The Ed Waller Stories: Book One - Algeria Here I Come

Chapter Twenty-One: We Should Have Realized

After Dr. Roberts mentioned that there might be some more crazies onboard who might be after Allie and me, I suddenly didn't feel too well. The Captain spoke, "Dr. Roberts, a security team has been assigned to watch Ed, Brahim and Allie twenty four hours a day, until it has been determined that there aren't going to be any more attempts on anyones' lives. That is one reason we had your cabin moved so that the team can more easily cover all of you, including Kate and Jocelyn, since your rooms are all located in a cluster."

"I'm still concerned that someone hadn't picked up on the fact that Dr. Whitney might have been involved. It will be interesting to see what Khalid and Amir have to say when they return to the ship tomorrow night. The Whitneys gave us enough clues to indicate that something was fishy."

"I heard how he lit into Allie on the formal night. Philippe informed me that the Whitneys requested to be seated at your table. They seemed to be trying to whittle their way into your confidence and gain your trust."

Dr. Roberts started, "For heaven's sake, the next thing, you'll be accusing me of using my friendship with the guys to take advantage of them."

The Captain laughed, "I don't think so, Darryl. I think we may have to protect you from Allie in order to prevent him from stealing your heart."

"Too late, he's already done carved and dissected it."

I stood, "We're going to check on Allie and make sure he's okay. Mr. and Mrs. Michaels, it was a pleasuring meeting you."

Mr. Michaels winked, "We'll be seeing a lot more of you, I'm sure."

Darryl started to laugh, "Mr. Michaels, I hope you're talking about the number of times you will be seeing Ed, rather the more of his body."

Tom punched Darryl on his sore arm, "Darryl, that was totally inappropriate. I think you need to apologize to the ladies."

Mrs. Brower laughed, "We were hoping for both. I've heard about the competition that you had the other night."

Brahim started to laugh. "I think we may need to tape the mouths of Doctor Sorenson's two young grandsons shut so they can't blab everything to the world."

Everyone stood and we walked out together. The Browers and Michaels were going to the piano bar. Tom and Darryl were going to the theatre to watch the show. Kate and Jocelyn decided to accompany us to check on Allie before we went to the Starlight Lounge.

When we got to the cabin, there was only a small light on, I didn't like that very much and the sofa had not been made into a bed. Then I remembered that Darryl wouldn't be sleeping with us anymore.

I checked Allie's bedroom and he wasn't in bed. I went to check our bedroom and he wasn't there either. I was starting to feel panicky.

As I walked into the sitting room and I threw up my hands, "I don't know where Allie is."

I went to the phone to call the Sorenson's cabin. I had just picked up the receiver when the veranda door opened and Allie walked in wearing only his briefs.

"Hi Miss Kate and Miss Jocelyn."

Brahim was blushing which was evident even under his dark skin, "Alexander, don't you think you should get your robe on. After all, there are ladies present."

Allie put his hands on his hips, "Bra, the damage is already done. They have already seen me in my briefs and they don't show anything more than my swim suit does. So relax."

Kate was giggling, "Yeh, Bra, relax, would you?"

Jocelyn was laughing, "Guys, would you please call me Jo or JoJo. That's what all our friends call me."

Allie answered for us, "We can do that, Miss JoJo. Dad, while I was waiting for Jim and John just now, I was thinking. We should have realized that the Whitneys were trying to worm their way into our little group. He probably stood up the day he got shot either because he didn't think the bad guys would shoot at him, or they were to shoot him just bad enough to make us think that he was not one of the bad guys."

The conversation was interrupted by the door chimes. I went to the door and Jim and John were standing there. John asked, "Is Allie here?"

I stood aside and Jim spoke, "Hi everybody. Allie, have the desserts arrived yet?"

While Allie was answering, "Not yet. We are to call Albert when you arrive." The twins were shedding there clothes and hanging them on the chair. I looked at Kate and Jocelyn to see what their reaction would be. They showed no emotion at all.

I decided that it would be best for us to leave. "Guys, we're going to the Starlight Lounge. We'll see you in the morning."

Allie smiled his beautiful smile, "Okay, Dad. Just make sure you don't stay out too late. Remember Pietro is going to show us around Tallinn tomorrow."

As soon as we left the suite, both Kate and Jocelyn started laughing. Kate spoke, "Oh, to be so innocent. All three boys are gorgeous, especially Allie. I hope we are invited to go on the tour with you tomorrow. It could prove very interesting since Pietro has two sons about the same age as Allie and the twins."

We had been in the Lounge for approximately 30 minutes when the bar waitress approached me, "Mr. Waller, there is a phone call for you. You can take it at the bar."

I went to the phone at the bar, "This is Ed Waller."

"Ed, this is Khalid. What are your plans for tomorrow when you get to Tallinn?"

"Captain Brower has arranged for one of his officers, Pietro, to take us on a tour of Tallinn. That is where Pietro's family live. Kate just told me that Pietro and his wife have two sons about age of Allie and the twins. Is there a problem?"

"There are some things that are happening, so don't go on the tour before we can join you. Just be very careful."

"The Captain said that we would have a security detail following us at all times."

Khalid sounded exasperated, "Ed, none of us picked up on the Whitneys. I'll explain tomorrow. Please be careful. We'll tell you more tomorrow."

I went back to the table, "That was Khalid. He is always so mysterious."

We danced one more dance and decided to retire for the night. When we got back to the cabin, the three boys were asleep sprawled on Allie's bed. I started to cover them then figured that would probably wake at least one of them, so I decided against it.

When Brahim and I were in bed, naked, of course, I pulled him as close as I could, "Khalid sounded very concerned when I talked to him tonight. We will just have to be extra careful. I could never forgive myself if anything were to happen to Allie or the Thomas twins."

Brahim rolled on top of me, "Eddie, would you please shut up. We can't control the things we don't know about. Let the experts do the worrying and let's have a good time. Allie worries and thinks enough for the three of us."

"Brahim, you just declared war. You called me a wimp."

Brahim looked at me and smirked, "Well put on one of those thingies that you bought at the pharmacy and prove to me that you aren't a wimp."

I did and I did, I looked at Brahim, "Now what do you suggest I do with the thingy since it has all of these little thingies running around in it?"

Braham started to laugh but didn't move, "Take the thingy to veranda and throw it overboard. The sperm whales will come to collect it and add it to their collection. Then come back and clean up the mess that you made."

I did and I did. Brahim rolled over and kissed me. "We can't let anything bad happen to any of us."

We were awakened the next morning by the boss, of course. "Dad and Brahim, it time to put your monsters away. We're hungry."

When Brahim and I got out of the shower and walked into our bedroom to get dressed, there were three boys sitting on the bed. Allie admonished us, "Come on, we're hungry. Grandpa Darryl and Uncle Tom are going to have breakfast in their suite. Miss Kate and Miss JoJo will be joining us in the dining room."

When we got to the dining room we were the only people there since it had just opened. Josef and Carlos started to give us a hard time. "Do you realize that we were so bored last night when you weren't at your table that the other tables started to complain because there was no entertainment?"

Allie looked at them, "Get used to it, men. We won't be here for lunch today either, but we will be back in time for dinner."

Josef pointed his finger at Allie, "You aren't planning to get shot at again, are you?"

That question grabbed everyone's attention. Allie sighed, "I hope not."

Our conversation was interrupted by Philippe. "Would it be possible for the newlyweds to join you? They would like to visit with some people from the United States."

Allie looked up, "We have lots of space, so why not, but some of us are not from the United States."

The young man stuck out his hand, "I'm Scott Summers and this is my wife Angela. We just arrived yesterday."

Allie started to laugh, "So you're the people who took over Dr. Roberts' old cabin."

Scott laughed, "I guess so, since we had two calls for him last night. I thought he might be with you; I understand that he is a friend of yours."

Allie scrutinized Mr. Summers, "Dr. Roberts and Uncle Tom decided to have breakfast in their suite this morning."

Scott was sitting next to me and I felt a hand tapping me on my thigh. I reached down to push it away and he handed me something. I stuck it in my pocket.

Scott looked around the table. "We've never been to Tallinn before. After breakfast we need to read any new information we can find."

He reached down and tapped my thigh again, "Right, Ed?"

After breakfast the three guys were raring to go. They decided to go swim before we docked. The Summers thanked us for allowing them to have breakfast with us.

Brahim and I went back to the suite, and Albert and Daniel were doing their thing in the suite. Albert grinned, "Hey, we can skate all day since you only used the two beds last night and Mr. Khalid and Mr. Amir were not onboard. We have already taken care of Miss Brower and Miss Michaels' room. Dr. Roberts and Mr. Tom are still eating breakfast."

Brahim and I went onto the veranda and sat on the double lounge chair. I pulled the paper out of my pocket.

Mr. Waller,

I am an agent for the United States Central Intelligence Agency and my wife, Angela, works for the Homeland Security Agency. We are not as young as we would appear to be. We have been assigned to help protect you, Mr. Safi and Allie.

We will stay in the background if you would prefer, since you already have General Khalid and General Amir looking after you. We should all probably meet when they arrive back tomorrow, so we can plan a strategy as to how best combat the threat to you and your friends before you reach the United States.

I know that sounds weird, but in a cruise environment, you are not nearly as safe as you will be once you reach Houston. We are here to care for your well being and the other passengers safety at the request of the Algerian and the United States governments.

Sincerely,

Scott and Angela Summers

I handed the note to Brahim. He read it and started to laugh, "The next thing we know the Russian KGB and the German Gestapo will be involved. We may never have a chance to make the sperm whales happy again.

Allie came onto the veranda all excited, "Dad, why are people following us around? I couldn't even go to the bathroom without someone following me."

I pulled Allie onto my lap even though he was still in his wet swim suit, "Son, the people are just trying their hardest to make sure we are all safe. I'm guessing that the guy who was photographing you the other day was really a security person."

Allie leaned back against me, "Dad, are we ever going to be able to just be a plain family that no one cares about? I don't like what's happening."

"Oh Allie, I so hope so. Let's just do what ever they tell us to do until then. Here read this. Maybe it will make you feel a little better."

I handed him the note that Agent Summers had passed me and Allie was reading it, making sure that I was not only going to have to change my trousers but also my shirt and my briefs. He handed the note back to me and looked up at me, "Dad, maybe we should just stay on board today."

"Allie, let's wait and see what Generals Khalid and Amir have to say when we get together. I'm sure that they will recommend that we get away from the people on the ship."

Allie went to change and I had to go change my clothes as well. Small sacrifice to have someone trust me as much as Allie seemed to.

When I walked into the sitting room, Allie noticed that I had changed clothes. "Dad, why did you change clothes again?"

I hugged him, "If you will remember, Son, there was a young man in a wet swimming suit sitting on my lap a little while ago. You don't want people to think I went to the bathroom in my pants do you?"

"Dad, I'd stand in front of you so people couldn't see that you did. Dad, I'm scared even more, now, than I was before. Maybe we should just go by ourselves so Jim and John and Miss Kate and Miss JoJo aren't endangered anymore. We should probably even leave Grandpa Darryl and Uncle Tom here."

I started to answer, but just then, the veranda door opened. Khalid and Amir walked in. Allie looked at them, "How did you get on board? We haven't docked yet."

Khalid grinned, "We conned the Captain of the boat bringing the pilot, who is going to guide the ship to the harbor, into bringing us so we could get here before the ship docked."

"Allie, please get all of your friends here, so we can tell them what is going to happen today. We don't want any of you to stay on the ship. I understand that you have already met Mr. and Mrs. Summers. They are going to be staying behind and are going to be doing a security check on the passengers and the crew. We have good reason to believe that the people who are behind this fiasco have paid one or perhaps two more people to try to harm you."

Amir took over, "We fully trust Albert and Daniel. They are going to be watching carefully for any suspicious activity in and around the cabin area. We think it might be some of the kitchen staff who have been paid to do you in."

"After the information we were able to find out from the Whitneys, several more government officials have been exposed and are now in custody. The problem is that this entire conspiracy was planned and supported by an outside source, and we think they're very afraid that they are going to be exposed. We'll be back to talk to you when everyone is here. I, for one, need a shower and I need to change my clothes."

Editor's Notes:

Well, we have plowed our way through another surprise or two. It seems that with every new chapter, we learn something else that is being plotted against or friends. Let's hope that Security is up to the task of protecting everyone. What with practically every country involved with the mission taking an interest in protecting everyone, I think the chances are very good that they will do just that.

Hopefully we will find out soon.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher