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   Chapter 13 Haven

Haven: Book Four of The Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 11424

Updated: 2018-02-26 16:05

Chapter 13

Elena spent the rest of the day looking at the progress that had been made on the planet. The foreman left the ship and was settling into his new home. Mateo picked out a ring for Kiera and Kiera handed her a list to hand off to Steven.

"So are your men being well treated?" She asked Thompson as they readied themselves to head back to the ship. The cargo was loaded on both the Storm Chaser and the Sea Rascal and Tamara agreed to serve as guide for Mateo's parents.

"They are, " Thompson said. "What was all the excitement about?" Thompson asked. "You made more trips to the ship than usual."

"Nothing much, just family stuff, " Elena told him. She watched Mateo hug each of his parents' goodbye before Catherine and Tomas joined the three of them heading back to the beach.

"I knew there was a reason he was behaving strangely at the wedding, " Catherine said once they were away from the others. Tomas rolled his eyes while Benjamin and Thompson looked amused.

"Aunt Catherine, " Elena started.

"And she is a doctor, " Catherine added before Elena could continue. "A PhD, and so pretty. That means I won't have stupid or ugly grandchildren."

"Grandchildren?" Elena said. She didn't know what Mateo had told his parents, but doubted it included his proposal plans or a procreation agenda. "They are just dating right now."

"Yes they are, but he has never introduced a girl to me before."

"It isn't like he brought her home for dinner, " Elena said. "You showed up where they both work." Catherine waved off Elena's comment as though it were inconsequential.

"You make it sound so pre-meditated. " She said. "And with so many nice pilots around, I'm sure it will take no time at all for Lucas to find someone appropriate as well."

"Aunt Catherine, " Elena began. "We aren't a dating service."

"And then all we'll have to worry about is you." Catherine continued, ignoring her. She patted Elena's arm affectionately as they walked. "Don't worry dear, we'll find someone. And this time it will be someone appropriate, unlike that last one, Andre Baranov. A Baranov, Elena, really?" Catherine shivered theatrically. "Your father would rise up from his grave and haunt me into mine if I allowed you to be stuck with that one."

"What's wrong with Andre?" Elena asked, wondering what Mateo had told her. Catherine frowned and gave her a long hard look.

"He wasn't suitable." Catherine said. They continued onto the pier and Catherine and Tomas each hugged her before they climbed into their dinghy and started off for the Sea Rascal. She could tell that both Thompson and Benjamin were trying to hide their smiles as they stepped into the dinghy bound for the Storm Chaser.

"It's not that funny, " she told them frowning. Before she could join them in the small rowboat, a figure emerged from the trees and began running towards the pier. All three froze as they watched the person run across the beach. He had to slow to a quick walk as he made his way down the pier, but it was clear that he wanted to catch them before they left.

"He doesn't seem armed, " Thompson said as the man progressed down the pier. Elena began to pick out details as he drew closer, amazed that Thompson had eyesight keen enough to spot details further away.

The closer he came, the more she picked up on the details. The man appeared to be Japanese or at least of Japa

"So who was that, " Thompson asked as the dinghy was secured into place.

"He helps keep an eye on the ships, " Elena told him, hedging her response.

"Was there a problem?"

"Nope, " she replied. "Just a question of protocol. We sail with the tide, " she told them both, cutting off his line of questioning. Thompson took the hint.

"Yes Captain, " both men said.

"Just out of curiosity, " Thompson asked as he moved to the winch that would retract the anchor chain. "What was so inappropriate about Andre? Peter seems well connected and Andre is a member of his family. Wouldn't that make him just about perfect?"

"Peter is Andre's Head of House, " Elena told him. "However, Andre doesn't like Peter and tends to let it show." Elena thought that was the best simple explanation she could come up with at the moment and was relieved at the topic change. Thompson thought about it for a moment.

"That makes him rather stupid doesn't it?" Thompson said.

"Politically speaking, yes, " Elena said. She walked away from them and began readying the ship to shove off. A few minutes into her pre-cast off routine Elena swore to herself realizing that Thompson might see Andre as a potential source to exploit. Knowing he didn't like Peter, they could try to get him to pass information to them about Peter and the Baranov House.

"And he is just angry enough that he might fall for it, " Elena thought to herself. Elena thought about Ian and the way he had died. "Damn." Elena had a second moment of thunderstruck clarity a few hours later when she realized why Akashi wasn't worried about his Councilor's reaction to the House designation change.

"He expects me to be Council, " she whispered to herself. Spin looked over at Elena as she heard her voice. The cat stared at her for a moment as if studying her dumbfounded face and then turned away as though Elena's revelation had no impact on her.

"It affects you too you know, " she told Spin. Spin leapt down from her perch in the pilothouse and strolled across the floor. At the door she looked back at Elena and meowed loudly before turning away and continuing down to the galley.

"I am definitely going to find a soundproof room and scream my head off, " Elena muttered darkly to herself.

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