See disclaimer chapter 1
Two days. It had been two days since the break-in. Two days since Stan had hung up on her. Two of the most miserable days of her life. And to top it all off, Abby thought she was being followed.
The day before yesterday she had noticed a black car sitting across the street from her shop. A man sat in the car, reading a newspaper. All day he sat there. She didn't give it more than a passing thought that first day though. But yesterday, when she looked up from her clean up job, and saw the same car sitting there, a little chill went down her spine. Her first instinct was to call Stan, but then she remembered that he didn't want her around anymore. So she tried to ignore her gut feeling that she was being watched.
But upon her arrival home, she realized she couldn't pretend any longer. The black car had followed her home. She peered out her front window. It had parked across the street and the driver didn't seem to be in any hurry to leave. Abby debated on what to do. Should she call the police? She dismissed that idea; they would probably just think she was paranoid. She wanted so bad to talk to Stan, but that was out of the question. "This is ridiculous," she said aloud, and then took a deep breath and went outside.
She wished she could stop shaking as she crossed the street and made her way to the sedan. The man sitting behind the wheel never saw her as she approached the passenger side; he was totally engrossed in his paper. She tapped lightly on the window.
The surprised look on his face disappeared quickly and he rolled down the window. "Can I help you miss?"
"Why are you," her voice cracked. She cleared her throat and started again, "Why are you following me?"
He tried to look puzzled. "Following you? I'm sure you're mistaken."
"Oh please!" Abby said indignantly. "I'm not a complete idiot! You sat outside my bookstore all day and youve been here for hours!" The man tried to reply but she cut him off. "Who are you?" she demanded. When he didn't answer right away, she started to turn back to her house. "I'm just going to call the police. They will make you talk."
"Ma'am! No, please don't!" He smiled sheepishly and reached into his pocket. "Yes, I've been following you. I was assigned to. David Tailorson, FBI." Abby inspected his identification; it matched. "Guess I didn't do such a good job on the undercover part."
Abby couldn't contain her grin of her relief. "No, you didn't. I'm just glad you're a good guy." She gestured toward her house, "You might as well come in." As they walked up to the front door, she added, "But don't think youre off the hook; I still want to know why you were following me."
They sat at Abby's kitchen table, coffee cups in front of both of them. Agent Tailorson was on the phone. "Yes, sir...I understand. Yes, sir, she did...Are you sure, sir? I will...We'll be right there..." She had tried very hard not to listen in, but she still wanted to know what was going on.
Abby looked at him expectantly. "I am supposed to take you to my superior. He wants to talk with you," Tailorson explained.
"What if I don't want to go?" Abby questioned.
David Tailorson adopted a pleading look. "Please, Miss Spark, I'm in enough trouble all ready. Will you please cooperate?"
"Where are we going?"
He shook his head. "I can't disclose that at this time." He saw the stubborn glint in her eye. "Please?"
Abby softened. He was just doing his job, after all, whatever that job was. "All right, Agent David Tailorson. But please call me Abby."
He grinned. "Okay, Abby. Let's go." They crossed the street once more and got into his car. As the sedan pulled out onto the road, Abby turned to David.
"So, are you going to tell me why you were following me?"
Keeping his eyes on the road, the agent answered. "I was assigned to watch you and make sure that you stayed safe."
Abby was puzzled. "Safe from what?"
He glanced over at her. "I was not given that information."
That shiver of fear was back, running up and down Abby's spine. Why would the FBI be watching her, guarding her? What in the hell was going on? So lost in thought was she, that she didn't recognize where they were headed until David guided the automobile into a driveway.
She turned to him, her eyes wide with disbelief, and said softly, "We are at Stan's house."