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"Perhaps it's impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be." ~ Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game

Sloane shuffled a stack of papers, flipping through the many documents until she found the exact one she needed

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Sloane shuffled a stack of papers, flipping through the many documents until she found the exact one she needed. She'd been lucky to get an entry-level position as a research assistant here at the college just after graduation. So much for all the haters telling her she'd never do anything with that English degree, she thought with a slight smile. But honestly, who was the joke on, her or them? She loved being here on campus, but this wasn't really what she saw herself doing with her life.

Exactly what she'd seen, she wasn't sure. But digging through archives, composing reports and presentations, and answering to snooty overlords, she meant, bosses, wasn't it. Somehow she'd always envisioned herself traveling, discovering hidden treasures, saving the world. No, wait. That was her Indiana Jones phase. She'd almost become an archaeologist because of her love for those movies. Sloane shuddered at the thought. She did not do snakes well or anything that slithered really.

Glancing out the window, she watched orange and yellow leaves flutter, twirling in the wind like graceful dancers. Her mind wandered back to the club last night and the brothers she'd run into. If she were being honest with herself, they hadn't left her mind much since waking in the middle of the night. She could see the resemblance once Mr. Annoying pointed it out. Same broad shoulders, tall, fair haired, while his was bordering on a light brown, sandy blonde, and Mr. Thor Look-a-like had a shade fairer with that irresistible scruff on his face she loved so much. She'd even sworn she'd seen him this morning while getting into the elevator.

"Pull it together, Sloane. It's not like you'll ever see either of them again," she admonished dragging her eyes back onto the computer screen in front of her. After all, she had much bigger problems, remembering the paper she'd awaken to that looked as if someone had scrawled crude markings on. Her eyes flitted to the office next door and back to her computer before she pulled up a new search window typing in first one description then another until she had ten screens open. None appearing to hold the answers she searched for.

She was so close to calling Delanie it wasn't funny. The only thing holding her back... Gabriel Stone and his need to do everything by the book. Despite her love of teasing him, she knew where the line was drawn and wasn't willing to cross it. The last thing she wanted was to put herself on HAXA radar. And not just because the whole super secret organization thing scared her to death, but because she didn't want to cause her best friend any trouble. She knew exactly what Delanie would say to her fears of getting her in trouble. She'd laugh and tell her she was being ridiculous, but that was Lanie. She was self-less and always had been. It was her turn to do something good for her friend. She wouldn't cause ripples for her, not when Delanie's new life was finally getting on track.

The rest of her work day dragged by, passing slower than usual as she spent most of it daydreaming before rushing to finish her tasks near the end. She walked through the parking lot as the sun was setting, only hues of reds and oranges tinting the horizon as twilight moved over the area. Stifling a yawn, she tossed her purse in the passenger seat. She needed some rest tonight, she thought debating if she felt up for a jog to help clear her mind. A hot shower, order of chinese, and romantic comedy while cuddled in bed sounded like the better prescription for what ailed her. She glanced over, tugging her phone out deciding to place an order for delivery while on her way home, so she wouldn't have to wait long.

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