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   Chapter 30 Storm Chaser

Storm Chaser: Book Two of The Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 15353

Updated: 2018-02-26 14:36

Chapter 30

Morning came far too early for Elena's liking and she rubbed her bleary eyes as she turned off her alarm clock. She could still see the small handwriting of the guild books swimming behind her closed lids. She glanced at the dream journal she kept. If she had a dream, it was not one she remembered. For the first time in a while she did not begin her day by making notes. As she went through her morning routine the lack of dreams made her feel a little off balance. She laughed as she doled out Spin's morning chow.

"Who knew I'd start to miss it?" She said as Spin gulped her breakfast down as if afraid it would disappear. "Don't choke, " Elena cautioned her. A few days earlier she picked up additional blank journals, similar to the one she used to record her dreams. Currently they were stacked on one of the shelves in the conference room at Nibbles. She would be passing them to the other grounded pilots as their meetings progressed.

Elena decided that she would take a larger purse than her usual one today since she wanted to have the guild books on hand in case she needed to check details. They were slimmer volumes than many of the council books, for which she was grateful, but they still demanded a larger space than her wallet and keys usually called for. With the transfer complete, Elena buttoned up her coat, picked up the purse and headed out the door. Once Elena was on the street she took a deep breath and smiled. Winter still held sway, but there was something in the air that said spring was not a lost cause.

'Perhaps it is just the valentine's decorations, ' Elena thought to herself as she walked. Valentine's Day was three days away and everywhere she turned there were splashes of red and pink. 'A definite change from the gray and white of winter, ' she thought. It was more than the paper hearts that brought to mind spring though. Here and there she could see the little dashes of green in the dark earth where the snow had been cleared, heralding the arrival of the early spring annuals.

"Hopefully a deep frost won't take them out, " Elena said. This early in the year that was still a possibility. As she rounded the corner she saw a bundled form waiting in front of Nibbles. Elena slowed her pace at first, but sped up a little when she realized the person waiting was Jasmine Anderson. Elena wondered how long she had been standing there.

"Good morning, " she said brightly as she approached. She got a shy smile and a mumbled greeting in return. As Elena unlocked the door to Nibbles, Jasmine shifted her weight slightly from foot to foot and fiddled with the ends of the scarf she had draped around her neck. Elena realized she was nervous and smiled reassuringly as she opened the door.

"The managers should be in shortly, " Elena told her. In fact, she had seen Roger's car turn into the street as she swung the door open. She knew Susan wouldn't be too far behind. The two women stepped inside and Elena shut the door behind her. She locked it as well, but left the alarm disengaged.

"We'll leave Roger to open up shall we, " Elena said. "Watch your step." In the semi darkness of the unopened shop Elena threaded her way around the displays and up the main staircase to the conference room. "Why don't you get settled while I make some coffee?" Elena said. Jasmine reminded her of a skittish colt she saw on a visit to a farm once and Elena tried to keep her tone calm and friendly, just as the horse trainer had told her to do when holding an apple out to the young horse.

"Yes Ma'am, " was the quiet response. Apparently it was loud enough for Andre to hear because the footsteps she heard approaching the door stopped and then retreated.

'I guess Andre will have to make his own coffee this morning, ' Elena thought with a smile. Jasmine moved nearly silently as Elena shucked off her own coat and set the coffeepot to brew. She motioned Jasmine to a seat and took a chair across the table from her so that they would be facing each other. She hoped the large conference table didn't look too imposing.

Jasmine placed a large file folder on the table in front of her. Her fingers toyed with the edges, until she caught herself and clasped her hands together on top of the folder. Elena could see the knuckles of her hands bleed white with the force of the pressure. Her long black hair was pulled back in a tight bun. The hairstyle added to the illusion of a tightly wrapped individual. When Elena asked Alexandro about Jasmine and the fact that Riko was her Council head even though he

. "Now the first thing you have to know about the Calling is that it isn't a disease to be cured, but an evolution of ability." Elena explained what she had learned and how she had worked on it. She passed the leather journal to Jasmine. She took the blank book as if it contained the holiest of scriptures.

"That is why Mateo is working with you, " Jasmine said after Elena stopped talking and she had a moment to think things through. Elena nodded. Jasmine was quick.

"Yes, " she said. I'm not about to go charging into a new channel without taking some safety precautions." She paused a moment and took a sip of coffee. "This is why Riko wants to work with me. She doesn't know the details, but she suspects Mateo and I are working on something."

"She is many things, " Jasmine said. "Stupid isn't one of them. You are the first pilot to overcome the Calling and you immediately contact Mateo who is known for finding solutions to new problems. The fact that you can deal with the Calling means that other pilots who have been grounded will come to you. If they can be 'fixed' then you will end up with the largest alliance of pilots in your house. Since the Calling is known to affect the best pilots then you would also have the best pilots associated with you. She would defiantly want an alliance. As I said, she isn't stupid."

"And I thought it was to get back at Peter, " Elena said. She thought of the interviews she had lined up for the day. It made Jasmine's assessment seem plausible.

"That would be a bonus, " Jasmine said. "There is certainly no love lost between them. But power and wealth are what would drive her."

"I don't suppose you know why they don't like each other?"

"Unfortunately not."

"Oh well. Worth a shot to ask. I suppose I could ask Peter, " she said. Jasmine giggled then covered her mouth as though surprised by the sound.

"I can't imagine Black Pete being very forthcoming with an answer."

"Only if telling me would benefit him, " Elena said. "I haven't mentioned the alliance Riko is seeking, even though I'm sure he already knows." Elena sighed heavily and rubbed her temple. "Great now I'm playing politics." The thought made her grumpy.

"Happens to the best of us, " Jasmine said. She had a few more questions for Elena, primarily regarding the neighborhood and the availability of apartments. Elena strongly suspected Jasmine would be moving straight from the hotel to a place of her own without bothering to return home.

Elena shrugged off the thought as not her concern as she wished Jasmine goodbye and escorted her back down the stairs. Jasmine was clutching the journal and the letter of transfer to her chest like a treasured infant. She had a smile on her face and her movements were no longer hesitant and nervous. As she saw Jasmine out Elena noticed her next appointment lingering among the cookware. She looked as nervous as Jasmine had been. Elena greeted her with a warm smile and led her back upstairs. She had the feeling it was going to be a long day.

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