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First Meeting

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"Jenna Breeden."

"Rollie Saunders."

They eyed each other suspiciously, trying to size one another up. Searching for potential strengths and visible weaknesses. What Rollie saw was a young woman, attractive in a wholesome, girl-next-door kind of way. Dark hair, dark eyes and a mouth made for smiling.

The way she cocked her head made it clear she had a little bit of an attitude, but Rollie could handle that. Tough women like Jenna tended to be able to deal with the rigors of these missions because of that attitude. They tended to push themselves hard because they thought they had something to prove, either to themselves or someone else.

They shook hands and Rollie wasn't surprised at the strength in her handshake. Jenna looked up at him, meeting his eyes and silently taking his measure. She must have liked what she saw because after a moment, she smiled cheekily at him.

"So, you're Rollie. I've heard a lot about you."

"Not all of it is true," he returned, lighting a cigarette and offering her one. A troublemaker, this one. He could tell already. Smart and sassy and so much like he was at her age that it made him feel old and tired.

It wouldn't be long before the blood and heat of Africa would tarnish her shine. And that was going to break his heart.

-fin-