Catherine stood at her mother's leg, grabbing onto the buckles of the leather boots. The little girl was two now, her hair long like her mother's and with striking blue eyes like her father. Curiously, Catherine looked and saw the calm expression on her mother's face, and then looked across the room at her tall and handsome father, with the exact opposite expression creasing his forehead. Her father wasn't angry, just focused, much like her mother. They were the two sides of a coin, her parents.
Vivienne looked down at her daughter and ran her fingers through the soft brown ringlets of her curl laden hair. "I wondered when you'd be coming by, Mr. Minamoto.â€
The PaipÄzu commander flicked his dark sepia eyes at Vivienne and then her little girl. "Miss Sena...it's Yoyo. You know this.â€
"You never call me Viv.â€ She smiled at the man she knew very well. The Pipers in the room were confused and their expressions were openly worn on their handsome faces. The Pacific Rim Pipers were a secret, a very well kept one.
Hammer and Brig had always known about them, being the Piper leaders, but not their Pipers. Not even the LT.
Looking across the ready room, the LT narrowed his eyes at Viv almost in response to her thoughts. Her mate moved to the LT and touched his shoulder. The LT's confused expression cleared with a long breath. Brig crossed the room and reached out a large hand to shake Yoichi's. Viv watched with interest, her gold-rimmed eyes flickering.
Yoichi bowed respectfully and then grabbed forearms with the Piper Commander. "A very long time, Commander Jameson.â€
"My Pipers are confused.â€
"South Africa and the US has kept you busy, my brother.â€ Yoichi spoke with a soften tone. Vivienne immediately recognized it as the twinkle, something the dead Alpha possessed and clearly his father did not. He tempered the reactions when he was able to speak to the Pipers directly, soothing their confusion with his words.
Viv's attention was broken off by her daughter flittering over to her father and the new visitor. Brig reached down and picked up his daughter without breaking the conversation. Yoichi was immediately distracted by their daughter. His focus was completely on Catherine, especially when she took notice of the man.
"This is the object of your mission, Yoichi. This is Catherine.â€
Viv watched intensely at Yoyo's reaction. The Japanese man took a step back and bowed deeply at Catherine. While still in the submissive welcome, Yoichi pledged to her.
"My life for the Alpha and for you, little one.â€ Straightening slowly, Yoichi looked up at Catherine and winked at her, making her smile. "May I, sir?â€
Brig lowered Catherine to the ground and looked at Yoichi. Kneeling down, he reached into his inside breast pocket, making Brig flinch for his progeny at his feet, and took out a rice paper candy. He offered it to Catherine who immediately looked up at her father.
"Ask your mom, punkin.â€
Catherine looked back at Viv who smiled and nodded. Their little girl held out her hand and thanked Yoichi with a voice that tinkled like snow bells. She unwrapped the candy as best she could, and then started to take the rice paper off when Yoichi silently stopped her. He motioned for her to eat it, much to her confusion, but did as she was told. Her blue eyes lit up and she giggled, making all the Pipers smile at the little noise.
Viv looked at her little girl and then at the room. The Pipers, even the Alpha, watched Catherine light up the room like the sun. She was special. Special enough to keep the vultures at bay.
A trickle of goosebumps erupted on the left side of his head making Charlie look in that direction, seeing LT and Red move to the edge of the Situation Room. Both men were looking at him, so Charlie disengaged quietly and moved toward them. LT lifted his chin and then tilted his head toward Minamoto.
Arching his right eyebrow, Charlie exhaled slowly before answering. "This is as much as a surprise for me, LT.â€
Red furrowed his eyebrows with irritation. "Lewis doesn't know much, either. You'd think he'd have information on them. There's nothing.â€
Charlie shrugged, "All I know about the Pacific Rim are scattered packs and a minor-Alpha. We're not in every single culture, not globally.â€
"He's as close to the Inner Circle as any one of them." LT looked over at his leadership. "The Alpha and Commander have known him apparently for years. Even Vivienne knows him. How far out of the loop are we?â€
"Don't think of it that way, LT.â€
The three men turned toward the voice. Viv was standing on the edge of their tight circle with a smile. She wrapped her arms slowly around LT, making him blush.
Viv shrugged slowly. "He is the Piper Commander of the Pacific Rim. His Alpha is an old friend of the Hammerthynns and Jamesons. He is a direct-Jameson and your cousin, LT."
LT blinked. Both Red and Charlie gaped at Viv before looking back at the Asian Piper. The world got a little bigger and a little less familiar for LT just then. There was an entire region that was a mystery to even the most gifted nerd, Lewis. Viv spoke again, reading his mind.
"They have their counterparts. And yes, they have a nerd. The culture is a mysterious one and they keep it that way for a reason."
"What reason?" Red asked.
Charlie rolled his eyes and muttered, "It wouldn't be a secret if we knew."