Kanya Lereaux fingered the scar hiding at the edge of her hairline while she flipped through songs on her Ipod. She was becoming bored, standing in line, waiting for her turn to check in.
The line to check in at the service desk wound in and out of belted stands, moving sporadically as one or more passengers were registered for their flights. As the balding middle-aged exec in front of her moved up, Kanya grabbed her dufflebag and dragged it a few feet further in line. As she straightened, she untangled her chestnut shoulder-length hair from the earbud wires and checked the departure board. She still had time.
All she wanted to do was get out of Minneapolis. Away from the cold, to lie on the beach and forget the last two years of her life ever happened. She needed to disappear under Raul's radar for a few months and recharge her battery. The gems she had hidden in her clothing would finance her trip if Raul had somehow discovered her offshore bank account and hacked it. It was the least she deserved for all the work she had done for him.
As she dropped her dufflebag, the man behind her bumped her legs with his suitcase and apologized profusely. He was handsome, with dark red hair and a happy sprinkling freckles across his nose. He looked like the grown-up version of a 50's family television show.
Justin Avery's smile and easygoing demeanor hid his aversion for public places and close contact with crowds. As a scientist, he was aware of how quickly viruses could spread in such close quarters. All it takes is one germ breathed into the air by an infected person and...well, he just didn't want to think about it.
He was in desperate need of some downtime after spending 18 months buried in his research. His assistant quit on him, right before he submitted his final work, claiming she'd been flirting with him for a year and he never noticed. Apparently she wasn't as enthused about his research as he was. It was ironic, now that he had some time to take her out to dinner, she was gone.
The couple in line behind Justin were Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Rollings, waiting to check in and depart on their second honeymoon. Things had been rocky in their marriage for quite some time and Victoria was hoping this would help to bring them closer. Edgar didn't see her pack the new lingerie in the suitcase and as she stood there in line, she was relishing the thought of Edgar's reaction when she brought it out. Vicki lost some weight recently and was eager to show off the results.
Behind them was Festus Wheatear, who has saved just enough cash for a trip to someplace warm and is on his way to a vacation of a lifetime. He's been saving all his spare change in coffee cans since 1978 and cashed it all in last week. He borrowed Aunt Hilde's old cardboard suitcase, packed up his spare pair of overalls, a few changes of BVDs and had his brother Richard drop him at the airport. He promised himself that one day he would get off his tractor and see some of the world
The woman behind Festus was desperately trying not to catch another whiff of his cologne, for the first one had proven to be quite overwhelming. She wondered if he had broken the bottle and was splashed. He was quite odoriferous. She grasped her tote with long, peach-lacquered nails and tugged it along. She was on her way to a photo shoot, her itinerary said the photographer was meeting her there. Cameron Ruger was an esteemed photographer, so Taffina Marks was looking forward to this particular trip. In her eight year of being a top model, she was quite accustomed to flying in and out of locations at a moments notice.
~~~As each person in line reached the customer service counter, they stated their desination:
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