Leo pushed the laundry cart through the darkened corridor. His eyes scanned ahead, mindful of running into any unexpected complication but the hallway was still, the only source of light came from the office at the far end. The sound of his soft footfalls and the occasional squeak from a loose wheel on the cart amplified the deserted nature of the rest of the building. It was late Friday evening and the majority of the staff on the base had gone home to enjoy the holiday weekend.
He paused at the door to the office with its lights still burning to read the name on the door before going inside. "Oh, shit!" Leo exclaimed in mock surprise as the man seated at the desk looked up at him. "I'm sorry, Colonel! I thought everyone had gone home for the night."
John Haverson flashed a smile as he waved away Leo's apology. "I should probably be the one apologising," he said, indicating the paperwork in front of him. "Finishing off a few reports. I was in meetings for most of the day and I've fallen behind."
Leo considered himself a professional but in spite of himself, he took a moment to admire the man in front of him. According to his file, Haverson was forty six but even with fifteen years on Leo, he was effortlessly handsome. His flint jaw and wide smile of perfect white teeth were a recruiting officer's wet dream. His short sleeved olive shirt clung tightly to a muscular frame at the chest and biceps and Leo had no doubt the matching pants were worn equally snug. Haverson's thick, dark hair had greyed at the temples and laughter lines furrowed his brow and tugged at the corner of each eye but Leo considered neither feature a blemish, rather they added to the Colonel's distinguished good looks. It wasn't hard to see why that damned do gooder, Liberty was so enamoured with the older man.
"Want me to come back?" Leo asked, catching himself and quickly reverting back to his role.
"If you could give me...thirty minutes?" Haverson asked, checking the time on a heavy and obviously expensive gold watch, clasped tightly onto his left wrist.
"Sure Colonel, just let me empty your shredding bin." Leo said, stepping forward.
"That's not necessary," Haverson said quickly as Leo reached his desk. "It contains some confidential information," he explained kindly, obviously assuming he was talking to the newest member of the civilian staff who had not been fully briefed on the do's and don'ts of his job. "Policy says I have to dispose of all such paperwork myself."
"Oh, I'm sorry Colonel." Leo was full aware what the regulations stated for the disposal of confidential documents but the act of ignorance had gotten him closer to the the older man.
"It's fine," Haverson replied, "And it's John by the way."
"No problem Colonel-I mean, John." Leo gave a nervous laugh and watched Haverson's eyes crinkle with amusement at the nervous man in front of him. Leo guessed the Colonel was the chivalrous type, all too willing to show a kindness to a timid young man, apparently wowed by the rank and uniform.
"Good, good," Haverson nodded, still smiling. "Thirty minutes then?" He asked, tapping the face of his watch.
"Sure thing, John," Leo said as he turned to go. "Oh! I almost forgot..." He pivoted on his heel, pulling the small canister from his pocket as he turned and slammed it on Haverson's desk. Thick white smoke began to spew from the device instantly, catching the Colonel where he sat. Leo quickly stepped back and raised the previously hidden breather to his nose and mouth as the gas quickly enveloped Haverson.
"What...." The Colonel managed to cough, ".... "What is this?" Haverson waved the smoke away as he rose to his feet but it was a fruitless task. He coughed again as he sank back into his chair. With a soft moan he slumped over his desk and remained motionless.
Leo waited until the gas began to dissipate and never took his eyes from Haverson who had not moved since he collapsed across his desk. He grabbed a hold of his left wrist and lifted it into the air. There was no resistance to the action and he let the limp limb drop onto the desk. Haverson's heavy gold watch racketing noisily against the polished wood was music to his ears.
Leo allowed herself his first real smile of the evening as he pulled the unconscious Haverson up before letting him fall back into his leather chair. He could feel his heart begin to beat faster and knew it was more than the adrenaline from the job causing it.
He ran a hand up Haverson's leg, stopping just shy of the bulge in the tight olive pants. "What do you see in him?" he asked, whispering the question as he gently ran a hand through Haverson's hair. He moved close enough to feel the gentle touch of the Colonel's breath against his skin. The scent of coffee and natural sweat mixed pleasantly with his smokey aftershave. Against every instinct he had as a professional, Leo allowed himself a moment to plant a soft kiss on Haverson's lips. "Sleep tight, Colonel" he purred softly.
Seizing the unconscious Haverson under the arms and locking his hands across his chest, Leo pulled him from his chair. Even a man with such a large frame at a dead weight was little trouble for Leo and he easily dragged his limp form across the office and to the waiting laundry cart. As he admired his own handiwork, the sound of footsteps approached from the far end of the dark corridor. "Mister DeBries?"
Leo turned with a triumphant grin, seizing Haverson's limp wrist once more, holding it up to his man; "We have him. If this doesn't bring Liberty running right to us, nothing will."