Semper Mine (Chapter Nine: Sawyer, page 1 of 8)

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Katya takes thirty minutes to get ready. We're late to breakfast, and I'm silently wishing she was one of my Marines, so I could deal with her properly. But she's not, and I'm at a loss as to how to help her pull her head out of her ass and pay attention to what's going on around her.

As soon as we sit down at the table with blue flags, we're served by a staff of two smiling women in cooks' whites. I'm excited to see what kind of breakfast a kitchen this nice can make compared to the usual military fare and am secretly hoping for some sort of gourmet French toast, my favorite.

My tray is set before me, and I stare at it. There's no hot food here. No bacon, eggs, and pancakes like I'm used to eating every morning in the mess hall. I'm not sure what the fuck this is, but it's definitely not French toast.

A glance at the other tables shows that they are eating hot food that smells and looks insanely fresh and homemade, and I start to think we got the leftovers for being late.

"What is this?" the ten-year-old boy, Jacob, asks, peering into a bowl of what appears to be cream cheese. His older sister, Morgan, is seated beside him, equally confused.

"Greek yogurt and organic granola, honey and flax seeds. If you mix it all together, it's one of the healthiest breakfasts you can have," Katya says cheerfully. "It'll keep you full for hours."

I say nothing, wanting to be a better sport about her mentoring than she is about mine. One week of this shit. I stab the thick yogurt with a spoon then begin emptying the other fixings into it, doubting anything is going to make this taste like the bacon I crave.

"Dig in!" she says.

Jenna alone seems interested in our breakfast and starts throwing everything into the yogurt. The other kids glance at their food and then at me.

"You've got ten minutes to eat," I say.

The kids take their cue and begin eating quickly.

Katya slides onto the bench beside me. "I planned all our meals."

"For the whole week?" I ask.

"Yeah. I hope you like hippy food." She smiles sweetly. There's a gleam in her eye that makes me think she's still pissed about me yelling at her to get out of the shower.

"Is there any real food this week?"

"This is real food. No preservatives or chemicals, refined sugar or flour or anything else artificial that'll kill you. Petr has been eating like this for the past four months, and look how healthy he is."

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