If you do nothing, you get nothing. - Aung San Suu Kyi
He sat in the car, studying newspapers. Not just any newspapers, however. Trade papers. Gossip columns. Real estate notices. Tools for his personal needs.
The others didn't know about this specific part of his expertise. There were times when he wanted them to, wanted them to realize the work involved, the organization required. But he didn't tell them. Partly because he liked to keep his secrets, let them think it was easy - for him, anyway. They knew they couldn't do it.
And they were right about that, which was the other reason he didn't want them to know his technique. Not only couldn't they do it, they wouldn't. They were satisfied with comfortable - and cheap.
He wanted cheap as well. At least, money-wise. But he strove for a certain standard. He wanted the best, both in where he lived and in the people he rubbed shoulders with. They were his 'in'. He was well aware of what certain people could do for him, now and in the future. And it was the future he was thinking of.
They wouldn't be running from the military forever. He believed that. And then he could start living the life he'd always planned for himself. Always.
He dropped the real estate paper on his lap, staring ahead. Maybe he was nothing but a social climber. But he'd worked his ass off in school so he could get into a decent college, and he'd worked his ass off there so he could be a success after. He wasn't afraid of working his way up. And yes, damn it, he wanted to be in a position where nobody gave a rat's ass that he had no family, no pedigree, no history...
Leslie had thrown things out of kilter. Damn near destroyed them. If it hadn't been for Hannibal...
And if it hadn't been for that fucking Morrison, he'd be there now. Legitimately. Would've had his degree, a great military record, and a job history full of promotions and fancy titles. Nice home, wife, a couple kids. The whole package.
And most of all, respect.
He sighed. That was really what he wanted. Hell, if he was totally honest, he could live without the fancy shit if he could just have the respect of the people he worked for.
Why did he even worry about that? It would never happen. Hadn't after all these years. They liked him. Maybe liked what he got for them a little better, but it had always been that way. So...
He picked up the paper, started looking for open houses, new buildings opening. Wrote down the possibilities with the names of vacationing notables taken from the gossip columns. That was the priority now - find a place to live or sleep in the Vette.
He settled into the couch of his new abode, feeling satisfied and relaxed. Not a penthouse suite, but the guy was definitely into gadgets. And a bachelor to boot. Couldn't get much better than that.