On the Run p. 49

She hated lying to him, but staying here wasn’t doing anybody any good.  While in the shower, she received a text from an unknown number “Last chance, babe.  It’s either you or him.  One of you has got to go.

He was hell bent on catching her.  She had asked Boss about her handgun last night, and he had fished it out for her no questions asked.  She packed her purse with the gun and a few other things she might need, and asked for her phone back.  This was the last day for Mr. Monster.  Even if she spent the rest of her life in jail she would know that people she loved wouldn’t be hurt because of him, because of her.  Life wouldn’t be worth living if the reverse came true.

A little lie.  He can cast her away soon enough.  At least he’d be alive to do so.

It didn’t take long and they were on the road.  They hopped on his motorcycle and headed in the direction of a little town, and she fleetingly fantasized about returning safely to the apartment she called home, taking lessons from the man she was falling in love with, building her career back one project at a time.

An unsettling feeling washed over her when she realized that would never ever come true.  When she committed to what she knew needed to be done, there were no second chances.  She had stuck the gun in her purse, and she had gotten her cell back from Taylor.  She had everything she could possibly need to do it; she just needed to commit.

She felt her muscles clench in reaction to the thought.  She was thankful for the motorcycle ride so that she didn’t have to carry a conversation.  She wasn’t a very good liar, and she was sure he would read right through her.  She used every second of that ten minute ride to plan her next moves.

She looked in the review mirror.  Sure enough, Boss was tailing them in his trusty old pickup truck.  She learned to drive a manual shift as a teenager, and she was hoping those skills would come back easily, like riding a bike.  She knew that attempting to ride the motorcycle as a getaway vehicle was probably not the best idea.  She would need to get Boss out of his truck, too, so she could take his…

They pulled into the tiny little gas station and headed indoors.  Boss pulled up behind them, and she willed him into the store.   Despite her best efforts at ESP he stayed parked in his truck.  This was not going to be easy.  She did notice that the restrooms of this old tin shed were still the kind you had to go around the side of the building for.  That could work, she thought hopefully.

She grabbed a box of awkward female items and headed up to the check outs.  Tucker stood back a few feet, letting her do her thing, but not leaving her alone.  When her items were paid for, she announced she needed to use the restroom.  She went around back and was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of teenage girls, talking about prom and boyfriends and the party that night.

She told them she had a terrible emergency and needed to borrow their vehicle.  She held up a one hundred dollar bill as payment and told the teenagers that they could even hold her wallet as proof that she would be right back shortly.  The girls eyed up the hundred dollar bill, looked suspiciously at the wallet as if it contained more, and reluctantly agreed.  They handed over their keys.

Hope sprung in her chest for the first time in years.

Good.  Now she just needed a diversion.  She was certain Tucker would be just outside the door, but she needed to get to the girls’ Durango.  She grabbed her nearly empty purse, stuck the Durango keys inside, and headed back to the bike.  Just as they were about to hop on, she remembered that she left her female things in the restroom.

He saw the funny look on her face, and he asked, “Everything ok?”

“Yeah, yeah, I, uhm.  I just forgot the goods back in the restroom…  I’ll be right back.”

He stared at her, right through to her soul, and her heart nearly broke.  She gave him a kiss, right there in public, and he returned the kiss, wrapping his arms around her waist, right there in front of Boss and the whole world.  Maybe he did like her back.  Maybe he could love her back.

Nope.  Doesn’t matter.  He can find love with someone else, when he was still alive to do so. And she was going to make sure of that.

She jogged around the side of the building.  She heard the bike fire up, so she rounded the corner she sprinted over to the Durango, hopped in, fired it up, and left the station at a normal speed, hoping to not attract any attention.  When the wheels hit the pavement of the highway, she hammered it down.  No doubt it would only take a minute or so for the boys to figure her out, and they weren’t going to waste any time catching back up with her.  She took a side road in an attempt to lose her imminent tail and hoped to God that her cell phone’s GPS would be able to navigate her back to town.  She had no natural sense, no north or south, and she definitely wasn’t familiar with the area…

It felt good to hammer it down, freeing, and she was back in control of her future.  She rolled down the window.  She loved the feel of the wind in her hair, similar to how it flowed on the back of the bike.

But she would never get to wrap her arms around him again.  Once he realized that she had lied to him, he would be done with her.  Done with the woman who brought a monster into his life that vandalized his home and lied to him.

She saw a hooded sweatshirt in the back seat left behind from the girls and knew that would be helpful.  She sat it in her lap knowing that she couldn’t carry the gun in her purse for much longer.  She would need to stick it in her pants, and the hoodie would help cover the bulk.

Now to find the Monster.

She knew that wouldn’t be difficult.  He would want to find her; she would just have to make herself available.  However, if she just threw herself on him he would be suspicious.  She needed to have the upper hand this time.  She needed to be the predator, the one that lured him into a corner, not the other way around…

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