Illusions: taking a turn for the worst


Ashley Tanner

Illusions is a novella written by Nicole Schroeder and Ashley Tanner, about a girl named Gemma who has the ability to see people’s true character at a single glance. Each post in the following blog series is one chapter of Illusions.[vc_empty_space]“Leave a message after the beep,” Gemma’s sweet words stung his ears.
“Gemma, I am so sorry I hurt you. I can explain, you just have to give me a chance. I really do love you.”
His calls and texts over the past week had been useless; she wasn’t responding. He understood why she was ignoring him, but the fact that he did love her and she didn’t know that destroyed him.
Elijah was on his way to work, where he was going to have to talk to Wolfgang about Gemma. He knew that even though he had failed, Wolfgang wasn’t going to give up on his conquest.
Elijah stopped at the coffee shop he first saw Gemma at, hoping she would be there. He waited in line to order his coffee and when it was his turn, a short girl with short black hair greeted him.
“Hi, what can I get for you?” she said half cheery and half annoyed.
“I’ll take a grande with 3 sugars and 3 cremes.”
“That’ll be $2.20.”
As Elijah took out his wallet and fished for some change in his pockets, he noticed the barista had a beautiful smile, and a mysterious aura.
Elijah took his coffee, and scanned the shop one more time hoping to see Gemma. Not to his surprise, she was nowhere to be seen. He reluctantly walked out in pursuit of the law firm.
His walked seemed quicker than usual, as he was lost in thought about the conversation to come. Seeing the steps of the firm startled him when he realized how distracted he was.
Wolfgang was waiting to greet him at his cubicle, the seriousness on his face showing that he meant business.
“Hello, Elijah,” he said with a knowing smile.
Elijah sat down at his desk and looked at Wolfgang, waiting for the punishment he knew was coming.
“Well, well, well,” he said, suddenly busying himself with the pen in his hands. He twirled it in his fingers and watched it intently as he spoke. “We have a situation on our hands, now, don’t we? She knows that you have been spying on her. The real question is: how much of what you know does she know?”
“I don’t know. I’ve left her a million voicemails and texted her more times than I can count. She definitely saw the files, but whether or not she read them, I have no idea.”
“Well, the only thing I know for sure is that you’re being taken off of your current assignment.”
The pain his words inflicted must’ve registered on his face, because Wolfgang tsked in response.
“C’mon, Elijah. You knew it was coming. She will never trust you enough after this — not to keep up with our current deadline. You know they’re getting impatient, and I’ve given you as much time as I can.” Elijah nodded dejectedly, and Wolfgang sighed tiredly. “Hey, you’re not completely off the case. You’re going to head up the team that will gather intel. You know her better than anyone else, as it is. First things first, though, we’ll need a profile of her for research purposes.
“I have hired someone to continue the research, but a little more… privately this time. Our biggest concern right now is figuring out how much she knows.”
“Well, she left in a hurry, so I don’t imagine that she got very deep into the file.” Elijah bit his tongue to hold back the truth: she knew what they were after. She’d always been observant, and it wouldn’t take much for her to guess. The pieces were all there; she just had to put them together before their motives were all too clear to her….
“How observant of you. We’d better hope you’re right. We don’t have much on her, but the less she knows the better for us.”
Wolfgang reached out his hand, and shook Elijah’s. Then, he headed back toward his office to move on to the next case; he didn’t see the worry etching itself into the frown on Elijah’s face, or his hands rubbing nervously against his pant legs. He didn’t know what Wolfgang was planning next for Gemma, but he’d been near the man long enough to know it wouldn’t be good. 
What do you think is going to happen to Gemma and Elijah? Leave comments and questions below.[vc_empty_space][vc_basic_grid post_type=”post” max_items=”10″ grid_id=”vc_gid:1454469099350-00db8451-a320-10″ taxonomies=”12779″]