Eddie tried to ignore the others as he ate, but that didn’t keep bits and pieces of their conversation from slipping through. What he did hear, he filed away in his memory without thinking about it too hard. He’d sort through it all later and see if any of it made sense.
What he did notice was that Armelle and the waitress weren’t happy that Vančura had seen through their charade. The waitress was mad at Armelle and Armelle was mad at Vančura. Actually, she was mad at Vančura, Eddie, the waitress, and just about everybody else. From where Eddie was sitting, though, it looked like most of it was pointed at Vančura.
As far as he was concerned, that was a natural state of affairs. The big man was pretty easy to get mad at. Since the he didn’t seem to mind, either, it all worked out. People got angry with Vančura, instead of Eddie, and since Vančura patently didn’t care, they usually deflated pretty quickly. The thought ran through Eddie’s mind that he should stick close to Vančura; a guy like that was a handy guy to have around. Unfortunately, the idea gave way to thoughts of ham and hash-browns before it fully formed.
Vančura cleared his plate efficiently, then set his fork down and turned his attention back to Armelle. The waitress had moved off, for the moment, tending to new customers.
“You’re amateurs. At covert operations, anyway.”
She scowled at him and shoved a bite in her mouth.
“What makes you think that?”
He raised an eyebrow disapprovingly before answering.
“Don’t talk with your mouth full. And because a good operative won’t carry a weapon if it compromises her cover. Being armed doesn’t do you any good if you get killed because you’re armed. The boot-knife isn’t a problem; I wouldn’t have noticed it if I hadn’t been looking for it. Even if I had, I might have assumed working here just makes her nervous. But hiding a pistol is a lot harder than they make it look in the movies and there was no way she just carries one for her peace of mind.”
Armelle stared at him, half shocked, half disgusted. He eyed her, questioningly.
“What? You didn’t honestly think you could fool someone who was actually paying attention, did you?”
She shook her head and swallowed.
“Did you… seriously… just tell me not to talk with my mouth full?
Vančura blinked at her for a second.
“Of course. You didn’t bother to finish your bite before answering, which means you disregarded an opportunity to think about a reply that would affect your cover story.”
He flipped a roll off the plate in the middle of the table and took a bite out of it. Raising a finger to forestall her indignant response, he slowly finished the roll. Then, he glanced at her.
End Chapter 10 – Part 1
Go to Chapter 10 – Part 2
Good morning, readers! As you can see, I’ve changed up the format of the weekly installment of ‘Twicebound’. I’ve been working on that for a while (in conjunction with improving the rest of the site) and part of that change is the new chapter header. This chapter header art is the first of the improvements that you’ll be seeing on the website. It was created specifically for ‘Twicebound’ by Kelley McMorris. After so many weeks of not having any artwork to draw the eye to this serial, I decided to commission some and settled on Ms. McMorris. Needless to say, I’m thrilled with her work.