Semper Mine (Chapter Six: Katya, page 1 of 7)

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The asshole's question makes me look when I swore I would ignore him the rest of the week. His tone is soft for once. He's dressed in jeans fitted enough to reveal the long, lean lengths of his thighs and the narrow width of his swimmer's hips. The polo is snug across his broad shoulders and tight around his biceps. Even without his uniform, he's got the detached, commanding air that tells people he's something different.

"No," I lie.

Captain Mathis holds my gaze.

"I went too far," he continues in the same tone. "I apologize."

I'm not expecting an apology from the Iceman or the way my face feels warm under his direct look.

"I'll be at the reception center." He pushes away from the railing and walks away.

I turn to watch him, uncertain what to think.

He pauses, saying over his shoulder, "I'm a stickler for details. Your belt is on wrong. If you want help, let me know."

I look down at the camp-issued belt, irritated, and then back up at him. Confident and strong, he's got a quick gait and a nice ass. The man I think he is never would've apologized. Nor would I want him to. I want to hate him, because I don't know how else to deal with Mikael being gone.

After a moment, I receive a text from Zach saying he's waiting in the parking lot with my stuff. I go there instead of the reception center. He helps me carry everything to the lodge where I'll be staying with the jackass. I set up my side of the room, wash my face in the bathroom and leave.

The others are laughing and talking when I enter the reception center. Brianna is the center of attention from all the guys, even Harris. I want to throw something but sit down in my seat to look at the paperwork they've been going over when I was out.

First aid procedures. Ugh. Schedule with two days marked as being offsite camping. Double ugh. I'm not the kind of person who wants anything to do with living in a tent. I don't know any of this stuff, and everyone else seems a lot more comfortable with it.

"Ten minute break, then we'll get started again," calls Brianna. She's definitely relishing being in charge.

I tell myself not to give her an ounce of thought, but it's kind of hard. It doesn't help that I have an unpleasant history with her. I'm feeling raw again, a combination of being somewhere I've never been without Mikael and feeling out of place with the others here.

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