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   Chapter 19 Alliance

Alliance: Book Three of The Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 7964

Updated: 2018-02-26 15:07


Chapter 19

Elena stared at Thompson blinking hard, as though to dispel a mirage. Thompson didn't change. He was well and truly there. Questions crowded her brain and finally she settled on a simple one.

"Why?" She asked.

"Why?" he repeated looking at her.

"It's a wedding. An everyday, nothing out of the ordinary, wedding. Family. Cake. A priest. Flowers, " She told him in an attempt to clarify. "So yeah, why?" Elena noticed Mateo leaned into the aisle a little to hear the answer as well.

"I can't just be taking a vacation?" He said. His face was set into pleasant lines, as though actually wanting to hear her response.

"I have the feeling you are a much better liar than Jonathan, " Elena told him. "But I doubt you are on vacation."

"Because I don't get time off?" Elena noticed his pleasant smile slipped and he looked more amused than anything. The other passengers settled around them and the flight attendant began to run through the pre-flight performance. Elena heard the click of the buttons as she turned on the audio system to broadcast the safety information during her pantomime. Elena turned her attention back to Thompson and simply stared at him. After a time he shrugged.

"The wedding is out of the country, " He told her as though this explained everything. Thompson reached for his follow-along, laminated safety brochure. He folded it open and scanned the contents. Elena resisted the urge to grab it from him and start beating him over the head with it. Her early morning made the effort to restrain herself less than pretty, but she had the feeling once she started smacking him she would find it hard to stop.

'And that would lead to me being taken off of the plane, which would put a kink in the family plans and require an explanation to grandfather.' Elena sighed. Somehow she didn't think her straw breaking the camel's back explanation would fly. She waited until he slid the brochure back into the seat pouch in front of him.

"Why does it matter where the wedding is located?" She asked keeping her voice low and calm.

"Because you are an American pilot, " he told her.

"Why does that matter?"

"Why Ms. Calabrese, we merely want to make sure that you return home safely. After all you are the only American pilot we know." He smiled at her, looking as sincere as a used car salesman. Everything suddenly clic

tion would cause her to let go and turn her hull into driftwood. Thompson's voice fade and the Storm Chaser slid into the channel, the world around her bleeding into the familiar rainbow swirl, then to white and then to the black of space. She heard a slight pop and caught the acrid smell of burning electronics as her radio fried.

Elena sighed with relief and looked behind the ship to see the channel as it closed. The channel closing was not all she saw however. Behind them was the shadowy outline of a second ship. It had the gracelessness of design that marked it as one of the military's test ships and it was attached to the Storm Chaser with a tow line.

With a start, Elena jerked out of sleep, sitting up straight and looking around in confusion. Thompson was looking at her, amusement tugging at the corner of his mouth.

"Did you have a nightmare?" he asked. Elena rubbed her eyes and shot him a glare. Her heart was pounding as though she had just run a mile. The shades were drawn over the small Plexiglas window and the light over her was turned off. Thompson's light was angled away and towards his paperwork. The scene felt oddly intimate.

Before Elena could comment, the flight attendant wheeling the drink cart passed by. Elena got a ginger ale and sipped it slowly, ignoring Thompson and focusing on her dream. After having the same dream for months it seemed very strange for it to have altered. It threw her off kilter in a way she didn't particularly care for. She glanced at Thompson wondering if she could blame him for something in her dreams.

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