It was Cole, the hot guy from her initial interview at Loan Some. He was alone and dressed in an ensemble straight out of J.Crew. Vera suddenly felt grateful she was incognito.
“Sorry,” she muttered, keeping her head down. As if he’d even recognize her amidst all of the cognac-colored fur.
“No problem, Isadora,” he muttered back, before heading toward The Lord of the Rings section which featured a slew of different Frodos manning the area.
Isadora! Had he been tracking her?
“Excuse me, will you?” said Chip. “Calls nature.” He headed toward the restroom area which was clear across the other side of the center. At the rate he was walking, she expected him to be back in time for the next Star Wars movie installment.
Vera wandered over to The Lord of the Rings area, wondering if the literary ignoramus had only known the Tolkien series from the movies.
She purposefully bumped her furry shoulder against Cole’s. He looked up with a sly smile.
“Didn’t peg you as a comic book fan.”
“From the one conversation we ever had?”
“Alice in Wonderland went down a ferret hole?”
He looked left to right, making sure no one was watching them.
“We shouldn’t even be talking,” he said. “I’m just here to monitor you. Uncle Bruce sent me.”
“Bruce Kitchen is your uncle?”
“Yeah,” he continued. “My dad helped start the company a few years back after Uncle Bruce’s disastrous Oscar party. He passed away last year, so I kind of took over his role.”
Cole paused his story, his mouth gaping open, as a male Princess Leia walked past him, dressed in a bikini with his hairy stomach spilling out.
“Reluctantly,” he said. He shook his head, as if to shake off the image. “You’re doing fine, so far. We just want to make sure you don’t have any issues with this first assignment.”
“Thanks, I guess.” So much for a vote of confidence. Vera doubted James Bond ever had any backup following him around. Then, she stopped to question why she kept comparing herself to James Bond—why were there no literary female equivalents?
Soon, Vera noticed that The Lord of the Rings table was rather empty. All of the Frodos were gone. She spun around. Game of Thrones. The Avengers. Spiderman. All of these areas were rather depleted of people, too.
The roar of a crowd started to build, directing Vera’s attention to the center of the convention center, where a mob had congregated. She and Cole looked at each other ominously—although she realized she was Chewie looking at Cole ominously—before venturing toward the crowd.
Because Vera was already tall, and the padding in the feet of the Chewie costume gave her a one-and-a-half-inch lift, she had the perfect view of what was causing the commotion.