Catching Smoke: Ch. 8

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When Emma returned to her hotel room, she began to pack her bags.

It was clear to her that she wasn’t going to get the answers she wanted, so she decided it was time to go find the answers on her own. The last place she could remember being close to answers was in Brazil. Normally, she wouldn’t dare return to the same city she had travelled to before, and she was certain she would be risking her life by returning with another stolen identity, but she was desperate.

She needed answers, and she needed them now.

It was a good thing she had already been planning to leave her current identity soon. She already had everything set up for a quick retreat. All she needed to do was pack her bags and make her arrangements for Brazil. Since she had already been there, it was much simpler than taking on a completely new identity. She could only hope the woman who had persistently badgered her, shoved herself into Emma’s fake life, would still be around to give her the answers Emma refused to hear at the time.

How could she have been so stupid? Why didn’t she just listen to the woman when she had the chance?

Now was not the time to beat herself up, though. There would be plenty of time for that on the flight. A flight that would be leaving at dawn.

She left a note for Madam Delveux’s driver. During her time with this identity, she had actually come to appreciate Geoffrey. But she couldn’t get him involved with her mess. So she left a note thanking him for his service, and telling him that she was leaving, that she hadn’t called him because she didn’t want to disturb him as an important and dire matter had required her immediate travel attention late in the night. Then, she hailed a random taxi to the private airport where she had a jet waiting for her. The jet was her very first expense, and definitely worth every penny. It had saved her life on more than one occasion, and had become a sort of home for her, the only refuge she truly called her own and felt safe.

Her hired pilot was waiting for her in the pit, ready to leave. She offered him a brief hello, and he waved his hand at her in response, knowing she wouldn’t appreciate the conversation. She took a seat in her favorite reclining seat, strapped herself in, and closed her eyes. As the jet began to take off, she finally allowed herself to relax. She was home. She was alive. She was safe. At least until the jet landed.


Emma froze. She recognized that voice, and it didn’t belong on the jet, her jet. She opened her eyes to find the stranger she had escaped from earlier, the frustrating man who refused to answer her questions, standing in front of her wearing a pilot’s uniform. What happened to her pilot? 

Her heart beat fast, and all the color drained from her face as he poured them both a glass of champagne. He handed her a glass and she took it numbly, hoping this was all some sort of dream. Hoping she would wake up and none of this would be real.

“Congratulations.” He said, raising his glass. “You almost got away. But I did warn you it wouldn’t be that easy, didn’t I?”

He winked at her, and downed his glass before setting it and the bottle of champagne on the table in front of her.
“Still not speaking, huh?” He asked. “I guess I should let you sleep then. Maybe you’ll feel like talking in Brazil.”

Then, he turned on his heel and walked away.

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