Mercedes stood staring into the airline terminal crowd with a puzzled look on her face.
Brayson hadn’t noticed at first but then settled his gaze on her. He realized that she had stopped processing so he asked, “Are we channeling onto something else? You seem to have stopped moving.”
Mercedes, without taking her eyes off her target, in a hushed tone remarked, “That is the target AIM that Julie was going to work with at ePETRO. What is she doing heading out and with almost no baggage?”
Brayson sported a mildly surprised look and, peering in the same direction, questioned, “Are you sure it’s her? I mean, it’s not like it couldn’t be someone with similar looks. At this distance you could mistakenly…”
Mercedes cut him off. “No mistake. And yes, my eyes and cognitive skills concerning people are what got me into that prestigious U.S. spy agency many moons ago.”
Brayson smirked a little but then agreed, “Well, let’s just see who she is, shall we?” And without waiting for an answer, Brayson quickly walked up to the young woman traveler, spun her around, and laid a big sloppy kiss on her as though they were long lost lovers suddenly reunited.
Mercedes was aghast at the scene and irritated that apparently their cover was now blown completely by a man who couldn’t keep his hormones in check. However, she maintained a fixation on the drama still unfolding.
As soon as Brayson finished his impromptu greeting kiss, he immediately went into abject embarrassment as he sheepishly announced, “Oh my god! Ma’am, forgive me! A thousand pardons and endless apologies! I thought you were someone else! I…I...don’t know how I can make amends for my unforgiveable transgression, Miss…”
Now that the initial shock had worn off and the handsome but unknown gentleman was desperately trying to back-peddle his way out of the embarrassing situation, Laurie, somewhat amused, asked, “Whoever she is, make sure you maintain the same level of enthusiasm for a proper greeting! My name is Laurie…ah, that’s all you need to know. I’ll accept your apology, since I am a little late for my departure gate.” She added with a chuckle, “I would recommend that you spend a little more time properly identifying your intended target before you launch your next greeting.”
Brayson sheepishly nodded and offered, “Again, madam, please accept my apologies. I must confess though, I’m not sorry to have had the pleasure of kissing you. Perhaps you will permit me to call on you again when you return to work to confirm my honorable intentions? You are working where?”
About that time Mercedes strolled up and put her arms around Brayson’s waist and cooed “There you are, you naughty, naughty boy! Come before this tolerant lady suspects you of being a stalker. Besides we have a plane to catch!”
Laurie chuckled as Mercedes hustled Brayson toward their gate and the waiting aircraft. As soon they were out of earshot, Mercedes growled, “Sooo, was she neat too?”
Brayson smirked and acquiesced, “You were right. Her name is Laurie, and the quick cell phone photo that I got of her was confirmed by Julie as the target individual.”
Mercedes, now somewhat annoyed, responded, “We could have just taken her picture and verified it with Julie WITHOUT having to taste her lipstick. I did the same thing with Julie except that you beat me to it.”
Brayson grinned and said, “Well, here is something you could learn from me on verifying your suspicions. Although I doubt you could have comfortably swooped in and given her a hug and smooch with the same cavalier approach that I did.”
Mercedes, still irked, snarled, “You’re just lucky she didn’t just haul off and clock you a good one. I know I would have.” Brayson smiled and agreed, “If she had, I would have fallen back to plan B and run through the same scenario with a hurt, surprised look with my hand covering my cheek where she had slapped me.”
Mercedes studied him and then added, “When I say clocked, smarty pants, I don’t mean slapped. I mean you having to get up off the ground.”
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