Through the Fog (Chapter 26)

It’ll make more sense if you start with Chapter 1.

Through the Fog

I hadn’t finished my beer or my sandwich. I couldn’t afford to be food-groggy if I was going to pick her pocket and slip out, rather than dropping off to sleep.

She was already laying on the bed, flat on her back, hands behind her head, exactly the way I slept. “You don’t have to sleep in the chair; after last night, I think I can trust you.”

“Just need a few minutes to wind down. Nap’s a good idea; you go ahead. I’ll just read a bit before I lay down.”

She had no reason to suspect what I knew. She’d gone to great lengths to convince me to trust her. Still, it was too easy. Or I was paranoid. Hard to tell any more.

I did almost fall asleep, reading a fascinating article about Aillwee Cave in Ballyvaughan; have to see that some day. The magazine slipped, and as I jerked my head up, two things happened: I heard Siobhan snoring, and I remembered why I wanted to go to Galway.

I’d wrapped my leftover sandwich after I ate; it was already in my coat pocket. I practically slid my feet as I rounded the end of the bed, trying not to make any noise. I never took my eyes off her face, watching her eyelids for movement. I didn’t even pick up her coat; just slid my hand inside the left inside pocket; nothing. Right inside pocket: bingo.

I slid my passport out gently. Holding it flat so the license wouldn’t fall out, I opened it. Yup; there it was.

Shoved the license into my pants pocket, and the passport inside my coat. Quick glance around the room to make sure I wasn’t leaving something I could use. I didn’t want to risk going through her other pockets; I just wanted out. Yeah, I would have taken any cash she had. She’d already taken a lot more than money from me.

I opened the shiny new door without a sound, but I doubt it was necessary. She snored like I do; should probably check into the possibility of sleep apnea. Until I lost 100 pounds a few years back I’d slept with a breathing machine to prevent my snoring from destroying my sleep.

That’s an awful lot of medical concern for someone you’re running from, pally.

I stepped out the door backwards, keeping an eye on her face. Keeping my eyes on her freckles, the copper curls falling over her ears, the little bump in her nose, the fawn-colored eyebrows and lashes. Taking a mental image for the last time, hoping I’d never see her again.

I pulled the door almost shut, not quite latching it. I felt like a heel.

I ran for the stairs, and felt like a heel some more.

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