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   Chapter 26 Storm Chaser

Storm Chaser: Book Two of The Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 14879

Updated: 2018-02-26 14:34

Chapter 26

Elena woke early and stretched, luxuriating in the fact that she didn't have to be up quite so early and could linger in bed a while.

"Be more fun if someone were with me, " she said to herself. She stretched and thought about the bug detector. She smiled wickedly and got out of bed. She decided to leave off getting dressed for a bit and went straight to the wooden box Peter sent. She followed the instructions and was soon waving it over and near things in what she hoped was a professional manner.

"I really hope they don't have video, " she muttered. Elena nearly dropped the wand when the beeps began to sound. She stopped. Slowly she moved the wand. The beeps increased in frequency and then diminished again. She pulled her arm back slowly. The same thing happened. Elena put the wand down and took a close look at where the beeps were most frequent. It was the edge of her book case where there was a decorative lip. Elena ran her hand under the book case and came up with a small roundel of metal similar to the one she handed Smith. She thought about yelling into it on the off chance someone was listening on the other end, but controlled herself and continued her search.

An hour later she stood in her kitchen with several of the little metal bits placed in a row on her kitchen table. Her lips were pursed in a thin line as she looked at the last one. It had been on her headboard.

"Probably a good thing I didn't have company, " she muttered darkly. Elena drummed her fingers on the table as she wondered what to do with the little things. With a small, tight smile she pulled a roll of duct tape from her kitchen's all-purpose drawer. She cut a small strip and attached the bugs to it. She took the strip of tape into her spare room and fastened the tape over one of her stereo's speakers. Elena then looked at her rack of cds. On nights when she couldn't sleep Elena had taken to listening to audio books. Her hand hesitated over the rack. The copy of Beowulf was read by a man with an Irish accent that suited the tone of the story quite well to her mind. However, the collection of old radio dramas also had some appeal. She decided to go with the radio dramas.

'I wonder if they listen constantly or just every so often, ' she thought as she loaded the CD player. It had the capacity to hold 6 cds and the ability to play them in a continuous loop. Elena turned the volume on low so as not to disturb her neighbors and so that the words would be slightly indistinct. She turned it on and went to get dressed. She had no illusions of fooling anyone, but with luck it would cause a few minutes of confusion and maybe even annoyance.

It was with an odd sense of accomplishment that Elena left her apartment a short while later. The wand was in her bag and she would check out the conference room so she could be more confident when meeting with the other grounded pilots on Monday.

"The Shadow knows, " Elena whispered to herself and giggled a bit as she headed down the stairs. Sunday was the only day the stores were closed and she planned to have a look at the receipts and stock before heading to brunch with her friends. One day did not a success make, but it might give her an idea what types of items people seemed inclined to buy. At Nibbles, Elena started out on the floor and worked her way around the room, picking up some of the trash that had been missed the night before.

She shook her head as she fished a small plastic cup from the base of a potted plant. The trash can was less than two feet away. She wondered if it was laziness or just sheer contrariness that let some people drop their trash anywhere rather than where it belonged. The drink mixes appeared to be popular as were the vegetarian pates. Elena made a mental note and headed back to the stock room. Here she smiled at the reduced stock. Several times the staff had brought stock forward to keep the displays up and sales were much more evident. Surprisingly, the alien cookware had sold well. She was fairly certain they would find uses that the creators never intended.

"Chalk it up to ingenuity, " she said. She doubled back to the front and pulled the files of receipts kept beneath each register. She took them and a blank records book upstairs to the conference room and set them on the table. She started a fresh pot of coffee and sat down to see what was what. Andre came into the r



"Yup, apparently I should have sent out a flyer when my cousin moved to town."

"I didn't think he needed the advertisement, " Andre said with a laugh.

"He doesn't. But then I also didn't send one out for Jonathan, or you and following the fact that I had dinner with a hottie and didn't explain that, well you can see I am in deep trouble with the informational services."

"I can see that. So who was the hottie you had dinner with?"

"Peter, " Elena told him.

"My cousin is a hottie?"

"Apparently so is mine, " Elena told him. She finished her coffee and gathered her paperwork. She hadn't gotten much done, but she did enjoy the company. Andre stood up.

"That is never a term I would associate with Peter, " Andre said. He shook his head as if trying to jar the thought loose.

"Me either. Dangerously handsome maybe, but hottie, no."

"Dangerously handsome?" Andre asked with a half-smile.

"He is attractive, I'm not denying that. But he is also likely to get you killed."

"I'll take your word for the handsome bit, but I will second the getting you killed part."

"You don't think he looks attractive?"

"I think he looks like a Baranov." Andre said simply.

"True, " Elena said looking at Andre. "You can kind of see some of the characteristics in both of you."

"Does that make me dangerously handsome, " Andre asked winking at her suggestively.

"Some how you don't seem to pull off the danger bit."

"I can live with that."

"And apparently so can everyone else, " Elena told him. "Roger is already worried about Peter and grandfather being mafia types. Having another dangerous looking character around here on a regular basis would more than likely send him running to the feds." She scooped up the papers into a pile at the end of the conference room. She would be walking to brunch and didn't think they would make a good addition to the table.

"He does seem a bit concerned. Oh, quick question before you go."

"Yes, " Elena said.

"Are you doing anything Monday night?"

"Not to my knowledge."

"How do you feel about bowling?"

"I don't know. I haven't been since early middle school. Aggie Michaels dropped a bowling ball on my foot and broke three of my toes. Haven't been since."

"Would you be willing to give it another go if I promise not to break your toes?"

"Sure, would this be some sort of league thing?" Elena asked.

"Nope, just us. I like to have someone to compete against."

"Ah, so this would be like a friend thing?"

"No this would actually be more like a date thing. Would that be okay?"

"Sure. I just wanted to know this time. Would after 7 work for you? I'll be here most of the day talking to grounded pilots."

"After 7 works great for me. Enjoy your brunch." Andre picked up his coffee mug, turned and went back into his apartment. Elena turned and headed downstairs.

"At least I will have something to tell them at brunch."

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