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   Chapter 28 A Familiar Face (Part One)

Pull You Closer Into Me By Sophie Characters: 7325

Updated: 2020-03-29 10:22

Objectively speaking, Johnny was a handsome, well-dressed, and—importantly—unattached gentleman. That cemented his reputation as a golden bachelor or a catch. As soon as he joined the newspaper, he had attracted a lot of attention.

"Luckily, it's still early. We have enough time," Todd said while looking at his watch, seemingly immune to the strange atmosphere inside the van.

"Are you okay, Elsa?" Johnny asked with concern.

"Are you that frail, Elsa?" Cindy continued sarcastically, "Such a shame that you didn't end up in the arms of the chief editor."

Elsa shot the other woman blank stare, barely restraining herself from rolling her eyes. 'Was it really so rewarding to aim at others all the time?' she wondered.

Cindy returned Elsa's stare, then her eyes flickered down to her outfit. Elsa was wearing another tailored dress in a bright color—definitely another notable departure from her usual black and white pants and shirt ensemble. Moreover, the handbag in her hand was from Gucci's latest summer collection and looked like a genuine article. She said in surprise, "Hey, Elsa, why are you wearing a dress? How are you going to do the interview?"

Journalists usually avoided wearing long dresses out of professional habit and convenience. However, Elsa chose the dress because it was her first day to work after the wedding leave, and she didn't think that she'd be thrown into the field so soon. The last thing she was expecting when she reported to the office that morning was to be roped unwillingly into going to the army base in the company of Johnny, of all people. Elsa tapped at her temple and smiled. "I only use this to conduct interviews, not my clothes. The success of an interview does not rely on the amount of skin that the interviewer hides or reveals." For emphasis, Elsa shot a pointed glance at the deep cleavage revealed by Cindy's tight clothes.

"You!" Cindy choked out angrily, irritated by Elsa's sarcasm. Apparently, the woman didn't appreciate having the tables turned on her.

After fastening her seat belt, Elsa closed her eyes and pretended to sleep. She really detested that woman. Every single time, it was Cindy who started needling her, and Elsa usually just ignored her. Every once in a while, when the other woman crossed a line, Elsa would rise up to the bait and retaliate. How dared she act like she was the one who was wronged when she always sought to aggravate Elsa? Cindy was the kind of person who liked to pick on others but couldn't stand it when her target fought back. This particular aspect of her personality made her a boring opponent.

Elsa's head was starting to hurt. 'Do I really have to be in Johnny's company for so long?' she wondered. In the eyes of others, this assignment was a great chance to rest. However, considering that she would be spending this time with two people in this world that she least liked, namely, Johnny and Cindy, this break was starting to look more like an ordeal for her.

Her inward sigh was particularly heavy.

Elsa hadn't planned on coming, so she didn't bring any clothes or other necessities with her. Worse, she didn't have her laptop. Nobody told her any information about which army base they were supposed to visit and what specific interviews they were supposed to conduct. Looking at her watch, Elsa estimated how long the drive from the office to the army base took—an hour and a half, give or take a few minutes. She could always sneak out to get some supplies and clothes, but it all depended on how Johnny arranged things. 'One problem at a time, Elsa,' she told herself.

When their car arrived at their destination,

a young military sergeant greeted them and briefed them about the base's situation. Then, he led them to the living quarters provided for them for the rest of their stay so that they could stow away their luggage. Fortunately, each of them was given a single room. Elsa didn't have to put up with Cindy more than absolutely necessary.

As the person in charge, Johnny held a simple meeting and set the time for everyone to clock in and out of work. "We'll be keeping the same office hours as the people in the office: from eight o'clock in the morning to six o'clock in the late afternoon, with a lunch break of one and a half hours at noon. In the absence of any special schedules on weekends, you can choose to go home or stay here. You'll be further notified about special arrangements or circumstances. For now, please remember that we are in a special place, so I hope that you wouldn't go out at will. If you need to go out of the army base, you must inform me and take a gate pass with you."

Cindy, who found this arrangement untenable, complained, "This is so annoying. I still want to watch a movie or do something else after work."

Johnny replied calmly, "If you have to leave between eleven o'clock in the evening to seven o'clock in the morning, you need to obtain a signed approval slip from a colonel of the army, so you'd better remember that and take it seriously."

"Oh, no!" Cindy wailed. "What's the difference between me and temple monks this month? Can I at least go online? Are there any art performances or concerts here in the base?"

"You can access the internet, but only certain sites are accessible, and you can only log in to your designated mailbox," Johnny explained.

Elsa nodded her head. The army implemented strict rules, and ironclad measures were in place to prevent information leaks. They were probably provided a designated mailbox solely for the purpose of facilitating their interviews. It was impossible to surf the Internet for entertainment. After some thought, Elsa asked the questions in her mind, "What about the specific interview assignments? Also, will we still hold the routine daily meetings? When should we submit the draft? What are the specific requirements for the articles? How many articles do we need?"

Johnny addressed the barrage of questions with: "I'll be sending the answer to those questions and further instructions and requirement via e-mail. Please check it out later." Casting a glance at Elsa's dress, Johnny said, "In the following days, we may be asked to join the troops in their morning drills. Everyone needs to pay attention to your clothes. Dresses are not permitted."

Elsa looked at herself, miffed. Was it supposed to be her fault that she was dressed like this? Did they think that her outfit was intentional?

Once the young sergeant saw that their meeting was over, he led them on a short walking tour and told them several rules and regulations that they should keep in mind during their stay. He spoke in a serious tone. Unable to resist, Cindy asked with a flirtatious smile, "Sir, do you have a girlfriend?"

To her surprise, that sergeant suddenly blushed. He held his breath, and the hectic flush on his face lingered for some time. Eventually, he replied, "Ma'am, not yet!"

"What kind of girl are you looking for?" Cindy had always been like this, so Johnny could only let her be. Along the way, Cindy was so amused by the sergeant's awkward shyness and had fun making him stammer. Every time the young woman giggled, the sergeant would be too embarrassed to look at her. He just stared straight ahead and strode forward without looking back.

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