I don’t have much to add in the intro bit as I’m feeling indisposed after my excursion. As usual, I hope you enjoy the next chapter in Cold Scent and all manner of comments are appreciated.
Chelsea looked carefully into the mirror to perfect her disguise. She had a short, black wig on and sunglasses to hide her prominent eyes. She wore a green scarf and the oldest, shabbiest clothes she could find in her wardrobe – a faded lime green skirt and a patchwork yellow blouse. An old, crumbly bag completed the outfit. Satisfied, she smoothed her clothes down one last time and stepped out of the house. She ditched her shiny new Audi and took the bus instead. She was an actress and this part of hers had to be played flawlessly or else everything would collapse.
After reaching the next street, she inconspicuously slipped into the backalley, which was the back entrance of a high-rise building. She went down a series of small steps and reached a small storage area, which was being used as a makeshift office. When she opened the door, she hardly flinched at the eerie darkness of the huge room. She was accustomed to the sparse light and chilly air of the place. The only light came from a slit-like opening made at ground level and it was covered by a thick, grimy glass. The weak sunlight that filtered in illuminated a large wooden desk.
Behind the desk sat a man in a chair. His face was wrapped in shadow, his silhoutte a darker black against the inky darkness of the room. He sat up straight and stiff, appearing tall and clear-cut, and most definitely intimidating. Chelsea, however, slid calmly into the seat facing this man. She had done it many times before.
“What now?” she asked, her tone a tad impatient.
“We wait,” came the response. Her shrill voice was a direct contrast to his low baritone.
“You called me here to tell me that we should wait?” The exaspeartion was evident in Chelsea’s demeanour.
“Well, no.” There was a hint of a smile in his voice. “We must make sure the police find what we want them to find; nothing more, nothing less.”
“How?” Her interest was piqued.
“This is why I called you here. We need to figure out how to do it, without, of course, being directly involved.”
Chelsea seemed confident. She was, after all, the wife of an influential man.
“We have the resources, you and I,” she lowered her voice instinctively. “Tell me what needs to be done.”
“Here.” He handed her a packet. “Read it and destroy it. I expect you to contact me with a plan by tomorrow at the latest.”
“Of course,” she said, taking the packet and shoving it in her bag.
The chair scraped as he stood up.
She cocked an eyebrow. “The outside world missing you already?” she taunted.
“With great power comes the great need to supervise the powerless. It’s a task that knows no end.”
She laughed. “Your eloquence puts me to shame, sir. I have never uttered a dialogue as good as that!”
“You flatter me, Mrs. Winchester.”
“I prefer the title of Preston,” she corrected coldly.
“My apologies!” And with that, the shadows of the room engulfed his figure.
“I hate it when he does that! Who does he think he is? Batman? Ugh!” she complained to herself under her breath.
A muffled chuckle was followed by, “I heard that!”
Chelsea wisely said no more and left by the way she came.
Once outside, her phone rang. It was Percy. She picked it up.
“Where are you?” his voice sounded urgent.
“I went out to take a private class. I’m only a street away. Why?” she shot back. Her heart pounded – the body’s natural response to her lie. No matter how good an actor one might be, some things can never be hidden.
“I.. I have.. um.. We need to talk?”
“Okay?” was her equally befuddled answer. “See you in five.”
“Yeah.” He hung up.
Chelsea’s mind raced. They never talked, at least not scheduled talks, unless something was seriously wrong. She automatically quickened her pace and mentally prepared herself for the worst. But little did she know, no amount of mental preparation would get her through this ordeal unscathed.