La Revanche des Trois (The Revenge of Three) Chapter 11.2 #nanowrimo.org #WIP wc 24113

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Just in case you didn’t know this is for National Novel Writing Month.

La Revanche des Trois is a novel intent on giving you sensual noir.

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Chapter 11.5

“How do you know about this cafe?” she questioned after he seemed to expertly order two cups of Arabic Coffee and an order of Pistaschio Baklawa before sitting down across from her.

“I try not to spend all my time in front of a monitor and with anonymity I’m able to get out every once in a while. Plus his coffee is excellent.”

The waitress brought over two cups of coffee right at that time. She was glad again for the interruption because she felt just like the person he had just described.

“I’m more or less talking about myself,” he confessed after taking a sip of the thick roasted coffee. “I started getting out a couple of years ago. I felt the world was passing me by and I didn’t want to excerpt all my talent being attached to my monitor.”

She tasted the coffee and he was right. The brew was delicious. “I think I’m still attached to my monitor,” she admitted. “I feel more comfortable in front a monitor than being with anyone and anywhere.”

“You ever feel you might be in front of the monitor twenty years from now with a whole bunch of cats, some red bull and big glasses?”

Chuckling she said, “I guess I haven’t thought that far in advance.”

He suddenly changed the subject and started asking her about her past and what made her go into computers.

She forgot her nervousness and became comfortable. “My mother never could afford the uniforms so I had to wear used ones or the ones from lost and found.” Stefanie omitted the part about her mother using most of their money to buy alcohol or weed. She also never told about the salacious boyfriends who would try to come to her room when her mother was too drunk or passed out somewhere and they wanted to get more of what her mother couldn’t give. All the hiding at school, under beds, down fire escapes in the middle of the night or in closets for weekends at a time, Stefanie was an expert at hiding for long periods of times, erasing herself from the world until she felt it was safe to come out. “Almost every day after school, I was either picked on, beat on or something else. I would hide in the school until everyone was gone and then go home until my fifth grade computer teacher found me. He decided to teach me how to write with hyper markup language and I started writing games. By the time I was in high school, I taught myself using the public library and lots of training on my own to copycat programs. I didn’t even know I had fixed a problem Microsoft had been having with the operating system. They found me and that’s when life started getting just a little better for my mother and me.”

“Why did you decide to freelance instead of going with a company after college?”

“I’m not the office type and I work so well by myself.”

“I know what you mean,” he said and she truly felt his honesty.

“So tell me more about you, Axel?”

“Me?” he asked looking surprised she had asked this question. “Nothing much. I got into computers because my body decided not to catch up with me until I was in my twenties. Hiding in the school’s computer room instead of going to home was much better and I learned hacking in the early days because I never had the passwords to use the computers after school. Soon it wasn’t just school systems, there were other government systems I decided to break into just for fun until at fifteen years they almost caught up with me. It was a big scare but instead of stopping, I just got better until three years later I hacked into the Russian President’s computer and downloaded his emails just for fun. Two days later the CIA showed up at my door and said I hit the number one spot on the world hacking list. In return for help using my skills for good and getting lots of money for it, I pursued my Masters at Harvard and then my Ph.D. at M.I.T.” He cut part of the Baklawa and was about to put it toward his mouth, but stopped and held it towards her. “You ever had freshly made Baklawa, Stefanie?”

She shook her head.

“Go ahead. Taste.”

Leaning forward, she opened her mouth and let him place the sweet dessert inside her mouth. Once her lips closed around the fork he pulled the utensil away. Sticky dough with a taste of honey and Pistachio filled her mouth, still warm from the oven.

“Good?” he asked leaning forward on the table his unique eyes seeming to dance in delight. “So tell me more about your world, Stefanie. We sound so similar.”

Speaking about her every life with someone seemed foreign, but he was right, they were the same. Techie geeks who enjoyed the solitude of creating complex codes that made people work better and do things better on the computer.

It was a hard to explain the joy she received to just anyone, but he understood, sympathize and enjoyed her nuances that no one else in her world could. The rain had stopped but started up again in the time they stayed there while she was on her second cup of coffee. Her alarm on her phone went off to signal she had a conference call with a customer soon and needed to be at home.

“I can’t believe we’ve been here three hours,” she said.

“Time goes by when you’re having fun,” he said.

They both looked out the window as the rain seemed to come down more and more.

“My house is just a couple of blocks away,” she said.

“I could walk you,” he offered.

She would like that a lot.

La Revanche des Trois (Revenge of Three) – Chapter 11 (c) 2011 Sylvia Hubbard. All Rights Reserved.

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