CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and SIXTY-SIX
John punctuated the word “plan” by pointing his finger up at heaven. Nash chuckled.
“ Iadjusted the plan for Max, and carried on,” John said. “Max also wasn’t into drugs. He is mind-blowingly smart, so he wanted to be the top of his class as well. We studied. Hard. We partied when we were done with studies. We bedded everyone. Only women for me, in case that’s of interest to you.”
“Life was good,” John said.
They walked along in silence. They stopped on the dirt path near the creek that gave the greenway its name. Nash gestured up onto the embankment.
“That’s where the St. Jude Killer kept a lair,” Nash said. “Between some old concrete from the airport.”
He looked at John.
“So I guess I was here when they were doing some of the cleanup,” Nash said.
John gestured to the dusty path and general disorder of the open space.
“Clearly, it’s a work in progress,” John said. He nodded. “I’d forgotten that you were in on that satellite stealing mission.”
Nash blushed and glanced at John.
“What did you do to Teddy?” Nash asked.
“I took him to the morgue,” John said. “There’s always someone who is killed falling down the stairs after a long weekend. I made him look at the body. Talk to the families. See how easy it is to die.”
“No phone is worth that,” John said.
Nash nodded, but didn’t respond.
“What happened to your plan?” Nash said finally.
“I met Alex,” John said. “For two years, my entire life revolved around the plan I’d written on the back of an airline napkin. It was my friend, my family, my conviction when I needed it. The plan was everything. I never wavered. Not even once. It’s weird to think about now but those few lines meant everything to me.”
Nash stuck his hands in his pocket and started shuffling down the path again. John walked beside him.
“Everyone who knew me knew about my plan,” John said.
“Even the women?” Nash asked.
“Especially the women,” John said. “I was the guy they could bed and not expect to hear from again. I was really clear.”
“They didn’t mind that?” Nash asked.
“I told them up front,” John said. “So if they minded, they couldn’t complain to me.”
“Does Alex know?” Nash asked.
“Oh yes,” John said, with a rueful laugh. “Alex has a background check on every single woman I slept with.”
“Every one?” Nash asked.
“Mmm,” John said in affirmation.
“It’s a lot?” Nash asked.
“Why would she do that?” Nash asked.
“For her work,” John said. “They presented a possible liability to me and so to her.”
Nash didn’t respond. They walked for a while before he said, “God, how awful.”
John laughed. Nash was once again taken by John’s laugh that he couldn’t help but smile.
“The moment I laid eyes on Alex, I knew that she was a threat to my plan,” John said.
“Because she was so much like Max?” Nash asked.
“Because of how I felt,” John said.
“How did you feel?” Nash asked.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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