What a way to spend that special day, Jake groaned. That was the best Control had to say?!? He'd been stuck in this flyspeck town for three days waiting on a Clean-up Team. Even though he'd put the body into a stasis bag, he was certain it was starting to stink.
He'd be damned lucky if Gladys didn't castrate him over this debacle. Her refusal to answer the phone for two days spoke volumes about how deep the shit he was in, truly, was. As expected, she didn't care why he was unlikely to be able to get back to Seattle for Valentine's Day. Truth be told, he couldn't really blame her.
What sane person would believe his explanation anyway? He'd been sent here to find and neutralize a rogue cherub. Yes, a cherub. Cute, pudgy man-babies with little wings who flitted about firing metaphorical darts of love...they were real, decidedly NOT mythical. This would have been about where Gladys would have hung up on him anyway.
In any event, when one of those adorable fellows decided love was only an illusion, things got hinky. When this disgruntled chap swapped his love darts for hunting shafts with barbed heads, things got serious. When this gifted archer started racking up a body count, Jake got involved.
Though he'd hoped reasoning would do the trick, it never seemed to work. After a veritable storm of arrows, his Colt Python had ended the melee in bloody fashion. Lesson learned? Never bring a bow to a gunfight.
He'd been overjoyed to transition from low-level FBI functionary to the position of Field Agent with the newly-formed General Services Paranormal Operations Task Force - GSPOT for short. Great acronym guys! The work was exciting, the pay was astronomical and it opened up doors he'd never imagined existed.
Every job had its downside, though. His job demanded frequent, unexpected travel. So far, he had missed Gladys' birthday - undocumented Medusa in Toledo, the 4th of July - Chinese dragon in human form selling illegally-potent fireworks and now THIS! Something had to give soon or he would lose her forever.
The jangle of the phone jarred him from his reverie. It was the Chief himself!
"Jake, absolutely great work on the cherub matter! A team will be on site within the hour."
Jake nearly cheered. It would be tight, but he could STILL make it back for a late dinner with his beloved. He was so distracted he barely realized the Chief was still speaking.
"...know it's quick turnaround, but we have a damned succubus taking down some VERY influential high rollers in Vegas. You leave on the same aircraft the team arrives on. Of course, you'll get bonus rate for the short notice."
As Jake hung up, he was already doing complex mental math to determine if he had enough on his combined cards to order everything 1-800-Flowers offered AND buy out a Zale's Jewelers AND get it delivered to Gladys by tonight. Hey, why not? Stranger things happened.