Choices, Part 40

We’re in the home stretch now, both in uploads and edits. If I finish editing before I finish uploading, the whole thing might see print before it sees the web, but that’s pretty unlikely. But I’m feeling pretty solid that the book will be available by Labor Day at the latest in hard copy, and sooner than that for the Kindle and other e-book formats. In the meantime, enjoy the next section and go buy my other book in hard copy here or here. And it’s now available for the Kindle here. And if you have a site and could pimp the current book, it’ll garner my undying love and gratitude (and maybe a drink or two).

“Aren’t you going to pack, son?” I asked Cain on my way into the hall.

“I haven’t unpacked anything, so I don’t need to pack. I’ll meet you downstairs.” He got up, stretched, and headed towards the door in our wake. Myra and I tossed the few things we’d unpacked into our bags, and looked around the room to make sure we hadn’t forgotten any random firearms before we headed down to the car. She looked pensive, so I gave her a quick hug before we left the room.

“It’s almost over, isn’t it?” She asked, her face buried in my chest. That made her a little hard to hear, but it was worth it.

“Almost.”

“What will you do?”

“What do you mean? My Choice? I don’t even know what it is, so I have no idea what I’ll do.”

“No. I mean after. What will you do after it’s done. Are you going to leave me again?” She held me tighter, but I didn’t think her squeezing me caused the tightness in my chest.

“I don’t know, babe. I…”

“Don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it. I’ve seen you thinking about it. I can see it whenever you look at me when we’re driving. When you think I don’t notice you looking. I can feel your eyes on me and I know you’re trying to decide if you’re sticking around or if you’re going to run again.”

“You’re right. I have thought about it. A lot. And I still don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ve been putting off making that decision until this whole thing was behind us. And who knows? The kid might decide to blow up the planet and we won’t have to worry about it. We are going to DC after all. If there’s any place a slightly crazy right-wing preacher can get his hands on nuclear weapons, it’s Washington.”

“Or Tehran.”

“Yeah, there’s always Tehran. But the jet lag is such a bitch. DC is a better choice.”

“Fair enough. Let’s go finish saving the world. But we’re not done with this, buster. As soon as the world is safe, we’re going to have a long conversation about our future.” She stood on her tiptoes, kissed me lightly on the lips, and headed for the elevator. I watched her walk, both because the view was nice and because I was thinking about that conversation. And how I was gonna get out of that one without actually blowing up the world. Because that option was looking better all the time.

We gathered downstairs, and Michael met us in the hotel lobby. “I will not be accompanying you on this leg of your journey. I must go ahead and prepare the meeting place. Lucypher and I will meet you at the Washington Monument at midnight tomorrow night. Packing was a good idea, you should be able to make it there easily if you leave now.”

“Hey! It’s not that far to DC. If we don’t need to be there until midnight tomorrow night, why are we leaving now?” I was getting a little grumpy about not having the chance to spend a little happy fun time with Myra before the end of the world.

“I’ve seen how long it takes you people to get anywhere, and I assume that Eve will have to start at least one barroom brawl before you can get through Tennessee and Virginia.” Michael responded dryly.

“Nah. I think I’m good for a few days. Thanks for thinking of me, though.” Eve said dryly.

“Besides, I said I would be leaving immediately. I never mentioned you coming with me. That was your own erroneous assumption. If I were you, I would try to salvage some sleep out of this wretched evening and leave in the morning. I will see you there.” With that, he vanished. Not walked out and flew away, just vanished. Sometimes I wondered who was more irritating, my smartass kids, or smartass angels. I stood there looking stupid for a minute with my bag in my hand before I noticed that Cain was sitting on one of the lobby couches, no bag anywhere in sight.

“You knew?” I asked very slowly.

“I noticed that he didn’t mention us going, so I figured there was no reason to rush.”

“And you didn’t think you should share that with the rest of us?”

“You guys were so happy running around like chickens with your heads cut off, I didn’t want to screw that up.” He sat there and chuckled at us as the rest of us dragged our bags back to the elevators and up to the rooms. That’s when I realized we had a little monkey wrench in the works. One with tattoos and a pierced lip.

“Uh, Junior?”

“Yes, Adam?”

“Uh, we don’t really have a room for you, I don’t think. I mean, we had a spot for Michael, but he doesn’t really sleep, so I’m not sure we have two beds in Cain’s room, so I don’t really know what we’re going to do about that. It’s really late and the desk clerk is already a little grumpy with me, you know the whole breaking into the pool, flying Seraphim and shotgun blasts in the middle of the night thing…” I trailed off lamely.

“Don’t worry, Pop. We’ve got it covered.” Cain chimed in.

“How?”

“Don’t ask silly questions, Adam. Now why don’t you and Myra toddle off to bed while Cain and I deal with sleeping arrangements for the children, I mean for Sidney.” I never trusted Eve when she was being solicitous, but Myra had a certain look in her eye at Eve’s offer that I didn’t want to ignore, especially if we were blowing the world up in 21 hours or so. So I did as Eve suggested, ignored the winks that were exchanged between Eve, Myra and Emily, and took my girlfriend to bed.

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