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Nathan 117

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Emma returned with Nathan heading directly to the living room to unearth her laptop, reconnect with the paper and determine whether any new contacts were made regarding her earlier reports.  Her boss’s cryptic message had her worried.

They’d agreed to communicate concerns via the obits column (his code name was Herbert Eckner, while hers was April Moon) where they would leave communications.  Today’s obit read, “Herbert Eckner’s demise a disguise.”  Flopping back in the chair deep in thought she wondered what he meant by that.

Flipping through the other articles she’d missed while away, she noted an article written by Herbert Eckner  (HE anonymous) decrying the decay of the city’s morals and lengths the wealthy would go to including murder to protect secrets.  Why would Harold write about her project, currently under investigation?  It didn’t make sense and wasn’t like Harold!  Moreover, it dragged him into the mix.  She wasn’t sure anyone else would figure out he was responsible (he could easily slide an anonymous piece of paper into the daily entries ) but why?

Using the encryptor Nathan had placed on the phone, she dialled the newspaper office and asked to speak to the editor.  The receptionist informed her he’d taken a leave of absence due to the ill health of a family member and she wasn’t sure when he’d be returning, but Reuben Bernard was currently acting editor if she wished to speak with him directly.  Emma hung up immediately.  There was no Reuben Bernard at the office.  Long ago, Harold had instituted an “I’m available but not” code which was the use of Reuben Bernard indicating he was working off site but still in charge and currently unavailable for comment or communication.

Damn, but this was not good!  She’d have to find a way of visiting Harold at home, without raising suspicion, concern or red flags.  Seemed she was about to partake in her own clandestine encounter.  It meant distracting the others.  Jenna and Jim, she could handle, Nathan would definitely be more challenging.

Time to set her plans into motion,  Emma made some calls and set up an outing.  Emma laughed out loud, she couldn’t help it.  Perfect, just perfect!  Jenna was a huge vampire fan and (Kate Beckinsale) a favourite actress.  Talking about hitting a  home run!  The movie (Underworld Blood Wars) was playing tonight, and Emma knew Jenna couldn’t resist. Quickly obtaining two tickets, she received confirmation, which she would pass them along during dinner.  Yes!  The first part of the plan an absolute success, now how to distract the not so distractable Nathan?  Hmm, she’d have to put a little thought into this one.

When Jenna and Jim returned, it was just after five.  Emma accompanied Jenna upstairs as she changed for dinner and offered her the tickets.  “Hey, guess what I got today?” she asked excitedly.

Jenna, knowing that look asked, “Whaaat?”

“Tickets!”

“Ok, tickets.  Tickets to what?  I take it I’m supposed to be excited?”

“Oh you will be!”  Emma placed a copy of the receipt in Jenna’s hands and the immediate whoop of delight said it all.

“Seriously?  You got tickets?”

“Indeed I did. I know how much you love vampire movies and well…I couldn’t resist.”

They met up for dinner, enjoying a bottle of wine along with the fabulous dinner.  Jenna thanked Emma for the tickets and explained she and Jim were looking forward to seeing the flick.  Jim winked at Emma.

Nathan was delighted as Emma had inadvertently taken care of part of his dilemma.  Now how to distract her?

“I’d accompany you but I made plans to visit an old friend, so I’ll be back later.  I don’t plan on staying long.”

Nathan should have questioned the ‘friend’ angle and how it came about so suddenly and fortuitously, but because it fit in with his own plans, he didn’t.  She’d have a driver at her disposal and he knew she was safe.

“Well seems everyone is taken care of for the evening.  We can meet back here around midnight for a nightcap,” Nathan suggested.

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