“No, Devin, you listen to me… my friend’s are in danger and I don’t know if you’re on my side or part of my enemy! So if you want to go on with this, I suggest that you listen very carefully and be very straight forward with me…I choose the place and the time we meet, if you’re not there at the time I give you, I’ll wait two minutes then I’m gone and on my own…you approach me after that and you’re risking your life, understand?” I asked a bit heatedly.
“Whoa, slow down for a second will ya’…”
“No, I need to know your answer now. Make your decision but make it within the next ten seconds or I’m hanging up,” I growled.
“Okay, okay, okay I’m with you, where do you want to meet and what time?” Devin stated a bit grudgingly.
“At the little Tai-food place down on Thorn…it’s next to a Starbucks so you can’t miss it. Besides no matter where you are in town you can get to it, if you leave from the place you’re at within a minute and a half, within ten to thirteen minutes’ tops. So, you better hurry, bye…” and with that I hung up and made my way to a parking spot next to the Tai-food place I had told Devin to meet me. Whether he does on time or not at all is up to him.
Well, he has about three minutes more plus the two I told him, I’d give him extra…just for good measure…am I sure I can trust him? And, if so how much do I give? He shows up right after Mr. Marcuzo tells me not to trust anyone new and even those who had shown an interest in me before that…so, how can I be sure that I can trust him even when he comes…if…if he comes…four minutes more then I’ll see from there. I wish like heck I really knew something about Devin…if Devin is even his real name…
Face it you know nothing about him, not even that the name that he gave you was his true name…a voice in the back of my mind stated firmly. …You shouldn’t trust anyone…trustin
At that I mentally snorted at myself, Well, I should hope that he’s male…I really don’t think I could handle him being a hermaphrodite or a cross dressing female with hormonal imbalances… It doesn’t matter any way I’ve made my choice to stay and find out if I can trust him…and that is exactly what I’m going to do…two more minutes…
“Hey…I made… it with… those two…extra… minutes to… spare…” Devin puffed as he slumped down into the chair on the other side of the table. After a few minutes he cleared his throat, took a sip of the water I’d asked the waitress to bring for Devin, and then he softly spoke, “So, I’ve made it here on time have I passed the test or is there more I have to do?” He smiled when he said it but the smile didn’t quite reach his eyes.
After thinking for a few minutes, I stalled by looking at my menu and taking a few sips of my Chi tea, “I—I don’t know, you may have to do something more to prove you’re on my side but we’ll see how well you field my questions first, seem fair? Besides, I’m paying for lunch, you’ll like it…”
Devin raised an eyebrow, “Nothing in life is ever fair haven’t you learned that by now, you can be the most beautiful girl or most handsome guy but no one will come near you because their afraid of you for some reason, yes?”
I felt as though I had been slapped but I was saved the chance to reply when the waitress came back.
“Nice to see you again Catrine, how have you been, the usual?” Caryn asked politely as she gave Devin an appraising look then smiled approvingly at me, momentarily forgetting her usual polite frostiness toward me.
I smiled at her, while silently laughing at the situation, “Caryn, you know me, I’m always good. Oh, this is my friend, Devin. And, yes the usual just double it, please…Devin, what would you like to drink?”
Devin blinked and a light rose tinged his cheeks when he realized I had caught him out right staring at me, “I-um—I’ll have what ever you’re having Catrine.”
“Another Chi-tea then please, Caryn…and a glass of ice water for me too, thank you so much,” and then lowering my voice to Devin as Caryn nodded sagely and started walking off, “I do love the food here and the people here are so much friendlier than any other restaurant here in town, Caryn’s the best.”
I noted that Caryn walked a little straighter and had a smile a little brighter as she went into the kitchen that day. “I didn’t think that friendliness was something that was so…so…missed now a days,” Devin said as he studied me studiously.
I smiled at him then said simply, “Only for those who are different from all those around them,” and was pleased that my voice held none of the bitterness that I felt on the subject.
“If that’s the case why do those people still go to these restaurants?” Devin asked carefully.
“Well, what if all the places you go to treat you differently than they do others, would you give up and try somewhere else or would you stay out of spite,” I shrugged and smiled, “besides, the places that I inflict my presence on usually have the best food around.”
Devin would have said something more I think, but Caryn bustled up to the table with our drinks and our order. Devin seemed to like the Chicken Pang, Beef and Broccoli, and the sticky rice. Though the face that he had made at the Chi-tea made it clear he wouldn’t order that ever again, but hey, it made me laugh.
Devin gave me a rather dirty look and grumbled, “You, know you could have warned me about that stuff…”
I gave a thoughtful look and studied him for a few moments, “Yeah, I could have warned you that you may need to require a taste for Chi-tea, but then what fun would it have been for me?”
Devin seemed so taken back by what I said that he was quite relieved when Caryn came back to our table and asked if we would like anything else he looked up at her gratefully and asked for some ice water, please.
Caryn gave him a soft smile and tried not to laugh as she said, “Chi is not your ‘cup of tea’, I take it.”
Devin looked at me, a look I knew not what it meant, then turned back to Caryn, he smiled a bit sheepishly and intoned a nicer reply then I could have thought to give if it had been me, “No, sorry…just some things aren’t my type.”
Caryn looked at him a second with something close to real discomfort then it was gone and she laughed excusing herself with, “I see, well, I’ll go get your ice water then,” and quickly disappeared into the back.
I looked at Devin trying to analyze what just went on, I had never seen Caryn move away from any ‘attractive’ male within her sight without the threat of losing a customer; a subtle hint like what Devin had given should have just glanced off her like nothing. Yet, here I was witness to the fact that Caryn had quickly excused herself without a backwards glance.
“What was that?” I asked carefully watching for any hint that he may be lying about anything.
“It was nothing but a simple dismissal of her flirting–so that we could talk. What do you think I did?” Devin said gently with only the slightest of pauses in his reasoning of what had happened.
I filed it away for later and changed the subject with, “So, you said that once I got a hold of you and you got me to a safe place you’d answer my questions—all my questions.”
Devin shifted a little uncomfortably but reluctantly replied, “Yes, I believe that I did. What do you want to know?”
“Do you know what is going on here, with these people who have taken my friends?”
“I do. But, here is not the place to discus that and you know that.”
“I don’t care, I want to know!” I hissed at him in frustration and a bit of despair. My mind at this time again decided to taunt me.
See, you knew you couldn’t trust him. You knew that he wouldn’t answer your questions as you wanted, but you trusted him any way and look what has happened. At this rate staying with him is foolish, he will only lead you on a wild goose chase and laugh at you while you despair.
But, he may be able to answer my questions, if I become a little more persuasive…pay the bill take him to the new house and learn by any means necessary what is going on, then ditch him if he’s trouble.
And, you’ll know he’s trouble or that he’s lying to you now?
I’ll know I know I’ll know if he’s lying to me, instinct.
Then, it sounds good let’s do it.
All the while I talked to Devin. He had said to my low hiss, “I know, you want to know what’s going on but this really isn’t the place for such business. Believe me if I thought that it would be wise to tell you here I wouldn’t delay.”
At this I had almost smirked, “Devin, you’re very bad at lying to people, you know that. If you could help it you wouldn’t tell me anything at all, but you slipped up in your franticness to get a hold of me. Of this I’m sure, so save your breath.”
Devin was astounded, “I—” then he smirked and looked amused, “very good. You’re right if I hadn’t have said that I would answer your questions in my haste to make sure you were safe I wouldn’t be answering any questions you directed at me now. But, what’s done is done, and I can still make the decision that it is too dangerous to tell you curtain information here and now.”
At this I smiled, I had already made the decision to take him somewhere more secure anyway, “Fine, let me pay for our meal and I’ll take you where I’m sure no one will be able to over hear our conversation.” I quickly went to pay for our meal and then Devin and I made our way to my car.