The Cuckoo's Progeny
17: The Trail Heats Up

Copyright© 2016 Vincent Berg. All rights reserved.

“I’m glad we finally got everyone settled,” Betty said, stretching out across the bed. “But I’m happier we have this hotel room to ourselves for the rest of the night. How about you get in bed and we can enjoy some time alone for a change?”

“You don’t have to ask twice,” Al said, pulling off his shirt. “I’m also glad Eli generated those fake IDs for us, otherwise we’d be camping now.” Tossing his garment aside, he kicked off his shoes, advancing on her. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. As wonderful as our first time was, frankly, it was like pulling teeth. I’m eager to experience you as an enthusiastic participant, rather than as a reluctant partner.”

“Sorry about that.”

“Don’t be, just kiss me.”

They met mid-way, taking their time to kiss and appreciate each other ... until interrupted by a knock on the door.

“Ignore it,” Betty insisted.

“I would, but given our recent history, it’s probably important.”

“It’s more likely someone out to attack you, or the CIA.”

“If it was the CIA, they wouldn’t bother knocking.” He rolled over, sitting up. “Yeah?”

“It’s Ivan and Kaci,” they said, their voices muffled by the door.

Betty groaned as her brother stood. “This had better be important.”

“We’re sure you’ll agree it is,” Ivan assured him.

Al let them in. Kaci noted their semi-dressed state, but Ivan wasn’t as easily distracted. Once Al closed the door, Kaci explained why they were there. “Like other mechanical and electrical tools, we’re always poking around cars, looking for ways to improve them. We tweaked your car to get better mileage, but also discovered these.” He held up two tiny metal devices. “They’re magnetic GPS tracers. We found some on each of your cars. Your locations are being tracked.”

“Damn,” Al swore, running his hand through his bangs. “So they know where we are?”

“I’m afraid so,” Ivan said. “When we heard about your troubles, we suspected this immediately. Without training in these types of devices, you’d never notice them.”

Al weighed one in his hand. “Will they realize you removed them?”

“No. They aren’t high-precision. They’ll pinpoint your car in the parking lot, but no one will pay much attention if it shows up inside the hotel. GPS gear give false readings fairly frequently.”

Al returned them. “Put them back. I’ve got an idea.” As they started to leave he hesitated. “Hold on.” He turned to his sister. “Be, get dressed. There’s a slight change in plans.” He got his phone, turned it on and walked to the desk. When it awakened, he laid it down and left it. “Leave your phones. We’re abandoning anything which can be traced back to us. That includes our cars. You can keep yours. I doubt they know about you yet, so if your cars disappear, it won’t raise any red flags.” As they headed out, he grabbed his clothes, speaking through Zita this time. “All right, everyone. I’ve informed Powell where we are. They’ll be here soon. We need to be out the door and on the road in five minutes. Anything you can’t prepare, abandon. It’ll be more realistic if your rooms appear lived in. Leave your dirty clothes on the floor for effect. We won’t be getting much sleep tonight.”

“What are you planning?” Betty asked, already finished dressing. When he issued orders, she didn’t quibble about disturbed plans. They had the rest of their lives together. Their second first time could wait a little longer.

“It’ll take some doing, but will keep Powell off our back and buy us some freedom to move around. It all depends on our ability to not attract attention.”

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