Burch (Part 6)

He milled around, found a better-looking watch, and waited for 5 PM. The airport was the best place to wait since that’s all anybody did there anyway. He studied some of the people. Made up histories about their lives while he waited.

At 5 promptly, he heard his name called over the loudspeaker. He rose from his seat and headed to the airport entrance. There was a man with a sign that read BURCH, though he didn’t need it. The driver recognized his charge immediately and extended a hand for a shake.

Alex shook the man’s hand and asked after his family. They chatted on the way back to the car, a sleek Lincoln parked in the loading zone. Alex let himself sink into the cool leather and closed his eyes.

When he woke, they were at the hotel. Alex could tell by the way he cleared his throat that the driver had done it a few times.

“Sorry about that,” said Alex, handing the driver a 20. He got out of the car. He straightened his spine, grabbed his briefcase, and headed inside.

“Hello, Mr. Burch,” said someone on his left. A hotel employee. She was holding out her hands for his briefcase. He let her take it. “Right this way, sir,” she said and took off at a brisk clip toward the elevators, her behind twitching nicely beneath her skirt.

Alex let her lead him all the way to his room, though he had no trouble finding it. He stayed in the same one every time. He let her open his door, settle his briefcase on the desk, then turn down his bed before he entered the room. He gave her another of his twenties and waited for her to leave.

He hadn’t said a word.

Alex took a look around his suite. It consisted of two rooms, a living area and a bedroom, an enormous bathroom and a conference area. Burch spun in a slow circle, taking it all in. Then he checked the closet. His suit was there, freshly pressed and delivered by the hotel cleaners only the hour before, according to the tag. He thought he could still feel the warmth from the iron on the pressed pants.

Alex took another shower and shaved again, more because it was part of his routine than because he needed it. He picked at his new haircut and put on the suit. He was fastening the last button when there was a sharp knock at the door.

He opened it.

The same driver from before. Chances were he’d never left. Alex said nothing but followed him downstairs to the running town car.

The coffee shop with the green awnings and the old-timey script was just closing for business. A few stragglers placed last-minute orders and the dedicated computer workers gathering their belongings to head home. Alex leaned back against the leather seats and waited patiently.

He was expected.

Photo by Caio on Pexels.com

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