Catching Smoke: Ch. 17

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“That doesn’t sound like a job.” Emmalee says after Colin explains the job offer.

They’ve been walking along the beach, but haven’t seemed to get any closer to reaching their hotel. Colin wouldn’t be surprised if they no longer had a room to stay in when they returned, though. Or if everything they brought with them was stolen.

Lydia is the least trustworthy person Colin knows.

“But it is.” Colin says.

“How, though? How can anyone make a career out of changing identities?”

“Why don’t you tell me? Isn’t that what you’ve been doing the past ten years?”

Emmalee kicks the sand, and watches it scatter before responding.

“I had good reason for that. I didn’t have a choice.”

“And now you do.”

Emmalee doesn’t respond, and Colin wonders what her reason for running and hiding could be. There was nothing included about it in her file. At least not that Colin recognized as a reason for running and changing identities every few months. As far as he was concerned, Emmalee did it for fun. 

But now he’s thinking he could be wrong.

“Well?” Colin asks.

Emmalee looks at him.

“Why me?” She asks.

“I told you. You have an impressive ability to disappear and take over a new environment. And you have good instincts. Those are the job requirements.”

“But why? What is the job for?”

“I can’t answer that question.”

“Why not?”

“It’s classified information. Employees only.”

Emmalee sighs and kicks the sand again. Colin looks up at the sky to determine the time, using the position of the sun as his guide. Harlem is sending him a car at noon, and he thinks he can intercept it. He’s tired of walking.

“What do you know about me?” Emmalee asks.


“That doesn’t answer my question.”

“You haven’t answered mine either.”

“What question?”

“Yes or no?”

“Are you asking if I’ll take the job?” Colin doesn’t answer, so she continues. “I don’t know yet. This isn’t really something I can just answer yes or no. I need to think about it.”

“Then think about it.” Colin says. “You have twenty-four hours.”

Then, he runs right in front of a passing car.

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