Angel fire, p.65
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       Angel Fire, p.65

         Part #2 of Angel series by L. A. Weatherly
Page 65


  “So we need all the information we can get our hands on,” he summed up. “Whether the same schedule for the reception is still being followed; floor plans for the VIP level; where exactly the private audiences are going to take place; any security details we can find out – anything. ”

  Kara nodded. “The only people who’ll know will be the Church officials. The preacher, maybe one or two others. ”

  “Could Willow find out psychically?” suggested Brendan. Alex bit back the automatic Ask her yourself. It wasn’t needed; Brendan caught himself. “I mean. . . could you?” he asked Willow awkwardly. “If we found out who had the information, then you’d just have to hold their hand, right?”

  Willow’s forehead creased. “Maybe, but like I said before, it’s not instantaneous. Getting that level of specific detail would take me a while. I mean, a few minutes of really concentrating, at least. ”

  “Yes, for me too. ” Seb stroked his stubbled jaw. “And even then, you don’t always get what you’re looking for. ”

  “Don’t you?” Willow’s voice held mild surprise.

  “I don’t, no,” he clarified, glancing down at her. “I get many images, but only what’s on their minds. And sometimes not very specific. I hardly ever get names, things like that. ”

  Alex could see how interested both Seb and Willow were by the fact that their psychic skills seemed to vary – if nobody else had been around, he knew they’d have spent the next hour discussing it in great detail.

  Meanwhile, Kara had pulled a face at “not very specific”. “Alex, what do you think? Is it worth a try?”

  He brought his attention back to the plan as he considered. In the wake of the security breach Luis had caused, he’d bet money that only the Church preacher knew all the details they needed – and the man would have been taken into the angels’ confidence enough to know that Willow Fields the terrorist was psychic, and worked by holding people’s hands. Trying to manoeuvre the guy into a scenario where either Willow or Seb could grasp his hand and concentrate for several minutes was far too likely to raise suspicions; all the Church high-ups would be on red alert now for anything strange.

  “No, we can’t risk them figuring out what we’re up to,” he said finally. He glanced at Seb, knowing it was a long shot even as he asked. “Could you sense anything if you went into the cathedral? Willow can’t go in there with all the angels around, but you’d be okay if you changed your aura. ”

  Seb’s eyebrows shot up. “You mean get security details, just from being there?” He shook his head. “I can try, but I don’t think it will work – I think all I’ll see is that it’s a dangerous place. ”

  That wouldn’t be much of a newsflash. Alex sighed. “Okay, so we can’t count on that. Kara, how easy will it be to break into the offices?”

  “Not easy at all, but it sounds like it’s our only hope. ” Kara’s face held a wry expression, as if she wasn’t surprised the half-angels weren’t turning out to be more useful. She picked up a pencil and started sketching on a spare piece of paper.

  “Okay, here’s the cathedral, with the tabernacle beside it. The tabernacle still has a small chapel people can use – the new office area is behind that. You reach it from inside the cathedral, from this door. ” She darkened a line with the pencil. “The information should be on the preacher’s computer or in his files. Unfortunately, digital keypads seem to be in vogue – they’ve added one to the door now. So if we’re getting in there, I’ll have to find the code for it somehow. ”

  “Maybe a video camera?” suggested Wesley. As everyone turned to look at him, his cheeks darkened; he went on, his voice gruff. “I mean – hundreds of tourists take videos in there every day. So we could use the zoom lens to focus on the door whenever someone’s punching in the code. ”

  Alex nodded. “Yeah, good idea. Nice one, Wes. ” Kara was busy adding more details to the cathedral and office area – hallways, another few exits. He propped his hands on the table as he studied the home-made map. “How accurate is this? Can we get actual floor plans showing the office area, or is that classified too now?”

  “Extremely classified, now that the cathedral is Church of Angels central, Mexican style,” said Kara gloomily, putting down the pencil. “This isn’t too bad, I think. Luis showed me around the office area once. ”

  “No, it’s not too bad. ” Seb stood scanning the map. “You’ve missed some things though. ”

  Kara gave him a cool look. “Like what?”

  He picked up the pencil. “There are doors here, and here. ” The lines he drew were precise, unhesitating. “This one’s very small, easy to miss. And I don’t know if it’s still there, but in the tabernacle there used to be a fire exit here. You could go out through it, but not in. ”

  Alex had straightened up, watching carefully. “Are you sure? How do you know all this?”

  Seb shrugged and tossed the pencil aside. “The catedral was a good place to pick pockets. All of us on the street knew every inch of it. ”

  It wasn’t a surprise to Alex; Willow had told him a little about Seb’s past when he’d asked her. He hadn’t mentioned it to the others though. Now Trish and Liz stared at Seb speechlessly; the guys all gave each other Did you just hear what I heard? looks.

  Kara shot Alex a glance that said she held him personally responsible for this. “So you’re telling us you were a pickpocket,” she said.

  “Oh, yes,” said Seb mildly, pushing back his loose curls. “For many years. When I wasn’t breaking into houses. ”

  Alex had a sudden feeling Seb was enjoying this – that the guy was perverse enough to delight in making everyone even more suspicious of him than they already were. From what Willow had said, he hadn’t even broken into houses that often; it’d been mostly for a few months when he was thirteen, or something. Naturally, Seb did not volunteer this information.

  “A thief,” summed up Sam, his broad face creased with disgust. “Now, why doesn’t that surprise me? Alex, did you know this?”

  “Shut up, Sam. ” Alex leaned against the table, watching Seb. “Do you think you could help us get into the offices?”

  Seb gave a one-shouldered shrug. “I don’t know. My skills weren’t very. . . ” He glanced down at Willow beside him; she seemed to sense the word he wanted.

  “Subtle,” she volunteered.

  “No, not very subtle. Just smash the window, grab some things and go, you know? As much as I could carry. ” Alex managed not to roll his eyes at Seb’s guileless tone. Yes, he was definitely enjoying this. Willow seemed to think so too; her mouth had pursed, as if she was trying not to laugh.

  “Well, that’s not very helpful here, unfortunately,” said Kara stiffly. “Alex, believe me – we’re only going to get one chance at that office, and it’d better be a good one. ”

  The larger map of the Torre Mayor was still spread out, sleek and professional next to Kara’s hand-drawn lines. Looking at it, Alex thought he’d find some way to get the team in there if it was the last thing he ever did – but without more information, it wouldn’t be much better than a suicide mission.


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