The Calm

Passengers roused themselves as the plane began its descent. Char chewed her gum calmly, finally having achieved the distance she needed to perform a job successfully. It was easier than she’d thought – slipping back into the armor.  

Having her family threatened had knocked off her game-face, but there it was staring back at her in the plane’s window. Char’s hair was a lot shorter now, and had dried into its new, darker color since take-off. But she still had the same problem as when she was A Hire. Her eyes gave her away. Too large, too light of a gray to be unnoticeable. Sunglasses it is 

After following the herd down the ramp and into the surprisingly crowded airport, she wandered to the vending machines for a soda.

A casual move they might expect, but it wasn’t as predictable as going to the ladies room or a payphone. Drinking from her purchased 12 oz. also gave her a reason to hide her face while looking around.

She backed up, keeping her eyes on the buzz of travelers pulling their suitcases and cranky children along. Her drinking elbow connected with someone behind her. A clumsy, stupid move that spilled diet coke onto her black silk blouse. The armor was a little rusty.

“Sorry,” she said without turning around. She was too busy checking to see if she’d called attention to herself, keeping her head down under the guise of cleaning herself off.

“No worries,” the guy said and scooted past her.

Char froze. That voice was familiar. Recent. She plowed through her mental files. Not the guy on the phone. Not the waiter or the busboy or anyone from the business. The voice snapped into recognition… “Hey, are you alright?”

The guy outside Rufus’ restaurant when she was puking her guts up.

She looked him over as he retreated. Tall, light brown hair, jeans, and a herringbone sportscoat. Meant to look casual and trendy. He turned his head, obviously looking for someone.

Looking for her.

His profile was strong, his expression assured. Cocky. Her favorite type to toy with.

She capped her soda, suddenly glad that he’d seen her in such a weak moment. It meant he’d underestimate her. He and his boys wouldn’t know what hit them.

The End

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