Mystery Author’s Story (Chapter 3)

Can+you+guess+who+the+author+is%3F

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Can you guess who the author is?

(See end for links to the first two segments)

 

Chapter 3

Libby was the first one to greet Paige at the door, the next day handing her a cup of store-bought coffee. Paige took the cup thankfully and went to take a sip. 

“I can’t wait any longer,” Libby exclaimed breathlessly. “Spill.” 

“What do you want me to say?” 

“Is that Aiden’s…” 

“Yes” Dylan answered before her friend could finish the question?

“Does he know?” 

“No. And you are not going to tell him” Libby looked as If she was going to protest however the icy glare stopped her from opening her mouth.

 “I haven’t seen the man in six years and suddenly we are thrust back together on a new assignment; having just found out that we had originally met under false pretenses; with false names. What am I supposed to say to him?”

“How about hello,” called out a deep voice coming from behind them. Both women groaned as they turned to see Eddy Ramos, the son of a bigwig at the command station, who had been shuffled around for years. He had been placed at this base to make him disappear. Eddy had fixated on Paige and managed to ask her out at least once a week for the last several months and never seem to take her no seriously. 

“Come on Libby, I was just trying to converse with the two of you.”

“How many times does Paige have to turn you down before you will leave us alone,” Libby retorted. He looked aback but got no sympathy from either of the ladies. 

“Besides you are not her type.” At that moment, Jason strolled in confidently, passing the three. Nodding a greeting to the women, he made his way to the restroom, not fifteen feet from where they were standing. Both women openly admired and continued to gaze in his direction. 

“Not her type, huh? Let me guess, he is her type.” Paige snorted and almost choked on another sip of coffee. “I have been here every day for three months, and she won’t give me the time of day. That FBI dude shows up yesterday and both of you are ogling like schoolgirls.” He waved his hand in front of Libby’s face who smacked it away. The door opened and Jason emerged. 

“Good morning Ms. Dylan.” He said respectfully and Paige blushed. Secretly, Jason was pleased that he still had an effect on her. 

“Mr. Garrett.” Their gazes lingered for a few extra seconds before looking at Libby. 

“Hello. I am Jason Garrett. Are you a friend of Paige’s?” As if in a trance, she nodded as they shook hands. “And your name miss?”

“Libby Naylor.” Not to be shown up, Eddy shook hands also. 

“Eddy, Ramos.” He gave Jason a once over then rolled his eyes in disgust. 

“Sorry to interrupt but Paige and I have to get to a meeting in a couple of minutes.” He paused to let Paige walk ahead. After they were out of earshot. Jason leaned over and in a low voice asked; “Are you and he a couple?”

“No.” After a sidelong glance, he commented. “I don’t like the way he looks at you. Your friend said that he pesters you for attention. He won’t take no for an answer.” Paige stopped suddenly. He kept going for several steps before realizing that they were not close. She marched to catch up with him and leveled her gaze with his. 

“My personal life is none of your business. And I don’t need you coming to my aide.” She said in a hushed whisper. “Just because we had a fling several years ago you feel the need to what, interfere with my personal life now? Claim me as your own?” Arms crossed, she walked past him into the open conference room. He purposely let her choose a seat first then sat in the chair to her right. His gaze challenged her to move to the other side of the table where there were other open seats. Huffing loud enough for his audience, she put her cup on the table in a momentary defeat. 

 

Meanwhile, on the other side of a closed door, Libby and Eddy returned to their desks, in perfect view of the office window. 

“I still don’t get it. What am I missing?” Libby rolled her eyes; strolled over to Page’s desk, opened the drawer, and pulled out the picture. She gave it to him however, Eddy showed very little interest. “this is the picture of Paige’s son from last Christmas. So what?” Libby gestured to the window. Not taking the bait he continued. “So, Dylan’s son is light skinned which means that his father is Black.  He is a good-looking black man. So, you are telling me that Paige is attracted to Black men is that it?” Libby Sighed loudly. 

“You are so dense. Look at his eyes and smile. Now look at the picture.” Both glanced back and forth a couple of times. Eddy looked again once again for good measure. 

“Nope, not following you; No wait….. What?” 

“Now you got it.” Libby answered sarcastically. 

“But she has said nothing about Aiden’s father in three months.” Actually, Libby knew almost nothing about Aidan’s father in the five years that they had worked together. The women had met shortly after Paige returned from her pregnancy leave.  Paige had always diverted conversation about her son’s father and only admitted that he had disappeared. 

“Apparently, he,” she pointed to the conference room. “doesn’t know about Aiden and It is not our place to spill the beans.” Libby took a deep breath then let it out. “Paige is my friend, and she tolerates you too. I don’t know what is going to happen, but they have a lot to work out; in addition to whatever project, they are working on in there. “

 

Folders were passed out to everyone at the table spelling out the information regarding the newest case. 

“So Let’s recap; both the FBI and the Military Intelligence office sent undercover agents into the Roldan autobody shop seven years ago. Both were chosen for their ability to do favorable work.  Jason: you worked in the shop as a technician working to repair and restore damaged vehicles.” He nodded. “And Paige: it was your artistic ability which caught the eyes of the wife.” She also nodded in agreement. 

“My CO said that they were looking to replace their lead painter. We hatched a plan that if I got caught tagging her wall, Mrs. Roldan might offer me a job. Especially If I came up with a shady background myself.” Those who had opened their packet did a double take comparing the alias pictures and personas with the two who sat at the table. Jason couldn’t keep the admiration from showing. “We worked undercover for eight months without being suspect to the Roldan Family.”

“How were you pulled out? Were your alias blown?” 

“No. they are still intact.” Jason answered truthfully. “Winnie; I mean Paige was arrested in the bust six years ago and taken away in cuffs. I left to find my own way a couple of weeks later.”

“They had developed a personal relationship by then; at least that is what we wanted the Roldan’s to think;” interjected Major Byrnes. Startled, Jason glanced in his direction wounded at how callous the words came out. He had always thought that the romance was very real and always thought of Winnie as the one who got away. Seeing her again just rekindled his feelings for Winnie/ Paige.  He hoped to win her back by the end of this assignment.

“It was easy to think that Jason left with a broken heart,” The Major continued. Fuming silently, Jason looked at Paige who tried to play it off. Paige looked hurt herself at the Majors words however she didn’t seem surprised that he knew. Clearly, she had mentioned to her CO about their indiscretions. The others moved on to the next thought while the two reflected silently to themselves.

“Well it would be easy to fake a stint in jail and make up a reason for you to be released and go back to work there. How then, could we get you back in Jason; without setting off any alarms?” After looking around the table Paige spoke up. 

“He could come back after his business failed. Mrs. Roldan loves to play mother hen and loved Aiden. If we could arrange a Prodigal’s reunion; she would take him back.” 

“Good call,” he said peering over his paperwork and the glasses. The group spent the day laying out a basic plan to get both Jason and Paige back into the Roldan family garage and it was decided that within two- three weeks at least one if not both of them would be back undercover. They would continue to meet with the technical analysists and the tactical team to hash out details.

The story continues. If you missed the first part, go to https://the-armijo-signal.com/25286/entertainment/and-so-it-begins/ and Chapter 2 can be found at https://the-armijo-signal.com/25461/entertainment/mystery-authors-story-chapter-2/

 

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