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(If you missed part 1 and want to start there – read it HERE)

John couldn’t believe this was happening. He’d tried to convince her not to make such a hasty decision but hoped she’d keep to resolve and join him. She did and before he knew it, they were at the terminal booking a flight for Switzerland or anything nearby that left the fastest. As luck would have it, there was a flight L.A., to New York, to London and then to Rome, leaving in an hour. The ticket price was outrageous but John paid thinking more about Angela than the money.


They had stopped by her place, she’d packed a bag, and they were off. Amazingly, she’d only taken about 15 minutes. One more thing to like about her. The terminal mall was abuzz with people from every corner of the globe. John was so transfixed by the grin on Angela’s face they all faded to obscurity.


“What are you smiling at?” she asked coyly.


He hadn’t realized he was smiling back. “Just you… this,” he said. “I still can’t believe you’re here.”


“Now don’t you go get any wild ideas,” she said flirtatiously.


“I’d never…” he said, clearly faking it. His mind was racing with the “what-ifs.” And that faded to conversation as they talked. He learned about her childhood, her parents, and her first pet. He hung on every word she said. Before they knew it, they heard the call for their flight. The jaunt across the country in air as well as across the ocean to London was just as appealing as their time in the terminal had been. John found himself skipping the drinks, forgetting about his Nicotine gum, and lost in her dark brown eyes more and more.


After a short layover in London, they were off to Rome. They talked until they were too tired to. She even snuggled up next to him as she drifted off to sleep. It was a wonderful dream, one that was shaken back to reality as they crossed the Alps on their way to Rome.


The flight attendants had assured everyone it was just a bit of turbulence but something else was clearly wrong. There were hushed whispers about a storm. Amidst several large bumps, Angela had gripped John’s hand tightly. His heart raced, fearing the worst. Then the captain came over the speaker and explained due to turbulence they’d need to land prematurely in Bologna, Italy at Guglielmo Marconi Airport.


After a very bumpy descent, they landed safely amidst heavy rain. Most of the other passengers were outraged since they were so far from their destination. John and Angela were just glad to be safe. Their silver lining was that this had them closer to Switzerland. But for now, all they wanted was a bed to sleep in.


Through a series of broken English directions, they found a motel that was open and had a room – one. Getting up to it, they entered and stared at the small Euro accommodations, especially the single, small bed. Angela just dropped her bag, kicked off her shoes and yawned.


Well… no funny business Mister,” she said and laid down.


He hated to assume anything but when she gave him a nod he followed suit. There wasn’t nearly enough room for a “your side-my side” split, especially to maintain any modesty. That didn’t seem to bother Angela because she was asleep before John finished getting his shoes off.


That night Angela seemed to sleep sweetly, hardly moving a muscle all night. John on the other hand was tormented. All he could see was fire. Fire everywhere. He awoke with a jolt in the middle of the night. Peering around the room in the darkness he forgot where he was. It wasn’t until he heard Angela’s breathing next to him that he remembered. He chalked it up to past experiences and went back to sleep. At first he thought it’d be hard to do but then Angela turned over and snuggled into him. Her head on his chest calmed his racing pulse immediately. He was asleep in moments.


Morning came and he received a very cute grin from her when she woke. Before he could say anything she said, “I saw a bus depot on the way over here, I bet they can take us to Switzerland.”


Slightly disappointed but still enthralled in the overall enterprise, he replied, “I bet.”


They put their shoes back on, grabbed their bags, and left the room. Just like before, John heard his name as he was turned to lock a door. Knowing she was nearby he wasn’t startled. He just turned but was shocked to see Angela was right behind him. Before he could speak, she grabbed him, grinning, and gave him a passionate kiss. Once over, he looked at her blankly, the grin still on her face, “We better get going, we have a long way till Switzerland.”


Like a puppy, he followed her out. Was this really happening? John felt happy. This was a new feeling for him. Normally, he just trudged along through the grit and grime of the “war” he helped the church fight. But ever since she’d stopped him at his door two days prior, his spirits were lifted.


The bus depot did have a route to Geneva so they bought tickets and hopped aboard. The scenery was grand. They stopped and had lunch at a little café along the way. John couldn’t believe how happy he was feeling. He’d forgotten about everything. All that mattered right now was Angela.


Stopping over in Turin jarred them both back to reality a bit. During the drive through town, suddenly to road was swarming with cops. It halted traffic for an eternity. The driver called to cabbies and the like if they knew what was wrong. No one seemed to know. The driver turned on the radio. In an instant he exclaimed, “Madre di Dio!” The passengers hushed as he turned up the volume. Everyone looked horrified. People crossed themselves with the sign of the Cross. One old woman started crying.


John looked imploringly at the man seated next to them. He had spoken some English to them before. “What’s happened?”


The man looked horrified. “The Shroud of Turin has been stolen!” So much for a quiet vacation.


End of Installment


If you missed part 1 – read it HERE

To read part 3 – GO HERE

If you liked this and would like to read the complete prequel, Angelkiller, go HERE