Doctor Kenzi Sheppard walked past the Freelancer’s fire carrying two steaming mugs. Renita Cortez motioned her toward the far end of the perimeter where Mike Brackett leaned against the front of the battle car. It was fairly obvious the attraction the Doctor had toward their leader and the Freelancers were doing what they could to help it along.
Kenzi held the mug in front of Brackett. “Thought you might like some cocoa.”
Brackett looked at the mug then at Kenzi. “Go ahead,” she said, lifting the mug, “it’ll help take the chill out of the night air.”
“Thank you, Doctor,” said Brackett, taking the mug.
Brackett smiled. “Okay…Kenzi, I’m Mike.” He held out his hand. Kenzi giggled as she shook his hand. “There now we’ve formally introduced,” said Brackett.
They stood for a moment sipping their cocoa and listening to the night sounds. Kenzi looked up into the night sky, nudged Mike and pointed to the shooting star overhead.
“They say you get a year of good luck and a wish if you see a shooting star."
“We could use a year of good luck right about now. What are you gonna wish for?” asked Mike.
Kenzi smiled at Brackett and shook her head. “They say if you tell your wish it won’t come true. So, I’ll just wait and see.”
She, sheepishly, smiled again and sipped her cocoa, looking at Brackett out of the corner of her eye. Mike chuckled and drained the cocoa from the mug and handed it back to her.
“As much as I’d like to stand here and chat, I do have a job to do. Thank you for the cocoa and we’ll have to do this again sometime.”
“Anytime, Mike, you know where to find me. Maybe next time you can stay a little longer.”
Brackett smiled at Kenzi, shouldered his rifle and gave her a wave as he resumed his walk along the perimeter.
Kenzi shook the few drops of cocoa from the mug and walked toward Renita Cortez who poked at the Freelancer’s fire with a stick causing a flurry of sparks to dance up into the night air.
Maia, sitting next to Cortez, smiled at Kenzie when she took a vacant seat at the fire.
“Hi, Doctor Kenzi,” she said, her big brown eyes sparkling in the fire light.
“How’s things with you and the Sarge?” asked Cortez.
Kenzi sat back from the fire with a wide-eyed surprised look on her face.
“Oh, come on, Doc, you been fawning over Brackett ever since we woke up,” said Cortez.
“Is it that obvious?”
“Kenzi, you light up like a Christmas tree every time he comes within fifty feet of you. Everybody sees it but you. But, don’t worry, all the guys are with ya.”
“Oh my,” said Kenzi, “you think Mike noticed too?”
“If he didn’t he’s blind.”
“It’s that obvious, huh?”
Cortez nodded. “Jingle Bells.”