Elaine crept out the back door of her apartment adjusting the baseball cap lower to hide her face better. The early morning darkness made for an easy escape although the bitter cold morning made her walk stiffly across the street. She planned to walk several blocks before she hitched a ride on the city bus to avoid it riding by Jose’s parked car. Her plan was in motion and she hoped to have answers today; without Jose’s help.
Sunlight filtered through grey clouds when Elaine finally arrived at her destination, a wad of cash safely tucked in her jeans (thanks to the Durnstram’s for the last minute cash flow). She squinted at the building numbers looking for building number 523. She made her way through the downtown morning rush crowd and entered a tall brick building.
“May I help you?” The man behind the front desk tapped away on a computer, not even glancing at Elaine.
“Yes I am checking in. Reservation is under Josefina Mendez.” No one would find her under her mother’s maiden name.
“Ah yes, here you are. Staying with us for a few days I see. Can I have a credit card that we can put on file please Ms. Mendez.”
Elaine produced the required cards, grateful to her mother for insisting she take the credit card in case she needed anything. Then all she needed was to contact an associate of hers who was able to use her mother’s id and adjust her birth date as well as the picture to pass it off as Elaine’s. She smiled sweetly at the clerk. He tapped away and handed her a room key.
“Room 543, elevators straight back and to the right.” He motioned behind her and smiled stiffly. “Will you be needing help with your bags?”
“No I’m ok thank you.” Elaine spun on her heel and walked briskly to the elevators, her small suitcase rolling in her wake.
The standard room was a good size for one person. Elaine made herself comfortable then opened the curtains to the large windows overlooking the city. From this vantage point she had the perfect view of the back exit of a large building across the street where Jose’s Intel had said Nick was residing. Elaine looped a pair of binoculars around her neck and looked around. Her phone began to buzz, she immediately blocked the call. It was Jose again looking for her. She turned it off.
After a couple hours and an empty chips bag later Elaine decided to take a break and go for a walk. She needed some real food along with fresh air and she noticed an electronics store down the street where she could buy a cheap laptop to do some online investigating. She walked out into the cold early evening, the sun already low in the sky; she lost herself in the post work crowd. As she weaved around she noticed a familiar black sedan speeding down the street. How did Jose find her?
She glanced around and ducked behind a magazine stand. She peeked through the racks to see him park near the exit of the building she had been monitoring all day. Her breath caught in her throat as his muscular frame jumped out, his jaw firmly set as his eyes swept the area. Even though the throng of people and the stand hid her well, Elaine squatted to avoid his gaze.
Jose whipped his cell phone from his pocket. He began shaking his head and motioning angrily with his hands at whoever he was speaking to. Then he looked toward her direction. She gasped as he headed straight for her.
To Be Continued…