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From: Rand Ratinac docwagon101@*****.com
Subject: Sweet Oblivion - Part 4/5
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 20:48:11 -0700 (PDT)
Ameliaís expression was the veritable essence of sourness as she
endeavoured to focus on her job, rather than the two young people in
the back of the Phaeton who were busily becoming better acquainted with
each other. She muffled a sigh for what felt like the millionth time as
the woman, Sage, giggled at something Anthony had just whispered in her
ear. She stared fixedly ahead, immersing herself in her role as chief
of security, ignoring Anthony and Sageís goings-on and the amused
smirks Carl kept casting her way. It was quite obvious what he thought
of the whole matter.
What really bothered Amelia about all this was the speed at which
Anthony and Sage were travelling in their relationship, if it could be
called that. They had progressed from covert glances during the entree
to casual, almost flirtatious touches throughout the main course, to
openly holding hands by the time they were being served dessert. When
they had begun to feed each other from their respective dishes, Carl
had barely been able to contain himself. Amelia, however, was becoming
more and more concerned. It was in no way because she felt any
jealousy, she was sure of that. What worried her was that this was
totally out of character for Anthony.
As long as she had known him, Anthony had never shown any interest in
casual relationships of any kind. Even his sudden infatuations never
lasted less than a few weeks and heíd never invited a woman home with
him on the first date. Yet here he was, with a girl heíd never met
before, a girl heíd only known for a little over an hour, and that was
exactly what he was doing. Amelia had seen this kind of behaviour
before Ė in people engaged in one-night-stands. Anthony had never been
interested in anything like that, however. He had a romantic soul,
something that was an anachronism in this day and age. Amelia just
didnít understand it and as far as she was concerned, anything she
didnít understand was dangerous, potentially fatal in fact, for her
team and her client. Aberrant behaviour certainly fell into that
category. Unfortunately, in this case there was nothing she could do
about, save watch and remain alert.
"Weíre here, boss." Ameliaís head jerked up as Robertís voice filled
her mind. She nodded once to herself. Okay, boys, stay alert until
weíre inside. Iíll let the lovebirds know. Carl snorted, coughed and
almost choked trying to suppress his laughter at her words. Amelia
favoured him with a particularly nasty glare that swiftly dampened his
amusement, but neither Anthony nor Sage seemed to notice. "Sir" Amelia
said, leaning forward to gently shake Anthonyís knee, "weíve arrived."
Anthony glanced up from his contemplation of Sage with a smile. "What?
Oh, thanks, Amelia." Sage also smiled, a gracious expression. Amelia
had to admit that she was a particularly beautiful young woman, but
that still didnít explain Anthonyís eccentric behaviour to her
satisfaction. She slumped back into her seat and unconsciously assumed
a petulant expression, much to Carlís amusement.
The mage couldnít believe the night he was having. Heíd thought it was
going to be another exercise in sheer futility and a total waste of his
time. Then all this had happened. Carl could hardly believe his luck.
Anthony had fallen head over heels for a beautiful woman and Amelia had
her nose severely out of joint about it all. Carlís amusement didnít
stem from dislike of his team leader, but rather from the fact that he
was a remarkably selfish and petty man Ė something he would only admit
to himself and then only in rare moments of total honesty. In truth, he
found Amelia extremely attractive. However she had rejected his
advances on more than one occasion, an occurrence that did nothing to
endear her to the egotistical mage. That and what Carl saw as Ameliaís
Ďholier-than-thouí attitude meant he was constantly torn between desire
and a state of irritation as far as his dealings with her went; and so
anything that annoyed Amelia had a cathartic effect on Carl. That
wasnít something Carl was particularly proud of, but on the other hand
he wasnít really a big enough man to try to change himself for the
The ironic thing was that Carlís clear knowledge of his own flaws and
desires made him more perceptive to those of other people. He had known
of Ameliaís attraction to Anthony for years, which just served to make
his own scorn for his charge all the more galling. The fact that Amelia
wouldnít consciously admit that attraction to herself just made the
situation even more ironic. Anthony, on the other hand, was as thick as
a lump of wood as far as Carl was concerned. Heíd never recognised
Ameliaís feelings and would never return them even if he did notice. He
just didnít think of her in that fashion.
So now Amelia was beginning to slip into a funk over Anthony and she
didnít even know why. Carl smiled to himself and shook his head as Paul
drove the Phaeton into the underground parking lot of Anthonyís
Bellevue apartment building. It was just too rich. Sometimes he
despised himself for his pettiness, but most of the time he just had
too much fun to care.
Once the limousine was once again secure within the garage, Amelia and
her team quickly bustled their two young wards into the building
proper, where numerous security guards and automated systems meant they
could relax Ė to a degree, at least. Sage giggled as they moved, Paul
taking point and Robert, Amelia and Carl arrayed in a loose triangle
around the two noncombatants. "This is so exciting!" she informed
Anthony. "Do you always do stuff like this?"
The comment elicited a frown from Anthony. Normally a very amiable and
even-tempered person, the issue of security was a sore point between
him and his family. As the leader of his security detail, Amelia was
always caught in the middle of the mess, so she wasnít particularly
appreciative of any mention of the matter either. On the other hand,
Carl, petty as always, found it extremely entertaining and satisfying,
mainly because of the friction it caused between Anthony and Amelia.
It seemed that with his new love-interest taking notice Anthony was
feeling more belligerent than usual and not at all inclined to let the
matter drop. "Unfortunately, yes," he replied. "Actually, itís not all
that exciting when you spend your entire life like this."
"Really? Itís like this all the time?" Sage giggled again. "That must
make going to the bathroom sort of difficult."
"YesÖyouíre right. Itís not easy to get any privacy around here,"
Anthony said, glancing archly at Amelia.
Amelia sighed. "Itís not my decision, sir, and you know it. But why do
you ask, Sage?" she queried, suspicion evident in her voice. "This
mustnít be anything new to you."
Sage didnít miss a beat. "Well, my boss does have his security people
around all the time, but I never really have anything to do with them.
I had no idea that it was anything like this for important people."
Anthony sniffed. "Huh. Important people. I donít feel important. I
just feel like a lab rat in a cage."
Sage gently slapped him on the arm. "Now thatís not really fair on
Millie and the others, Anthony. Theyíre just doing their jobs, arenít
Ameliaís expression was a mixture of surprise at the insightful
comment coming from someone she had believed to be little more than a
pretty office decoration, distaste for the nickname Sage had bestowed
on her and stunned astonishment at her unexpected support. Her
gratitude faded in the next moment, however, as Sage looked up at
Anthony almost slyly. "If youíre their boss, though, Anthony, couldnít
you just fire them?"
Even the normally imperturbable Robert and Paul looked shocked at the
suggestion. Amelia was dumbfounded and Carl was hard pressed to contain
his mirth Ė as far as he was concerned the job had stopped being
worthwhile long ago. The only thing that kept the mage here was the
fact that you did not walk away from the people who had hired him.
Anthony sighed. "Well, I donít actually employ them, honey. Itís
family money. Iím very rich, but I donít control my own life." Then he
grinned craftily. "Of course, Iím still their boss, arenít I?" He
glanced at Amelia. "Why donít you guys take the night off? Iím sure we
wonít need you until morning. Will we, Sage?"
The young woman tucked in under his arm smiled up at him. "Of course
not," she purred. "I know how to dress myself." Her wickedly dancing
eyes made it quite clear it wasnít getting into clothes that she was
concerned with.
"ButÖsir!" Amelia protested. "I donít really think this is a good
Anthony cut her off with a laugh. "Look, Amelia, weíre in one of the
most secure buildings in the entire city. You can stay in your own
suites for once. You wonít be more than a minute or two away Ė and Iíll
get some privacy for once. Itís a good idea." Amelia looked like she
was going to continue to protest, but Anthony glared at her. "Itís a
good idea, Amelia. Take the night off." He looked down at Sage and
suddenly he was all smiles again. "Iíll see you guys in the morning."
He draped his arm around Sageís shoulders and the two of them turned as
one and headed off towards his apartment.
Robert and Paul glanced at each other, then shrugged and left Amelia
to stare forlornly at Anthonyís retreating back Ė and Carl to do
whatever it was that took his fancy.
Carl grinned, then, schooling his features into solemnity, slid his
own arm around Ameliaís drooping shoulders. "Seems our boyís growing a
backbone," he observed.
Amelia shook his arm off and glared at him angrily. "Anthonyís always
had a backbone, you drekhead! Thatís not what Iím afraid of."
"Oh? And what are you afraid of, then?"
Ameliaís eyes grew distant as she stared off along the corridor. "Iím
afraid heís not thinking with his head anymore."
(aka Mr. Freaky Big, Super-Dynamic Troll of Tomorrow)

.sig Sauer
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From docwagon101@*****.com Wed, 28 Apr 1999 19:14:20 -0700 (PDT)
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 19:14:20 -0700 (PDT)
From: Rand Ratinac docwagon101@*****.com
Subject: Sweet Oblivion - Part 6

Well, someone's finally written and told me that he actually likes the

I hope he's not the only one reading it...:)

=========SWEET OBLIVION - Part 6

Shannon peered closely at the image before her. The man was quite tall
if, as she suspected, the illusion was life-sized. He stood nearly
six-and-a-half feet in height and his body was obviously slim but wiry
beneath the suit he wore. His features were regular and handsome, his
jaw square and his lips full. His skin was a light olive hue and the
few exposed areas bore a scattering of fine, black hairs. His
mid-length hair was a shining black and he wore a friendly smile that
carried on up to his soft, brown eyes. Shannon glanced up at the mage.
"No, canít say Iíve ever seen him before. Whatís his name?"
The mage slowly shook his head. "You donít need to know that. If
anythingÖ untoward happens, it would be best for all concerned if you
as little as possible about all parties involved."
Shannon shrugged. "Fair enough. Iíve gone into action with less
knowledge before. Not often, but I guess that doesnít really concern
you, does it?" She continued before the mage could attempt to answer
the rhetorical question. "Okay then, tell me this? Who is he? How is he
connected to the man youíre having difficulties with?"
"This is his nephew. For some strange reason, the two are quite close.
That isnít something that can be said of most of his relatives and
acquaintances. The boyís uncle is a rather difficult man. He has few
friends and he doesnít seem inclined to make more." The mage smiled
ruefully. "Thatís one of the reasons why weíre having such problems
with him."
"Uh huh. Makes as much sense as a lot of things Iíve heard in my
time." Shannon glanced around idly, but still could not pierce the edge
of the lit circle. It seemed whatever spell the mage was using to block
her vision beyond the rim of light was in no way affected by the strain
of his other spells Ė the light itself and the illusion. The mage
himself was showing no strain at sustaining at least two, probably
three spells at once. That would be something to remember in case her
prospective employer intended to screw her. A mage who could cast spell
after spell was bad enough. A mage who could maintain multiple spells
without even cracking a sweat could give anyone serious trouble. "And
the other reasons?"
"Again, thatís something you donít really need to know."
"All right then, what do I need to know?" Shannon queried, her
expression and pose portraying exasperation.
The mageís smile was somewhat apologetic this time. "I was hoping you
would tell me that."
"What?" Shannon exclaimed. "You want to clarify that for those of us


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