Ready to call it a day, Jacob packed up to return home for dinner. He was really revved up. His thoughts drifted to Petra although he brushed them aside. He thought perhaps he would call her later. He took off on his bike for the trek home, and just as he reached Central Park he saw her sitting on a bench, feeding some pigeons and ducks, looking very relaxed. Funny, he just would not have imagined her there. He headed toward her, and as the birds took flight she looked up and smiled.
“Well, hello there, long time no see. What brings you here, Jacob?”
He grinned and said, “I’m surprised to find you here. Me, I’m on my way home. May I join you?”
She was again dressed casually, but with everything hugging her petite shape. The bun was undone, providing his first view at how long and soft her hair looked. It was very feminine, with all the colors of blonde mixed together, almost down to her waist. His interest, he delightfully recognized, was definitely not just her mind. He would just keep telling himself that the complications of a relationship were not yet in his plans.
“Of course, but only if you are serious about feeding these poor greedy birds.” She encouraged his participation by passing him some bread then asked, “So how was your day? Did you catch up on your rest? I certainly did and spent most of the day relaxing. Fairly close to heaven in my life.”
“Well, since you asked, it was an exciting morning with another customer having an insider security breach. In fact, it was a very interesting use of automatic virtual server spin up coupled with DOS attacks to mask data transport. Fortunately it was fixed in time for the opening this morning. Though the guy was good, he obviously is working with another outside source for this to work. It reminded me of a group out of Russia that I had heard was working to infiltrate financial institutions.”
“Ah, you must be referring to the Dteam. There was some discussion about them at DEFCON. I too have seen chat discussions about them increasing significantly over the last year. The goal of their efforts is funds extortion. I suspect they are very adept at targeting folks and swaying them to work for them. They aren’t brilliant but definitely bothersome if they gain support from an insider. They are prone to using sex-oriented operators to manage their recruits, I’ve heard.”
“There you have it. I try to avoid casual relationships, and now I know why. I’m waiting for my career to be fully established before I work on a serious relationship.” He grinned but thought about how pretty her heart shaped face and perfect mouth were.
“You mean you and your buddy Buzz don’t hit the clubs? I am sure you would attract ladies without a problem. And Buzz, is he like you?”
“Buzz, he likes all the ladies. He always has, keeping several on a string. Patty, his latest, works at the local bar and grill and does some modeling and catering on the side to make ends meet. I still haven’t spoken to him yet on what I found in that program we worked, but I will before the end of the week.”
His anger over that started to escalate, so he tried for a subject change so he could spend more time talking with her. He picked up another piece of bread and absentmindedly broke off bits and tossed them to the greedy birds while he defused his anger.
“So, madam, what can you tell me about cryptography?”
Petra immediately brightened and became very animated but a bit cautious. She had learned that people sometimes glaze-over if she talked too long on this, her favorite topic. But his interest kept her engaged in the discussion, though clearly afraid to take it too far. This was not exactly the discussion for a warm sunny day in the park, feeding feathered friends. She also recognized that socializing was not her strength.
Jacob was enjoying her enthusiasm on the subject but sensed her withdrawal from the technical discussion. Being a pen-tester in the security world, Jacob was always looking to expand his knowledge, but he also found that he needed to impress her.
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