I hope this story works out…believe it or not this is based on a dream I had. I usually don't support relationships like this but I decided to be true to it and flesh out the dream into a coherent plotline that is as accurate as possible without deterring from my position too strongly. Bear with me while I repeat some of the script in the first chapter…it's just important to set up the characters as I need. This is an interpretation of what would happen if Lisa refused to make the phone call to the hotel outright. I hope it makes sense as I go along.
"Thanks for distracting me." Lisa said as the turbulence finally subsided on the plane and the jet had finally reached cruising altitude. She smiled weakly at the man sitting next to her that she had just met at the airport whose face was more intriguing then simply attractive. Within the depths of his heavy lidded eyes that glimmered in a shade of pale, cerulean blue, Lisa found herself sinking within them almost entranced by their crystalline shade. His eyes were off set by the contrast of his dark, brown hair that seemed long without being unruly.
He had introduced himself as Jackson Rippner, a cruelty inflicted by seemingly, careless parents who had probably given little thought of the name combination and more concern about honoring probably a recently dead ancestor. Being once the source of jokes, Lisa assumed at a young age which caused Jackson to detest the name Jack, he broached the subject with quiet amusement.
"That was cruel of your parents." She told him sympathetically.
"That's what I said, before I killed them." He told her and she laughed. Jackson had then let out a slight chuckle as if he was serious about the prior statement. "He has a good sense of humor." She thought.
"Well, it's not really what I'm doing." He said his obscure smile still in place.
"What are you doing?" She asked somewhat flirtatiously thinking this would lead to some other amusing anecdote.
"Just keeping the focus on you and your father." Jackson said casually.
What the hell? Lisa was puzzled at this comment. This conversation was taking a strange turn.
"Why?" She asked, frowning briefly.
"Part of my job."
Oh, that explains it. He's probably interning as a psychiatrist or something like that and is just trying to impress me.
"Are you a shrink?" She asked. Just my luck. He probably reads Dr. Phil books as well. I already get to much psychoanalysis from my father back at home.
"No. Manager." Jackson said.
"Better not say of a hotel." Lisa told him. I think that would be worse.
"Because that would…" She started to say.
"Give you cause to buy another self help book?" He asked, taking the words directly out of her mouth. She looked at him, feeling her cheeks starting to turn red.
Clearing her throat as she tried to redirect the conversation. "So what do you do?" She asked.
"Government overthrows, flashy high profile assassinations. The usual." He told her simply.
Great, another joke. She smiled in amusement. "You're a spy. I should've known."
He seemed to relish this game of twenty questions although to Lisa it was starting to annoy her. "No, I'm not a spy."
Damn it…this is getting boring. Lisa thought. "A hit man?" She asked with a hint of sarcasm in her voice.
"I'm a lousy shot."
Of course, can't have that. "Right. You work for the CIA." She said.
"Well, if I did, I couldn't say, could I?" He asked derisively. Lisa could almost detect a note of coldness in his voice. What is wrong with him? "But no." He finished.
"The mafia?" Lisa asked carelessly.
"The money's shit."
Why did I have to meet the only weirdo in the airport? "Okay, well, that's kind of weird. Why don't you just tell me what you do?" She asked impatiently.
"I just did." He said.
That's it. I'm going to grab my headphones and tune him out. He's not worth it.
"Okay, okay. I'm sorry, I…" She stuttered looking down at her lap for a moment. "It's…whatever you do, that's your own business." A disturbing thought just occurred to her. "Just as long as you're not…"
"What?" He asked.
"Hijacking the plane?" She whispered. Please God, my luck can't be that bad.
He chuckled in response. "No, no. I'm not suicidal."
Lisa sighed in relief. "That's good."
Turning to her more directly he said, "You're right. Most days it is my own business but right now, as fate would have it my business is all about you." His eyes once so attractive to Lisa started to turn cold as he stared at her intensely.
Her heart started to pound as an alarm went off in her mind. Something's not right.
"I'm sorry, about me?" She asked. What the hell is going on?
"That's right." Jackson told her smoothly.
"Okay, I'm not sure where you're going with this." Lisa said, pressing her body against the window of the plane.
"Charles Keefe. One of your regular VIP's. Ring a bell?" He asked acerbically.
"No, should it?" Her body was tense, ready for action. He obviously wanted something from her because nothing about this situation made sense.
"Yes, it should because he's on the way to your hotel and that's why you need to keep listening." He replied.
"No, no, I don't think…" Her palms were sweaty from apprehension as her fingers tried to find the flight attendant call button. "I don't have to do that."
"Yes, you do if you want your dad to live." Jackson told her coldly, his eyes looked at her malevolently.
Frozen in shock, she stared at him. How can he say this? The same man who was so charming at the bar.
"What did you say?" She asked feeling panic well inside her chest.
"You heard me." Jackson replied chillingly.
"Yeah…" Lisa said as she pressed down on the call button for the flight attendant. They'll have me exchange seats hopefully as far away from him as possible.
"Suit yourself. You might want to take a look at this." He said tossing a wallet on the tray extended out from the seat in front of him and Lisa glanced down at it, her heart felt like it nearly stopped in recognition.
"J.R. Joe Reisert. Your father, yes?" He asked in a patronizing tone.
"Where did you get that?" She demanded as she felt bile rise to her throat.
"I didn't get it." He explained. "My associate grabbed it off your dad's desk. Apparently next to your graduation picture. J.R. Definitely Dad's wallet."
Immediately, Lisa released her seat belt and stood up looking pleadingly at the flight attendants behind her no longer willing to wait for their assistance. Disgust went through her at the thought she had even been remotely attracted to this man. His voice continued to resonate quietly around her.
"His initials but gee, mine too. Jack Rippner. Credit card, license." He said, his eyes glittered menacingly in the shallow light overhead as she looked down at him feeling paralyzed by the malice that he seemed to emit by just his mere presence.
Oh, God. Please help me. She turned trying to beckon towards the flight attendant.
"For some reason, Miss Stewardess, this unstable, inebriated girl, whom I've never met before tonight, suddenly went crazy when I took it out of my pocket." He said mockingly to her. "You tell the flight attendant and your dad dies." He inclined his head to Lisa's empty seat in a gesture of ruthlessness. "Sit down." He ordered.
She gave a slight whimper of helplessness as she slowly sat back down feeling frozen by terror. Everything around her appeared surreal as she stared glassily to the seat in front of her trying to disconnect her mind from what was happening. What do I do? I need to get help. What if…
"You might wanna buckle up."
They sat in resolute silence as the flight attendant approached them noticing Lisa choking on the tears that ran down her cheeks as she pressed her arms close to her body. Once again, she was being used and controlled by a man who obviously had insinuated himself into her life. His self gratification seemed to be only concern. Just like two years ago. She thought numbly.
The flight attendant was questioning her and Lisa stammered out an apology with a claim that she didn't need anything. Through the fog that encircled her mind, she heard Jackson talk about a death in the family. Pressing her head tightly away from his dominating presence she could only vaguely hear the sympathies the flight attendant expressed as she returned with tissues and water for her. Jackson had refused to speak further about what he wanted from her until the woman's return.
Finally after the flight attendant departed, Jackson spoke. "I need you to call your hotel. It's very simple. Just use your managerial pull to move Keefe from 3825 to room 4080. I'll leave the details to you. You just sell it."
"You've got the wrong person." Lisa said, attempting to deceive him. "I don't have the authority to do that."
But he could see the obvious lie and his tone remained firm. "Well, I happen to know that you do and you're the only voice that can get this done in the time I need it done."
I can't…can't let him kill Keefe. That's what he wants. But my father…God, help me. Tell me what to do. Please guide me. She prayed silently.
"You need me to write it down?" He asked condescendingly.
"No." She said sharply.
"Then what's the delay?" Jackson inquired.
Lisa remembered her father's stance on terrorism and his prior work that he did with the government. He was the one that taught her to be a fighter and his position was quite strong to never concede to the demands of a terrorist. "Despite what they say or promise, they'll end up killing you and any other potential witness. One life is not worth all the lives they'll take if you simply play along." He had told her and Lisa trembled at what she would have to do. She loved her father and that moment only increased her longing to hear his voice once more but that would just make her decision for difficult.
They'll kill him if he's not already dead anyway and then they'll come after me. She told herself as she met Jackson's questioning stare.
"The answer is no." Lisa said decisively.
"What was that?" He asked and she could detect disbelief in his voice.
"You heard me." She said throwing back at him his same mocking phrase.
"This isn't a joke, Leese. I'll order the hit on your father's life right now." He told her warningly.
"Go ahead." Lisa said viciously to him. "I don't give a shit because that will be on you, Jack. Not on me." With that, she stood up quickly, stepping over him into the aisle taking advantage of his stunned expression as she dashed into the bathroom and locked the door.