Catching Smoke: The Thirty-third Chapter

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Catching Smoke
The Thirty-third Chapter


“What the hell, Harlem!” Colin says into the phone. “Why the hell wasn’t I given a warning?”

He and Emmalee are being driven to the airport, finally on their way back to where they belong. Colin is only a few short hours away from disappearing from Emmalee’s life and all the drama that comes with it, apparently. That’s the closest he’s ever come to failing at a mission, and his missions aren’t even supposed to be the dangerous ones!

“We didn’t know,” Harlem says.

“Bullshit!”

Emmalee flinches beside Colin, and he grits his teeth. She’s been through hell too. He should be more considerate. But Harlem should have known what he was asking Colin to walk into. Seriously. What was wrong with the system? There’s no way they didn’t know about Emmalee’s psychopathic father.

“Colin, I understand you’re upset—”

“Upset? I’m beyond upset. I’m—”

“Pissed, yes. I get it. Save me the speech this time, and let me finish.” Colin’s silent, his jaw clamped tight. “Emmalee is the only known living relative in the Whittaker family. There are death reports on both of her parents, grandparents, no living kin. As far as we knew, Mr. Whittaker was dead.”

“So you’re saying he faked his death, and we didn’t know about it? Come on! I don’t believe it.”

“It’s true,” Emmalee says, her voice quiet.

Colin looks at her, and she looks away, wiping a tear from her cheek. Great. Now she’s crying, and he’s going to be expected to take care of it. Wonderful. Just wonderful. Can this recruit get anymore impossible?


Colin sighs, and hangs up on Harlem. He’ll deal with him when they get off the plane, but for now he has a leaking recruit to fix.

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