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   Chapter 22 Haven

Haven: Book Four of The Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 10108

Updated: 2018-02-26 16:11

Chapter 22

Figuring everyone was occupied for a while, Elena went to take her shower, washing the worries away with the dirt and sweat. She knew she would just have to leave Thompson to figure out his next move.

'If all else fails I might be able to grab Benjamin for the required dances, ' she thought. Again Elena shrugged the thought off. After she was clean, her hair dry and as styled as she planned to make it, Elena let herself out of the quarters and headed towards the commercial sector.

Elena stopped to speak with a couple of merchants and was not surprised to see that Thompson and Benjamin made their escape and were now entering the cloth merchant's section of the market. As Thompson was not an unusual size, she was fairly certain he would be outfitted rather quickly. She also had the feeling the two men would dawdle in the market as long as possible. She smiled as she recognized several of the crewmen from the ships of her House lingering over coffee or an extended lunch rather than return to the chaos.

After speaking to the various merchants and making certain that all commercial enterprises were on track and that the merchants she partnered with all received their invitations, Elena walked over to Danvers. She pulled one of the large decorative doors open and stepped out of the noisy market area and into the hushed sanctum. Elena was surprised to find it restful. Usually her belly knotted into big greasy twists as soon as she stepped over the threshold.

'I think it's less that I'm getting used to it and more that I am not here to meet Peter, ' she thought. 'It also might be that it is mostly empty at this time of day.' Elena looked around and noticed that only a few of the tables were occupied by those sipping drinks and making business deals. The crowd that usually dominated was nowhere to be seen. The people here were quietly doing business, they weren't here to see and be seen. Elena pretended not to notice the hostess discretely signaling the manager as she took a few steps further inside.

"Captain Calabrese, " the manager said stepping up to her with both hands extended. She held out her right hand to shake his and found it encased in his much larger ones. The gesture was less a handshake and more of a quick press. He let her hands go and stepped back to give her space.

"You have come to make sure everything is in order for the grand affair, " he said. "I would expect no less." He led her to his office in the back and proceeded to show her the floor plan with the layout of the tables and the space provided for dancing. He pointed out the band placement and even played a recording that was made by the band. She approved the playlist as well as the band.

Elena smiled politely as he displayed table cloths and napkins. She tried not to let her eyes glaze over. She saw most of this when Kiera chose it at Rene's. Sketches of the floral arrangements were also presented to her and she was told that the flowers themselves were to be

"I suppose that makes sense, " Peter mused. "When you became old enough to start asking questions Alexandro would have had to tell you something." Elena still kept her mouth shut. "I wouldn't let anyone else know you saw the documents though, " Peter told her. Elena nodded mutely. A thought hit her like a freight train.

"If they are Council only documents, how did Elizabeth see them?" she asked out loud before she could stop herself.

"A very good question, " Peter replied. "And one I don't have an answer to. Alexandro swore to the Council that he did not place them in her hands." He frowned as though the gap in his knowledge base disturbed him. They walked in silence for a moment and then Peter shook his head as though dislodging his current thought.

"Everything ready for the big event?" He asked, switching topics Elena was pleased with the less dangerous choice as other thoughts began to slowly surface. Peter seemed interested in the event and gave her plenty of pauses to add her own comments. During the conversation she had the feeling that he was waiting for something, but she wasn't sure what. She doubted he was interested in flower arrangements, but there were no secrets to the gathering. Elena thought about the Nelson files, but decided that topic could wait until Thompson had made a decision. She wondered what it was he expected her to tell him about.

"Did you get my message about Thompson?" she asked as they approached the door to her House quarters.

"I did, " Peter said, seeming displeased by the return to business. "You are taking the standard precautions?"

"Yes, Benjamin is with him now, " Elena told him.

"Good, " he replied, the tone more businesslike than before. "Good journey to you Elena, if I do not see you before you leave."

"Good journey to you as well, " She told him, a little puzzled by the change in attitude. Wondering what had gone wrong during the conversation; Elena opened her quarters and stepped inside as Peter walked away.

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