Just as i try to contact Daire, he trots from my bedroom and jumps up in my lap. I think i like him better as a cat than as a man, though sometimes, as is the feline way, he comes when he wants, not when i call. This time i’m lucky. I know he was nearby. He dropped by to visit Julia in cabin 8. It probably freaked her out to see him after so many years, especially in this form. I wish i could have been a mouse in the kitchen.
I say, so Daire, sweetie, how did it go with Julia? She must have been shocked her favorite ex is a pussy cat!
Yeah. She was surprised all right. She looked a little wary too. Not afraid, but i’m sure she wondered the reason for my visit until i told her. I think she bought it. Julia has such bittersweet memories of herself and me. We were quite something together in our time, but now that i have fur and claws, obviously things between us can’t go back to the way they were.
I laugh out loud at that. I say, come on, Daire.. or should i call you Lyle? No need to brag. And i think she probably has sharper claws than you!
Now Tarling, darling. Don’t be jealous. We need to get down to business. I told Julia i was heading back to Dante and Alicia, but i thought i’d drop in on you first.
I was trying to call you Daire, but my ring isn’t working properly. I used the right password, i think, but i couldn’t get through to you. I hope my message didn’t reach the wrong person.
I show Daire my green tourmaline ring. It also serves as a device to call other members of The Agency.
That’s frightening, Tarling. How long has it been acting up? Mark and Julia haven’t uncovered your true intentions, have they? Though i’d be a lot more worried about Julia than her hubby. He’s smart but so distracted. Too busy working on that time bed that never works. If only he knew.
But he can’t know, Daire. Not yet. Sometimes i get scared because there are so many secrets that aren’t really secrets. I worry about who knows which ones, and how much longer before it all blows up!
Try to stay calm, Tarling. You’re panicked again. Be like a cat. You know, like me. I only told Julia that Dante and Alicia are on their way here. I didn’t say when, because even i don’t know. But, now Alicia will be distracted enough, hopefully, to miss what’s happening in cabin 4.
For goodness sake, Daire! What’s happening in cabin 4?!
Farley Friday didn’t notify you?
No! No he didn’t. Another secret?
Well, i should let him tell you. He’s the one in charge.
I look at my ring again and sigh. I remember i have another way to get in touch with Farley, but i won’t tell Daire. Sometimes, in this business, it’s hard to know who to trust. I feel mistrustful of Daire today. I have an odd feeling he told Julia about my ring. I’m not sure. It’s merely a feeling. Why would he do that? To gain her trust back after all these years?
So you just wanted to make sure everything is okay with me, Daire? I’m fine, really. That was only temporary anxiety a few minutes ago. I’ve been at this job for three years, and there are times i think we’ll never get the evidence we need. I have to remember, slow, steady, determined. She’ll trip herself up sometime. I’ll keep playing motel maid. It’s an excellent cover. They have no clue.
Excellent, Tarling. Now it’s time i get back to Dante and Alicia for real before they miss me.
How long has Alicia been your human?
For too long. About six years. I love her, but i don’t relish being a cat.
With that, Daire jumps off my lap and runs to my bedroom. I’ve never seen him come and go to know how he does it. Someday i’ll observe, if i’m allowed. Right now, though, it’s time for me to get down to business of my own.
I go to my room to my jewel box on my dresser and take out my heart shaped topaz pendant. Just as i thought. It’s yellow-brown topaz, but it’s glowing a magnificent shade of blue. I hear a little static, then..
Tarling. Come in, Tarling. Are you there, Tarling?
Yes, Farley. I’m here.
Good. Put on some warm clothes. You and i are going for a walk to cabin 4. I’ll be there in ten minutes. I’m tired of discussion, planning, watching and waiting. You and i are going to take action!