A Chance Meeting


Jane L. Daffron


The Pentagon hallway near the SECNAV’s office was more crowded than usual at 1400 hours on Tuesday afternoon. Walking quickly, the Naval officer was trying to navigate her way between the bevy of military and civilian personnel that were walking helter skelter in the cramped corridor. Suddenly, without warning, she bumped right into a rather large immovable body. The contents of her heavily laden arms spilled onto the floor, scattering everywhere. As she hurriedly bent down to retrieve her possessions, she looked up and into the glaring eyes of a huge, hulking man wearing the gold braid of a four star admiral on his dress blue Navy uniform.

"Sir, I’m sorry, sir," she stammered, quickly. "I didn’t see…"

"Well, you should have been looking where you were going, Commander," he barked as he dusted himself off.

Then just as suddenly, another man bent down to help her and started to chastise the first man.

"Jiggs, you’re the one who wasn’t looking where they were going. You were too interested in telling me about the new appropriations." He handed her three of the notebooks and two stacks of paper that he’d managed to retrieve.

She graciously took them from him without glancing sideways and uttered, "Thank you, sir. I appreciate it."

The second man was smaller in stature, but held a much more imposing presence. His voice was warm and resonant, yet direct and non-assuming. The fact that he, too, also wore the gold braid of a four star did not escape her notice. Yet his dress blue uniform showed one important difference.

"You’re more than welcome, Commander. I hope you have everything. Again, please accept my apologies for Admiral Starke’s lack of attention." His voice was unlike any other she’d ever heard and his smile, and those sparkling steel blue eyes, captivated her.

She shifted the papers to one arm and the two men proceeded on their way down the hallway as she tried to get herself together.  Within seconds, another woman officer joined her.

"You okay, Karen? I couldn’t believe that four-star walked right into you. Jeez! And blame you to boot!"

Commander Karen Davis silently watched as the two men slowly disappeared into the crowd of people, blending effortlessly into the sea of blue uniforms.

"Huh? Oh, yeah, I’m fine. I’ve just got all this data that I’ve got to sort out for my presentation. Hey, by the way, who were those two anyway? I haven’t seen either of them around here and I thought I knew most of the stars here," she queried her companion as they headed for a nearby conference room.

"Oh, the bigger one’s Admiral Jiggs Starke. He’s the head of ComSubPac out at Honolulu and San Diego."

"And the other one?  He was wearing a reserve officer’s emblem on that uniform, as well as four stars."

"Oh, him!  You mean you don’t know?" Her friend’s smile widened in disbelief.

Karen looked at her companion, puzzled at her response. "Now why on earth would I know? It’s all I can do to keep up with what I’m trying to do without worrying…"

"That, my dear Karen, is Admiral Harriman Nelson. The one and only. Heads up the Nelson Institute of Marine Research and is owner of the Seaview."

She pondered the answer and then slightly shook her head. "Hmmm, ya know…" she slyly smiled at her associate. "For a four-star, he’s got a nice butt."

Feigning shock, the other woman replied, "Karen Davis! I’m surprised at you. Looking at another man when you’re dating one of DC’s most eligible bachelors. God, girl, what I wouldn’t give to have a date with that man.  'Course now, I understand he usually only has his ‘operatives’ as his escorts. Must be a FIRM rule. But if that’s so, then you’re the exception."

She chuckled. "Dora, the day I stop looking is the day they put me six feet under. Besides, as you well know, Michael surrounds himself with a bevy of beautiful women…and you’re right, all of them are his employees."

"Ahhhh, but you’re the one he’s been seeing…and…"

Now Karen was the one looking shocked. Her attitude quickly turned a bit more serious. "Dora, I know what you’re insinuating and believe me, I’m seeing Michael Briggs for more than just the physical aspects of a relationship. You know me better than that. I need more in my life than just …

"Hon, I know that and you know that…but you gotta admit, there’s a helluva lot of women who would absolutely kill to be in your position."

"Maybe so, but still…" she remarked, still looking at the point down the hall where he had disappeared. There’s something about him…Again, she smiled to herself. Damn fine ass.

Dora looked over at her friend with a slight grin as Karen Davis stood gazing down the hallway then turned back to spread out her papers. "Karen, I know what you’re thinking and you’d better watch it. Just remember the old saying…be very careful what you wish for…"


The end ??





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