Eternity of Love 

Book 1, Part 1, Chapter 10 

by E. N. Ginerd


    It was a dark alley.  

    It was always a dark alley, she sighed.  Damp too, she observed, standing in the shadows by the fire escape, glancing over the alley full of puddles.  She tensed, hearing faint footsteps approach.  The faint steps got louder, until she heard splash, awkward shuffle, and cursing about the goddamn weather and his life as a goddamn go-for.  Looking at her watch, she noted he was a few minutes late.  Hopefully, it wasn't because he had to lose a tail.  He had better have lost the tail, she thought, if that was what kept him.  She wasn't up to dealing with crap.  She had been very tired lately - ever since that night she met  . . . Felicity.  

    Shaking her head, she tried to push all thoughts of that crazy woman with that really annoying name and admittedly amazing lips away.  But it wasn't possible.  The harder she tried not to, the more she thought about the troublesome woman . . . her silky hair that smelled of fresh flowers, deep emerald eyes that held such fire in them, and those tender lips that greedily consumed her.  Not to mention a respectable and surprising right hook, that had seemed to have knocked through her defensive wall to permanently imbed those persistent thoughts about her, she thought, absently rubbing her chin that was thankfully no longer discolored.  She could have taken those three guys, she thought with amusement before her eyebrows furrowed at the continuing invasion of her thoughts by the woman.  She didn't have time to think about the crazy woman.  Distractions were dangerous.  But her thoughts ignored the logic and common sense of just forgetting about that criminally insane woman.  

    Those cops were not playing games, she noted.  They were seriously after the blond.  They thought she was dangerous, she recalled, surprised at how that description didn't seem at like the woman she met . . . except for those violent outbursts when she asked if she was a hooker.  But except for those outbursts, the woman didn't seem dangerous.  Well, not the "I'm gonna kill you with an ice-pick after we have passionate, mind-blowing sex" kind of dangerous, she considered.  But she was dangerous from the "I'm nothing but trouble which will stick to you after we make passionate mind-blowing love" kind of dangerous.  And she didn't need any more trouble, she thought . . . sadly.

    "Agent Orange?"  The older man whispered into the darkness, shaking his soaking shoe with irritation.  "Agent Orange?" he called out more loudly, startling her from her thoughts. 

    "Shhh!" she said, emerging from the shadows long enough to pull him into the darkness with her.

    "Ah!" he said nervously.

    "Shh!" She said angrily with her hand over his mouth.  He nodded and sighed.  "You have a tail, don't you?"  she asked, looking around with annoyance. 

    "I do not have a tail.  We've done this how many times before?  How many times have I had a tail??" He argued as he pulled out a thick manila envelope from his sport's coat breast pocket.

    "With all the noise you make "DAD," it's a matter of time," she said gruffly, taking the envelop and looking inside.  Two thousand dollars, a driver's license, social security card, and a credit card.  She pulled out the credit card and eyed it, then the man.

    "I've set up a credit account and a post office box for you. . . . "

    "They traced credit before, they can trace it again . . . ."

    "It's safe!  And you run through the cash too quickly.  Use the card, please.  I promise you it's safe," he argued.  She shook her head skeptically.  "Come on, you can trust me on this. . . . " he added.  

    "If they find me . . . ." she threatened. 

    He nodded and sighed wearily.  "Yeah, yeah, I know."

    Her eyes narrowed at him.  

    "You be safe, Reese," he said with a smile, patting her on the arm.

    "Thanks Dad," she said with a thin smile.  A light rain started to fall.  She looked at the older man, who pulled his trench coat more tightly around himself as he groaned miserably.

    "I do appreciate this," she said softly as the rain fell harder, starting to soak her.  He looked into her sincere blue eyes, almost caught off guard by the emotion. 

    "I know.  That's why I'm doing it."

***

    She watched it down pour as she stood in the hotel lobby, looking out the window, wondering if Felicity was somewhere out there in that weather.  "Miss Townsend?"  She turned to see the uniformed clerk smile and hand her back the credit card without blinking. "You forgot to sign the back," he said. 

    She looked at the card and rolled her eyes.  "Oh.  You'll take cash then?"

    "No need, just sign the back now.  I won't tell," he said conspiratorially with a warm smile for the tall, attractive woman.  "I forget myself sometimes."

    "Thanks," she said, picking up a pen and signing the white strip.  He picked up the card and compared signatures to the receipt she had signed a moment before.  "Hmm, looks the same to me," he joked, she smiled uneasily, cursing herself for being too damned distracted.  She never overlooked any detail, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant.  Never!

    "Room 113," he handed her a flat electronic key to the room. "Can I have someone help you with the rest of your luggage?" he asked, looking around her curiously, not seeing anything but one of those popular blue, EOL backpacks that come in a variety of colors and sizes to fit all traveling or school needs, by her feet.

    "I wish.  The airport has it . . . someplace," she said.  He shook his head sympathetically. 

    "Well, we can help you get whatever you might need.  All you have to do is ask," he said. 

    "Right now, someplace dry and quiet to rest," she said with a small smile.

    "You're in luck.  Have a good rest, Miss Townsend."

    She smiled weakly with a nod and left for her room.


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