When the Feds Come Knocking
Mason Timeline Book 3 - Pt 2
This is the second installment of my in-progress time travel novel set in 2073. You can read the prologue and previous chapter here.
Any hope Vicente had of a peaceful drive home shattered into pieces as his car announced, “Call from Dalia. Do you wish to answer?”
His phone interface waited patiently as he let out a long sigh, his fingers gripping the steering wheel tighter.
“Yes,” he responded through gritted teeth.
It was her week with the baby and usually she left him alone on those weeks. There was no good reason for her to call him.
“Hey Dalia. Is everything okay?” he asked.
“Did you send someone over here to spy on me?” she hissed into the phone, the pitch making him wince.
Here we go again. Ever since she’d hired that lawyer of hers, it had been one stupid accusation after another. Are you seeing someone else, did you cancel my credit cards, did you tamper with my car? And now all of a sudden, it was a spy.
When Dalia had dropped papers on him, it was obvious she thought she’d be handed full custody without question. The baby was only six months old when she filed and probably figured that, as the mother, she would be the default caregiver. But she worked long hours as a nurse and her shifts fluctuated. Plus she didn’t have a support structure to watch the baby when she was at work.
Meanwhile, his work schedule was fixed and he had his mom to babysit whenever he needed. Dalia’s head about exploded when Vicente made it clear he wouldn’t be relegated to an occasional weekend visitor just she got bored with their marriage. Oh, excuse me… she was unfulfilled.
“No, I didn’t send someone to spy on you, Dal. Are you at home? Is someone creeping around the house?”
He tried to keep the smile out of his voice because he knew for a fact Dalia recorded all their phone calls, which was weird. Why she wanted a record of her acting like a hysterical lunatic was beyond him. What she absolutely wouldn’t be getting was a recording of him being hysterical. So he kept his cool, every time, through every accusation.
“Yes, there’s a creep flashing a badge at my front door asking for you!” she snapped.
At once, the smile dropped from his face. “What badge? FBI? Cops?”
He could hear her jostling the phone.
“Hold up your badge to the doorbell again, please!” she shouted, again making Vicente wince. A moment of silence followed, then, “It says Temporal Investigative Service. Are you sending some asshole from Warner after me?”
“What’s his name, Dalia?” he asked, needing to get off the phone with her and call his office about this. There was no reason for anyone from Warner to be asking about him.
“I didn’t see. It was Anit some-long-ass-Indian-name. And he can piss off because—”
“Dalia!” he nearly screamed, cutting off her tirade. “Tell the man to go wait in his car and I’ll be there in a few minutes. Where’s Julito?”
“It’s not your day until—”
“I’m not coming for the baby, Dalia. I’m coming to see the spook outside your door. Now where’s Julio?”
Finally understanding something was wrong, Dalia muttered, “Sleeping, where else would he be? I know you think I do nothing but party but I can tell you—”
“Just stay in the house with the door locked. If he tries to get in or doesn’t back away from the door, call the cops.”
The other end of the line was quiet for a minute, then he heard Dalia say, “Sir, my soon-to-be ex will be here in a few minutes. He says to wait in your car for him.”
“Will do,” a distant male voice replied.
Another moment of silence. “Okay, he’s going away,” she said. “What’s going on? Who is he?”
“I don’t know,” he answered, mostly honestly. “I’ll be there in about ten minutes. Just stay inside.”