No smut, yet. Getting close! I swear we are! Another couple chapters. And this one's short. Again. Dom's uncooperative. And not very talkative. You're not surprised, are you. No I didn't think so.
Comments, crits and feedback welcome.
“Officer O’Connor, off duty.”
Those words – Brian’s voice echoes in my head. Way too often. When the wind stirs through the palm trees. When the tide crashes against the sand. I hear his laugh sometimes. At night, when everything else is quiet. That drove me back into the nearest city of any size. For life, noise, distraction.
A flash of blonde hair in the crowd – a rare thing here – can make me freeze and stare. It feels like the sun just stops shining, its warmth no longer kissing my skin.
Barely more than a week, really. That’s all the longer I knew him. And yet he got closer than anyone. Before or since. I see his face, the expression in his eyes, lost, begging, pleading without knowing for what, past the glint of his sidearm in the afternoon sun.
I wonder. What happened to him. A lot, actually. But I never ask. Never work up the nerve. And Mia, she never offers anything.
He’s one of many ghosts that blot out the sun.
Letty got sick of them all, competing with whatever she saw in my gaze. It didn’t take long either. She needed excitement, energy, and I had no desire or drive left to give either to her. I know she went back to the States a few times. After the heat died down. But I never went. Too much guilt riding me. Time doesn’t fade the blood on your hands.
No more nightmares of Lompoc. I would be glad, except now I want them back. Better that than what wakes me now – or keeps me from sleeping in the first place. Vince, hanging on the semi by his arm, a handful of inches from the asphalt, at 70 miles an hour. Screaming my name, his outstretched hand just a hairsbreadth away and it may as well be a mile. The screech and groan of the Charger as it slams into the road again and again and again. Some nights it’s my coffin. I die watching Brian run toward me, my name on his lips like one of Jesse’s petitions to the car gods. Other times, I’m alive and can’t move. Buried alive in safety glass and steel, and there’s blood everywhere – Vince’s, Jesse’s, Letty’s, Brian’s. Everyone’s but mine.
I sat staring at Letty sleep for a while, after that last petrol haul. And I thought about a lot of things. Our jacks were attracting attention, the wrong kind, and it made me think. Hard. Not something I let myself do too often.
What the hell was I doing?
Yeah the rush, you can’t beat that. It pushed all the ghosts away. I could forget and just live in the moment. When that flaming tanker was rolling toward the car, and Letty was screaming at me… I found myself thinking. If it had been Brian sitting there he’d never lose his cool. Not for a moment. He’d just look over at me and grin, trust that I knew to wait for the right moment to let it rip.
But it’s gone wrong before, those little heists. Horrendously wrong. And I sat there with the cool night breeze blowing in the big windows, made myself recall just how wrong it could go. And who saved it from being worse than it was.
The one person that wasn’t here. If the cops got their hands on me this time, I’d be destroying the gift Brian gave me.
The one that cost him more than I’ll ever know, I’m sure. I see him with his sidearm raised, uncertainty in his expression. But his voice. Begging, yet firm as steel. “No more running!”
I can’t do it, can’t squander his gift. It’s all I have of him.
I left her most of my take from the haul. Grabbed my pack and ran.