Chapter 31: The Followers..."Deception in the Air"


Cover by Peter Poast Publications with Photo by Junior Cruz

Similar to what newspapers in the 19th Century did the will publish a chapter a day from the book Deceptions in the Air. This fictional book is a blend of reality and conspiracy with a mix of Biblical Prophecy. My hope is that you enjoy the story, while it puts a desire in your heart to seek Truth.

Chapter 31: The Followers

"You're engaged?” Jack asked a little nervously... bringing her back to the present-time at the coffee shop. "Do you still have the ring?”

Bri took her hand out from under the table. She had been sitting on both hands. It was a trick she used to refrain herself from being an over dramatic hand-talker... especially, when it came to a subject in which she was passionate.

Jack took her hand and stared at the brilliant diamond set. “It’s beautiful,” he said looking up into her eyes.

Bri looked at the ring and nodded. The two sat in silence for a minute: Jack, for he was in shock because the woman he wanted to love was engaged; and Bri, for she knew if she tried to say something, she'd begin to cry.

“You were smart in keeping it you know. I mean some girls get really angry and throw it back at the guy. But, now... you own it! And... if you want, you can trade it in and make some money... Way to go girl!” Jack said breaking the silence.

Bri shot Jack an awkward look.

“Come on... give me a high-five!” he said holding his hand up... trying to make light of a touchy moment.

Catching that gleam in his eye, Bri cracked up laughing and gave him the high-five.

“I love you. Here I am at my deepest... no lowest point of being, and you’re thinking about the money I can make — only you!”

Her laughter faded quickly, though, as she looked at the glistening diamond, which reminded her that her heart was dying inside.

“Hey, you’re the one whose always telling me something about God turning all things into good… Money’s good! Right?” he smiled.

As Bri and Jack continued talking about what to do with the wedding ring set, two men wearing business suits walked in.

“Kind of looks like what you see in the movies when the CIA walks in doesn’t it?” Jack pointed out discretely to Bri.

Bri watched as the men walked by them. Neither smiled nor acknowledged Jack or her.

“Wow... they look pretty serious,” Bri said, adding, “I need to excuse myself to the ladies room before I finish the rest of the story.”

When Bri walked by the table where the two men were seated, she caught one of the men’s attention. Bri smiled, and the man facing her smiled back.

I’ve seen his face before, Bri thought to herself. While she did not have a true photographic memory, she did have the gift of always remembering a face.

Once she got into the ladies room, she began searching her memory. She remembered where she had seen that face… Alex’s office. It was in the photo that she had picked up from his desk. It was the photo of Alex in golf attire, with possibly Dr. Kincaide... and now this man.

Maybe Alex had shared more information with me than he probably should have? Could these men be following me or am I just being paranoid? She thought to herself.

Bri started digging for her cell phone in her purse. She called Jack. Before Jack could answer, Bri said, “Don’t say anything!”

“Bri, what are you doing?”

“Jack, I said don’t say anything. Okay, say something... like ‘Oh, Rachel, you sound like your mom.’”

“What?” he asked.

“Act like you’re talking to Rachel. Say, ‘Oh Rachel, you sound like your mother,” Bri repeated.

Jack did what he was told and listened to Bri explain how she recognized at least one of the men that had just come into the coffee shop.

“I think, maybe, we are being followed. Those men know Alex. He has a picture with one of them at a golf outing,” Bri explained to Jack.

“How do you know this, Rachel?” Jack asked

“Good job Mr. Miller! I’m proud of you catching on so quickly,” Bri said trying to ease the tension of the moment. “Anyway, they could be following me knowing that I know the date when this is to happen… or to see what I know. I want them to think … wait… stop and say ‘your mom is heading to Michigan tonight, if we can catch a flight’ and throw in whatever else you want.”

“Hey Rachel, your mom is heading to Michigan tonight if we can catch a flight. But, you know what a pain in the butt she is. And, she is such an air head. Half the time, she doesn’t even make sense. We both know if it weren’t for me, she would be a nobody,” Jack said.

“Oh, that is really funny Jackson!” Bri sneered. “I want them to think we are heading to Michigan versus going to DC to see Russ. When we hang up, put your ringtone on silent. This way I can text you things while I’m sitting across from you, if I have to. I don’t want them grabbing the computer, photos or camera. Just go along with me... Now say ‘goodbye sweetie. We’ll see you tomorrow sometime, and I’ll tell your mom to turn on her phone.’”

Jack again did as Bri asked so that when she got back to the table everything seemed normal.

“Bri,” Jack said as she sat down. “Rachel called you, but your phone’s not on. So, I told her I'd tell you... turn it on.” 

She smiled at Jack “Oh, thank you.”

Jack smiled back as she began fiddling around with the camera. Giving Jack a look of disgust, Bri shouted, “How incompetent are you? You put the damaged photo card into the camera. Now, none of the pictures I took are here!”

“What?” Jack said looking at Bri confused knowing that the camera’s card was fine.

Bri’s eyes widened as she kicked him under the table, “You put the wrong photo chip into the camera again. The one I told you to throw away because it’s broken. Let me have it. I’m throwing it away so you quit doing this.”

“What?” Jack said again. But, this time really confused since he had just bought the card... and the needed photos were on it.

“I’m throwing it away so you will quit doing this!” Bri said as she took the chip out of the camera.

“Wait, give it to me. I will have someone look at it. I know it was working. There were…” but before Jack could finish his sentence, Bri handed the chip back to Jack while she stabbed him with her long nails giving him an intense look.

Finally, it hit Jack that Bri was trying to throw the men off about the photos.

“Okay,” he said. “Just let me have it so I can see if the store I got it from will let me return it. It’s never worked right.”

“Whatever,” Bri said, adding, “Let’s just get to the airport. I want to get home to my kids... and forget these last few weeks ever existed.”

As she put the laptop into its bag, he slipped the photo chip into his pocket while giving her a dirty look and rubbing his hand. "That hurt... what kind of monster are you?"

"I'm not a monster... just pay the server and get me home!" Bri demanded while heading out the door to their car.

“Let me guess. We’re not going to my hotel?” Jack said climbing into their rented vehicle.

“I don’t think we should. I think we need to go straight to Russ’s house. But, first let's be sure they are not following us,” Bri explained.

“Good thing I never took my luggage to my room. You weren’t even going to let me go back to the hotel to get my stuff were you?”

Bri turned and gave him her teasing, yet, evil smile.

“I’d let you go get your stuff. But, because I know you so well... I know you never carried your belongings to your room when you checked-in. You went straight to the lounge and got a glass of port... Your luggage is still in the trunk. And, most likely, it would have stayed in the trunk all night," she laughed.

“Okay, whatever, Bri... just tell me exactly what happened between you and Alex this evening.”

“Jack, it’s so strange... to think that what I thought was the happiest day of my life has turned into some kind of hellacious... no, sci-fi... no, doomsday... no, night-mare. And, it’s one of those nightmares that you can’t seem to wake from.”

“Babe, I hate to tell you this… this isn’t a nightmare. We’re living it. Hey... those guys, they just came out of the restaurant. I think they may be following us,” Jack said as he started the engine.

“Just start driving and let’s see what they do. I’ll watch them as I tell you what happened earlier this evening... before you had to come and rescue me,” she said, patting his knee. “What would I ever do without you?”

“I know what I’d be doing. I’d be drinking a nice glass of port at the club and smoking a cigar... talking sports and relaxing!” he said, giving her a little wink. “So lady this story better be good. I need some entertainment while I drive!

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