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Chapter 17: Borrower and Lender Be

Naomi strolled through the airport waiting area looking for a spot where the energy flow would allow her to wait for her flight in peace. She finally found a spot that was sparsely occupied and took a seat.

She had just started the relaxation exercises that she did every time she flew, when she heard a sound from behind her.

Turning around, she saw a rumpled man sit up and stretch.

"Oh, I'm terribly sorry. I didn't mean to disturb you." She hadn't realized that anyone was on the other side of the seats.

The man jumped at the sound of the Naomi's cheerful voice. "What? Oh, you didn't wake me. I wasn't really sleeping, anyway." He twisted around and popped his back. "You'd think that with as much time as people spend here that they'd have more comfortable seats."

"I hear that," the redhead replied. "Have you been waiting here long?"

"Only since this morning," was the sarcastic answer. He sat back down with an empty seat and the seat backs between them. "My flight is delayed due to inclement weather in Cascade. We apologize for the inconvenience," he added in a singsong tone, as if he was repeating something that he had heard several times already.

"Cascade?" The mention of her son's hometown piqued her interest. "Is that home for you?"

The man yawned before replying, "Yeah, I'm headed home from a business trip, but instead of using my day off to sleep in my own bed, I'm warming seats in the airport."

Naomi closed her eyes briefly and took a deep breath, "Well you picked the perfect place. The energy flow is just right for meditating."

This generated a small laugh from the waiting man. "Well, I don't meditate, but I'll take your word for it. Normally I'd do some work or read, but I checked everything with my luggage."

The redhead's friendliness was infections and the man suddenly found himself having a conversation with someone he'd just met, for something other than business. "What with the new security, it's almost easier to just check everything instead of worrying about carry-ons, especially for short trips."

"That's a wonderful idea. I never thought of that." Naomi turned in her seat so she could face her new friend. "I've been searched twice so far."

"Yeah, but the problem is," he said as he lounged in his seat, "I've been stuck here all day with nothing to do. If I knew how long I was going to be stuck here I might go get a sweatshirt or something from the gift shops. Either that or ask someone to turn down the air-conditioning."

"Oh, wait a minute," she ordered as she grabbed her shoulder bag and began to dig inside. "I have just the thing," she said from the depths of her large purse.

Within seconds she emerged with a gray sweatshirt and offered it to the man.

He held his hands up as if to refuse the gift, "Oh, I couldn't. Thanks, but I'll be fine."

"Oh, no, I insist," she said as she draped the garment over his arms. "You have a trustful aura and I couldn't just let you suffer knowing I could help."

"Ma'am, I do appreciate it, but how would I return it? I don't..."

"Not a problem. My son lives in Cascade. You can just return it to him. Hang on, I think I have his roommate's business card." Once again she disappeared into the depths of her purse.

He opened his mouth to object again, but Naomi continued speaking.

"Oh, here it is." She placed the card in his hand and closed his fingers around it. "Now you just take the shirt and when you get home, look up my son's friend and you can return it."

Before either could say anything further, the loud speaker crackled to life, "Flight number 104 to Kansas City is currently boarding at gate 10."

"Oh, that's my flight. I have to go. Just call the number on the card. He'll know what you're talking about."

Without another word, the redhead had disappeared into the crowd.

With a sigh of defeat, the lonely traveler headed towards the restroom to change into his new shirt. He exited the restroom a few moments later, feeling more refreshed.

Sitting back in the same seat that he'd occupied most of the day, he took out the business card and almost immediately fell to the floor laughing.

Several security officers and airline employees came over to check on the man who they had gotten to know through the course of the day.

"Mr. Ellison, are you all right?" asked one security guard.

It took a few moments for Steven Ellison to get his breath back. "Yeah, I'm fine."

An airline employee gave him a well-practiced smile, "Well, you'll be happy to know that the thunderstorms in Cascade have cleared and your flight is currently boarding."

"Thanks, I appreciate you putting up with me today," he replied as he headed for his gate and home.

He couldn't wait to call the name on the card. He could just imagine what Detective James Ellison would say when he heard the story.

Chapter 16

Chapter 18


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