Chapter 2 - Why Family Weddings Should be Avoided

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The phone's screen flashed into life and a poorly taken picture of the aforementioned cat stared back at her. After deciding that the price of an international call would be higher than her month's rent (or at least her electricity bill), she made the decision to text her boss.

Missed booked flight home. Organising alternative. Will update you when I know more. Can you feed the furball tonight please?

Cassie knew that Novel could be depended on to be annoyed. It had been hard enough to book the original required number of days off for this trip. God forbid anyone had lives outside the office!

Her eventual return to the office later in the week would then be met with an annoyed glare for the inconvenience she had caused him.

Mohammed's return interrupted her thoughts.

"The earliest ticket to England is in three days. However, I have managed to get us on a flight to Northern Ireland. It leaves from here in 3 hours' time and so I've got our bags all checked in," he explained quickly, gesturing her to follow him towards the security and passport control areas of the airport, "I am sorry you know. I know you wanted to get home on time."

"Thanks for sorting it out," Cassie replied with a smile, "you managed to get the family off my back yesterday because of the offer. I think that more than makes up for this!"

They shared a mutual chuckle.

"If you're interested, there will be about 7-8 hours before we're able to get a connecting flight out. The woman at the desk advised that it might just be quicker to hop on a ferry. So I left booking the transfer flight for now."

"That makes sense," Cassie replied, "It will be fun to have of a bit of a sightseeing if we're having an unplanned delay there."

They made their journey to duty free relatively successfully and they quickly found somewhere to eat. About half-way through the meal, Mohammed disappeared for a long while to the loo. She used this opportunity to check her phone.

There was a message, and it was from Novel.

The cat will be fed. What is your flight number?

With a couple of clicks, she had armed Novel with the ability to stalk her for the next few hours. Hopefully that should keep him happy and at least the cat would get fed....

"I phoned ahead," Mohammed explained, noticing Cassie had spotted a sign with his name on, "A business associate of mine owed me a favour. He agreed to pick us up as I have to discuss a potential project with him anyway, saves trying to get a Skype call to connect."

"That makes sense. If I could beg that we locate coffee before we leave the airport though please? I could really do with caffeine being injected directly into my bloodstream – but an espresso will suffice."

The pair headed towards the awaiting blur of signs and faces. Mohammed steered them towards his name – which was being held by a smartly dressed man who was tall and has slowly thinning dark brown hair.

"I'm Steven," introduced the stranger, "sorry to hear about your flight troubles and many thanks for allowing me to take some time out of your day so that I may speak with your cousin."

"It's no trouble," she replied, shaking the offered hand.

"There is a cafe truck just by the taxi rank," suggested Mohammed, pointing in the required direction before pulling out a rumpled 20 from his pocket, "do you mind grabbing 2 white coffees and what-ever you need while we load the car please?"

She looked to Steven, who nodded in agreement to the suggested coffee order and she headed over the source of her next caffeine hit.

"Have you managed to sort out a connecting flight?" Cassie inquired as they headed towards a smart black Mercedes, trying not to spill the 3 slightly overfilled cardboard cups of steaming coffee.

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