Chapter 26

The familiar chirp on Danielle's cell phone echoed through the underground tunnel alerting her that a text message had been delivered. She had been making her way quietly and this was the last thing that she needed. She shook her head and reached for the Android which she placed in the right pocket of her jeans. She turned it on its side, pushed the phone part of it up revealing a screen and a small typewriter. She clicked the "Message Icon" and stared at what was written there.

"Meet me at our usual spot."

A slow smile spread across her lips as she pocketed the phone and ran as fast as her feet would carry her not caring anymore about attracting attention. If the alert had done its job, the reporters would still be out there, waiting for her.

But to her surprise, there were none. Not this time. No reporters, no cameras, no nothing; just an empty street. Well, she had waited until the early morning hours to make her escape; hoping against hope that no one would be waiting for her when she reached the end of the tunnel. She quickly looked both ways and discovering that the coast was indeed clear, she ran like crazy for Café Francois which was about four long blocks ahead of her. She was positive the message was from Henry although he had never left her anything like that for her before. If anything changed, one of them always called the other, no messages.

Maybe Henry had changed, she thought as she hurried down the street toward the small café wondering if he'd be there waiting for her or if this was just a wild goose chase.

Danielle squinted through the drizzle and fog to make sure that Henry wasn't there. She had been so concerned and so focused on the café steps that she wasn't paying attention to what was going on around her. That included one passerby whom she literally bumped into which sent the two of them sprawling on the sidewalk in front of the café.

"Danielle?"

Someone was calling her name. The voice sounded familiar, but it was so faint, as if she were in a dream.

"Danielle? Are you all right?" Whoever it was extended their arm. "Here, let me help you up."

"Henry?" Danielle grabbed onto the mysterious arm and used both hands to steady herself. She was still slightly dizzy.

"Yes, it's me. Are you sure you're all right?"

"I'm getting there?" she said, her head still light from the fall. She tried to get her bearings.

"Where are we?"

"In front of the Café Francois," Henry answered. "Uh, by the way…

"What are you doing here?"

"I got your message."

They both said it together, Danielle a bit angry, Henry a bit surprised.

"What message?" Henry asked. I never sent any…" He stopped mid-sentence and shook his head. "I'll bet you it was that meddling little creep, Geoffrey."

"Geoff? I thought that he was…"

Henry tucked his shirt into his trousers and brushed off his clothes. "He paid me a little visit today. He surprised me, Danielle. He let himself into the house because he knew where.."

Henry stopped and looked up right into Danielle's beautiful brown eyes.

"What did you call me?"

Henry looked confused. "Danielle,: he said "And?"

"That's the first time you called me by my real name?"

"I guess it was at that."

The two stared at each other.

"Look, I'm sorry." They both said it in unison again.

"Are we going to do this all night?" Danielle asked, smiling.

"I hope not," Henry said, getting closer.

They were both about to kiss when a flash of lightning streaked across the sky. It lit up something on the ground between them.

They drifted apart, both reaching for the medallion on the street. Danielle reached for it first.

It looked familiar. She turned it over and stared at the inscription on the back. She looked up into his eyes and narrowed hers.

"How did you get this? It belonged to my mother. I've been searching all over for it?

"I found it in the street last week, the day I gave you the ring. I had no idea that it was…"

"No," Danielle said, moving closer to Henry. "I guess you didn't. It was wrong to use my mother's name that way except that I…"

But she never finished the sentence as Henry pressed his mouth against hers. .