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   Chapter 16 Storm Chaser

Storm Chaser: Book Two of The Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 8349

Updated: 2018-02-26 14:28

Chapter 16

"She didn't seem crazy, " Elena said to herself as she drove away from the restaurant. "Impressive, a little scary, and definitely someone I would never want to cross, but not crazy."

The cards depicting recipes were in the passenger's seat and Elena glanced over at them. They sounded delicious and Elena found herself once again thinking of Grazos. Technically Peter hired Consuelo and presumably he knew why Consuelo left the restaurant. Elena hadn't felt comfortable asking on such short acquaintance. It felt wrong to just ask Peter about it. Elena didn't like the thought of going behind Consuelo's back to find out about her.

"I guess I'll just have to wait until I know her better to ask." Elena said. She glanced again at the recipes. The one on top sounded promising. It reminded her of the dish she ate when the family celebrated securing the Desta trade route.

"And I do need to get some groceries." Elena detoured her car to Nibbles and picked up the few off world items she would need and then headed to the grocery store. At the store she grabbed a cart from the line by the front door and began her shopping. It would be nice to actually have food in her fridge again. The cart rolled a bit unevenly and Elena looked down to see that part of the tread was missing on one of the wheels. She shrugged philosophically at it.

"At least it isn't squeaking, " she said, straightening. She took a loaf of bread from the rack and placed it in the seat of the cart. Elena pulled the recipe card from her jacket pocket and checked the ingredients as she pushed her cart towards the produce section. She looked up to find Jonathan entering the grocery store and looking around. Elena tucked the card back in her pocket and continued forward.

"The car must be bugged, " she said with a frown. She pulled a plastic bag from the roll by the scales and picked up a bunch of green onions. By the time she placed them in her cart, Jonathan caught up with her. She noticed he was pushing a cart of his own. Elena resigned herself to a longer meeting as she had no intention of going home with no groceries.

"Well hi, " he said. "What a coincidence, running into you here again." He smiled his toothy grin and Elena noticed he looked a little nervous, like an actor given lines he knew wouldn't fly.

"Yes, one would almost suspect my car was bugged." Elena said with a polite smile. She took another bag from the roll and pushed her cart towards the tomat

said a lot of things, " she told him. She realized she was starting to sound snarky, but didn't really care.

"I see, " he said. "Is there any way you would help us?"

"It is nice to see that you finally decided to try asking instead of demanding, " she told him. The tips of his ears turned pink again. Elena actually found herself feeling pretty bad about the hand Jonathan was dealt. She had the feeling in a normal situation he might actually be a nice guy.

"Yeah, sorry about that, " he said. He paused as she placed coffee and filters in her cart. "So is there a way you would help us?" Elena thought about it. She knew they weren't going to give up and she really wanted to avoid another kidnapping. Also she had the feeling that if they couldn't get her they might start looking elsewhere rather than trust Peter. Given the state of the New World section of the Guild that could get… messy.

"Well the Guild is commercially based, " she said. "If I could prove there was some kind of benefit for me in helping you independently of Peter they may allow it."

"So we would pay you, sort of like a consultant?" he asked.

"I was thinking more like a trade."

"A trade?" He asked. "What would we trade?"

"Well, " she said a sly grin on her face. "I'm pretty sure you have some kind of device that lets you search for electronic bugs and things. Perhaps we could start our trade by letting me borrow it." Jonathan smiled at her. This time it wasn't the toothy grin he usually flashed but an honest, if sarcastic smile. She liked it a lot better.

"I'll have to run that past the boss, " he said. "After all, I'm not a chief either."

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