[If you’re stumbling across this title-less story, I invite you to start at the beginning. Or, just pick it up from here.]
Agent Marcel rose from her chair, and as she left the Commander’s office, tapped her slate to message her client.
Aided by the two women who had come to her aid, the waitress had gotten onto her feet by the time Eric arrived. He attempted to help clear the debris that had fallen onto the floor, but was quickly dismissed by the restaurant’s manager.
“You sure you’re all right?” The young, brown-haired woman who had asked Eric about his notebook had her arm across the waitress’ shoulders. More embarrassed than hurt, the waitress excused herself, leaving Eric alone with the young woman.
“Well, so much for my excitement for today,” the woman said, extending her hand toward Eric. “It was kind of you to help. Hey, you said you worked at the university?”
“That’s right.” Eric took her hand, touching for the first time the woman he would marry seven months later, and divorce within two years.
“Katie. I’m a senior, in Poli Sci. You work up in North Campus?”
Eric smiled. “Ferold Building.” He began walking with Katie back to his booth, but stopped on feeling something under his feet. He looked down, shuffling his foot aside, and saw a pen lying on the floor. He reached down and picked up the object, showing it to Katie — “This yours?”
Katie shook her head, but took the pen, saying the waitress had probably dropped it after her fall. Eric remained standing at the center of the restaurant as Katie showed the pen to the waitress, who shook her head in response, and pointed off to Eric’s right. He looked in that direction, and saw a woman sitting alone in a booth and reading a newspaper. It was the other woman who had come to the waitress’ aid.