Going into the meeting, Ethan had been hopeful. Maybe it would be different now, now that the stakes were so high. It wasn't. He found himself sitting in a folding chair, holding a stack of flyers as people argued about how they should respond to the massacre. It had been two weeks, and still they hadn't done anything for fear of doing the wrong thing. He told the guy next to him that he had to use the bathroom, then he slipped away and started to head back to Linden's apartment.

A block away from her building, he realized what a shitty guest he was being and stopped at the liquor store on the corner. It was owned by a Mexican family, if the flag hanging behind the register was any indicator. He grabbed a six-pack of Negro Modelo out of one of the coolers, and then went to wait in line behind a couple of suits. He was watching the football on the TV in the corner, trying to remember his Spanish, when the suits started to talk.

"Do you think he'll show?" the one on the left asked.

The other one shrugged. "Who knows, she probably warned him."

"Well, whether he shows up or the techs track down his phone, I hope it happens soon, I'm fucking tired."

"Stop whining, at least you have a girlfriend."

Ethan shifted the beer from hand to hand as he rifled through his pockets, looking for his phone, but it wasn't there. In his haste, he had left it at the meeting. Were the suits waiting for him? He wanted to dismiss the idea as mere paranoia, but his cautious side won out. He returned the beer to the cooler and left the store.

Once back outside, it was clear that there were indeed people watching Linden's apartment building. He headed the other way, trying to keep a measured pace. He knew it was unreasonable, but he felt that he should have prepared for something like this, had some secure way for people to contact him.

Ethan also had more pressing concerns. He only had about twenty dollars on his person, and his cards were definitely under surveillance, if not frozen outright. Without access to resources, it was only a matter of time before he ended up dead or in custody. Linden was probably fairing better. She had always been the paranoid survivalist type, a planner, and he knew that if he could find her, his chances would improve dramatically. Of course, she could be anywhere.

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