Chapter 12: Goodbye is not forever
Page: You are an all new kind of sexy Mr. Kauff.
His smile widens as he kisses my cheek.
I nod. Taking a deep breath following him back out the garage. Where there’s a nice new black Ford Raptor
Page: What happened to the Camaro?
Zander: We needed something a little more suitable for the back roads.
He helps me in the passenger side but not before taking advantage of the opportunity to smack my ass.
A silence falls as a golden orange hue blankets the open fields with the setting sun.
I look over to Zander and my heart constricts. Just shy of a week but I am already so in love with this man that I can not imagine a life with out him.
The sun sets and with it a heavy heart. The feel of her soft fingers gently strumming through my weak old beard nearly breaks me. I steal a glimpse of her beauty incased by the golden rays of the sun. Memorizing it as if it were the last time I would see her.
I promised her from day one I would protect her. Yet here I am I trusting her life in the hands of another. The further into the night we drove the harder it hit. I entangled my fingers with hers holding them to my lips. Silently I pray as I do before every mission for strength and guidance. Tonight I add to my prayer for the safety of my dark angel, and if it by thy will I shall return to her.
Few hours into the night and we arrived at our destination. TA Truck service in Spokane Washington. I dial John.
Zander: We’re here.
We go in the dinner and wait at a booth. An older Lucille Ball looking waitress in a blue and white dress comes up.
Waitress: Can I get you two anything.
Page: Just a coffee please.
Waitress: Nothing to eat?
We both shake our heads no and she leaves to get coffee. Page is clearly as uneasy about this as I am. Her confidence is a flicker beneath the lost look in her eyes. The guilt tears at my insides like a sucker punch.
The waitress returns with coffees.
Waitress: If you all change your mind I’m Lucy. Just give me a holler.
Zander: Thank you.
Page attempts to smile while hiding the slight shaking of her hands as she lifts the coffee to her lips. When she sets it down I grab both of her hands.
Zander: You trust this John right?
Zander: Then It’s going to be fine.
Page: What about you?
Her soft voice cracks.
Zander: I’ve been doing this a long time.
Page: I know but, Clive has a lot of people in his pocket. Other people like you. What if...
She cuts her self off turning away. I reach across placing my hand along the side of her angelic face. A surge of electricity runs through me as she turns into my palm.
Zander: I’m not the one that dies, I’m the one that does the killing.
She musters a slight giggle at my attempted dry humor with a punisher quote. Her hand covers mine and time seems to stand still as we share a moment of silence. Our gaze upon one another speaks of an unspoken love.
All to soon we are interrupted by the loud vibration of my phone.
Zander: It’s John. He wants me to tell you Sam I am.?
Page unintentionally lets out a laugh.
Zander: What does that mean?
Page: It means Sam is here. Another one of my dads old marine buddy’s. I was too young to remember, but they all use to tease that the first time my dad introduced me to Sam I replied green eggs and ham? It stuck as a joke but became a code when we were in foreign places. If Sam called over a radio he would say “Sam I am” I would replay “I do so like green eggs and ham”meaning everyone was safe.
Knowing she was going with be with not only a a couple of honorable old veterans she was going with people who where family. This allowed me feel a little at ease. Only a little. I was still leaving to find and end this piece of shit and anyone he has coming after my Page.
I toss a bill on the table and lead her through the dinner. Shielding her behind me as we step out through the back door. A man just shy my height full beard and special ops attire stands arms crossed leaning against an old black Jeep.
Sam: Sam I am
Page: I do so like green eggs and ham.
Page giggles nudging me to the side as she leaps into the arms of this other man. A ping of jealousy strikes as I involuntarily clench my teeth and fists.
Sam: Hey pip-squeak.
He holds her at arms length.
Sam: Look at you, has it really been two years.
Page: How are you Sam?
Sam: I’m good kid.
Page: Sam this is Zander. Zander this is Sam.
Zander: Pleasure to meet you sir.
I shake his hand with an equally tight grip as we measure each other up. He nods with mutual respect.
Sam: Thank you for taking care of our Page for us. We’ll take it from here.
Reality strikes as her eyes gloss over. This is where we say goodbye. I take her in my arms and my heart skips. Never have I been this effected by someone. Never have I known this kind of love before.
I tilt her head up wiping away the tears and hold her lips hostage for as long as I can. Too soon we are interrupted.
She pulls away heading for the car where Sam holds the door open.
My heart Plummets as my stomach flips. The closer I get to the car the more fear builds. This must be how my mother felt every time my dad deployed. I recall something she use to say to him in Russian every time he left.
Vernis' ko mne (come back to me)
I turn quickly back to Zander throwing my arms around his neck kissing his perfect lips. His arms wrap tightly around my body as if he would never let go. Only pulling apart to catch a much needed breath.
Page: Vernis' ko mne(come back to me)
He puts a hand behind my neck placing his forehead to mine.
Zander: I promise.
I steal one last kiss before climbing into Sams Jeep. I glance out the window at Zander as we drive away and muster a slight smile. He stands still watching until we can no longer see one another.