Page 52… in a fiction series
Miranda sat alone in Tiller’s office waiting for their meeting to begin, and more importantly, to find out whether she got the job. Rita brought her a cup of strong coffee and said her boss was on his way. Miranda scanned the room, settling once again on the photos hanging behind the desk. She wondered how Tiller was able to avoid the prying eyes of the worldwide web. All her internet searches came up blank.
Although the pictures were taken years ago, Tiller looked the same– black male, 6’4″, muscular build, and impossibly handsome. There was a photo of Tiller stationed near the President as he threw out the first pitch. Another showed the President jogging in the rain, flanked by his security detail. Next to that, a picture of the President and Billy Graham during an off-camera moment on the National Day of Prayer. (Miranda made a note– the President prays.) There was even a candid shot with the Queen, Emerson James Tiller looking on. He was the only one not smiling.
As Miranda leaned forward to get a better look, a voice interrupted her thoughts. “I was Secret Service Protective Detail for four years.” Tiller walked past her, freshly polished shoes clicking with purpose across the hardwood floor. Rita brought a mug of coffee, a refill for Miranda and took Tiller’s wool topcoat without saying a word. Miranda stood up to meet his handshake.
Miranda opened the folder. She had forgotten all about it.
“We need to go through them together.” Rita returned with a stack of newspapers and files, placed them on the credenza behind his desk, then left, closing the door behind her.
“Page one,” said Tiller, “is a standard confidentiality agreement. It restricts you from the use and dissemination of company owned confidential information, which means that everything you see and hear from this point forward is between us.”
Tiller continued. “A brief description of the organization is on page two, and an outline of the position I’m prepared to offer you follows.”
Miranda read as fast as she could, trying not to miss a single detail. Line by line she learned that Tiller’s organization was called, Special Services. (Special Services? That’s it?)
The description read, in part, “… conducts advance work and threat assessment, pinpointing vulnerabilities at locations with potential infrastructure and security breaches. Special Services determines, designs, and installs appropriate technologies and countermeasures to ensure maximum event protection, then assesses our own performance to improve operations in the future. This service applies to the protectee and the event’s general population.”
“So if you’re a rock star performing at the IX Center, Ms. Stowe, we can secure the facility, protect you and your people during the show, and prevent any incident before it occurs. We protect celebrities, professional athletes, and national dignitaries, to name a few.”
Tiller scribbled something on a legal pad and turned it around on his desk for her to see. It was a dollar figure. “You’ll learn more as we go along. And according to my research, you’re qualified for the job. Are you interested?”
Miranda knew it was important not to react, but to remain calm and professional. On the inside, she was high five-ing herself and doing backflips in the parking lot. But on the outside, she put on her best poker face. Tiller added, “That’s before commissions and bonuses.”
“I look forward to having you on board, Ms. Stowe.”
“I’m looking forward to it as well. And please call me Miranda.”
“In that case, you can call me Tiller.” He stood up, shook her hand, and almost smiled.
1 Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Sing to the LORD, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
Psalm 96:1-3 (NIV)
To be continued…
*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.