The TROPEABLE story

Once upon a time, there lived a clever young woman who loved stories. She travelled far and wide to find the stories she craved, but more often than not, the stories found her. One day, not so long ago, she was curled up with a good book in front of the fire in her cozy cottage in the woods. Then came a knock at the door…

At the door stood a moderately tall, slim man in a dark suit and overcoat. The woman in the cottage invited him in, shutting the door behind him as he swept across the entryway into the living room. The two hadn’t seen each other in years, and the woman in the cottage was wary. The man had an air of danger around him and always brought trouble. She asked him why he came. He looked at her, laughing, and said, “I need your help, Cora.”

Aiden took in his surroundings as Cora stared at him through narrowed eyes. He felt a pang of regret at the loss of trust between them, then quickly brushed aside the feeling as he noticed she had made a home here. The cottage was one large room, but it felt cozy and lived-in. There was a handmade quilt on the bed in the corner, and Cora’s books were unpacked from the boxes she travelled with, now organized on a tall shelf. He’d heard she was taking a break, but he hadn’t expected this… she never stayed in one place for long. Getting her to help him was going to be harder than he thought.

***

It was a dark and stormy night. Sloan cursed herself for forgetting her umbrella, yet again, as she reached her London hotel soaked to the bone. She glanced behind her before heading to the elevators across the lobby, trying to shake the feeling that she was being followed. She was being paranoid. The only person who knew her whereabouts was Aiden, and he was hours away trying to find Cora. Sloan stepped into the elevator, turning around just in time to see a small gloved hand reach between the closing doors. Her eyes widened in shock before her world went black.

 


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