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Myself... In Shattered Reflection

Book 3: Bacaidhean

By MultiMapper
Copyright ©2002-2018 MultiMapper.
All Rights Reserved.
For full disclaimer and Copyright information visit Copyright/Disclaimer Page. Continuation of viewing this document is deemed acceptance of all terms on the preceding link. While these stories are provided for free, I would appreciate it if those who were able would consider contributing to this artist via my Patreon.


Chapter 17

As Agent Fastbeck pulled away from the airport, he quietly asked, "Do you want to fill me in?"

"Honestly, as far as I can tell, everything seems to be just how it appears on the surface. The Southseid barrier can't protect the Wudewas so this group was called in to resolve the situation."

"What's with bringing the kids?"

"They felt that it was an opportunity to train the next generation to deal with situations like this. These kids are the most talented in their specialties and I think they'll benefit not only from the training, but also from being acknowledged for their maturity and talents."

"It still seems strange that they would include us. My first inclination is to think that this might be some kind of a setup to distract us while some other agenda is being undertaken elsewhere."

"Since I was included in some of the planning, I think that if that were the case I would have, at the very least, come up with some unresolved questions. So far the only things that have bothered me haven't had anything to do with the mission."

"What's bothering you?"

"First, I was contacted by a Sky Marshal on the flight here. He's the one who warned me about Mr. Ingram. Second is Mr. Ingram himself. We never really determined his motives or even who he really is."

"I'll be looking into that when I get back to the office."

"Third is Mr. Bentley Brown. The guy is so unlikable and rude that I can't help but believe that it's an act to prevent people from wanting to get to know more about him."

"Do you think the three things are somehow related?"

"I can't see any connection so far. But it won't hurt for me to stay on the lookout."

"Do you have your sat phone?"

"I don't leave home without it."

"Be sure to keep me posted and I'll be ready to do research for you if you need it."

"Thanks. Even though it probably won't lead to anything, I'll still feel better knowing that you're looking into things."

"I only have the most general idea of what they're planning to do. Is there anything that you think I should know about?"

"I probably don't know much more than you do. In fact, I don't think anyone really knows what's going to happen. They're waiting until they can see exactly how things are at the barrier before they make any firm plans."

"I've been doing my best to keep tabs on the people who attacked the Wudewas. It seems that they've made a series of questionable decisions since their encounter with us. Do you happen to know what hypnotic suggestions they might be under?"

"Not exactly. But it wouldn't surprise me if Lane and Duran might have left them with some extra little self-defeating programming to repay them in some small way for what they did to the Wudewas. If it were left to me to decide, I probably would've done worse."

"As you know, Dr. Mickel, Sylvia Richter and Corbin Spieth have all confessed the crimes that they have committed over the years. What I've found surprising is that all three have ended up in protective custody, separated from the general prison populations."

"Good. I hope they're miserable."

"I'm not going to shed a tear on their behalf, I was just curious if you knew what Lane and Duran might have directed them to do to cause something like this to happen."

"They didn't tell me anything, but whatever it was, I have no problem with what they did."

Agent Fastbeck nodded his understanding.

"So, did I miss any excitement in Waxell while I was away?" Agent Roberts asked curiously.

"Wynona Frost caught Leroy buggering one of her chickens. Apparently, she's pretty scrappy with that cane of hers. Sheriff Daniels kept Leroy locked up overnight until he could sober up, then charged him with trespassing."

"Is that all? I can think of half a dozen other charges that might apply in a situation like that."

"I got the feeling that Ed didn't want to make too big a deal of it. I think he's embarrassed on Leroy's behalf and would rather that the entire incident to go away."

"And yet he still told you all of this?"

"Of course not."

"Deputy Kemp?"

"Waxell doesn't need social media with Deputy Kemp around."

"As strange as it sounds, it seems to work. All the down-home charm and back-woods antics makes for an idyllic society. I really wouldn't want for it to be any other way."

"I think that may be part of why you were assigned to the Waxell office. I get the feeling that they want people who can accept it for what it is and who might even fight to protect it, if called upon to do so."

"I think that being able to accept the colonies of witches and bigfoots might also have something to do with it."

"I can't help but think that they're all part of the same thing."

"It does seem to be quite a bit to be a coincidence."

"Well, from what little I've gleaned from the conversations around me, it seems that the Brynn colony and the Southseid colony were established at roughly the same time."

"And with Waxell being in such close proximity to both of them, it seems to make sense that they're somehow involved."

"I doubt that we'll figure it out anytime soon."

* * * * *

After a long period of silence, Agent Roberts cautiously said, "While I was visiting Mr. Darroch's house Paul and G were telling me how much they admire you for what you did at the Brynn colony."

"How much did they tell you?"

"They spoke mostly in generalities when it came to what you actually did. But they said that you chose to accept a curse for the sake of the people of Brynnhollow."

"I suppose from their point of view, that would be true."

"What would it be from your point of view? ...that is, if you don't mind me asking."

"I wouldn't feel right sharing the details of the situation that the Brynns were facing. But suffice it to say that there was really no choice for me. I was the only one who could possibly have helped them. We were all working very hard, trying to coordinate the merger of Brynnhollow and Brynnhaven. If I didn't do anything, it would have been nearly impossible for the two communities to unite. Mistrust and paranoia would have kept them from coming together."

"I don't know anything about their situation, but even so, I still don't understand what you could have done to have made such a profound impact."

"By gaining the ability to bestow a curse, I essentially restored the balance. Before, both communities were driven toward certain actions and behaviors that would have made it impossible for them to live together. In fact, that's what caused them to form separate villages. Someone before me found a way to relieve the compulsion on the citizens of Brynnhaven. When I arrived, it became obvious that a counterbalancing force would be needed in Brynnhollow if the two groups were ever going to merge."

"Do you think it would be possible for me to visit Brynnhollow one of these days?"

"I don't see any problem with that. Since you already know about them and have proven that you're trustworthy, I don't think anyone would object."

"With all the weirdness already in my life, I probably shouldn't be doing anything to invite more. But after everything that I've already been involved in, I feel like I have a stake in what happens to them."

"Just, whatever you do, don't get into an intimate relationship with anyone you meet there. We're dealing with magic and curses so the only shot you'll have for a happy ending is to not put yourself in that situation to begin with."

"I don't see that being a problem."

"You may think that now, but they're some really special people. They're uncomplicated and hard-working. Although they can be honest to a fault, at the same time they're naive about the ugliness that's pervasive in the outside world. The allure is undeniable."

"It sounds to me like you're breaking your own rule."

"There's someone special that I've been seeing, but she's not a native Brynn."

"I don't understand. I thought that the community was isolated within a barrier."

"It's complicated. Suffice it to say that Andrea is an outsider like I am. She's a human who was cursed, then given the ability to bestow a curse."

"And the two of you are in a relationship?"

"We're at the beginning of one. Technically she's still married to her husband. I don't want to move too quickly and take the chance that she still has feelings for him."

"That sounds like it could turn into a big mess."

"I suppose it has that potential, but so far her husband and kids have been very supportive of our relationship."

"Is that what Cain was talking about when we were hiking to the Southseid colony?"

"Yes. He and his twin brother are great kids. With all the dramatic changes in their lives, I would understand it if they were having problems dealing with things, but they seem to be thriving in their new situation. I couldn't be more proud of them if they were my own."

"I don't know what Cain went through, but he seems like a good kid... very responsible."

"Cain and his twin brother Deimos were raised in the outside world and led fairly typical lives. Then one day, out of the blue, their father took them to Brynnhollow and told them that they were cursed beings and could never return to the only way of life that they had ever known. In that day, they lost everything that they knew and everything that they were."

"I can sympathize."

"Me too. I suppose that's part of why I feel such a kinship with them. The people who were born and raised in Brynnhollow can't fathom what a culture shock it is."

"Worse than Waxell?"

"Actually, yes. Most people in Brynnhollow don't have electricity. They've never seen a computer or even a television."

"Seriously?!"

"As primitive as it sounds, it's also kind of nice. Life there is slower... it's quieter. The people are hard-working and decent. Of course, life is hard for them. If they don't work, they and their families don't eat. They're always looking ahead toward the next season, trying to prepare for the worst case scenario. You have to admire them for facing such adversity without complaint."

"It sounds like you really like it there."

"For now, I'm needed where I am. But one day I can see myself disappearing from the outside world and settling down there."

"I've never felt that way about anyplace that I've been."

"We'll see how you feel once you've visited Brynnhollow."

"I can't wait."

* * * * *

The trip to Waxell continued without incident. Agents Fastbeck and Roberts had some time to review the few cases that they had worked on in their short time together. That reminded Agent Fastbeck that Matthew Farmer had called the previous day.

"Did he say what he wanted?"

"To talk to you. I offered to try and get a message to you in the field, but he said that it wasn't urgent and could wait."

"I think we're in the cell phone 'dead zone' by now, it'll have to wait until we get to a landline."

"We'll be there soon. Is there anything you're going to need help with before we leave for the Southseid colony?"

"I just want to take everyone to my house so that they can drop off their things. After that, we'll stop in Waxell for a bite to eat, then we'll pick up some food from the store for lunch and dinner tonight."

"Are you going to need any help carrying things?"

"If you wouldn't mind carrying a tent, I think everything else should distribute fairly evenly amongst the rest of the group."

"Sounds good. How sure are you about the food situation?"

"I'm planning on taking inventory right before we leave Waxell. If anyone comes up short, we'll be able to deal with it then and there."

"It looks like the weather report was right. From the look of the sky, you'd better do what you're going to do and be on your way."

"I may have to adjust my original timetable a little bit if we're going to have a hope of making it to the site before the rain starts."

"How are you going to do that? I had assumed that you had already scheduled everything for optimum efficiency."

"I padded the schedule with rest breaks after each of the more difficult stages of the hike. From the way it looks, I think we'd better just ask if everyone's alright to continue and if no one needs a break right then, we'll keep moving."

"I'll help you keep an eye on the others. If I notice anyone having trouble or pushing themselves to a dangerous degree, I'll let you know."

"Shouldn't that be the other way around? You're the boss, after all."

"I'm just going along for as long as it takes to explain things to the Wudewas. Although these people are powerful witches, so far as I know, none of them are experienced outdoorsmen. If things suddenly take a bad turn, there can't be any ambiguity about who's in charge."

"I don't know how much of an outdoorsman I am. I've had the required survival training, but I've never really had much of an interest in hiking out to the middle of nowhere with only the most basic necessities of life and barely adequate sanitation. I did what I had to do when it was required of me and got through it the best that I could."

"Don't let the presence of the teachers and kids distract you. This is a job. You have skills that are necessary for the success of the operation. While it might make the job easier for you if you were to feel some sort of a stake in the outcome, the fact of the matter is that regardless of what you feel, you've got your orders to follow."

"I guess it's good that I'm already invested, so that won't be a worry."

"I'll hold you to that, Agent Roberts."

* * * * *

It wasn't but a few minutes later that they were pulling into downtown Waxell.

"I'll drop you at your house, then drive back to the office to check on things... unless you need me at your place for some reason."

"No. That'll work out fine. I'll get everyone settled in, then take them into town for breakfast before buying our perishable supplies and heading out. Would you like to have breakfast with us, or do you want for us to stop by the office on the way out of town?"

"I'll probably meet up with you at the diner. But if something comes up, I'll deal with it and catch up to you before it's time to leave."

"What about Mr. Bentley Brown? Do you have any last minute advice for me regarding him?"

"For as long as he's useful to the project, use him. As soon as his part is done, cut him loose. Don't trust or depend on him any more than you absolutely have to."

"I get the feeling that he won't be too torn up about it when it's time for us to part company."

"Keep it professional. Don't let it devolve into a competition of personalities."

"No problem there. He doesn't appear to have one."

"That's probably for the best."

* * * * *

When they arrived at Agent Roberts' house, Shawn was surprised when Agent Fastbeck also got out of the car. Before he could ask, Agent Fastbeck went to the trunk and started to unload the equipment.

"You're going with us to set up camp, aren't you?" Agent Roberts asked uncertainly.

"That's the plan." Agent Fastbeck said simply, then added, "But plans can change. If something comes up and I get diverted, this way you'll have everything that you'll need with you."

"Are you expecting something to come up?" Agent Roberts asked as he opened the trunk of his car.

"No. But considering the way things tend to go, it wouldn't surprise me if something did. If I end up having to take care of other things, I'll catch up to you. I'm assuming that you'll be using Dr. Mickel's campsite."

"I hadn't really thought that far ahead, but since the site's already been cleared and is relatively level it would make sense to use it as our base camp." Agent Roberts said thoughtfully as he transferred items into his trunk.

"Good. If anything comes up that I end up not travelling with you, I'll meet you there." Agent Fastbeck said decisively.

"Why do I have the feeling that you're up to something?"

"Even though it may not seem like it sometimes, the two of us are responsible for a large geographical area. We can't let this mission distract us from all the rest. You do what you need to do for the mission and I'll make sure that everyone else is taken care of."

Agent Roberts nodded, then slowly said, "Thanks for keeping an eye on the big picture."

"I'm the boss. That's what I do." Agent Fastbeck said with a grin before going back to his car.

* * * * *

"What are we doing now?" Paul asked as he approached Agent Roberts.

"If you'll get your personal belongings together, I'll take you inside and show you to your rooms." Agent Roberts said simply.

"We've got everything right here." Paul said with accomplishment.

Agent Roberts looked around the group, then said, "As soon as we're done here, we'll be going into town to get something to eat, and then we'll be heading off to the colony site. Be sure to bring your sleeping bags inside with you. Also make sure that you don't leave any of your hiking gear here because we won't be coming back until tonight."

"So this will be where we'll be spending the night?" Miss Oaken asked to be sure.

"Yes. While there's always the possibility that we might need to stay at the barrier site for some reason, we're intending to hike out and come back here each night so that we can all get a good night of sleep in relative comfort and safety."

When it seemed that everyone understood what they were doing, Agent Roberts walked up to the door, then unlocked it.

* * * * *

"Nice place!" Paul said as he looked around.

"It's incredible, isn't it?" Agent Roberts said proudly.

"Excuse me!" A voice said from the back of the group.

Agent Roberts followed the voice, then had to clamp down on his natural reaction and finally asked, "What can I do for you, Mr. Bentley Brown?"

"I thought that we were going to be leaving for the barrier site shortly after arrival. Why are we wasting time here?"

"I'm showing everyone to their rooms so that when we return, they'll be able to go directly to bed if they're tired."

"Can't we just get on with it?"

"No." Agent Roberts said simply, then turning his attention to the rest of their group he continued, "Follow me."

* * * * *

As Agent Roberts opened the door to the stairway, he thought to say, "These rooms haven't been used for over fifty years. I've done some basic cleaning, but they're probably not up to your usual standards. That's why I asked everyone to bring sleeping bags. I can't vouch for the functionality of the mattresses. I've actually been avoiding dealing with them."

"Don't worry. We've got this covered." Paul assured him.

"All the rooms are basically the same, so feel free to take whichever ones you want."

After opening the first door they encountered, Miss Oaken asked, "Corabeth, why don't we share this room?"

"Okay." Corabeth said easily and seemed to be pleased that it had been decided.

Paul opened the door across the hall and looked inside before saying, "G and I can take this one."

"Dex, do you want to share a room with me?" Zanner asked hopefully.

The surprise on Dex's face at being asked was obvious. Agent Roberts expected his immediate agreement, but was surprised when Dex asked, "What about Filipe?"

"Yeah. I think the three of us can share a room if you want to." Zanner said easily.

"There are plenty of rooms..." Agent Roberts began to say but was interrupted.

"If the job gets really boring, this might end up being the best part of the trip." Zanner explained.

"Fair enough." Agent Roberts said with a smile.

Professor Everstone glanced at Mr. Hansen and said, "It appears that we can each have a room of our own."

"That works for me." Mr. Hansen said comfortably.

"Mr. Bentley Brown, it appears that I still have one unclaimed room, if you would care to use it."

"I'm accustomed to more civilized accommodations."

"As you like." Agent Roberts said without concern, then said loudly to the rest of the group, "Stow your gear and we'll meet in the living room downstairs in five minutes."

After waiting to see if anyone had any comments or questions, Agent Roberts went downstairs, followed by Mr. Bentley Brown.

* * * * *

"I'm just going to pack a few things and then I need to make a phone call. You're welcome to wait, or you can drive back to Waxell and wait for us there. We shouldn't be too long." Agent Roberts said as he walked to his bedroom.

"It wasn't my choice to come here." Mr. Bentley Brown said darkly.

"We're all making the best of the situation we've found ourselves in." Agent Roberts said simply.

After a long silent moment, Mr. Bentley Brown finally said, "I think I will drive back into town. Where and when should I meet up with you?"

"We'll be having breakfast at the Waxell Diner on the main street. If you leave now, we should arrive about five minutes behind you."

"I don't know why they insisted on including a human on this mission, but don't expect me to go out of my way for you." Mr. Bentley Brown said before stalking away.

"I never thought that you would." Agent Roberts thought to himself as he packed a few supplemental pieces of clothing to serve as additional layers, should they be needed.

* * * * *

"Hello?"

"Matthew? It's Agent Roberts. I'm returning your call."

"Please call me Matt. Thanks for calling me back."

"What's going on? Have you completely recovered?"

"Mostly. I was never claustrophobic before but now close spaces make me really uncomfortable. Besides that, I think I'm doing okay."

"Make sure you talk to someone about that. What seems like a small problem right now can grow into something more if you ignore it."

"Yeah. I'll do that."

"Were you needing to talk to me about something?"

"Yeah. You see, my birthday is coming up and we're going to have a little party... not like a party party, but we're going to get a few people together and have a cookout or something like that, depending on the weather."

"That sounds nice."

"Yeah. Well, I was trying to decide who I wanted to invite and I was just wondering if maybe you'd like to come over and celebrate my birthday with me? Theresa and Doug will be there and maybe one or two other people."

"Actually, I'm in the middle of a case right now..."

"My birthday's on the 23rd. That's over two weeks away."

"Let me see how things work out with the case that I'm on. If it's possible for me to be there, I'll get back with you and confirm the time and address with you."

"Thank you. I know it seems like kind of a weird thing to ask, but to me it feels like the only reason I have to celebrate anything is because of you. It'd feel wrong to me if you weren't there."

"I'll do my best to get the day off. But right now I have a job to do."

"I understand. Thank you for at least considering it. Goodbye."

"Goodbye Matt."

* * * * *

"So, does everyone have their sleeping bags and personal items settled?"

Nods and sounds of affirmation emanated from the group.

"And everyone has all the hiking gear that they're going to need in the cars?" Agent Roberts asked to be sure.

Again, everyone seemed to be in agreement.

"Before we leave, I need for all of you to gather whatever type of canteens or water flasks that you're going to be using and fill them up. We're not going to get another good chance to do that." Agent Roberts said firmly.

It seemed as though everyone in attendance thought that that was a perfectly reasonable idea.

"As soon as that's done, we should be ready to go."

"To the Waxell Diner?" G asked hopefully.

"That's right. We're going to stop in there for breakfast."

"You guys are going to love it. It's really old and kind of creepy and they have really good food." G told the group enthusiastically.

Agent Roberts smiled to himself and watched as everyone set about the task of filling their canteens.

* * * * *

After finding a parking place, Agent Roberts waited outside the Waxell Diner for the group to assemble.

"Remember that we're going to be around regular people in here. Be careful what you say." Agent Roberts said simply, then saw someone approaching.

"Good morning Otis. How are you doing today?"

"I'm fine. Just need some coffee." Otis responded, then asked, "What've you got going on here?"

"Our office was asked to host a field trip. We're going to take the kids out hiking in the wild."

"It looks like it could be a miserable day." Otis said as he looked toward the sky.

"Well, if we're going to expose them to nature, we might as well show them all of it."

"Even though it might not be the most comfortable hike, it should still be beautiful."

"Let's get inside and get you some coffee. I need to get these kids fed so we can be on our way."

Otis stepped forward and held the door open, allowing the entire group to precede him into the diner.

* * * * *

Once inside, Agent Roberts spotted Agent Fastbeck and Mr. Bentley Brown sitting at separate tables.

"Would you like to sit with us Otis?"

"I'm just going to fill my mug and be on my way. I have some things that I have to do."

"I'll see you later, then. Have a good day." Agent Roberts said before joining Agent Fastbeck at his table.

Within a minute Paul and G had also joined them.

"So, are you guys excited about what's to come?"

"Sure." Paul said immediately, then added, "It's going to be great to be able to do something real. Up to now just about everything I've done has been for school."

"I get the feeling that that's the experience your teachers are wanting for you to gain through this. But beyond that, I think another reason that you're here is because you've shown that you're of sufficient wit and maturity that you'll be able to embrace this opportunity and make the most of it."

"That sounds really nice, but what does it mean exactly?"

"There's a time for work and a time for play. That doesn't mean that you can't be playful sometimes. Just remember to make the work a priority. We're counting on you to think on your feet and do your absolute best."

"I'm kinda used to pushing myself. Our friends, Nazzy and Vinda, are always talking about how I like to set the bar really high. You won't have to worry about me slacking. There's just that one thing that's bothering me."

"What's that?"

"If I'm understanding things right, Filipe and I are going to be responsible for..." Paul trailed off and looked around to see who was close enough to hear before continuing more quietly, "...the 'water' part of the spell."

"I have no idea about how that works."

"You see, the thing is, my specialty is fire. I've learned how to manipulate water, but I usually have to access a conduit to channel it from an outside source. I don't have enough natural ability to be able to do much of anything on my own."

"Do you think Professor Everstone knows about that?"

"He has to. If he's in charge of the project, that'd be one of the first things he'd check on." Paul said reasonably.

"Then trust that he knows what he's doing now. While he may ask you to do something that pushes you to the limit of your abilities, I don't think he would ask you to do anything that you clearly aren't capable of."

"I guess not."

"If you find yourself being uncertain of your own abilities at some point, trust in Professor Everstone to know exactly what is needed to make the project a success."

"I guess that I should just be grateful that I'm able to use more than one element. A lot of people can't do that."

"Again, I have no idea how it works."

"Are you guys ready to order?" The waitress asked as she approached the table.

"Good morning, Tracey. You know Agent Fastbeck, I'd like for you to meet G and Paul. They're going to be visiting for a few days." Agent Roberts said pleasantly.

"Welcome to Waxell. Remember that if you need anything while you're visiting, just stop in here and we'll do our best to help you. Any friend of the FBI is a friend of ours."

"Um, yeah. We'll do that." Paul said with astonishment at the unusually friendly and sincere welcome.

"Arn and Harry have a batch of biscuits just about to come out of the oven. So if you don't have your hearts set on something else, I'd recommend that."

"Shawn and I have learned that when Tracey tells you that something's good, you'd better take her word for it." Agent Fastbeck interjected.

"Um, yeah. That sounds good to me." Paul stammered.

"Me too." G quickly added.

Agents Fastbeck and Roberts nodded their immediate and whole-hearted agreement.

"How would you like your eggs, hun?" Tracey asked, focusing her attention on Paul.

"What eggs? I thought I ordered biscuits and gravy." Paul slowly asked.

"It wouldn't be a proper breakfast without eggs... and there'll be some ham on there too, just to round it out." Tracey explained.

"Um, I like my eggs just... normal... you know, cooked but not too cooked." Paul tried to explain.

"Over medium." G said quietly.

Tracey wrote that down, then turned her attention to G and asked, "What about you, sweetie?"

"I'll have the same." G said immediately.

"Make that three." Agent Roberts added as soon as her attention turned to him.

"Four." Agent Fastbeck said simply.

"Coffee all around?"

"That sounds good to me." Agent Roberts said with a smile, then thought to ask, "How about you guys."

After a moment to consider, G finally said, "Yeah."

"Me too." Paul added after him.

"You guys are easy." Tracey said fondly, then thought to add, "I'll be right back with your drinks."

"Thank you, Tracey." Agent Fastbeck said after her as she walked away.

"Do you still think this place is creepy?" Agent Roberts asked the boys with a smile.

"Totally." Paul immediately answered, then qualified his response by adding, "But it's creepy in the good way. You know, like G's room."

Agent Roberts looked around the 1950's style diner critically for a moment, then said, "I doubt that I could have explained it better."

As Agent Roberts looked over the people at the other tables, his attention was drawn by the solitary figure looking on with disgust as he polished his flatware with his table napkin.

"It looks like Mr. Bentley Brown doesn't approve of our choice of dining establishments." Agent Roberts quietly told Agent Fastbeck beside him.

"I get the feeling that not very much in this world meets with Mr. Bentley Brown's approval."

"What a sad and bitter way to live, never finding beauty or joy in anything. Why would someone choose to live their life seeing only the negative?" Agent Roberts asked contemplatively.

"Improper potty training." Agent Fastbeck said simply.

"What?" Agent Roberts asked in surprise as both the boys at their table started giggling uncontrollably, revealing that they had been listening.

"Just a hunch." Agent Fastbeck said with a slight unconcerned shrug, then smiled as Tracey approached with four mugs of coffee.

Agent Roberts glanced at Mr. Bentley Brown, who was now glaring at them disapprovingly.

The sound of G and Paul trying to fight down their laughter brought an involuntary smile to Agent Roberts' face as he considered just how much he had come to cherish the good friends that he had made.

To Be Continued...



Editor's Notes:

I know, I need to justify this to the left. There; I did it.

I don't know why, but I have a feeling there is something very wrong with Mr. Bentley Brown. Not that I will have a chance to meet him, but honestly, I have no interest in doing so, whatsoever. Having said that, just about everyone else in this sage, I would very much love to meet and become friends with.

There are one or two others I would just as soon avoid at all costs, but there might still be hope concerning some of those.

Mr. Bentley Brown, on the other hand, shows no sign of ever becoming worth even speaking to.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher