Continued from Parts 1-10
Amanda glanced at the back seat. Michael’s face had some color back, and he took deep, even breaths. She looked back to the road before her. Although the rain had stopped, the pavement remained wet with puddles glaring in her headlights.
She double-checked the directions Doc had supplied before helping her stuff the limp Michael into the car. The safe house was two hours north of the city. Michael would be able to recover a few days before making his next move.
Amanda glanced in the rearview mirror. Michael was still on his side, eyes closed. He had his hand pressed against the side of his head.
“Doc said you’d be dehydrated when you woke. There’s a water can on the floor.”
He groaned again, reached downward. Amanda heard noisy gulps until the can was exhausted.
“Where’s your friend?”
Michael’s voice was hoarse, grizzled. It wasn’t unpleasant.
“Doc stayed home. He said he’d be a liability. How’s your arm?”
He stretched forward between the bucket seats and extended his fingers.
“I’ll be damned,” he whispered. “It worked.”
Then he climbed to the front passenger seat. It was a tight fit for a big guy, and a knee nearly clipped Amanda in the face.
“Watch it!” she shrieked. “Are you trying to make me crash?”
He snorted. “What are the chances of that twice in one day?”
Heat spread across her face.
“Where are we going?”
She handed him the directions from Doc. “You’ll be safe there. It’s off the grid and has supplies.”
“You sure you trust this guy?”
Amanda sighed, long and slow. “Who else am I going to trust? If you have people lining up to help, you haven’t told me.”
Michael was quiet for a long minute.
“Yeah, about that… He’s probably dead.”
If she wasn’t driving, Amanda would have seriously considered walking away. Not that the hit man had offered a great deal of confidence.
“The building blew up just before I got there. I was going to get a new identity and go to ground. He was my only outside contact.”
“So where do you go from here?”
“Next exit,” he said. He pointed at the directions. “Gotta have somewhere to go.”
Amanda nodded. “The safe house it is.”
As if she had any doubt.
Blinding light suddenly flashed into the car. Amanda slammed on the brakes even as Michael yelled at her to floor it.
“I can’t see. Do you want to crash?”
The light faded as she slowed. Another car sped next to them in the left lane, window down, driver waving and leaning on the horn.
“Amanda, pull over!” Michael barked.
“But you told me to go!”
“Just do it. I know this guy.”
She swallowed and looked to the other driver. He was a large, tough-looking guy. Danger shone from his face.
“Trust me,” Michael said. A waver in his voice was less than comforting.
She looked back to the other driver then pointed at an upcoming sign for the next exit. The man nodded and dropped back behind her car.
They stopped on the shoulder of the off ramp. Amanda kept her fingers clenched around the steering wheel. Michael unbuckled and started to get out when the other driver appeared at Amanda’s window, gun pointed at her.
…to be continued