Chat friends meet and love blossoms.
The man in black could see the angst on her face and tried to console her.
"And I've never been on a train before today." He added. "I guess I'm off to one hell of a start, eh?"
She immediately smiled, surprising herself. "Me too." She giggled. "I have never been on a train before this morning."
"Wow, you've been riding since this morning? And these hard vinyl seats haven't driven you insane yet?" He replied.
'You told him too much!' she thought in a panic. 'Now he knows you've been riding the train all day. He can figure out where you got on at! He probably already knows that you're trying to get as far away as you can!'
"It was a last minute decision." She said. "I could either fly or take the train. I've flown a lot so I decided to see what it's like to go cross-country on a train. The food is better, but the ride sucks."
He laughed aloud, and as she watched him she could not find a single thing he held in common with her ex or the self-important pricks he associated with. 'Except for those guns.' she thought. 'Except for those guns.'
The rain had faded away to a slight drizzle. Outside the lightning was still playing merrily through the sky, although neither of them seemed to notice. The partition door between the train cars opened and an attendant walked through. He was an older fellow with salt and pepper hair, his blue uniform crisp and perfectly pressed. He approached them with a bewildered smile.
"I've been working for this line since 1972 and never have I seen that before. I hope you folks are okay back here. "He said, obviously concerned. "We're still not certain what caused that yet."
The man and woman both smiled.
"I got my britches dusted pretty good but I think we're okay. I do appreciate you checking on us, though." Said the man in black.
The attendant smiled and looked to the woman. "If you'd like I'll be happy to bring you folks a couple of pillows from the first class car. They won't miss 'em." He offered.
"It's okay, I'm fine, too." She responded. "We're fine, really."
"Okay, but you feel free to let me know if you two need anything back here. You can get the front by using the intercom just outside of the door up here to the left. You folks have a good night." He said with a genuine smile.
As the attendant ambled away she looked at the man in black again. 'It's do or die time.' she thought. 'Preferably do, not die.'
"So what type of private security do you do?" She asked, hoping her voice didn't betray her attempt at hiding her worry.
He gave her a pensive look and then he hung his head and closed his eyes, as if in deep thought for several moments, then he opened his eyes and looked up into hers. It occurred to him at that moment that she was taller than him, and it made her even more attractive in an exotic way.
"The rough kind." He sighed. "The rough kind."
'He's honest.' She thought. 'He looked at you like that because he doesn't want to lie.'
Before setting foot on the train, her life had been different. She had always taken pride in being one of those people who could always be depended on to tell the truth, no matter what the result may be. Yet, since boarding the train she had been imagining and fabricating every lie she would have to tell along the way to make her great escape. She shrunk at the thought of the things she might have to say, as she spun a new life for herself along the way, hoping each lie she told would not give her away. The thought of what was waiting for her as she ran weighed heavily on her, and before she realized it she was crying.
'This is it.' She thought. 'This is where he picks you apart. He's got you figured out now, and he's going to pull out a cell phone and call Finch and you'll be back there before you know it.'
To her surprise (and relief) he leaned across the aisle and put his hand on her shoulder, giving her a comforting squeeze.