AT THE BOOKSTORE
It’s cold and bitter in Vegas today and I don’t want to sit waiting in this parking lot while Saul runs a security check inside the bookstore. What danger can there be here? Why is he so paranoid every single minute of his life? Checking my phone, I see no message telling me the coast is clear.
George stares at me and I tap my fingernails on the window of the limo. It frustrates me to always be waiting on the men in my life. What am I the master of again? Reaching for a glass, I pour a double shot of whiskey and drain it. I’ll give myself courage to ignore Saul’s instructions to remain outside. Taking a deep breath, I open the door and step out into the wind of early afternoon.
“Saul will not be pleased,” George says, appearing next to me.
I laugh and study the front of the store. Books or Books. I guess books it will be then. Taking a step away from the limo, I approach the front door without bothering to watch for traffic. I don’t see anyone in the parking lot.
George opens the door for me and a bell dings to announce my entry. I walk along a row of books and pass the counter, keeping an eye out for Saul. Mozart drifts from the ceiling and I can't help humming along with the music. Saul appears from behind a bookshelf, arms crossed and glowering at me. Do I need to hear his rant to know what he will say?
“Goddamn it, Ella.”
I tune him out and the words flow over me as I scan the stacks of books. The store name speaks it true. Books or books and books everywhere. I feel Saul’s hand on my shoulder and turn to face him.
“It’s not secure in here, too many damned books,” he says. Why so angry today? It’s because he is sober I’d bet.
“It’s a bookstore, dummy,” I say, smiling. Workers stack books, not paying any attention to my spat with Saul. The anger rises in my stomach when Saul doesn’t release my shoulder and pins me against a row of books.
Moving my gaze from his hand to his eyes, I grab his wrist and tear his fingers off me. “There is no place I feel safer than a bookstore, Saul. The only maniac in here will be you, no doubt.”
He growls and walks towards the front of the store. The bell rings and I know he went outside to smoke and fume about my attitude. I don’t give a damn what he thinks and laugh when George wags a finger at me.
“He is right you know. Pay more attention to your safety and surroundings. Just now you’re missing the gentleman over there watching you.”
I try not to look, but impulse overcomes sense and my eyes lock on to a man in a gray suit pretending to peruse a Stephen King book. Attempting to move towards him, I hear George whisper a warning.
“He’s with the FBI, Ella.”