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Lily slapped the lid closed on her tablet far more forcefully than was necessary. Swiping irritably at the wisps of blond hair plastered to her forehead in the sweltering heat of Ashkelon in high summer, the pint sized explosives expert huffed in annoyance.


Sitting at the table across from her, Rachel looked up from her sudoku puzzle with her trademark cocked eyebrow. The eyebrow was an inquiry in and of itself but just in case, she asked. “Ian?”

“Yes!” Lily growled, obviously pleased to have an audience willing to listen to her grievances. “Stupid git just won’t take a hint. I am just not turned on by his fucking possessive streak. If that’s what he wants in a woman - someone to melt and coo every time he turns all lizard-brained and macho - he’d really best look elsewhere for companionship.”

Slanting his eyes upwards to watch them both from his place on the floor, Davis kept silent and still. No use giving Lil another target when she was in a mood like this. Not that she’d ever gone and taken the piss out of him simply for being male. But then, Davis was smarter than that. Not to mention the fact that he privately rather disagreed with Corporal Nigels attitudes toward women. And if he hadn’t felt that way to start with, working on an all female team like the Valkyries certainly would have drummed it into Davis’ head by now.

“Cut him lose, Lil,” Rachel opined gently, “he’s not worth all this. Life’s too short for this much agro. Go find someone who’s a better match for you. You’re too good, too certain of who you are, to try to make a mess like this work out between the two of you.”

Slouching back in the battered old camp chair they’d dragged out of storage, Lily nodded.

“You’re right, Rach. I know. I just keep hoping -”

Their normally mild-mannered brunette counterpart sat forward quickly slapping her dog-earred puzzle book closed. “What? That he’d change? Don’t do this to yourself, Lily! He’s just not worth it. But you, you are.”

“I know -” the blond began, refusing to meet her partner’s eyes.

“Then have some self-respect and ditch the dead-weight. Wouldn’t it feel good to leave Israel with less baggage than when you came?”

That finally drew a chuckle out of Davis. “She’s right, Lily. Though honestly, I’m not sure getting Ian off your dance card is really going to make that much difference when it comes to the weight of that steamer trunk you call a suitcase.”

Davis ducked adroitly. And a good thing too as a tin of shoe polish went whizzing through the space where his head had just been.