Pete Parker never really considered himself the most paranoid sort of person. He sometimes pictured himself as his alter-ego Spiderman persona and wondered what he would do in those dark and dangerous situations he always read about or saw in the comic books. Now as he returned the rental car he could swear that dark Taurus had been behind him…all day. He had seen it as he left the airport that morning. It was less than a block away when he had visited with Alex Sheridan. He saw it parked two lots down when he had stopped for lunch at the In-n-Out. Now here it was again, as he was getting ready to head back to Nashville. He had never seen the driver, he thought he had seen a woman, of all things getting out of the car one time, but he just wasn’t sure. He signed all the paperwork as he scanned the area for anyone out of the ordinary, but there were just busy travelers trying to get from here to there and back…just like he was.
At the far end of the rental area Nicollette stood with her back against the wall. The dark suit fit her so well she blended into the background that no one even noticed her. She had seen him looking around the terminal, she saw him stare her way as he had stopped for lunch, she knew he was suspicious. She had called Jason Wolfe from her cell phone as they headed back to the airport. Just to let him know that his prey was nervous. From this distance she couldn’t tell how much, but just from his mannerism and behavior, she knew he thought, something just wasn’t right. She almost chuckled to herself, if he only knew how right he was.
Jason Wolfe had know Nicollete since she had been born. Her dad had been one of Jason’s best friend through college. Dales tragic mining accident had left her without a father and his wife Sabrina without a husband or anything else. Jason made sure than Sabrina had an assistant job at CME and he had become Uncle Jay to Nicollette as she grew-up. He wasn’t certain if he had ever known anyone as intelligent or inquisitive as she had been or was, for that matter. He tried to keep her at arm’s length but she was absolutely fascinated with what he did at CME. After not too long she was very aware that he just didn’t watch the door or make the guard schedule. She became his tech wizard. In the week it would take him to master a new phone or install a piece of software or try to understand any new technology; she had a grasp of it in hours. They would have lunch together, she was the closest thing to a daughter he would ever know or have. As time progressed she became more a part of his personal security attachment. He worried about it at first, but after their meeting with Ericka Carston he almost dismissed every fear he had. The two women were cut from the same cloth. The amazing thing to him was that they both seemed to know it. Some sort of sisterhood that only the two of them could even remotely understand. The first time Nicollette met with Ericka, without him, he felt a little jealous. Little Nikki, as he called her when they were alone, had grown into a handsome, strong and in his mind, beautiful woman. She was not little girl. At 5’7 with her long straight black hair, as a man she might had been a linebacker. The fact that she and Ericka used the same trainer and spared regularly kept her larger frame lean and firm.
When it was suggested that she keep an eye on Mr. Parker he knew this was just the type of assignment that would keep her out of trouble. She seemed to like a little trouble, and so far, she had manager to keep herself safe. Jason worried how long that would last. Ericka had asked him if he thought Nicollette was up to the task? Jason didn’t have to even hesitate in his reply. “Ms. Carston she would be perfect for the task and she will probably bring a dimension to this endeavor we might need.” Ericka had agree whole-heartedly. Some days she really did feel like the only member in the all boys club. She and Nicollete shared a bond. Ericka smiled as she remember an all too frisky taxi ride home one fall evening. It might have surprised the two of them more if they both weren’t wrapped up so much in who there were, or where they were heading. Ericka realized in her position an “affair” would be scrutinized with a fine-tooth comb. The two woman were really good friends, at least for the time being, they had both decided that would have to do.
Nicollette watched as Pete Parker got his boarding pass in the terminal and then slowly moved forward in the same line to get hers. She thought she could sense him scanning the line for anything, something out of the ordinary. But one of her gifts was to just blend in and she did it exceptionally well. After she had her boarding pass she hesitated at the desk and then made a beeline for the empty seat…directly across from Mr. Parker. He barely looked up or even seemed to notice her as she sat. Then she got out her phone, her tablet, plugged her laptop into the electrical outlet and started to work. Peter Parker looked up from his boring crossword puzzle and was almost amazed at the technological display he saw across the short aisle. First he was amazed that anyone would even try to balance that in their lap, but more so, it seemed like she was using every item at the same time. He couldn’t help it..he had to stare. Nicollette loved putting on a show and she knew the fish was already on the hook. Now, did she toy with it or reel it in. She read through her trash email, listened to her voicemail from home and opened Candy-Crush on her tablet…just for grins. It might have been a little over the top, but she had to look the part of a CME executive, it was all part of the ruse. Parker noticed the logo on the laptop and the tablet, CME. Who was she? He didn’t remember seeing her around Nashville or LA, granted in all there were a couple thousand employees, but he was certain there were very few like this.
Nicollette hung up the phone, closed her email and stared at the Candy Crush screen. It was one of those games she loved to hate and only ever played if she couldn’t get to sleep or needed a conversational diversion. Today, that would be exactly what it would be. She reached down and packed away the laptop, put her phone inside her jet black Coach purse and set about focusing on her tablet. As she shifted she let the stylish beige luoboutin shoes slip from her feet. They were tired feet today, She loved those shoes, how much taller she seemed, how they made her calves pop when she walked, but they were a lot of work for a nice pair of shoes. She smiled, ok, she had a few pairs…fourty-five, but it was the one thing Uncle Jay would always take her shopping for. He told her a few years ago he could not survive another shopping trip with her to Victoria’s Secret, it was just too much for him, but shoes, that was a different story.