One would think that the ride would have been a good thing; that a journey
away from the office and the day-to-day strangeness would draw the team
closer. Yet inside the car, the atmosphere seemed to be strained and
Alva Keel drove in silence, occasionally stealing an uncomfortable glance
at Evelyn Santos who refused to do anything but look out the passenger side
window. By the look of her face, she was furious.
"What was I supposed to do Evie?" Alva finally asked quietly.
"If it had been Mattie you would have been more patient."
"If it had been Mattie, he wouldn't have been so obnoxious." Alva growled
as he concentrated on the road ahead.
"I think you should check on him."
"There's a rest stop coming up in about ten miles, I'll check on him then."
"All right, all right." Grudgingly, Alva carefully pulled to the side of
the road and stopped the car's engine. "But if he says it one more time..."
"Alva!" Evelyn warned.
"Come on." He got out of the care, careful to check on oncoming traffic
and made his way to the back of the rental. "Are you sure we can't wait
for just a few..."
"NO!" Evelyn's look said it all. He was to open the trunk now, without any
"Fine." He slipped the key easily into the lock and turned it. "Evelyn are
you sure we can't just..."
"Open it Alva." She crossed her arms and glared.
"All right." He opened the trunk and looked down.
"Paul?" Evelyn reached out and took the tape from the younger man's mouth.
"Are you all right?"
"Evie, sure, why wouldn't I be?" His eyes brightened as he began to speak
quickly, barely taking a breath between sentences. "Are we there yet? I
could drive you know. Maybe we can play 'I spy with my little eye.' Let's
stop and..." Without warning, Evelyn looked at Alva then quickly replaced the
tape across the still speaking man.
"Well?" Alva's eyes gleamed with an, 'I told you' look. "What do you
suggest?" Remaining silent she glanced at Paul then carefully closed the
trunk lid. "That's what I thought." They moved silently back to the front
of the car and sat down. "Next time we decided to do something like this,
it would be wise not to let the pup drink an energy drink so soon after
having several espresso's."
"Agreed." Evelyn put her seatbelt back on and was silent until Alva pulled
back onto the road. "He did have one good idea."
"And what was that?"
"Let's play 'I spy with my little eye'."