Jai eyed Marie as she hustled around the room, getting ready for Bible study. His hands itched to snatch up the laptop lying nearby but he needed to be patient.
No need to arouse her suspicions.
Marie stopped in front of the mirror then turned to him. "I'm leaving, Honey. I'll be back in a few hours. Do you need anything while I'm out?"
"No, I'm good, thanks. Hope you have fun with your little friends."
At her annoyed frown, he dazzled her with a smile. Wouldn't due to risk a delay by sniping. "Aw, come on, you know I didn't mean anything. It's just the whole church thing..."
"Well, you could come along and see what it's all about." At his eye roll she shrugged. "That's fine but if you ever want to, let me know." Pulling out her car keys, she gave him a wave.
He stared after her, intrigued. Gone were the disapproving glares and long-suffering sighs. She'd even quite bugging him about how much time he spent on-line. Ever since she started going to that weird place next to the lumberyard, something had changed.
She seemed peaceful.
But even better, it freed him from her eagle eyes to pursue his own interests.
His obsession had rolled like a snowball racing down a mountain, picking up momentum. And grown to avalanche proportions as he ventured further into the dark side. Thank goodness Marie was too wrapped up in her own thing.
She would hardly approve since she'd gotten all churchy.
But a man had a right to a hobby, didn't he? It just so happened that pornography "interested" him.
Jai flipped open the laptop and began loading programs, unwilling to waste precious time on Marie. His email notification dinged and he frowned at the subject line as a message popped up:
Special Offer-Free Trip
Finger poised over the "delete" button, he decided it wouldn't hurt to take a look. Probably just spam...
You can have the trip of a lifetime. And it's free!
We've noticed your frequent visits to our sites and just want to say "Welcome". Please continue to enjoy yourself and details about the offer will be forthcoming.
Jai shrugged as he noticed the return address of firstname.lastname@example.org and decided that it must be some group that monitored his surfing history.
Nothing alarming about that.
Soon lost in the pursuit of his favorite pastime, Jai forgot about the email. As well as the time, until the grandfather clock in the hallway bonged. He let out a yelp when he realized Marie would be home any minute and hurried to remove evidence of his illicit travels.
Just never knew when she might get nosy.
He was about to shut down when another email arrived. "High Priority" filled the subject line with a red exclamation point glowing next to the return address:
"What kind of joke is this?" he muttered, cheeks flushing red as his temper began to simmer.
Had Marie given out his address to one of her kooky church friends? How dare she back door him like that! He clicked on the email, determined to gather ammunition for a confrontation.
I know you're about to hit delete but just give me a few minutes of your time.
First off, Marie had nothing to do with this so don't blame her. She has gotten to know me but has no idea that I planned on contacting you.
I've grown concerned about your on-line activities and in light of the email a few hours ago; decided the time had come:
We need to talk.
The trip that "The Team" is offering is a one-way ticket to Hell. They too have been tracking your movements and have hooked you up through lies and deception.
And there will be no turning back.
We have battled against the enemy, fighting for your soul in the heavenlies but you must do your part.
Do not give in.
If you board their train bound for destruction, it will derail your eternal destiny.
Please get back to me-your life is at stake.
Jai let out a whoop. "Oh, that's rich. An email from God. And he's worried about me going to Hell." He hit "delete", still chuckling. "Gotta hand it to those church folks: they almost had me going for a minute."
And in Heaven, God moved Jai's contact information to a different folder.
One labeled "Follow-Up in One Month".
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