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Regina
June 6th, 2010, 01:21 AM
Angel glanced over the top of her sunglasses. There was that man again. She had spotted him twice since she had entered the market. It appeared he was following her. Is he my contact? She shivered, if he was she was not going anywhere with him except to someplace very public. She would rather take the risk of being overheard than be alone with such a man. He was too big for her tastes. He could almost pass for one of her mother’s people, almost except there was something else there, some other heritage she could only just barely discern but had no way to explain. He was dark skinned, and had dark hair like her mother’s people, but he looked too exotic to be American Indian; he looked more foreign somehow.

Angel looked back down at the glass bowl she was holding. It reminded her of the carnival glass from the twenties. It was blue with rainbow colors shot through it when one held it up to the light. She grimaced as she realized she could buy it if she wanted to, but with her luck the visitors would take a liking to it and help themselves. The thought reminded her of why she was here. There was someone who had called her and set up this appointment; a man who claimed to be an abductee. On the phone he had told her his name was Tom, but was unwilling to tell her his surname. He claimed he might have another piece of the puzzle she had been trying to put together with her research.
Eyes were boring into her back, she could feel them burning twin holes there; it did not take a rocket scientist to know the man was still behind her. Is he Tom, or is he one of the numerous government types with their trendy, yet nondescript clothes who follow me no matter how hard I try to conceal my identity? They were worse than the visitors, and just as tenacious.

Ever since her parents had been abducted and not returned, the government had taken a keen interest in her life. She did her research under an alias, but she was fairly certain the government types had discovered that long ago. Still as long as they did not interfere, she was willing to let bygones be bygones.

Putting the bowl down Angel stole another look, the man was gone. That could only mean one thing, he was not her contact, but one of the government’s many peons. Damn! She did not need this right now when she was trying to do research. Where the hell is Tom?
I have to get out of here! The market might be public, but she did not want to put her contact under the gun either. She turned and promptly ran into the man who had been observing her.

“Excuse me.” She mumbled, trying to get around him. God he’s big!

“Are you Angel Whitedove?”

Now she knew how human women must have felt when the fallen angels appearing as beings of light attempted to lure them into their beds. The man had a voice that was a combination of velvet and gravel, and he had not used her alias. Damn! Definitely a government type.

“Nope, sorry afraid you’ve got the wrong woman.” Angel tried to move around the man again, but then he clamped his hand hard around her arm.

“You are Angel Whitedove.” It was a statement this time, not a question.
Now she was mad. “Listen, buster, unless you want to be facing a lawsuit for assault, I suggest you let go of me right now!” Angel whispered furiously. She did not want to draw attention to herself, but if she could use the crowd to her advantage she would. He had exactly five seconds to let go of her arm, before she started screaming bloody murder.

“You are Angel Whitedove.”

What the hell is the matter with this guy? He kept repeating her name as though it were a crime or something.

She looked up over the top of her shades and something about his eyes just stopped her from screaming. His eyes were the same color as hers.

“Who are you?” She whispered.

“You are Angel Whitedove.”

If he said that one more time, eyes or no eyes she was going to scream. “Yes, but who are you?”

“Darek.”

Is that name supposed to mean something to me? His voice should be declared illegal. It did funny things to her insides; made them turn inside out or something. “And I suppose that’s supposed to mean something to me?” Sarcasm would get her somewhere she hoped.

“No, we’ve never met, but we have a common connection. I know of your father.”
Great, just great. He’s one of dad’s crazy science fiction fans.

“Look, I don’t write like my father did, and I have no intention of ever becoming a writer, there’s enough science fiction on the market as it is. It’s positively glutted, so if you think to talk me into writing a book about my experiences fiction, or otherwise, forget it.” She told him flatly.

“That is not why I have come to you Angel Whitedove, I want to help you find your parents.”

Got to admit that’s a new angle. She had to give the guy credit where credit was due, none of the other weirdos had ever tried this one before. She had to come up with something to get rid of her “fan” real quick.

“My parents are dead.” It was the end of the discussion as far as she was concerned.

His grip on her arm tightened as though he were frustrated with her answers. Frightened that he would do something even worse Angel immediately went almost boneless. She could still stand, but she loosened her muscles enough to give the weirdo reason to think she might stay and continue the conversation.

“You’re hurting me.” She told him quietly. Seconds later his grip lessened, but he still had not said anything yet. Angel began to look around her to see if anyone was close by that could help. This one is definitely ready for the men in the little white coats. She knew just what he needed, a nice padded cell with heavy-duty restraints and three squares a day. Oh, and drugs, lots of drugs. She knew just the place, and if at all possible she was going to do everything she could to put him there real soon. Somebody has been reading a little too much science fiction and it certainly isn’t me.

Suddenly he completely let go of her arm. “I am sorry, I did not mean to cause you pain.”
Now why does he have to go and turn into a gentleman? Just when I was getting some really good ideas about how I can help him into the nuthouse.

Angel began to rub her arm absently and backed up a couple of steps. Got to put some distance between myself and the big guy.

“That’s all right,” she told him finally, “but really, I don’t think you understand. My parents are dead, and I have no intention of writing about what happened to us. If you’re a publisher or a reporter, or something like that, I’m really not interested.”

“I am neither a publisher nor a reporter, and I think you are doing the right thing by not talking to such people, they only seek to magnify your pain.”

“Not to mention the fact I’ve already experienced stardom, and believe me, tabloid stardom is not for the weak hearted. I have no intention of ever going through that again.”

Angel told him smiling wryly. “So, if you’re not a publisher, and you’re not a reporter, and I assume since you haven’t flashed your government ID at me yet, that you’re not a fed, who are you Darek? What do you do?” We need to get to the point so I can get away and call Tom. Thank God he gave me a phone number to reach him in case of an emergency, too bad he didn’t give me his description.

“I am a Commander.”

Well hell, that didn’t tell her a damn thing, except that he was a fed, fuck!

“So you’re a fed, well thanks for letting me know that ahead of time. Mind if I see your ID?”

“I do not have it with me at this time. Is there somewhere we can talk in private?” Angel watched as Darek looked around as if searching for somewhere to go.

He doesn’t have any ID? No way am I going anywhere with this guy. Why the hell didn’t someone tell me the men in black changed their favorite color to blue? Angel whirled quickly and took off at a dead run, never stopping to look behind her until she reached her car in one of the underground parking lots that Portland was famous for. Only then did she slow down. She had to know if he was still there, better to know where he was than to have him following her. Reaching behind her she pulled her shoulder length hair from its severe twist and reached into her bag for make-up. I have to do this quickly or else he might have time to follow me. Hell, he could be following me right now. She glanced in her rearview window to be sure.

The sunglasses went the way of the clip that had pulled back her hair, and light foundation and makeup went onto her face. Then reaching deeper into the backseat she found a purple sweater and pulled it over her head. Angel had learned long ago how to disguise herself and fool a tail. She pulled out of the parking garage and onto the street where Skidmore fountain was. As she drove past, she could see Darek standing in the same place she had left him. Good! That means he won’t be following me. A small smile lifted lips that rarely had reason to smile anymore. Darek whoever he was would not be bothering her again anytime soon. Angel was not sure she believed his story about being a fed, most likely he was just another one of her Dad’s science fiction fans playing out a fantasy about saving the famous author by helping the daughter. It was too bad really, the man was quite stunning, but she’d made it a policy to never get involved with the feds.

(c) 2010 by Regina Paul. All Rights Reserved.