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Monday, May 7, 2018

Chapter 4 - Part 4

“I’ll be fine,” she knew that he was worried. Not about the job at hand, it was something else, “With any luck we will have some good leads in a week and we’ll finish early. Time is everything in this mission and getting in will be easier for me than it will be for you.” Jan watched as he turned away and looked out the window. He watched the lazy life-style that they had grown accustomed to and the people, carrying their small bags of groceries, going by. A few school kids in their uniforms were on their way home, and he watched them laugh and joke with each other. Jan was picking up on
Hidden Promises 45 his thoughts and was unsure of what she was reading. It seemed to her that he had no doubts that he could easily get into the underworld. For a moment, Jan wondered just how many times he had done this before. Ward interrupted her thoughts, “Don’t get too many ideas, okay. Eddy and I have a few friends,” the last word was emphasized.
Unsure of who thought of it first, they suddenly both looked at the ring on her hand. Even though they both wore the wedding bands on their right hands, not the left, they also knew that Jan couldn’t leave hers on. Jan looked back at Ward, and in an instant knew just what she wanted to do. Carefully she removed the bracelet from her arm and the necklace from around her neck. It was a matched set that Ward had picked out for her. The bracelet Ward had given her on their wedding day, and except for one really bad time in her life she had never had it off her wrist. The necklace, that was an anniversary present, but it had ended up as a late present because of her and the PED department. Ward watched her hook the two together with great care. She then carefully removed the wedding band from her finger and threaded the chain through the ring. Placing her arms and the chain around his neck, she hooked the chains together again at the back of his neck, and slid the ring inside his shirt gently pressing it to his chest. She felt the warmth of his chest under her hand, and the warmth of his breath on her cheek. The beating of his heart quickened. Ward felt her warmth from the ring against his skin and he moved closer to kiss her, softly at first, and then they let the kiss deepen and their minds mingled making the most out of the last minutes they would have together for awhile. It was only seconds before he pulled slightly away from her lips knowing their time had come to an end.
“Take care, Babs,” was all he could whisper in her ear before she slowly pulled away and got out of the car. Jan started to walk over to the bus depot, stopped and then started again.
She hated ‘Good-byes,’ so she had always chosen not to say any, ever. In all the time she had known Ward, she had never once said good-bye to him, not even on their first unofficial date. At first it had been just a bad habit of hers, and then after joining the PED she intentionally never said good-bye to anyone. She never even said good-bye to Rob, her old partner, when she knew it was most likely the last time she would ever see him. Jan thought that goodbye’s were for those who were trying to close doors, and hide behind them. She preferred to leave her doors open, just in case. Or was it that she just never had the nerve to say the word? The only time she had ever said goodbye to anyone was to another agent. On the next job he went out on, he was killed. Now was not the time for her to struggle with those issues. Right now, not saying the dreaded ‘good- bye’ word to Ward was more of a superstition, a habit she didn’t intend to break. If they never said it, they would have to be back together, and if not, then there would probably be only one of them left with regrets. With any luck it wouldn’t be her.
Even for Jan it was a silly superstition, but lots of silly things keep people going through life, and this was only one of hers. Don’t step on a crack, don’t walk under ladders, don’t break a mirror or it will be seven years bad luck, none of these she believed in. She smiled inside at the times she had broken a mirror and had never once associated it with bad luck. Most of the time luck was what you made it. Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t. She began to read the people around her, truly leaving herself behind now. This would be a necessity, throughout the entire job, to survive.
The engine of the Explorer started up. She heard the transmission engage, and didn’t stop. The sound was present for only a second. Jan turned, just so slightly, as Ward drove away. Jan watched Ward from the corner of her eye. Ward never once turned back to look at her. This was his superstition. He silently smiled at her in his thoughts. She held onto it as long as she could, and then slowly lost her connection with him. She stared at the road filled with cars, the smoke, the dirt, and the commotion, not seeing any of it. It was time to start the game, and to play for keeps. Jan turned back toward the benches made of old half painted wood, and she picked up on the thoughts of those around her. Slowly, she walked closer and closer to the benches leaving the persona of Jan behind her. With each step that she took, anyone that could see inside her head would know that she had become Isabel. 

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