“Not like that,” Ellie said. “Let me do it. We have to be sure about the timer. I don’t want to get caught in the blast. Now don’t give me that look. I’m only doing this for the money. I don’t know how else I’d put Ingrid through college. If you didn’t piss away…Well, I won’t get into that. You know I’ve never liked conflict.”
He knew what she liked and didn’t like very well. They had been married for twenty years and even though divorced for three, they always talked when he picked up and dropped off Ingrid. He liked these talks, and didn’t mind if she used them as an opportunity to point out his faults. He still loved her, that was the truth of it, he thought. She’d always been better at the planning aspect of their business. He knew, when they split up, that he wouldn’t make a go of it on his own, and he had tried importing fruit and, when that failed, selling books, and when that failed…well there was no sense rehashing it all again.
One of their old clients had contacted him, and he had appealed to Ellie to go in on this one with him, secretly hoping that working together, which had always been their best times, would rekindle her feeling for him. He thought it might be working. The problem was that he hadn’t been able to figure out how to get the bomb in place without blowing one of them up. The question was, which one?
Ingrid needed Ellie more, he had to admit that to himself, but he also had to admit that he wasn’t really all that selfless. And she was going off to college, so she was embarking on her own life, and really didn’t need either of her parents in the way she had as a child. And he was very fond of Ellie, and really hoped that they’d have one last blast together.
If it was successful, and he lived, he could take up one of the offers he’d had for either conducting training operations in the Middle East or as an operative in Russia. His language skills were a bit rusty. It just wouldn’t be the same without her, but he’d survived the first divorce. He’d just have to make it through this one, too.