I have to post a disclaimer here–these scenes are how they appear from my free write. What that means to you is this: I may have changed direction in the course of creating the actual book. The change of course may have rendered the scenes unusable in the book or just simply not a fit any longer. When you read these scenes, keep in mind it may or may not have anything to do with what is coming next. If someone appears to be a “bad guy”, he may actually be a “good guy” in that actual book because of a twist or turn I made in the published material.
So, bottom line, read these for enjoyment, but don’t try to figure out where I’m going with or without these deleted scenes. Does it add a bit more mystery? Absolutely–because I don’t plan on telling you if I changed my mind or not on a specific character or an action being taken.
With that said, here’s is the part of the scene I deleted from Cloaked. This takes place after Sean has met with Baranov to present his credentials. Remember to just enjoy these scenes!!
“Ms. Charbonneau?” Sean questioned.
“Yes sir,” confirmed Stewart.
Nicole stood up and walked behind the desk. Sean watched as she placed her finger on the blinking button, waiting to depress it. He tried to ignore the sardonic smile on her face. “You need some office training.”
“Thank you, Stew,” Sean said, releasing the speaker button. As Nicole depressed the button and picked up the phone, Sean said, “I wonder what Bobby wants.”
“We’ll find out,” Nicole said as she lifted the receiver to her ear. “Hello, Mr. President-Elect. How are you?”
“Please, Nikki, call me Bobby,” Jenkins told Nicole. “How do you like the USSR?”
“I’m not sure yet. We just arrived yesterday. So far, all I have seen is the embassy and the shooting range.”
“Shooting range? Why? What’s wrong?”
“Nothing is wrong. I just wanted to get some practice in,” Nicole tried to reassure him. “You probably never knew I had that skill.”
Sean gave a quick chuckle. “He isn’t the only one.” Nicole smiled.
“No, I didn’t. I thought Sean said the embassy was well protected.”
“It is,” Nicole assured him. “Bobby, is it a good idea for you to be calling here?”
“I have a business reason,” Jenkins replied. “I want to offer you the Attorney General position.”
Surprise took Nicole. “What?” She looked at Sean. “Did you say you are offering me the Attorney General position?”
Sean’s heart sank. How could Nicole turn down such an offer? He walked behind his desk and sat in the desk chair trying to conceal his fear, but his face showed his quandary. He wanted Nicole to stay with him, but yet, he knew he couldn’t ask her to turn down that offer. His eyes betrayed his worry that she would accept it.
Nicole reached over and caressed Sean’s cheek. She gave him a reassuring smile. “Is this a secure line?”
“No,” Jenkins responded. “I don’t believe it is.”
“Then let’s just say that you know that wouldn’t be the best thing for me to do,” Nicole said. Jenkins was in possession of her work files from the trails and deals she brokered while at Rosen, Shafer, and Pruett. “Let’s add to that statement that I don’t think I want to return to practicing law at this time.”
Jenkins knew what she was referring to now. “I see. Well, then, would you consider being my communications director?”
Nicole smiled. “Communications director?” Sean was still looking at her, uneasy but not willing to snatch away her opportunity. If Nicole were to stay, she would have to decide to do so on her own. “Bobby, you know I’m—”
“Yes,” Jenkins interrupted. “I think it’s perfect actually. You would help to hone my message and help me shape policies, keep me on track—as you did during the campaign. I can assign a secret service detail to you if you are worried about your safety—”
“Bobby,” Nicole started again, but Jenkins kept on talking.
“—and you would be at the White House most of the time.” He wasn’t going to let Nicole say no. “Look, take twenty-four hours and talk it over with Sean. Call me tomorrow with your answer. I need to go. It was great talking with you. Goodbye for now.”
“Bobby?” The line went dead. Nicole hung up the phone. “He hung up.” Sean didn’t respond. “He wants me to be his communications director.”
“So I gathered,” Sean said with reserve.
“He wants me to talk it over with you and offered me secret service protection,” Nicole added. Sean didn’t respond other than trying to smile at what would be a wonderful offer if it weren’t for his love for her and that she would be half a world away from him. Nicole bit her lower lip.
“It’s a wonderful offer,” Sean finally said.
“You think I should take it?”
“I can’t answer that,” Sean responded quickly, shaking his head. “You have to decide that.” Sean was not confrontational in his body language or tone of voice. “Are you interested?”
“I’m flattered that he would offer the position, both of them,” Nicole began. “And I would be in a position to make a difference.”
Sean swallowed. “Yes, you would.”
“Could you transfer to America?” Nicole asked, a hint of hope in her voice.
Sean gave one shake of his head. “No, I just got here.” Nicole could hear the disappointment in his voice. He looked away from her and said, “I don’t blame you for wanting to do this. Maybe in a year or two, I might be able to ask for a post in Washington.” Sean thought that Nicole had already made up her mind. He was disappointed. “We’ll figure out a way to see each other.”
Nicole gave him a confused look then realized her question about the transfer led Sean to believe she had decided to take the job. “I was just asking, Sean.” She tried to catch his eye but was not successful. She studied him for a moment, touched by the fact that he would let her go if she wanted to accept the job offer. She moved from leaning on the desk to sitting on Sean’s lap, wrapping her arms gently around his shoulders as she sat.
Sean accepted her into his arms, burying his head in the crux of her neck and shoulder. He could smell her perfume. The scent never left his memory. He wanted desperately to beg her not to go, but showing that vulnerability, voicing it, was not something that came easily to him. He just held her while he tried to suppress his feelings.
Nicole was at a crossroads. The offer Jenkins made was intoxicating, and it was something she would enjoy doing. She knew there was an underlying reason why Jenkins wanted her back in Washington. She knew he was still interested in her even though he made it sound like he had accepted that she and Sean were in love. He could have made the offer when they were in Washington before Sean and Nicole left for Moscow. What was he up to? She wondered if her feelings for Jenkins were truly friendship and if the prospect of being the communication director was what interested her. She also knew that Sean would never truly believe that was the only reason—her interest in the job—and that he would feel he had lost her if she returned to Washington without him. Her thoughts turned to what her role would be here, in the United Kingdom’s embassy. She wasn’t a British citizen so no official role would materialize. She knew that she could help Sean and that Sean would gladly welcome her insight. Her thoughts returned to the communication director’s role. She had to admit that Jenkins’s offer was very tempting.
To be continued!