Paul was astounding.  He entertained, joked, teased, and he had Andrew seemed to be hitting it off with several high fives on numerous occasions.  They spent several hours wandering, ate the lunch they’d brought and were returning to their vehicles when Paul suddenly grabbed her arm to stop her while holding the other arm out to stop the kids.  “Hold up!”

Sitting atop their vehicle was a large gift wrapped package. They glanced at one another concern evident in their eyes.  He pulled out his phone and chatted with someone before clearing all the people nearby out of harm’s way.

Suddenly cop cars were roaring to the scene, lights flashing, screeching to a halt.  The parking lot was filled with cop cars followed by a bomb truck.  Eilea’s gaze passed over an ever growing group of spectators lining the parking lot, cell phones at the ready to land on her kids thinking, ‘it doesn’t get any more real than this’.

Two men popped out of the truck wearing full gear and wearily approached the package.  They used some sort of camera gear to examine it before backing off.  Following nodding and chatting, one of the men carefully lifted the box carrying it as though it were delicate china and set it inside the back end of the truck making it impossible to see what was happening or what the package contained.  Eilea held her breath expectantly.

An eternity later, Paul walked toward her with a large envelope.  “Paul?”

“Thank god the box didn’t contain an incendiary device, but it did contain this.  He opened the envelope with gloved hands.  The note read, “Time’s Up!”

Eilea was scared and it showed.  “What does that mean?”

“Not sure, could mean anything from his patience is wearing thin to one stop to the real thing.  It’s anybody’s guess.”

“I don’t know, that safe house is looking pretty good at this point.”

Paul stared hard.  “It’s what the bosses want, but I convinced them otherwise.  With you tucked away, he’ll never get close.  We’d have to move you secretly and semi- permanently.  You ready for that?”

“No. I’m not!  Any more than I’m want to handle this.”

Andrew piped up, “He’s doing something at least, he’s not idle, which was the goal, right?”

Eilea had to smile at her son’s optimism.  “True enough, Andrew.”

“So, what now?”

“It’s game on!”  Paul said.  My men are in place.  Although he might drop a few surprises along the way, he can’t get to you.”  Taking her in his arms, he planted a huge smacking kiss on her lips before wrapping his arms around her and bending her backward in a huge arch.

The kids smirked at one another. “Yep, game on!”

The police left and they hopped into their car heading toward their next destination.

Page 73                                                                                      Page 71




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