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Could she eat? Could she drink? She had no clue, but she was definitely not hungry.

Glancing out at the busy parking area, she watched several big trucks pull out as two more rumbled up to the fuel tanks. It was a whole different world and it felt safe for now. If the professor was still out there, she did not sense him. Maybe she had imagined his presence. But then again, he had said he would be watching her.

Playing with a sugar packet, she wondered how Pete was. He had not looked as bad as the crazy hag she was pretty sure she had killed. It somewhat bothered her that she felt no remorse for taking the woman's life, yet at the same time she couldn't figure out why she should. Pete was a sweetheart and she did feel bad about what happened between them. But the batshit crazy lady just did not make her feel bad. She had been food, smelly, gross food, but food. Beyond that, she had been a homicidal maniac on her way to kill her ex-husband and steal her kids.

Amaliya had a feeling that her morals were slipping fast and that she wasn't thinking clearly. But at the same time, it felt good to not really care. If she was going to have to feed, then she shouldn't have to feel bad, right?

But, still, poor Pete.

And she didn't even want to think about all those people at that party.

The coffee cup was set down in front of her abruptly. It rattled around on the saucer, before Rhonda poured the hot dark liquid into it.

“Thanks,” Amaliya said with a small smile.

Rhonda just gave her a long look, then walked away clutching the coffee pot. Amaliya stuck her tongue out at the woman's wide hips and watched as Rhonda began to refill the coffee cups at a table full of drivers. The waitress smiled for them and flirted a bit.

Amaliya made a face and began to tear open little blue packets of sweetener to pour them into the coffee.

“My name is Rob,” a voice boomed behind her.

She turned and looked at a huge man. His shirt was stretched over his enormous stomach and his face was jowly.

“I hear you are looking for a ride?”

“To Dallas, right. ”

“Okay, I can give you a lift that far. Then I'm heading up to Wichita Falls. ”

She smiled. “Do we need to go now?”

“Finish your coffee up and I'll meet you outside. Mine is the big blue truck right there. ” Rob pointed, his expression a mixture of pride and nerves.

“Okay, great! I'll be right out. ”

Nodding, the big man lumbered down to the cashier, his white ticket clutched in his hand.

Looking down at her coffee, Amaliya considered it, then slowly picked up the cup. Gingerly, she took a sip and let the hot fluid glide down her throat. It burned a little, but it seemed to settle down inside of her without an issue. Taking another slow sip, she looked up to see Rob disappear out the door, and she sighed with relief. She just needed to reach Dallas tonight, then Eastland tomorrow. It was a short drive from Eastland to the small town of DeLeon where her Grandmother lived. She could probably call her cousin Sergio for a ride.

Raising her hand, she motioned to Rhonda. The waitress sighed dramatically, and headed over to her. Obviously, Rhonda thought she was a hooker or something terrible from her expression on her face and her irritation.

“I need the check. ”

“Rob took care of it. Says he's giving you a ride,” the waitress said in such a way that the word “ride” took on a whole new connotation.

“Yeah. To see my grandmother. ” Amaliya stood up and glared at the woman. To her surprise, the older woman stepped back, looking startled. “I hope he didn't tip you. You've been a total bitch. ”

Brushing past the woman, Amaliya headed out.

Stalking across the hot parking lot, she gave Rob a quick wave. She was used to people treating her differently because of her tats and her piercings, but the woman could have given her a freaking break.

“Thanks for the ride,” she said to the big man. She tossed her bag up into the cab.

“Need help?” Rob offered.

“Nah, I got it. ”

She grabbed the handhold and lugged herself up into the seat. The special hydraulics in the seat shifted under her and she settled into the surprisingly comfortable chair.

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