He kept his eyes on the cell phone, his newest replacement, as it sat silent on the table beside him.
It will ring. He thought. It will. I must wait.
Phase one was nearly complete. The data they’d already collected was conclusive as far as he was concerned. She was their mark. So while his man went in to retrieve a sample (and irrefutable proof) he moved forward with the plan.
And it had gone well. The contagion he’d chosen was effective and quick. It was also nearly untraceable.
Food poisoning would be the first place they laid blame, it always was, and whatever that poor teacher ate that day would be tossed out. Next they would point to salmonella. Refrigerators would be gutted and cafeteria staff interrogated. A massive effort would be aimed at locating the source, a smaller one at healing the man. There would be a public scare. For a time, a long time, the population would worry about every item of food they laid hand on and this amused him.
Then it would pass. People would forget, as they always do.
Eventually someone might discover the truth. An enterprising doctor, sensing in his gut that the diagnosis was not correct. If he stuck to the research he might learn the actual cause.
But that would take some time and by then it would not matter anymore. He would be in position.
He only needed the call to come.
One small thing and he would be with her. Then the real work would begin. He was so close to where he longed to be. So close to winning. He had never been so full of hope. He was tempted to revel in the thrill of uncertainty but changed his mind. The game was just beginning.
The phone would ring. He need only wait.