Semper Mine (Chapter Five: Sawyer, page 1 of 6)

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Fuck. Next to my name on the sheet the cute brunette handed out is Katya's name. Being around her is about as pleasant as being pinned down in a firefight - without any weapons. Of the three civilians I could've been paired with, I'd take Harris over Katya, even knowing how right Petr is about the guy. I don't need to talk to him to sense there's something really off about him.

War brings out courage in those who never thought themselves capable of it. It can also shine a light on the darkness in someone's soul, when they're pushed to the point where they don't just snap, they take everyone down with them.

Harris is one of those men. If he hasn't snapped yet, he will one day, and it won't be pleasant.

I could really use my good luck charm this week. I'm still upset with myself for losing it in the battle that took Mikael's life. It was given to me by the Marine who inspired me to join, an heirloom of sorts passed to him from his grandfather, who served in World War One. I had carried it with me for ten years, since I was sixteen.

"Can we swap partners?" Katya asks.

Equally dissatisfied with my luck, I'm surprised she has the balls to ask for a new one. I'm not the one who's wearing heels and forgot a sleeping bag, and I'd never throw mud on her or disrespect Petr by admitting out loud I don't want shit to do with her.

"Who you got?" Petr asks, leaning over to see her paper. His gaze flies up to mine. He smiles. "Everyone here wants Captain Mathis. He's always got his shit together and never loses."

"Then someone here will be happy to swap with me," she replies coolly.

The guys exchange looks around me, not sure what to make of her insistence.

"I'll trade you, Sawyer," Harris offers.

"Nope. No swaps," Petr says quickly. "Captain Mathis is the best man out here, and that's who you're teamed up with."

By the astonished look on Katya's face, her brother has never put his foot down before.

I'll admit, as childish as it sounds, the fact she wants nothing to do with me provokes the side of me that wants to show her why she's wrong. Again. I'm not sure how this girl gets under my skin, but she does.

"I need long-sleeved shirts," Katya says, peering with dissatisfaction into her bag.

What is with her? I'm ready to write her and her shirts off as crazy when Brianna responds.

"Something wrong with short sleeves? Fat arms or a few scars you don't want anyone to see?" she laughs.

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