Chapter 085

Home 2 Chapter 085                                        

Copyright 2014 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia

 

Present – Jens and others – many months later at the cabin

 

So many things have happened these last few months it's hard to remember them all but since I am the leader of this rag-tag group of misfits I will try.

 

First and most disappointing - we never did find Ben. Heck, we never even came close to finding Ben! It was like he fell off the face of the Earth.

 

Next I got Stacy out of our hair by hacking into her satellite system and telling it Ben and his friend headed away from the Continental Divide trail, diverted over the mountains and went toward California. I laughed my ass off because she fell for it hook, line and sinker and was now going to California. I even had the system show me where she was, hacked into it on a daily basis and moved Ben and the woman he was with even further away. Good riddance to bad rubbish!

 

The cabin was finished and we moved back inside just in time for Masha to have her baby girl which she named Viktoria. OMG! She was so cute and made me wish that Ben and I could have children – I now have a plan for that if I ever catch up to Ben. Ivan was a fantastic big brother to her: He loved to hold her and sing to her in Russian. I almost forgot, and this is interesting, his pictures of Ben and the wolf lady went back to looking like a child's stick drawing. And the pictures he had already drawn that looked so realistic somehow disappeared.

 

Both Zarika and Yasmeen were back at the cabin, as much as I disliked it. I couldn't bring it in my heart to send them away, not after Ben had saved both of them. Zarika wasn't bad since she worked out like crazy and had taken an interest in the bow lessons that Todd was teaching. On the other hand Yasmeen sat in her room, listless most days. Something that she wouldn't talk about happened to her in Denver. I didn't spend much time with them so I don't know more.

 

Only one of the prim reapers (my nickname for Mira and Ira) was here and thank God it was Ira, the one who wasn't obsessed with Ben. I could tell Ira was head over heels in love with Todd but he seemed immune to all her advances. As I mentioned before, Todd is teaching a bow class which Ira, Zarika and Alexi are taking. That reminds me, Alexi lost a bow contest to the new girl who showed up named Safia (where they came up with these crazy names I will never know) and had to serve her breakfast in bed for a month. I'm not so sure that he served her only breakfast and not something else! Safia and Mira left (thank God) for some mission that Mira had to finish but which I wasn't privy to.

 

With the cabin finished Liz and Bernie started to plan their wedding – the lucky dogs! I had hoped that my wedding to Ben would have been the first wedding at the cabin.

 

An untold number of teams were scouring the country for the bastard Mike - including Daddy and Hammer!  But like us looking for Ben, they didn't have any luck finding him. It was tempting to have my teams look for the fucker after what he did to me and everyone else. But my focus was finding Ben and finding him as soon as possible!

 

Daddy was still embracing the Scottish side of our family and to indulge him I sometimes wore a skirt in our family's plaid. I made the mistake of calling it a kilt only once and was promptly informed that on women it was a skirt.

 

Thom, Inga and the TSIFFTS team with the medical plane left on a mission to find Megan, the drug Lord and mother (who Megan broke out of the hospital). I hadn't heard anything at all from them so I guess they were having about as much luck finding their quarry as we were in finding Ben.

 

Jack complained like hell when I let the TSIFFTS command center leave until he saw the cabin's hidden command center in the basement. It was like the TSIFFTS command center on steroids plus I had a crack team managing it. The group was lead by Gretchen from the computer store (remember her from Walker?).

 

Samantha was away doing news stories wherever there was news.

 

Linus was still running our field team looking for Ben while Maria was here working as my girl Friday. I forgot to mention, she stopped drinking because she was pregnant.

 

Geez, I almost forgot the most important person – Mabel! She cooked our excellent gourmet meals everyday – it was all I could do to keep from getting fat.

 

I complete morning PT and yoga with the team that is here. It is funny as hell watching Maria trying to perform some of the asanas (yoga poses). She wasn't skinny before she got pregnant and now – well she was big, really big. I shower, grab a quick breakfast and head to the hidden command center.

 

I walk into the basement storage room, move up to the electrical panel, open it, and flip off a certain series of circuit breakers. The wall slides away, I walk into the command center and smile because everyone is already hard at work.

 

Gretchen looks up, smiles at me, holds up a piece of paper and says, "Jennifer, you might want to look at this. It's a listing of campsite reservations for Glacier National Park. There's one really strange sounding name on it."

 

There have been so many false alarms that I didn't even bother heading in her direction. Instead I just ask, "What's so strange about the name Gretchen?"

 

She smiles at me and answers, "Well it sounds sort of Russian but I'm not sure and hoped you would check it. Also, he rented a whole campground on top of a mountain just for himself."

 

I wave my hand and comment, "Sounds like someone with more money than brains, but tell me the name anyway."

 

My heart practically stops when she answers, "The dude's name is Erast Petrovich Fandorin."

 

I dash beside her and demand, "Let me see that report."

 

She hands it to me. I read it, but can't believe it and announce, "Erast Petrovich Fandorin, we have finally caught you!"

 

Gretchen asks, "Is this Ben and if so how do you know this is Ben? And why would he choose to show up now and in all places, Glacier National Park?"

 

I hug the report to my chest because it's the first news of Ben since he left the cabin and answer, "I am sure it is Ben! Erast Petrovich Fandorin is a fictional character in a series of books written by Boris Akunin which Ben loves. As to why he suddenly appeared in Glacier National Park, I have no fricken idea. Perhaps he's doing this to tease me right before he enters Canada."

 

Gretchen gives me additional information, "Jennifer, he's rented the campground for a full week so I don't think he's planning on leaving anytime soon."

 

I reach over, slam my fist down on the klaxon button and yell over the sound of the horn, "This is not a drill, we have finally found Ben…"

 

Present – Ben – many months later at Glacier National Park

 

Destiny and I are sitting on a couple of rocks enjoying the sunshine. It's been a long cold winter traversing the Continental Divide Trail. Many had said our trek was impossible in the winter. I grin at her and she says, "Ben, there were times I thought we would have given up."

 

I continue the grin and answer, "Whatever I do, I never give up. All someone can do once they give up is bitch and I've known some great bitchers in my time. With some it's a passion, with others an art but it's one thing I will never become."

 

Destiny smiles her peculiar smile, the one that reminds me of the wind blowing in a grove of aspen trees and asks, "Well Ben, we've reached the end of our journey together and it's my time to leave. Have you decided yet?"

 

I knew this time was coming and I really dreaded it. But I had learned all there was to learn from Destiny and my life needed to take a new turn or perhaps return to a road once traveled and too quickly abandoned.

 

I hug Destiny, which I can tell surprises her by the way she pulls back, and apologize, "Destiny I've been a dickhead on this trip and I owe you more apologies than I could ever find the time to give. You have been correct the entire time: You are not only a Shaman, you are a very powerful and incredibly patient Shaman."

 

She continues the smile (even though there are no trees I swear I hear the aspen leaves quake) and answers, "And now Ben I must leave because it is your turn. Remember all I have taught you and do not forget your destiny…"

 

I chuckle and interrupt her play on words and say, "How in the world could I ever forget you?"

 

She continues, "Ben you know what I mean, she will be coming for you and she has plans."

 

I nod my head and answer, "Yes, and I am finally ready for her and her plans."

 

Destiny adds, "What about your missions?"

 

I clasp my hands in front of me and answer, "I remember both my missions even though I have no idea how I will accomplish one of them."

 

She begins to fade and asks, "Is there anything else you desire before I leave?"

 

I grab her hand and answer, "I want to see your animal form."

 

She shakes her hand loose from mine and says, "As you wish." Then she changes first into the wolf I saw in the clearing where she was going to fight Anastasia the fox and the mangy dog. Then I swear she smiles when she changes into the wolf I saw so many years ago in Russia." Now that was a hell of a shock! I blink my eyes and then she's gone but I know she will never really be gone because she's always been with me. You see, she was Grandfather's gift to me.

 

Now I need to prepare myself for what's coming. I take a short hike to clear my mind, come back to camp, start a small campfire in a cooking pit and begin to burn sage on it to cleanse myself. Tonight I will fast and abstain from food, I will only drink water.

 

I wake up early the next morning to the sound of my pots and pans being disturbed so I grab the pistol I keep under my pillow, open up the door of the tent and yell at the squirrels that woke me up. They take off like their tails are on fire so I decide to get up. I crawl out of the tent, head over to the cook stove, fire it up and put some water on to boil for coffee.

 

I enjoy the hell out of my coffee while admiring the mountain peaks that encompass me. With my missions, I'm not sure when, or if, I will ever be back to Glacier National Park so I decide to take today and explore. I close up the tent, load up a pack and head off for a long hike. This is different than traveling on the Continental Divide Trail because I don't have to worry about how far I've travelled or how far I have to go. I have the time to stop, listen to the sounds of nature around me and inhale the pine scented air. I arrive back in the camp very satisfied and also very late in the day. Once again I start the campfire and perform the cleansing ritual. I abstain from food but indulge myself with copious amounts of water.

 

I yawn and I am amazed at how sleepy I am - it must be from the fasting. I don't have anything else to do so I put out the fire, crawl into the tent and immediately fall asleep. During the night I have an incredible dream! I dream that Jens is here in the tent with me. It's interrupted once again in the morning by something fucking with my pots and pans.

 

I open up my eyes and realize it's much later than I normally sleep. I rise, reach my hand under the pillow for my pistol but it's not there. Then I'm shocked when I hear from outside the tent…

 

"Erast fricken Fandorin, I am tired of chasing your butt all over America, get the hell out of that tent right now."

 

My pistol is missing as I knew it would be. I look and find my rifle is also missing. I reach down for my Ka-Bar but even it's gone. I smile because it’s all happening.

 

Then she laughs and says…

 

Present – Jens and others – at Glacier Park

 

Yippee Skippy! This is so much fun! I finally caught Ben and boy am I going to make him pay. First I made sure to remove all his weapons last night. I can tell from the way the tent's moving that he's looking for them so I tell him, "Ben, while you were sleeping last night I took all your weapons, now get out of that tent because I want to talk to you."

 

I hear the zipper on the tent, Ben slides out of the tent, stumbles a little, looks at me and asks, "What in the hell did you do to me?"

 

I grin at him and answer, "I drugged your water so I could disarm you last night. Now get your rear over here and eat this wonderful breakfast I made for us."

 

He glares at me, yawns, rubs his face and asks, "You made breakfast for me?"

 

I point to the picnic table and answer, "Yes I did. I made pancakes, eggs and bacon."

 

Ben blinks a few times and continues, "Where the hell did the table and everything else come from?"

 

I smile at him and answer, "I brought it so we could have a civilized breakfast and then talk about things. Now come and eat because your breakfast is getting cold."

 

Ben stumbles over to the table and complains, "Damn, you didn't have to give me so much of whatever you gave me."

 

I answer, "Stop complaining and eat, you will feel better after you have some food and coffee in your stomach."

 

He sets down, begins to eat, looks up, smiles at me and says, "Hey, this isn't half bad."

 

I giggle and answer, "That would mean it was only half good and I would certainly hope it is better than half good. Would you like some more coffee?"

 

He holds up his mug, I top it off and we continued to eat. Ben finishes, looks around and asks, "What's to keep me from taking off?"

 

I hold up the Remington 870 pump action shotgun that was sitting in my lap and answer, "Because I, or one of my friends who I brought here, will shoot you."

 

He glares at me and taunts, "I highly doubt you would kill me."

 

I giggle and answer, "Of course not! But we would knock you on your butt; our shotguns are loaded with Taser Xrep rounds."

 

Ben smiles at me and finally admits, "Okay Jens, now that you've caught me, what do you want to do with me?"

 

Finally he got around to asking so I answer, "Ben I want what I've always wanted from you. I want you to keep your promise to marry me."

 

He starts to open his mouth and I interrupt, "Ben, don't give me that bullshit about not being able to give me children. All I have ever really wanted is you."

 

He looks at me and then gives me an answer I didn't expect, "And if I say no?"

 

Damn I never thought he would say that! I fumble for an answer, look at Ben's pistol setting on the picnic table seat beside me and make a decision.

 

I pick up the pistol, cock it, put it up to my head and threaten, "Ben, I really don't want to live without you – no, I can't live without you! Do you recognize this pistol?"

 

Ben strangely grins at me and answers, "Yes. It's mine and you stole it from under my pillow."

 

I smile at Ben and reply, "That's right it's your ten millimeter. Now what's your decision, keep your promise to me or…"

 

Ben grins at me, folds his arm defiantly across his chest and shocks me when he answers, "Jens, I will not be forced to marry you. So if the alternative is killing yourself, I can't keep you from doing it."

 

Shit! I hadn't counted on this but I've committed myself and it's too late to back down. I can only hope that Ben will stop me before I...

 

Ben continues to grin as I slowly begin to squeeze the trigger…

 

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