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Chapter Four


I’d never seen the motel parking lot crammed with so many vehicles: cars, trucks, and vans.

“There she is!” a man shouted from across the road as he stood outside the motel.

A bright flash of light erupted once, twice, and before I could count how many more times, I realized Harper had stopped walking and shielded her face.

Vehicle doors began opening and slamming shut.

Men on foot with cameras and camcorders rushed toward us.

“Quick, my car.” I grabbed her free hand that wasn’t shielding herself and hurried her to my truck.

I dug my keys out of my pocket as we rushed to the passenger side. I opened the door for her and slammed it shut as the men poured into the bar parking lot.

Who the hell were they? I didn’t wait around to ask or find out.

I jogged around to the driver’s side, climbed into the truck, and started the engine.

“Please get me out of here,” her voice quivered as she spoke.

She didn’t need to tell me twice.

Yanking on my seatbelt, I put the truck into reverse, hightailing it out of the parking lot, my wheels squealing in the process.

“Thank you,” her words were soft. Her voice seemed fragile.

I left a trail of dust behind me as we drove away from the bar in a hurry. No one followed us, at least not yet. I took the mountain pass north. “Where do you want me to take you?”

Her motel had been a shitty dump. The place was known for bedbugs and not many visitors. How it stayed open was beyond me.

“Someplace quiet where they won’t find me.”

Who exactly werethey?


I drove north on the mountain pass and headed for the restaurant. The place was quiet and deserted. There wouldn’t be anyone stopping by or bothering us.

“Sure.” I didn’t push with questions. At least not yet.

Every so often, I glanced in the rearview mirror, making sure that we weren’t being followed.

In the distance, headlights shined in my rearview mirror. I hit the gas harder, pushing up the mountain faster. Thankfully the snow had recently melted, and while there had been some muddy days, the weather had been dry and sunny recently.

I turned off the mountain pass toward the restaurant and shut off the headlights.

“How can you see?” Harper asked, staring at the road in front of us.

I couldn’t see a damned thing. I slowed to a crawl but didn’t stop. I needed to be careful.

I’d driven this path thousands of times in the dark, but never without headlights. I inched forward, familiar with the path.

Trees surrounded us on both sides of the road, making it difficult to see anything in front of us. The new moon offered no light, but the trees would have hidden it anyhow.

I waited.

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