Flight 404 Chapter 16


Chapter 16

Shame, anger, disgust, and confusion were all having a dizzying effect on him.  He’d heard stories about people who’d had a near death experience and saw their lives flash in front of them.  He wondered if that held true when it was your career that was having the near death experience.

He leaned against a hanger wall and put his head between his legs to keep from fainting.  His left hand still clutching the offensive tape.

As his mind cleared, he began doing damage control in his head, going over each step in the process of making his lapse in judgment as though it had never happened. 

Step one.  Get rid of the evidence — the tape.  He held it up to his face.  Should he stomp it to pieces or take it home and watch it.  Perhaps, it held a clue as to why he’d turned into a first class idiot. 

Problem was, the tape wasn’t the biggest issue here.  He could destroy that.  The big issue was Andy.  Andy was a live credible witness to what happened today.  Andy knew everything and was most likely spilling the whole sordid details to everyone back at the office.  

“How the hell had he gotten up that ladder?”  What had made him do such a thing and worse yet, he didn’t remember doing any of it. 

His last thought had been of Kate.  Kate. Long hair flowing over pale slender shoulders.  Sun-kissed legs.  Jasmine and persimmon.   

 “Don’t get sidetracked,” he scolded himself.

Don’t go down that road, not here – not now.  Stay focused on Andy.  Firing him would only create more talk and suspicion.  No, the most likely solution would be to…….

All the chatter inside of his head ceased as an accidental glance in the direction of his car revealed, a tall, fortyish white man getting into his car.

He blinked a couple of times in disbelief.  Alarmed, he almost dropped the VHS tape that was in his left hand. 

At first glance, the man didn’t look like the car thief type.  He didn’t have the slim build or long legs of a car thief nor did he seem to possess the speed and agility necessary to affect a quick and speedy getaway. 

“So what the hell was he doing trying to steal my car?!”  And then it occurred to him, the man must be another NTSB agent or worse yet FBI, called in by them, to investigate him further.

Suddenly, it didn’t matter to him which agency had sent this bastard.  The man was searching his car without a warrant or probable cause.  Well, ok, so maybe he had probable cause, but they’d questioned him and let him go, so why the hell was this guy searching his car?

Seeing an opportunity to regain some of his lost dignity, he headed for the man with a vengeance.

The agent’s back was to David but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway.  The agent was so intent on his search, he never heard David coming.

David grabbed the agent by the back of the collar and threw him effortlessly onto the concrete parking lot.  The agent let out a wail of pain as his butt hit the unforgiving concrete.  David never looked back. 

At thirty, he still possessed some of the agility he’d used so skillfully on St. Lucas’ basketball courts.  He swung himself effortlessly into the driver’s seat and slammed the car door shut locking it as fast as he could.  He searched franticly in his trouser pockets for the car keys.  Finding them, he was about to stick the keys into the ignition and drive away before the agent could finish his illegal search when he noticed the rosary beads hanging from the rear view mirror.  His car didn’t have rosary beads!  At least it didn’t an hour ago. 

The sour taste began in his stomach and worked its way up to his mouth.  This wasn’t his car.  He wanted to take his fist and punch it through the dashboard.  Instead, he unlocked the door and calmly stepped out of Frank Robert’s navy blue Ford Taurus.