So far so good. Her GPS directed her back to town, and she slowed down as she entered the city limits. She had to proceed cautiously. She knew there were cameras at the gym, her apartment and Tucker’s house. When she was ready, she’d lure the Monster out of sight of those cameras, and she would point her gun and this time pull the trigger. She knew he wouldn’t have hesitated to do the same in the past. She was just damn lucky he had a love affair with whiskey.
She drove past Tucker’s house, and the front door hung open. Her heart sank. She continued down the street to her apartment, and she was relieved that her own car was still parked in the lot. A part of her wanted to go to her apartment, go to the place she called home recently, but then she remembered the images from the camera. The smashed flowers. The flowers that Mr. Goodlooking personally delivered to her.
Ugh, the pain in her chest increased in intensity. She couldn’t think of that. She looked for the sedan that she had seen drive past the gym, and she found it parked about a block behind the gym.
She parked behind it, and curiosity got the best of her. She did not see him anywhere near, so she looked through the windows of the disgusting sedan. Yuck. Fast food wrappers, empty water bottles, a whiskey bottle sticking out from under the driver’s seat, maps, and loose sheets of paper strewn about. She only imagined how it would wreak of whiskey and him and rotting food.
After another look around, she tried the door handle. To her surprise it was unlocked. She opened the door and the awful blast of stink assailed her nostrils. She walked around to the back and opened the trunk.
She was frozen in place when she saw its contents. Duct tape, rope, knives.
Ugh, she was going to lose her mind. She began to get light headed again.
No. She had to pull herself together. Passing out at the enemy’s feet was not an option. She willed her heart to beat, for the blood to return to her limbs, and forced deep breaths until she was no longer light headed.
She slammed the trunk shut and returned to her, well not really hers, but the Durango she was, well, sorta renting for the day. She took a picture of the Monster’s sedan and texted it to the Monster. “I’m here. Where are you?”
She turned her Durango around so she could drive off in a different direction than the gym, but parked at an angle so she could still see its back door. She wanted him to follow her out of town. Anywhere but here. She knew Boss and Tucker would be looking for her, and she didn’t want to be found.
Her phone bleeped again. She had missed about 20 calls from Tucker and Boss. She knew they were not going to be happy, and she could not let them find her before she had finished her plan.
Then came the text she was looking for. She opened it up and it was a picture of the basement of the gym and a gas can. It looked as though there was liquid spilled across the floor. “You or him, Ann. You decide.”
“I’m here. Come and get me.” Was her reply.
The seconds ticked away and her heart began to race.
She knew she was running out of time. She needed to get him out of the gym. She got out of the Durango, grabbed her gun, stuck it under the hoodie, and headed to the back door of the gym.
She opened it, incredibly carefully, and when no one jumped out at her, she poked her head in. The smell of gasoline filled her nostrils, the fumes thick. “I’m here! Reginald, I’m here.” It took way more effort than necessary to just get those words out, and her brain swirled.
“They will see us here. We have to get away. Please come get away with me.” The words burned her tongue, soured her stomach. She heart the footsteps coming up the stairs, and she knew she would meet her nightmare in just a matter of seconds. She backed away from the door.
When he approached, he looked even worse than she remembered. His hair was a mess, his clothing was crumpled, he was sweating profusely, and the combined odor of BO and whiskey breath made her nauseous.
“I knew you’d come crawling back to me. You always loved me. I’m too good for you, but if you beg I could take you back.”
Good. He was drunk. This should help her. She noticed he had an athletic bag over his shoulder, and hoped it was heavy enough to slow him down.
“Let’s cross the street. There is a park just behind these houses. Then we can…. Catch up?” she tried to use her most convincing voice possible.
She heard Tucker’s bike in the distance and knew time was of the essence. “Follow me” she said, and started at a quick pace across the street. She wove between a couple of homes and came to the end of the wildlife area behind the park. She kept going across the prairie grass, and when she looked back, she saw that he was indeed following. This might work after all.
She picked up the pace, and made it to the relative safety of the woods. She knew just a few feet in and she would be invisible to the passing traffic. She just needed him to hurry up! The bike was closer, just a few blocks away. He stumbled his way to the edge of the forest, a disgusting smirk on his face. She couldn’t wait to be done looking at that smirk.
She saw a small clearing abut twenty feet into the woods, and she was surprised to see a stash of things way out here – what appeared to be a pair of sleeping bags and a cooler. As she got closer, she saw a movement out of the corner of her eye. A sharp crack to the back of her head, and she was out…
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