Chapter 5 - Who's Audrey?

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With the situation seemingly well in hand, Mack returned to the Bridge. When she saw Daniya, the green-skinned woman asked, "So, is he cute?"

"I beg your pardon?"

"C'mon, I mean, what I could hear through the static sounded nice."

"You're insatiable!" Mack pretended to complain.

"I haven't approached anyone on the team or the staff," Daniya pointed out. "You're the one with the boyfriend."

"Damn, you're right, and I was flirting with that guy, and everything."

"Dana!" Crita exclaimed. "Whatever will Major Hoberman say?"

"Well, he never has to find out," Daniya pointed out.

"No, you're, no," Mack fumbled with her words, "I should come clean with him. Long distance relationships and all that. Can you get him for me? I'll grab it in the Ready Room. Daniya, you're in charge again."

"Then we're all getting raises," the Orion replied, "although I still say not to tell him."

As Mack hustled herself to the Ready Room and its little adjoining bathroom, Crita flipped a few switches and said, "This is the Cookie calling; please connect me to Major Emmett K. Hoberman, Commanding Officer of the MACO unit on Andoria."

"Connecting you now," replied a Vulcan relayer.

A stock image of icy Andoria was shown on screen until Mack emerged and flipped a switch and accepted the call in her Ready Room.

"Dana!" Kent Hoberman exclaimed. "This is a pleasant surprise."

"It's been a while. You're looking good."

"Thank you; so are you." He was a lot younger than she was; an attractive mid-thirties guy in uniform. "I'm sorry for not maintaining better contact."

"It's all right; everybody gets busy. I, er, Kent, I did want to confess something to you."

"Oh?"

"We helped get a guy out of a jam, a, a trader." The fib was out of Dana's mouth before she could stop it.

"And?"

"And I ended up flirting with him, sorry."

"You have nothing to be sorry about, Dana."

"It's just; it wasn't too terribly respectful to you. I shouldn't have done it. I, I'm a more loyal person that that. I wasn't being a very good girlfriend to you, not at all."

"It is, uh, Dana, I'm glad you called. I, er, I have something to let you know about, too."

"You been flirting, too, Kent?"

"Uh, no, Sandy came back."

"Your ex-wife."

"Yes, and she brought the girls, and everything. Katie's learning her letters and Nichole is just about walking now."

"That's, um, that's great."

"We're gonna be a family again. Sandy and me, uh, we know it's gonna be a bumpy road, but we're gonna reconcile."

"When did this happen?"

"Right around two weeks ago, the twenty-seventh of January. I, uh ..."

"Wait, two weeks ago?" Dana had been contrite, then excited, then stunned. But that was all dropped in favor of a growing anger. "When the hell were you gonna tell me?"

"I, uh, I wanted the time to be right."

"No, you didn't, Kent! You wanted to see what was gonna happen, right? Am I right? You were just gonna ghost me, just, just cease all contact until I gave up, and, and block me if I didn't!"

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