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   Chapter 21 Storm Chaser

Storm Chaser: Book Two of The Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 7912

Updated: 2018-02-26 14:31


Chapter 21

Elena and Mateo walked to the store in silence partially because a cold wind had kicked up and tended to steal the breath and partly in silent contemplation.

'Grandfather would only have come early if there was a complication, ' Elena thought. A million scenarios ran through her mind. None of them were pleasant. 'Of course he is more paranoid than I am.' She added to console herself.

They entered the imports store, a puff of warm air felt wonderful against their wind cooled faces. Elena's eyes zeroed in on Alexandro Calabrese as he stood browsing the shelves. His hair was snow white, but still thick and managed to look casually windblown, as if he had just stepped off the deck of the Wind Dancer. He caught sight of them and walked over. Elena realized that this was what Mateo would probably look like in fifty years. Their grandfather placed a hand on each of their shoulders. It was his version of a public hug.

"So good to see you both looking so well. I know I was to arrive Friday, but there is some family business to attend to. I hope it does not inconvenience you."

"Of course not, " Elena said while Mateo shook his head. The rest of the staff seemed occupied elsewhere and Elena wondered what her grandfather told them. She had a feeling Max and TJ would be very curious about him as they knew she made a break with the family business to strike out on her own.

"Good, " he said dropping his hands. "Is there a place we can talk?"

"Will it matter if Andre Baranov is within earshot?" Elena asked. She knew Andre would leave if asked, but hated to interrupt his work. Alexandro gave the matter some thought.

"No, " he said slowly. "In fact it may be better if he puts in an appearance as some of this will no doubt affect him. Peter may choose to speak with him separately, but he also knew I would be here early."

"Ah, " Elena said. "This way then." She led them through Nibbles. Both men slowed their pace to look around as they passed displays. Mateo chuckled to himself as he read some of the names.

"It is like the biggest con job in history, " he told her as the three of them climbed the stairs. Alexandro frowned.

"It is not a con job Mateo. It is commerce. The people who shop here will be getting better value than they know."

"Of course, Grandfather, " Mateo said, unrepentantly.

"A

d when he was ready to ground her for a week. It was his general all purpose 'give nothing away but look pleasant while doing it' smile.

"I should have foreseen this earlier. I did bring the basic rules and regulations for you. They are with Marcus as I was unsure what location would be safe for storage." At the moment Elena was unsure as well, but figured she could always put them between the mattress and the box spring in her bedroom. Smith may swipe something from the counter, but she didn't think he would take her apartment apart. Elena thought about it for a second and decided maybe she could bow to fashion and just get a large purse.

'It would depend on the size of the book, ' Elena thought. Of course that wasn't really the main problem at the moment.

"So, " she said aloud, "In addition to selling off world goods under new labels we are about to be knee deep in Guild members and grounded pilots while the military is watching us. Does that about sum it up?"

"I believe so, " Alexandro said. "It is why I came a few days early, to give you time to prepare." He stood up and Elena was well aware that this was now entirely her problem. "I will have Marcus come by later with the books. Now if you will excuse me, I have had a long day of travel and I believe you have some planning to do."

He turned and walked back down the stairs, letting himself out. Mateo and Andre turned to Elena. She felt like she had just been tossed into the deep end of a cold swimming pool in order to learn to doggie paddle.

"No pressure, huh?" Mateo said.

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