Chapter 13: Heart to heart
Sam speaks softly patting my arm. Trying to reassure me as I stare out into the blackness of the Spokane back roads.
With every breath I attempt to calm my nerves desperately holding onto the feel of that last kiss. Praying he will come back to me.
Finally we pull up to a ranch with a few trucks parked all out front in the huge gravel drive way. The double security lights flash on as Sam leads me up the steps to the front porch.
The door swings open and barreling out of it is the giant scruffy pepper haired and bearded polar bear of a man I’ve come to know as a second father. He’s probably got a good inch or two over Zander and a few extra pounds.
He scoops me into a twirling bear hug as if I was still a little girl. It was exactly what I needed.
He sets me down giving me a once over.
John: Every time I see you, you look more and more like your mom.
His eyes turn questioning, full of concern.
John: Come on let’s get you settled in.
I nod while he lead me inside the gorgeous rather large house, up some stairs to a small room. Sam follows with my extra bag Zander packed for me with clothes he bought, tossing it on the bed.
Sam: See you tomorrow Page.
He holds my shoulder and winks as he leaves the room.
John: There’s a joint bathroom between this room and the one over but no ones staying in there right now so you have it all to your self.
John: Right. Well I’ll let you get settled in and then we can talk in the morning.
John: Keep your head up Page. Everything will be alright.
He kisses the top of my before exiting the room.
Not knowing how long I’ll be here I toss the bag on the little love seat near the window and take my pack in the bathroom with me.
Under the hot running water and steam filled shower I finally let go. Releasing the tears, the heart ache, nearly everything that has manifested inside over the last couple of years. It all comes flooding out.
Through puffy eyes I stare at the photo of Zander and I on my iPod that I took of us out on his dec the other morning.
Page; I can’t believe how much I miss you already.
In the morning I venture down stairs following the voices of John and Sam into the kitchen.
With a third man I’ve never seen before. He looks to be closer to mine or Zanders age. Much shorter than Zander. Maybe 5’11”? He’s slim but pretty well toned in his loose jeans and tight white shirt both arms covered in tats.
His light brown hair shaved.
He looks my way and smiles mischievously as his brown eyes look me over like a college boy casting a hook on the first girl walking into a bar. I feel a slight tension as the room falls silent. Sam clears his throat as if signaling to the new guy.
John: How you doing kido.
John walks over kissing the top of my head and hands me a cup of coffee.
Page: I’m fine.
I shrug my shoulders and follow him out onto the back deck not giving a second look back at the man who’s eyes I can feel are on me.
The large deck over looks a huge field and a barn with a corral and a few horses. Two large Shepard’s come full speed onto the deck.
One very sharp ear piercing whistle from John and they both stop.
John: Gadsen, Gunner, at ease boys.
The bigger one with one slightly flopped ear whimpers licking my hand nudging to be pet. I kneel down scratching the back of his one floppy ear and laugh as he lets out that typical Shepard moan
John: That’s Gadsen the lover boy. And the smaller darker one acting like an actual trained soldier is Gunner.
Gunner tilts his head at John letting out a muffled huff rather than a full bark. I stand back up leaning over the rail and drink my coffee.
John: You want to talk about it.
Page: I think I’ll spare you the details for now John.
John: I’m not talking about the Clive asshole. I’m asking about this Zander guy. I mean I am grateful that he got you here safely but how well do you really think you know him. The way Sam sees it, he says the two of you are like something out of a movie. That you have what your mom and dad had.
Page: I can’t explain it. But yeah I’d like to think we have what my mom and dad had. You know I have always had a good sense about people. Clive caught me off guard. I was at my lowest point drinking way to much after dad died. All the alarms went off but I didn’t care I just drank them away.
But then one day I just woke up. The first moment I saw Zander I knew there was something about him, but I was never afraid. There was never any alarms. After spending one night with him I felt like I was in a movie. One of those love at first sight weird twisted fate kind of movies. Like P.S I love you.
John: It wasn’t just coincidence that you both happen to be on that train at the same time.
Page: No. he’s kind of like you guys in a way. Clive hired him to find me. Retrieve the videos and then kill me.
The look on Johns face turned ice cold. I couldn’t help but laugh at the bizarre irony of everything.
Page: Don’t worry he was never going to. That’s the thing about him. He takes these jobs, becomes the judge, jury and executioner for the innocent. He only takes out bad guys.
With a raised eye brow John looks straight through me. Shaking his head with a slight chuckle he looks away.
John: You have it bad for this guy. Luckily for him what both of you told me checks out.
Page: What he told you?
John leans over resting an arm around my shoulder.
John: We had a very long heart to heart a few nights ago. He told me everything. I had some guys look into him and let me say he is quite impressive. He would make a fine addition to our team but we wouldn’t be able to pay his salary.
Page: If you already talked to him then why give me the third degree.
John: I heard his side. I needed to hear yours and see for my self.
Page: Well I’m glad we could have this little heart to heart. Did he tell you his plan?
John: No. not exactly. He called shortly after you did yesterday grilling me like I was the enemy til he was satisfied that I wasn’t. Then just simply said to do what it is I do and keep you safe.
Page: That’s it?
Page: What’s with army boy.
John: That’s David our newest recruit, an army vet. Spent 3 years over seas til an ID took out the hearing from his right ear and almost took his right arm.
Page: You trust him
John: He checks out. Came to us about a month ago needing our help for a friend. Or rather his friends girlfriend. He knows the back roads here to Canada with his eyes closed, so he’s our mule guy now, and your ride out of here tomorrow night.
Page: MY What?