The Keepers

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Chapter 32

In the age of the internet, it didn’t take long for the guys to put together a comprehensive profile of Sebastian. Once Alex found out that he was a student at his university, the search became even more thorough. Normally, Alex wouldn’t dare to use his administrative access to pry into a student’s life, but these were not normal circumstances. After searching the university’s database, including Sebastian’s reviews from his advisors, they were beginning to get a feel for the young man’s personality. There was a forwarding address also included, so Stephen and Alex planned to start surveillance on him immediately. They would start at a distance to make sure the other side wasn’t already in play, then move in closer to get ready for their approach. They didn’t yet know their exact plan, but they knew that Alex would have to be the one to make the introduction. The plan for now was to follow him and find out his routines and schedule, so that there were no surprises when the moment for approach arrived.

Alex volunteered for the first watch. According to Sebastian’s class schedule, he should be getting out of class around 11:00. Alex packed a lunch and sat outside the lecture hall where he would get his first live glimpse of their target. He had studied the picture for hours, but was still startled when Sebastian made his way out the front door, along with several other students, just a couple of minutes after 11:00. He looked so young. They all did. To Alex he seemed too young to be faced with the decisions that he was about to be making. But he supposed that’s what this transition was all about. Out with the old and in with the new.

Now that he was looking at a real live person, a sudden thought hit Alex that amazingly, he and Stephen had yet to consider. They just assumed that after they made their approach, with some convincing of course, Sebastian would see things their way and decide to join their crusade against ‘The Keepers’.

But what if he didn’t? What if he heard what they had to say, then decided that what ‘The Keepers’ were offering was just too much to pass up? These people had proven that they would do whatever it takes to keep their group a secret. Now Alex and Stephen were exposing what they knew to a young man that may one day be a member. Or even worse, if they did somehow convince him to join them, they were putting Sebastian’s life at risk. With all this going through his mind, he almost didn’t notice Sebastian leaving his group of friends and heading right toward him. Panic began to strike when Sebastian then took a left on the sidewalk and headed in another direction. Alex quickly regained his composure and quietly picked up his lunch and followed him down the sidewalk. When he saw that the kid was getting in his car, he pulled out his phone and sent a text to Stephen that their target should be heading home. Stephen replied that he was on his way there, and that Alex could hang back and take a break for now.

After just a few hours of being on stakeout and playing amateur detective, the stress was finally getting to Alex. He was glad to hand off the surveillance to Stephen for a while. He was heading to his car, relieved to be done for now when something caught his attention. He glanced up slowly as he was getting his keys out of his pocket. Out of the corner of his eye, in the next parking lot over was a vehicle that any other day wouldn’t have stood out. But after the last few days, it was all Alex could do to pretend that he didn’t see the two men sitting in the black SUV as he got in his car and pulled out.

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