“Elaine, how did you get in here?” Elaine squeezed her eyes closed willing the voice to just disappear. She felt a warm hand touch her bare shoulder sending a tingly sensation down her back. She knew she had to face him so she slowly turned to see Jose, dressed sharply in a black suit and maroon tie, staring at her expectantly.
Jose’s eyes widened. “Hey there?” His eyes swept over her dress a hint of approval shadowed his face. “Elaine, where have you been? I’ve been searching for you all over the city for the past 2 days! I didn’t know if you were taken, hurt or even…alive.” Elaine felt a twinge of guilt at the stricken look on his face. Then she remembered why she had fled to begin with.
“Well I had to leave. You…ummm…I…I heard that Nick knew of the transport and had someone waiting to get me as soon as I walked outside with you.” The lie burned in her mouth like a hot coal. She didn’t know why she lied; she just couldn’t bring herself to say it was because she didn’t trust him. How would she explain how she knew his secret? She couldn’t just tell him she peeked in his phone. At least that was the reason she told herself and that it didn’t have to do with the disappointed look on his face.
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, I just didn’t know how without getting caught. I left in the middle of the night and just have been laying low.”
Jose looked directly in her eyes. Elaine immediately knew that he thought she was lying. She blushed and looked down unable to hold his gaze. Jose opened his mouth to respond when they heard a door open. He glanced over his shoulder then grabbed her arm pulling her into the room she had just been about to enter.
“Come on, you’re not supposed to be back here.” He pulled her into a large cozy office with a solid desk and cushiony chair in the center of the room. A large window faced them and wooden cabinets lined the wall to their right. To their left was another door. Jose guided her to the door and opened it, nudging her inside.
“It’s the bathroom. Close and lock the door and don’t turn on the light. Don’t open the door unless you hear 3 knocks. That will be me.” Jose turned and strode to the other side of the office, opening a cabinet door and reaching inside for something. Elaine couldn’t see what it was because at that moment the office door began to open. She quietly shut the bathroom door and locked it as instructed. She didn’t know why she trusted Jose at this moment. He could be setting her up. Her head told her everything she had found so far pointed to his betrayal, but her gut told her there had to be an explanation. Her gut was rarely wrong. She had to trust him.
Elaine could hear muffled voices from the other side of the door. She tried in vain to hear the conversation but it was difficult to hear over the sound of her rapid breathing. It felt like hours before she heard the 3 raps on the door. She let out a breath and unlocked the door, opening it slowly.
Jose stood across the room his arms crossed, his expression unreadable. Elaine tentatively walked out of the bathroom.
“Jose, is everything ok?”
“Welcome Elaine. It’s so nice of you to finally join us.” Elaine jumped. Sitting comfortably at the desk was Nick an evil grin plastered across his face. He gestured to an arm chair facing him. “Come join me and let’s have a talk. Just like old times.”
Her gut was wrong. Jose had betrayed her.
To Be Continued…