The rain beat against my kitchen window blocking my view of the reporters sitting on my lawn. The nightmare was back. Last night I managed to slip in through the back, as I had done countless times when Jeremy had first gone missing. When he was declared dead I thought all this madness would have stopped. Instead, I found myself reliving the last year. In front of me, my coffee sat neglected. No longer steaming it had cooled off to the point of ice coffee. I poured it out and made another. My chest felt tight. The walls seemed to close in around me. The prison that was my house began to swallow me.
I grabbed my keys then locked up as I sprinted across the back yard. Behind me, I could hear the vultures up front murmuring to themselves. Crunching and snap sounds from a camera flash seemed to echo across the yard. The further I got away from my house the better I felt. My chest loosened and my breath evened.
The hat on my head hung just above my eyes. Rain rolled off of my rain jacket in little balls. A mile from my house I reached my car. Inside it was cold and smell like musty dirt. The windshield wipers pushed sheets of water off to the sides. I turned the heater and the radio up then turned down the street towards nowhere. After a few minutes of driving down Evergreen, I decided to find somewhere to eat. My stomach was empty and protested against it.
I chose a restaurant with dark lighting and no televisions on Tanasbourne. The beer filled my belly and warmed me from the inside. The waiter was polite asking me every so often if I wanted something more than beer. I ordered potato skins sans bacon. She wrinkled her nose and said, “The bacon makes it.”
I snorted. “I don’t eat meat.”
She nodded then added, “We have a great tofu dish.”
I waved a hand at her. My temper going from cool to angry. She must have noticed cause she turned on her heel without uttering another word.
Aside me was an attractive man smiling at me. It had been awhile since I had the attention of the opposite sex. I winked. Flirting had always come easy for me. My conquest raked his eyes over the exposed parts of my body. The rest is hidden by the table and the dark. I rested my chin in my hand giving him my best smile. I hoped it was enough indication for him.
“Hey.” he said in a deep voice.
His dark brown eyes seemed warmed. I liked his plump lip smile. I warmed a little at my boldness when I invited him to take a seat.
“I noticed you when first walked in.” he smiled.
I looked down the way that girls often do when they are trying to hide their blush. It was a ruse, though. There was no blush.
“What’s your name?” I asked using my soft Elizabeth Taylor voice.
I smiled warmly then took a quick drink of my beer. I would need strength if I was going to take this further. This was everything I needed for the moment. I no longer wanted to be alone or feel this emptiness. He leaned forwards placing his elbows on the table. A smile pulling at his lips as his eyes lifted from my breast. I shifted in my seat, to give the illusion that I was getting turned on. This was a game after all. One that I was not used to, but I could play.
“Married?” he pointed to my left hand.
I snorted. “The damn thing won’t come off. The husband is gone.”
He nodded. I watched as his tongue darted out licking his lips.
“Wanna get out of here?” I said not wanting to continue the conversation. I needed to get this done and over with as soon as possible. The longer that we sat here the better the chances that someone would recognize me.
“Hell yes.” he said huskily.
Things escalated fast after we walked through his front door. He pushed me hard against the wall, and I shoved my hands down his pants. After I sucked in a breath I realized this was a mistake, but it was too late. My blouse was on the floor, my jeans were somewhere in the dark and Tommy was on his knees in front of me.
“Your legs are so soft.” He ran his lips over my knee and along my thigh.
I shifted my weight as he hoisted my leg over his shoulder.
“Been a long time baby?”
“Yes.” I whispered. My head fell back, a soft hiss erupted from my throat when his lips made contact between my legs.
“You taste so damn good.” He growled burying his face against me.
My fingers dug deep into his hair. This was what I needed. Emotionally and physically I had been neglected and torn apart. It was refreshing to finally feel pleasure rock through me. After we had sex I let Tommy hold me until he fell asleep, and when I heard him softly snoring I removed myself from his bed and got dressed. The crisp night air burned in my lungs on my way to my car. Inside the glove compartment, my phone vibrated. I signed looking at the screen. Clayton.
“Where are you?”
“Did the world stop moving because I disappeared?”
I said then quickly wished I had been able to take it back. That was stupid of me.
In a low growl he said, “We are at your house with a warrant.”
The car roared to life. Ignoring the speed limits I drove as though my ass was on fire.
“There was physical evidence in the car. Dammit if you had just stayed put I could have talked to you about this.” He sighed into the phone.
“How far away are you?”
“I’m turning off of Evergreen onto Hazel now. I’ll be on foot.”
“Still parking a mile away.”
“You’re car is in the driveway.”
“I have a rental.”
“Sometimes Samantha I wonder about you.”
I understood his meaning behind that. Only Clayton knew about my brother and his shady past. A lot of what I knew about avoiding the press came from him. In fact, Clayton had gone beyond the call of duty hiding my brother’s secrets. The court order had been easy enough given John’s military record, but the rest had been a struggle. Never convicted of criminal charges, he was well known for taking a “suspect” out no matter the cost. Jason Bourne could probably learn a few things from Tommy, especially when it came to subtlety.
“I’m almost there.”
“Good, they just opened your front.”