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   Chapter 17 Pilot

Pilot: Book One of the Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 8692

Updated: 2018-02-02 13:08

They left the gray building and were greeted by a nod from Thomas and an open car door. Elena climbed in gratefully with Peter following. It was not until they cruised through the gates that Elena felt the tight coil of tension wound around her spine loosen.

"Did you think they would change their minds?" Peter chided her. She frowned at him.

"They could have."

"It would have done them no good, " he reminded her. Elena dropped the argument. "I suspect you might want to run by the store?"

"Yes, if you don't mind. I need to see if everything is okay and then let them know I won't be in tomorrow either." She glanced at her watch and realized the day was only edging towards four o'clock. This day seemed to have lasted forever. Peter nodded and gave directions to Thomas. Elena quirked her eyebrow up, surprised he knew where her store was located. He looked at her expectantly and she decided questioning him about it would be of no use.

'Besides, ' she thought. 'If he actually answered at all, I still wouldn't know any more than I do now.'

"After we stop by the business would you mind joining me for dinner, there are some things we need to discuss."

"All right, " Elena agreed, a nervous feeling dancing in her belly.

'I've already been asked to lead a military expedition. What more could the Council possibly want from me?' she asked herself trying to calm her nerves. It didn't work. They reached the store and Thomas glided to a halt in front of the building. It was a no parking zone so Elena quickly hopped out. To her surprise Peter joined her.

"I merely wish to see what sort of business you run, " he told her. "After all if we are contemplating a business arrangement, is it not fitting that I see your business first hand?" he asked. Elena let the question go, knowing he had more than likely already seen her store.

"Feel free to look around, " she said turning away from him and towards the front door. "I shouldn't be long though." She tugged the door open and stepped inside with Peter following. While he wandered off to browse, she stood for a moment watching her people work. At the moment all of them were helping customers and from the looks of them they had a busy day. She could see the signs of fatigue and noticed even Max with his bubbling energy was starting to drag a little. Emily finished with the customer she was helping and looked up.

"Someone will be around to help you in a moment, feel free to browse…" Emily cut off her customer spiel as she realized it was Elena and she fairly bounced off of her stool. Elena

t postcards to bodyguard's r us or maybe just go around stapling flyers to telephone poles and hold an open audition?" She laughed at her own thoughts and climbed in the car.

"So what restaurant would you recommend?" He asked as they pulled away from the curb.

"Kind of depends on what you like to eat, " she replied.

"The food I leave in your hands entirely. However, I would prefer something slightly more upscale as our conversation will require some degree of privacy and the tables tend to be further apart in places such as those." He told her. "In booths one can not see over to determine who is listening in."

"Somehow I can't see you in a place that has booths."

"I have been in my share of greasy spoons." He sounded somewhat offended.

"Of course, " she replied. Personally, she thought the ones Peter would frequent would be more small family run greasy spoons and not chain fast food joints. Somehow she couldn't quite see him ordering a happy meal.

"Enzos, " she decided would fit the bill. "My grandmother would have pronounced it hideously Americanized, but I like it."

"I can accept that, " he replied. Elena gave the directions to Thomas. They drove the rest of the way in silence. Thomas dropped them at the door and drove off to wherever it was he waited when Peter didn't need him. Elena shook her head. The restaurant was mostly empty and it had just gotten dark enough for the wait staff to begin lighting candles on the tables. There was a soft glow about the place and Elena wondered at the wisdom of bringing Peter here as it seemed more romantic than business like.

'Nothing can be done about it now, ' she thought. 'At least the possibility of being over heard is slim.'

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