That night Nigel lay snuggled up next to Sydney in his bed with the sheets twisted loosely around their bodies, unable to sleep and not the least bit tired. He had watched for hours as she scoured over every shred of information she could get her hands on in one day, exhausting herself to the point where he had to carry her into the bedroom. She was like a kid at Christmas, having nodded off about nine oíclock at the kitchen table, dozens of maps, biblical references and computer print outs beneath her. God, she even had their flight booked out of Boston non-stop for Istanbul the next evening! Pulling her back against the contour of his body he buried his face into her shiny black tresses, closed his eyes and inhaled. This would be the last night of peace they would share until they returned from Turkey... if they returned from Turkey.
His thoughts darted from the expectantly excited look on her face when she told him about this hunt, to their discussion about the various dangers and pitfalls they could very possibly encounter along the way. His least favourite being the PKK, or Kurdish Separatists. Now they were a most virulent group of lads, that was for certain...
"Sydney theyíre blood thirsty bandits for God sake! You realise in the past ten years theyíve probably killed over ten thousand innocent peo"e?" He argued.
"We arenít going to have a problem with them." She quickly assured him, dismissing his ardent declaration, and started to pluck volumes of books from the shelves. "Aaron said he had some sort of deal worked out where they would leave us to our work, if we left them to theirs."
"What? And, and you believe that?" He was very quickly losing all sense of reasoning and understanding as he followed close on her heels into the study carrying an arm full of research material she had just deposited in his lap. "Syd! These people are dangerous, very, very angry, and malicious to a fault... they donít discern between politicians or tourists! It, itís their JOB to murder masses of people who donít even have anything to do with them, just to further their cause!"
Sydney unexpectedly pivoted on her heel unbeknownst to Nigel, and he waltzed headlong right into her! In the fluster of movement that followed, he ended up dumping everything onto the floor at their feet. Good grief, she thought, and becoming impatient herself, immediately dropped down on her knees to retrieve the data. "Nigel, they are NOT the majority of the populous there anyway. I know itís going to be risky, but how can you possibly turn down a shot at Noahís Ark? Thatís worth the risk all by itself, and then some..." She explained, handing half of the books back to him. "Weíve been doing this sort of thing for over two years, it should be old hat to you by now."
"Sydney, Iíll never get used to the various levels of jeopardy we immerse ourselves in each time we go off an another hunt." His voice was soft and concentrated, drawing her attention from the books and papers to his worried eyes. "I was sure that things might start calming down by now. Isnít that what you wanted too?"
Sydney knew they had promised each other that from now on all risks would be weighed, judged, and if it proved to be more than they could both bear, the relic they were seeking would left to someone with not as much to lose. She had another, far more precious priority that required attention first before anything else now.
"Look, we didnít agree to stop altogether. Come on Nigel... itís in your blood too. I can see the thrill behind your eyes every time we get another relic to recover. Youíre as afflicted with the disease as I am, and you know once youíre bitten, itís forever. Thereís no cure for what we do. You know, I know it, and thatís why weíre going to do this!"
He let go of a mournful sigh. She was absolutely right...again. Taking the hunt away from Sydney was like asking an Eagle not to soar through the sky. The sad part about it was that he was just about as enamoured with relic hunting as she already was. It had become second nature to him now, and to be honest, he would have been a liar if he said he had wanted nothing to do with locating the Ark at all. The thrill of discovering one of the Bibleís holy relics such as this was a chance in a lifetime, to be certain. And there they sat on the floor of his study in that two-room apartment he called home, staring at each other with mischief dancing in their eyes. There was no getting out of this now. The die was cast.
He lovingly kissed the nape of her neck and held her so very close. It was almost three am, the alarm would be going off about five. Well God, he thought to himself, if weíre going to find Noahís Ark for the people of this planet...please, if you will, watch over us just a little extra this time?
Go to Part Three.