Damn!! He’d saddled himself with a crazy one. He should just leave her. He had a job to do and caring for a crazy person was not it. Just leave her. Leave the sleeping bag as well and she can go up on that roof-top and keep her imaginary friends company until all hell broke loose, for all he cared. Problem was, he did care. And there was a strong probability that hell was going to break loose, sooner rather than later if he didn’t get the job he was assigned to do, done. And right now, he had to get a message out to his contact. They were expecting confirmation that he was on his way, instead he’d be informing them of a twenty-four hour delay. They would not be happy about that. Nor was he.
“Stay here, keep warm,” he ordered. No point arguing with her. As soon as it was dark, he’d take her to the dock, get a boat to the island. If all went well, he would be back in time to fulfil his contract.
Eleanor watched him walk to the door. She was curious and puzzled. He was not like the people of the city. In his eyes she had seen his concern for her. He cared though she was a stranger to him. He was like the unicorn, except that he was free to leave this place. She had to get back onto the roof-top. The unicorn would be missing her.
He got back to find her gone, the sleeping-bag neatly rolled up on the floor. Her back-pack was also gone, and her coat that he’d left drying in front of the heating elements. Swearing under his breath, he grabbed the sleeping bag and made for the roof-top. Was sorely tempted to toss her the sleeping bag and leave her to it.
All that time and effort he put into getting her warm and revived she’d now wasted by resuming her position with that damn statue, on the roof-top in cold of the autumn night. What the fuck was wrong with her? This obsession with the unicorn …… did she really think the blasted thing was alive?!
And there she was, just as he had found her, leaning against the statue, gazing out over the city. He grabbed her by the arm and hauled her back towards the doorway. She tried to resist, became agitated when she couldn’t. “I cannot leave him!” she pleaded, close to tears.
“And I can’t take him,” he growled. “It’s a bloody statue and you’re cold as ice again!” He stopped, wrapped the sleeping bag around her, restraining her struggles, and carried her back inside. By the time he got her into the office suite, she’d gone still and quiet. He placed her on the floor, drew the sleeping bag away from her face, ignored her silent tears.
He stood by the window, watching the bus shelter where he’d left his message, hidden among the graffiti. Watched what appeared to be a homeless woman shuffle into the shelter and pick through the litter under the wall of graffiti. Then shuffle away again, leaving the cans and bottles where they lay. Message received.
He looked back at her, huddled in the sleeping bag, her face turned away from him. “We leave as soon as it’s dark,” he told her. “Meanwhile we stay out of sight.” No response from her, none expected. He was telling her, not discussing. The hum of traffic building up in the street below was the only sound for a while. Then he left the window, sat on the floor near her, his back resting against the wall. “What’s this business with the statue?” he asked. They had all day, cooped up together in the vacant office suite, and he was curious.
“It is not a statue,” she whispered.
“Okay. What is it, then?”
She shook her head. “You would not understand.”
“Try me,” he said.
adult fiction ….. contemporary fantasy, thriller, mystery, love story