mother would never understand how she and her husband could have parted company without even a word, but it was the nature of their work. They were individuals who found each other, only to find they had much more in common than they even realized. Each worked for a shadow agency, whose job was to maintain a modicum of peace through covert methods. They weren't even sure if they worked for different agencies. It was all about channels. Nina was sure that Stavros had escaped as soon as she saw the plume of dust and smoke ascend into the air over Glenloch Dell. A community built to camouflage the agencies safe houses. She and he had worked out the timing of their escapes to the minutest detail. She looked at some sort of crusty scum near the baseboard of the motel room. A line of ants traveled back and fro carrying large white crumbs of something the maid had missed while vacuuming. From the looks of this room, maidservice was not the priority.
Laying back on the spread that spelled faintly of washing powder and old ass, Nina drifted into a dreamless sleep. The thunks, whirs and bams of the hotel, oddly reassuring in their regularness. She started as a foreign scrape illicited from outside the window. She'd spent the vast part of her career in nondescript hotels like this one. She knew the normal sounds and those that were out of place. Placing the gun between the waistband of her jeans and the small of her back the cold of the steel gave her a chill. She strode purposely to the window. Gingerly she pushed the curtain back to see an old man with spindly legs trying to pull his walker out of a repurposed van. She thought she should go help him, when a vigorous looking blond woman approached.
"Here dad let me get that for you," said the woman as she reached in and wrested the walker from the car. Nina took note of how the woman's muscular shoulders bunched with the effort. She thought that perhaps the woman simply took care of her father, but Nina had not lived this long leaving anything to chance.