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Courage

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     Location: Paris, France

     Language(s) Spoken while Undercover: French or German

     Allison and I have been in Paris for about a month now. We assumed our different identities right after we got off the train and boarded the ferry for France.

     I’m now Jean Comtois, and Allison is Iva Gosse.

     Immediately after we arrived we got a tiny studio flat to share. A week after being in Paris, “Iva” got a job as a barmaid in a pub that was frequented by German soldiers, and I got a job as a waiter that was popular with Nazi’s and their sympathizers.

     Since being in France I have realized that Allison has a special hatred for Nazi soldiers and their sympathizers. No one likes them, but there’s something deeply personal about Allison’s hatred. There’s a heaviness to Allison now. Sometimes I see her look at different landmarks and there’s a deep sadness that emanates from her.

     At night she’ll whisper in rapid French about how beautiful the city once was. How alive and picturesque she remembers it. She says that what’s left now is not her Paris. It’s a bastardization, a hollow ghost town devoid of what once made it beautiful.

     I can’t say anything to comfort her. How can I? Nothing could make what has happened right. Instead I listen quietly and squeeze her hand when her voice gets wobbly.

     The restaurant I work at is okay. The food is superb, but the customers leave something to be desired. I have my ass pinched on a daily basis. Now, logically I know that not all alphas are horny Knot-heads that treat omegas poorly, but it’s hard to remember that when I have to put up with these assholes!

     They lean close to me and whisper things like:

     “Poor omega, no alpha to keep you warm at night. I could always help you with that.”

     “How does a gorgeous creature like you not have an alpha to call their own?”

     “When do you get off beautiful?”

     Basically it’s just a series of come-ons that do not work on me, or any other omega I’ve met. I mean, do they really think that in just two short sentences I’ll just up and leave with them? I haven’t even expressed any interest in them. My body language, and actual language, has been saying, “No.”

     I can also smell the alcohol on their breath, and feel them grabbing my ass. Those two factors don’t exactly scream romance.

     It’s even worse when there’s no alcohol on their breath. If there’s alcohol at least you can blame their poor manners on that, but to know that they’ll treat an omega like a sex object when they’re sober is incredibly disheartening.

     I know I’ve had a one-night-stand before, but I didn’t treat Jasper like a piece of meat. Plus, we were both on the same page. We both wanted to be together. Had Jasper even given a hint that he didn’t want to be with me, I would have backed off immediately. After all, no-commitment dalliances doesn’t make a person any less deserving of respect.

     It's hard for me to believe that I have to put up with all of that nonsense, and I’m allegedly working in an upscale restaurant.

     Allison gets that, and then some because she works in a bar.

     She’s had soldiers try to follow her home or catch her off guard on several occasions. Allison is quick and sneaky though, so they never catch her. If they did catch her they would not be alive long enough to regret it. I know that for sure.

     Now, before we left the estate in England, Allison and I were informed of who we would be working with throughout Europe. Our contact is another special ops team called The Wolf Pack. Every two months, on the very last Saturday of the month at eleven p.m., Allison or I will meet with one of their members and relay information until they give us new orders on where we’re to travel next.

     Allison and I learned a special code that The Wolf Pack uses, and we will deliver all information to them using it.

     We have also developed our own code for when we we're to head out and meet them. It’s simple and cheesy, but basically one of us will have a late date with a handsome soldier at the Eiffel tower.

     So, on the last Saturday of our second month I ask, “Iva, do you have a date with that soldier tonight?”

     She laughs brightly, “Yes, I do. I will be out late so do not wait up for me.”

     “Be careful, you know how rowdy those men can get.”

     “I swear, Jean, you worry like an old maid. He is a perfect gentleman, I will be fine.”

     Our conversations are kind of stilted when we’re Iva and Jean. We just can’t ever risk being ourselves. You never know who might be listening in. The only time Allison ever even remotely breaks her Iva character is when she’s lamenting what has happened to her country in the dead of night. It’s a risk for her, but I think she needs to express that pain.

     When she gets back that evening it’s about three in the morning. I’m kind of shocked she was gone for so long. I get up to make sure she’s okay when I notice her expression.

     She looks…happy, light even. I’ve never seen her genuinely look that way before.

     I whisper, “Iva, are you alright?”

     “Yes, I’m wonderful.”

     “Was the date that good?”

     “Oh yes! He was just perfect, Jean. Such a gentleman and so caring.”

     I look at her oddly. This wasn’t what we had discussed. She was just supposed to say the date was nice and she would see him again. She wasn’t supposed to be all lovesick.

     Maybe she had a crush on the contact?

     Ugh, I do not want to deal with whatever weirdness this is.

     I say, “I’m so happy for you. Will you be seeing him again?”

     “Absolutely.” Then she drops the conversation and hums softly while she gets ready for bed.

     I’m torn between being happy for her and frustrated. We cannot afford to create relationships behind enemy lines. What if her soldier dies? What if they get caught? What if she gets pregnant?

     Oh God, I am like an old maid.