No woman is complete without her team…even if she doesn’t know them.
A young man with Vietnamese features stepped right in front of her.
“You’re Miranda Chase? Oh my God! I can’t believe it.” He grabbed her hand and began shaking it. “I’m Jeremy. Jeremy Trahn. Systems specialist. I can’t believe I’m on your team. When the security guy driving me here told me who I was meeting, I didn’t believe him. No way, just no way. But here you are. I’ve read every single one of your investigation reports.” His English was accentless and so fast that it was hard to follow.
Her hand was still tightly clasped between the two of his.
“All the way back to that first Cessna 152 that flew into the powerlines by Boeing Field in Seattle and ended up dangling upside down for hours. I’ve taught you everything I know. No. Wait. Everything I know I’ve taught… You know what I mean. I’m— I’m…speechless.”
“All evidence to the contrary,” Holly remarked drily from somewhere behind her.
Miranda’s attempts to recover her hand weren’t working.
“It’s amazing. I’ve been so hoping to just meet you or even attend one of your lectures. And now here I am assigned to your team. This is too perfect to be true. I’m Jeremy. Jeremy Trahn. Did I already say that? I’m just so excited to be here that I can’t begin to tell you. Such an honor to—”
Holly reached out and casually took Jeremy’s forearm.
“Ow! Hey!” His clasp relaxed suddenly, as if his nerves had been switched off.
Miranda recovered her hand and Holly let the man go.
“I think she got the idea, mate.”
“Sorry, it’s just—” Jeremy wrapped his other hand protectively over where Holly had seemed to barely touch his forearm.
“Honor and privilege and all that rot.” Holly turned to Miranda. “So I’m guessing that you’re some kind of hot shit crash girl in addition to facing down generals. I seriously like that. Want to get married? Not that I’m into girls, but I bet you’re a gas to hang around with. What are you?” She addressed the last to Jeremy.
“Systems specialist: electrical, fuel, hydraulics, you name it,” he rebounded with his full enthusiasm even as he rubbed at his arm. “Oh and weather. I’m always fascinated by the interaction of processes whether it’s electronic, fuel-based, or even atmospheric conditions. MIT at sixteen for computer systems. Though I went to Princeton for a double doctorate: fluid dynamics and advanced system topology modeling. Then I—”
Holly reached out toward his arm again.
Jeremy clutched it to his chest and stopped talking.