just waiting for me and Mel to dig out. No idea that Mel would be in danger. I sigh quietly, no idea that Mel would stay to be my partner, and now so much more. The only family I have left is sitting in front of me. My girls, Melinda and Wanda. Nearly lost before I found them, damn Smithe.

Melinda smiles to Vastatio then glances at Charles before smiling secretly at me. I catch her eye before she begins and force myself not to smile. I am trying to be difficult and I can't if you look at me like that woman. "Well, have ya ever heard of Xena before?"

Wanda giggles aloud, "Good answer." She stands and approaches the man with the stack in his hand, here we go... "Ze man is sitting by three beautiful women," she winks at me and adds under her breath, "And one will sleep with him for only twenty-nine ninety-five." I shake my head and she continues aloud. "I should think he was having fun here."

"Why yes." Charles stands abruptly, rubbing his chin in thought. I glance up still attempting to pout my way to a late lunch. "It happened somewhere around here didn't it? Where we are now?"

Mel brightened up, I looked up at her then at Charles trying not to appear interested. "You're right. Happened on this very soil." She stands and I can see from the corner of my eye her majestic sweeping hand motions, the way her hips swivel as she turns abruptly, the hypnotic eyes she reveals removing those lenses, and that voice. She drops her voice a few octaves. My mouth dries my heart races, and I feel my feet hit the floor with a thud...

"It's the story of a time long ago. A time of myth and legend, when the Earth was still young and the ancient gods were petty and cruel, and they plagued mankind with a horrible sufferin." Her accent hidden slightly by her bravado, "Only one man dared ta challenge their power. Hercules!" She nearly knocked Vastatio in the head with her flinging arms.

"Hercules possessed a strength the world had never seen before. A strength surpassed only by the power of his heart." Oh there she goes all dreamy again, she sighs before continuing in a quieter manner. "He journeyed the Earth battlin the minions of his wicked step-mother Hera, the all-powerful queen of the gods. But wherever there was evil, wherever an innocent would suffer, there would be..." She paused for effect, placing her hand on her bosom and looked up into the ceiling fan. "Hercules!"

"Hercules?" Both men ask in confusion, "I thought you said Xena." Vastatio spoke.

Wanda jumps in elated by sharing Mel's passion focusing on the ceiling fan as well, "In ze time of ancient gods, la warlords and terrible kings..." Wanda stood, great I lost them both. "A land in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was Xena!" Wanda touched Mel's shoulder in a way that only the three of us could understand. "A mighty princess forged in the heat of battle."

"The Power." She leaned over me, shaking a thought from my already cluttered mind.

"The Passion." She leered at Charles who looked uncomfortable.

"The Danger!" She actually scared Vastatio with a jump.

"Her courage will change ze world!" She put her arm around Mel triumphantly.

Charles clears his throat, "Oh yes, of course. That Xena."

I nearly had a heart attack that time. The world returns to normal and Melinda puts her glasses back on her nose, I thank the all mighty that she didn't take her hair down. I already am having issues with two things right now and I don't need a third. Everyone begins taking their seats and continuing the conversation, I move my hand...Ouch the pain. I must have been gripping the armrest a little too hard.

"Thatís why I donít know a word of German." The Brit apologizes and sits back eyes us all carefully. Me especially.

Melinda fluttered about and cleared her throat coming out of her trance and sitting next to Charles, "Well now that's nice." She giggles charming him, ah Mel what am I gonna do with you? "Well, we seem to attract them.. You know there're allot of Germans runnin around."

"I went to Australia once, I hope Iím impressing someone?"

No you aren't Vastatio. Wait German's, My blood boils, my lips curl, my hand reaches... oh forget it you all know the rest. "Germans Mel...where?!"

"Janice hon calm down. Vastatio and Charles... would you both be interested in joinin our dig?" Mel Christ! What are you doing? Oh the humanity...

"Yes." He stares into those hypnotic blue pools in front of him, "I would be interested." Well now we got a flyboy to get rid of. I apologize and put the gun back under the desk starting yet another cigar for the day. Maybe I can smoke Mel out. Oh what an evil little glare you give me Miss Pappas, aw did you read my mind? I grin back in defiance. I see a hand reaching for my crotch in the corner of my eye, I growl at Wanda still wanting to play with my whip.

"Do I still get to have sex with Wanda?" Oh I laugh at Charles actions after that little statement from Vastatio, he actually slid away from the girls closer to the end of the couch. Oh no Mel it wasn't you, no your hair is fine, your make-up is perfect, or glasses are strai... no they are crooked. Okay there, now you look fine.

I see her mouth the words, well we'll have to see Vastatio. Then I add aloud not breaking a gaze from Mel. "Yes Vastatio she's our resident tramp." Which just makes our Wanda wiggle her fingers at him.

"Awww now Janice. Be nice." I wiggle eyebrows and stick the cigar in the side of my mouth holding in the grin. Oh I love it when Mel giggles.

"Hey za girls got to make a living, no?"

"Wanda?" Mel asks to a nod, and then sighs giving up on her. I take out my journal again and notes that this is the four-hundredth and second time Wanda has offended Mel. I smile.

" I presume you cant be German then, on this dig of yours." Oh great he doesn't even know what a dig is.

I get even more cocky, if that's possible. "Well you could be a German.." I pause. "There are nice Germans." A beat follows, "However..." The girls giggle, "Dr. Janice Covington, may or may not shoot you on sight."

"Oh I say," Charles stands up with a click of the fingers and a poor dejected Mel at his side, "Just remembered, Desboot." He says all proud, Mel smiles and nods at me. What is he a kid Mel? Does he want I cookie? I know I do, my stomach grumbles on cue.

I look at my boots trying to figure out what Charles meant by that. "Yeah yeah yeah I know, I will clean them." Wanda continues to flirt with the two. Well flirt isn't the right word, make a business acquaintances is.

"Desboot stuck in my rump." That Brooklyn moron snickers. Charming ain't he? We all ignore him, well Wanda doesn't but then she is just scamming for clients.

Charles thinks rubbing his chin for a moment, "Um volkswagon that's about it."

"Means; flat boat." I say dryly, still eyeing that kid in the chair. I could shoot him, that would get rid of him. I see Wanda still eyeing my whip. I'm just gonna buy her a cheap one for Christmas, there that will solve that. Besides I may need it later.

Melinda sits back in her seat with a sigh. We exchange a few glances, I tell her in a silent way how late it is and we need to get to lunch before they stop serving it. I need a drink too. Oh is that still in my drawer? I would look but getting yelled at for having liquor in the office from a certain Christian anthropologist isn't on the agenda for today. "Janice dear help me out here. Wanda... what is a good time for you also?"

Okay what did I miss here? Part of a conversation again. Great, Mel we are not hiring these people, they are not qualified. I shake my head no in the sternest way I can get away with and make a few rather obvious facial suggestions. She isn't even noticing. I am about to call her out into the hall. I see Wanda sneaking up behind me and reaching a hand out to my whip. Will that girl ever learn!

"I used to live in Okinawa Japan. Impressed yet?" Vastatio attempts again. I can not believe this, they are actually setting up times to meet. Guess the Doctrine and the name on the door means nothing.

"Vastatio I think you past the interview here." Melinda what are you doing? Please tell me you are just trying to get rid of this guy. Did you fall down and hit your head again? Touch any chakrams lately? Mel!

Oh this is silly, "Redhead, impressed yet?" I lean back and stick my boots on the desk again, pointing out the obvious. Wanda giggles and adds she's a natural blonde.

"On top or bottom?" Oh Vastatio you are a nasty one. I hear Mel gasp she leans her full weight on her elbows covering her mouth with her hands.

"Everywhere Vastatio." I relay to the room without showing any emotion. I hear an oh la la from Wanda and Mel just slides from her desktop and nearly smacks her head on the corner as she goes down. I wave to the room mimicking Wanda from earlier and declare that Mel is a brunette. Now that we have pointed out the damn obvious can we please lock up and go to lunch!

"Ok then are we done here?" Melinda I love you! Finally someone hears my plea. Oh Mel red does suit you. Your face matches your bra perfectly.

"Mel where are you going?" I tease getting a look of desperation from her. I know Mel you just want to get away from the crude situation. And don't even think it sister. I pull my gun out and Wanda, sometimes you just have to be forceful with her. Unfortunately she usually likes that too much.

"I want that whip." Wanda reaches out and I turn my hips away from her. Oh did I not warn you of all the horseplay we do throughout the day. Yeah sure I use to be all rough and tough and never showed emotion, but I always did like a good laugh and after loosing my father and Perry I thought I would never laugh again. I was wrong. Now... to shoot Wanda.

"Ladies..." Mel scorns pushing up her glasses slipping from the tip of her nose. Arms crossed, back perfectly straight, bosoms out, toes pointed. Yep Mel, you are gonna make one great teacher. She looks over the men in the room and sighs.

"Here Wanda a dog collar for you." from his pocket he pulled out a little leather strap with spikes. Oh Vastatio you are a strange one. "They are more fun than whips."

"Oh thank you. They match my shoes, no?" Alright this is getting to weird for me. Mel's is about to faint here Wanda.

Melinda mentions people from our past, who were a bit on the kinky side. Helena and Steel. I sigh. Steel is dead Mel, I killed him for being too Canadian. I get up, pack my things to go, and then hide behind Melinda. Afraid of this scary moment before me.

"Janice please... " she looks down at me.

I grin up at those eyes, closest I have been all damn day to her. "Please what Mel?" I don't hide what I'm thinking and she knows it.

"Now you behave." She turns back around still holding her arms across her chest. I scrape my back across her backside slowly and hear a silent moan from above and smile. She wants to turn around but she is playing hostess and can't right now. She knows if she does that I will just go ahead and throw all of them out and we will have lunch right here in the office.

 To be Continued...

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