Excerpt of The Informationist by Taylor Stevens
(Page 5 of 9)
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At the hotel Munroe trailed to the front desk and stood in line. Noah
Johnson. Room 319. Such an American name, and yet he struggled with
rudimentary English. She knew the accent: the French of high-society
When he had finally completed check-in, she booked a room, then
placed several calls, and finally, getting past Kate Breeden's voice mail,
arranged to meet for dinner at the hotel's restaurant.
Outside, Munroe hailed a taxi and twenty minutes later stood in
a parking lot on a semideserted industrial strip. Far down the street on
either side and in both directions were squat cement structures, businesses
divided one from the next by narrow windows and truck bays.
Munroe watched the cab drive away and then climbed the steps that
led to the closest door. The signage scripted in large metallic block letters
The front door was locked. She pressed her face to the glass and,
seeing no light, rapped on it. A few minutes passed, a light came on from
the back, and Logan approached in sweats, barefoot and with a sheepish
grin on his face. He unlocked the door and let her in, and then, scanning
her up and down, said, "You look like shit."
She dropped the duffel bag on the entrance floor and let the door
close. "Glad to see you, too," she said.
His smile broke first, and they both laughed. He wrapped his arms
around her shoulders in a hug and then held her at arm's length. "Welcome
back," he said. "God, it's good to see you. How was the trip?"
"Long and tedious."
"If you want to crash, the couch is available."
"Thanks but no thanks," she said. "I'm going against the jet lag."
"Coffee, then?" He turned toward the small kitchen. "I'm just getting
a pot on."
"Caffeine I could use. Thick and black."
Nothing he could conjure in his kitchen would come close to Turkish
coffee; the caffeine withdrawals would follow on the heels of the anxiety
and jet lag. One hurdle at a time.
The office portion of the building had four rooms. Logan used one
as an office, another as a conference room, and the third and fourth as
living quarters. In the back the warehouse doubled as repair shop and
storage area. He wasn't supposed to be living in the building, but he
paid his rent on time and thus far no one had complained to the property
managers. The arrangement had been going on as far back as Munroe
had known him - that muggy summer night seven years before, when
prejudice in a hole-in-the-wall bikers' bar had turned to violence and
she'd thrown in her lot with the underdog. They'd laughed when it was
over, sitting by the edge of the road, under the blackened sky, making
introductions like star-crossed soul mates.
Munroe walked the hallway slowly, following a row of poster-size
frames that adorned the walls, stopping for a moment in front of each.
Most contained photos of motorcycles on a speedway, Logan in the races
he competed in, split-second snapshots of his professional life.
Logan was thirty-three with dusty blond hair, green eyes, and an
innocent smile that placed him closer to twenty-five. Over the years the
impression of childish innocence he gave had drawn in a succession of
boyfriends who each in turn had discovered the reality of a dark and
Logan had been on his own since he was fifteen, had started by scraping
together an existence fixing cars and motorcycles part-time from a
repair shop owned by his best friend's father. Everything he had he'd
earned by clawing his way to it one exacting day after another, and he
was, by Munroe's judgment, the closest being she'd found to perfection
in the nine years since she first set foot on American soil.
Logan joined her in front of the last frame and handed her a steaming
mug. She nodded thanks, and they stood in comfortable silence
for quite a while. "Two years is a long time," he said finally. "There's
a lot to catch up on, Michael." He turned toward the back door. "You
Excerpted from The Informationist
by Taylor Stevens. Copyright © 2011 by Taylor Stevens.
Excerpted by permission of Crown. All rights
reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted
without permission in writing from the publisher.