8 The commander is in charge

Aisling and Astila is at the airport to pick up her uncle. She is caught between excitement and dread at his arrival. He is her hero, there is no one like him. Standing at six feet four inches he has stayed in peak shape . Most men his age have a spare tire so to speak. Not her uncle he has stayed in perfect condition. As a Lieutenant Colonel in the army he demands respect at all times. Except from the two people he considered his. His wife and Aisling. They were the only two allowed to see his soft spot. Only a few were allowed to call him anything but commander or by his full rank title. Aisling see him and her aunt walking towards them. Without notice she squealed and took off running. Steve catches her as if she is a small child holding her tight. Her feet dangling off the ground. They stand like that for several moments not caring about anyone around. Astila is standing there in shock. He has never seen the commander like this . He only knows the hard nosed expecting nothing but total compliance and obedience from those around him. No emotions shown ever. Looking at the petite woman beside him. He has met the small Korean lady on several occasions. She is as beautiful as a lotus. Perfect and ladylike in every way. Her almond shaped eyes get a glint in them as she smiles at her husband and niece.

" ok that's enough , it's my turn to get a hug. " she smacks her husbands arm for him to put her down . When Aisling's feet hit the floor she is embraced by her aunt. The sweet smell of jasmine fills her nose and tears begin to form. Her happiness is overflowing at them being here. Astila bows to the woman and then turns to solute the commander. After picking up the luggage and getting on the highway. Steve received a call.

" speak " all you hear of the conversation is a series of hmm . Hearing this everyone in the car knew that this was not a normal call.

" People find us a spot where the ladies can get out and stretch their legs." Making sure to look at his wife and niece with a firm look . Seeing this look they knew not to argue.

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" how about we go to Haleoni's restaurant for lunch. You guys can talk while we go catch up with her." Aisling suggests.

" that will be perfect .Cookie give Mr People the address. " at hearing He Jinn calling the commander Cookie Astila could not stop his chuckle.

" young man you better not be laughing at my nickname for my husband. I may be small but I can take you out in a second." She warns. With that Aisling burts our laughing her giggles even made the commander laugh. He glances in the rear view mirror to look at her . Her red hair shimmering and eyes sparking. This is the first time she did not have it in a braid since meeting her. He noticed that her hair is curly and the way it frames her face gives her a more childlike look. The commander clears his throat letting the young man know he has been caught.

They turn into the restaurant and the ladies get out.

" Terry called they got the guy on the cameras this morning. This is one very disturbing person. They don't know where he actually lives but they have him walking past the store on 340 and at the different hideouts. He is hiding out in the barn now. Terry said he is very good with a knife he dropped a woodpecker out of a tree just by throwing it. Then the twisted dude finished the job and seems to like the taste of raw blood. " the sound of the commanders voice is not as curt as he is used to. You can hear the concern in his voice. He gives him a look before speaking.

" I think that this man is angry that his places have been discovered and cleaned out. Him hiding out in the barn I don't like but I don't want him to know we are on to him yet. Other than the evidence at the hideouts there is nothing that can tie him to the actual killings only that he had been in those places. He has never hurt Aisling so we only have stalking . That won't put him away for long. We need to try to catch him doing something to make sure he can never come near her again. Having him think you are here for the birth of the new baby is a good cover. We can say I showed up because of my work at Hopkins at your suggestion since we have known each other for so long. Let him think we have no idea what he is up to . Like nothing really has changed. " Astila waits for the commander to answer.

" that sounds like a good plan . I will make sure one of us is always by her side. My wife may be small but she is deadly at hand to hand. It would be hard for someone even with training to get over on her. Aisling is a good shot with a gun but not much else. We don't know how he will react with his stuff gone and not being able to get to her. So stay alert. Now let's go inside to have a wonderful meal." The gentlemen go inside to join their ladies. The commander looks at the ex soldier . They can discuss his feeling for his niece when this is over.

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