John Reese sat across from the petite woman who, in spite of her size, packed a huge attitude. This is exactly why John didn’t believe in helping a friend help a friend. No good deed went unpunished and he was a hundred percent certain, he was going to regret this. When he mentioned he was given the task of finding a new security person for his team, his detective friend asked him to at least consider a fellow marine who had fallen on hard times.
“So, Fusco tells me you guys were in the Marines, together,” he said, sipping tea and forgetting how hot it was.
“Yeah,” the woman responded and it was the typical monosyllabic response he had been getting since she sat down.
“And that you guys collaborated on some work after that?” John inquired hoping to elicit more information. Lionel was a little light on the details other than to assure John, this woman was the right fit for the job. “I’d bet my bowling shirt on it,” he said and then John knew how serious he was.
"Yeah," she answered again.
“You understand we need someone with security background, but who can also handle situations that can run the gamut,” John explained.
“Yeah?” the interviewee said, still looking at him from behind her Ray Bans, shoving another mouthful of food into her mouth.
When he asked her to meet at the diner, he expected to conduct the interview over coffee. As soon as her bum hit the seat, she ordered a cardiac arrest breakfast of eggs, pancakes, sausage, toast and orange juice. He had only gotten through half the questions about her background and experience when the food arrived on three plates and she dug in like she was starving. From then on in, it was nodding her head or shaking it. Once she tried to answer with her mouth full, but John suggested she swallow first because - one – he couldn’t understand her and two, who wanted to see half chewed food in someone’s mouth this early in the morning. Now that her mouth was empty, it seemed her answers weren’t any better.
“Ms. Groves is a ….,” the man in charge of Security started, but was waved off.
“Yeah, I know. She’s a pain in the ass. I read the papers, Jack,” the woman said, and John watched in horror as she took out a toothpick and stabbed at errant pieces of sausage stuck in her teeth.
Her description might have been right, but John Reese didn’t ever talk poorly about his employer …or the pain in the ass niece he was in charge of keeping safe. “I was going to say brilliant and temperamental,” he said correctly, but was met with dark eyes, now peering over the sunglasses she pulled down.
“That’s code for pain in the ass,” she said bluntly and shoved the glasses back up.
Were her eyes bloodshot? Was she hungover? He had asked Fusco if she was stable and the man laughed, but said ‘as a rock’. John thought now they may have different interpretations. Ever since John left the force, he and Lionel were still best friends and saw each other all the time. The good hearted detective would listen as John complained about his job; which was surprising to Lionel, since John rarely ever shared his feelings, let alone complain. But the decorated ex-military, ex-NYPD detective had met his match.
“Says here you were a doctor?” John asked as he lifted the paper and read page two of her handwritten resume. Other candidates had handed him thick creamy stationery with impeccable typing. He was having trouble reading her scrawl.
“Yeah,” the doctor answered and John tilted his head toward her to indicate he’d appreciate a few more words on that. “I can remove my own bullets if I’m shot, if that’s what you’re asking.”
“Not exactly,” the man in the crisp white button down shirt sighed. “Our client….,” and he hesitated to say more because he didn’t think this woman was going to make it past round two of the interview, “…..has needed medical attention in the past.”
“Drugs?” the woman asked, still with no expression on her face. She waved the waitress over and ordered pie after hearing the long list of choices. “Apple.”
“No, nothing like that,” John said, after the waitress left.
“She pregnant? Cause I don’t deliver babies,” the woman informed him.
“No!” the Head of Security answered quickly, even though he wasn’t certain. The woman read his expression immediately.
“So, you don’t know….,” she said; a slight pause between the words that she filled with a smirk. She knew guys like John Reese; all business, all the time. She made it a sport to be able to actually unnerve them and the only thing she ever found to be consistent was mentioning things associated only to women.
The tall man, impeccably dressed, caught the grin immediately. It was hard to miss, since it was the only time there was anything but a blank expression on her face. “Not the point,” he finally said. “Just your background puts you in a smaller pool of applicants.” Why should this hotshot think she’s got the job, John thought.
“So, let’s see if I got this right,” the woman said, and for the first time, actually removed her sunglasses and folded her hands. “You’re in charge of security for this princess, but you need someone who can …oh, I don’t know….go to the bathroom with her and pick out eye shadow, if needed?” Unbeknownst to the man, whose white collar was feeling a little damp now, that distinct eye roll in the middle of that sentence was in fact the woman’s signature look. There wasn’t much she didn’t use it in response to.
John decided this woman was as annoying as hell. It was obvious to him that she had little regard for …well, probably anything. In the short time they were together, he decided she probably had issues with authority and alcohol. She was the complete opposite to this man who thrived on order and orders.
He would hate working with her.
And yet, he couldn’t think of anyone who deserved the job more, because if there was anyone who was a bigger pain in the ass than this woman, it was the woman she might work for.
“Well, Ms. Shaw, I think you’re ready for round two,” John said, smiling a little too broadly for his guest.
“Yeah, whatever,” she answered and put the glasses back on to avoid the pain from the glare of the light.
“Can you come to this address at twelve noon today?” John said, sliding the business card across the table.
Sameen picked it up and read it. “Who is…. Harold Finch?” she asked, even though his title was right under his name.
“Let’s just say he’s round two of your interview,” John smiled because his part of the assignment was done. All that was requested of him was to find someone who he thought could last a week with the client. He was certain Sameen Shaw could last a week with her, or die trying.
Either way, this was a win-win situation for John.