The warm liquid soothed Elaine’s jittery nerves as she sat in a corner booth of a local diner. Jose sat across the table from her, enjoying a steamy bite of his apple pie. He smiled noting Elaine’s calmer demeanor.
“Good?” his dark eyebrows rose questioningly.
Elaine smiled and nodded her head. An older waitress with a short blonde bob, kind smile and a smoker’s cough dropped off Elaine’s apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and Jose’s hot chocolate.
“Sorry for the wait kids.” Her voice sounded gravelly in the quiet diner. “Enjoy.” She waddled away to the kitchen leaving Elaine and Jose alone.
Elaine grabbed a fork, suddenly hungry. “So, what great info did Mack tell you?” She took a large bite, enjoying the hot and cold sweetness colliding in her mouth.
Jose sipped on his hot chocolate before answering. “Mack said that Nick has been laying low since everything happened, which we both know, but that he has come out from hiding a few times to get some things together.”
“What things?” Elaine leaned forward, her mug held tightly between her hands.
“Identification documents for one. He also has been gathering the documentation for his ships at that loading dock you were taken to. He has been visiting there often, preparing a lot of shipments and trades.”
“It sounds like he is getting ready to leave the country.” Jose nodded.
“Mack heard rumors that they are planning to be gone for a while.”
Elaine finished off her apple pie pushing her plate aside. “We need to act fast. We need to find out where he is and stop him.”
Jose paused and looked at Elaine. “I know where he is.”
Elaine sat up straighter. “You do?”
Jose shook his head. “Elaine we can’t just go barging in there. We need to plan and think this through before we make a move.”
Elaine crossed her arms. “I told you I don’t want to just sit around and wait.”
“Elaine something is happening right now. The whole city is being set up in this chess game where you are the main queen to take down. Mack said he has people everywhere and he means that. We think that there is someone in our police force that is working for Nick. We have to watch our backs at every turn. We need to make a plan.”
Elaine sighed. “Then what is your plan?”
Jose sat back thinking. Finally he answered. “First of all you need to wait. You have to follow direction otherwise this won’t work.” Elaine scrunched up her face in irritation. Jose gave her a pointed look of his own. “Second, we need to plant a lie to make it seem like you will be accessible then see who shows up. If someone does than we will know there is a mole. From there we can trace who that person is which will help us when we plan to get Nick in his hideout.”
Jose threw his hands up. “Elaine that’s the best we can do for now. If we tell the wrong person our information that will expose you and Nick will be able to get to you. Just trust me ok?” He glanced at his phone then stood. “I’m going to the bathroom then we can go back to your place so you can call the insurance company about your car.” He walked to the back of the diner and disappeared around the corner.
Elaine fumed. She appreciated Jose’s help but he was too cautious. She needed to get the ball rolling on this she needed to find Nick. She shook her head in frustration when a gleam of light caught her eye. She looked across the table to find Jose’s phone there. She looked around for him then snatched it. The auto lock hadn’t come on yet!
She started flipping through texts and folders, glancing up every now and then to see if she could hear his footsteps. Jose’s phone was pretty empty; he didn’t even have pictures of himself in it, just random food shots and outside views. Then Elaine found an unnamed folder in his music files. She opened it to find several memo notes, the most recent one taken today not long ago. She opened it to find notes on the conversation between Mack and Jose. She glanced up again and quickly speed read through most of the information she already knew. Then at the end she found what she was looking for. Quickly pulling out her phone she typed in the address at the bottom of the memo.
As she finished up and closed down the folders she heard the bathroom door opening. She quickly set the phone down when it pinged that a text message came through. She glanced down and gasped at the name she saw. Nick Palatnokiv’s names popped up with the message “Jose we need to talk about Elaine. I need your help.”
To Be Continued…