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   Chapter 15 Storm Chaser

Storm Chaser: Book Two of The Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 7141

Updated: 2018-02-26 14:28


Chapter 15

Coming up with suitable explanations for why the military, represented by Smith, was paying her house calls was not easy. Elena ran through several possibilities, but all of them sounded fairly flimsy. By the time she pulled up in front of the location for the meeting she was somewhat frustrated.

"If people didn't know that I run an imports store it would be easier, " she said as she gathered her papers and slid out of the vehicle. "After all you can hide a multitude of sins with words like consultant or contractor. Imports store owner just makes it sound like I'm smuggling." Elena thought about it for a second. "That might have possibilities, " she muttered.

With a start Elena realized she was standing in front of the newly re-modeled restaurant she had seen on her way into port. One other car was parked in the lot. It looked to be a rental. As she looked around a large woman came to the door of the restaurant. Elena guessed her to be close to six feet tall with broad shoulders. Large was the only word she could think of applying to the woman. She wasn't fat, in fact she looked to be in very good shape, but she was definitely large.

She was in her fifties or sixties and had long black hair liberally streaked with gray. Some of the gray stripes had been dyed a bright green. The hair had been braided into two long braids and they were wrapped around her head like a coronet. She wore what looked to be some sort of cross between a pirate shirt and an old world peasant blouse with billowing sleeves and intricate embroidery along most of the surface. The ties keeping it closed strained against her amble bosom. Underneath the embroidery Elena could see the shirt had been dyed a virulent purple. After the shirt the baggy black chefs pants tucked into worn combat boots barely registered a flicker. Elena walked over, a smile on her face. After all she had seen weirder outfits. Admittedly most of them weren't on humans.

"Hi, " Elena said. "Are you Ms. McCracken?" The woman smiled.

"Ms. I like that, " she let out a staccato burst of laughter. "I am Consuelo." The short sente

as if just seeing her for the first time.

"I think I am going to like you, " she pronounced. "I was not sure at first."

"Oh?"

"Yes, from The Baranov's description I did not think this would be so, but then I talked to Bennie V and he says you are all right. I think Bennie has the right of it though."

"Bennie V?" Elena asked.

"Benjamin Valentine, " Consuelo clarified with a smirk. Apparently the name tickled her. Again Elena wondered about Benjamin's past.

"I see, " She said. "Well I'm glad to know impressions of me vary so greatly." She smiled and began gathering up the papers she had brought with her. "Oh there is one more thing I would like you to look at if you have an interest, " Elena said. She pulled out a card. "This is the wine shop down the street from me. They are going to be doing a tasting the evening after my opening as kind of a tag team effort. We came up with the ideas of using some of the items from my store as appetizers during his event. I could just go with the basics if you aren't interested." Consuelo took the card.

"I could be interested, " She said.

"Good, " Elena said with a smile. "I'll provide the ingredients and Doug will pay for the rest." Elena handed Consuelo one of her cards. "Just call and get the details from him then call and I'll send over what you need." Consuelo laughed.

"Oh yes, " she said. "Bennie V. had the right of it."

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