Fellowship, Bk. 2, Prt. 49Scott kept his eyes on the mirror as the highway patrol cruiser faded in the distance behind him. It didnt pull out from the shoulder; it didnt turn on its lights. He must have felt the patrolman's thoughts in time and slowed enough to escape the man's radar. At the top of the next rise, he mashed the accelerator, giving the speedometer a hard-on for 75 mph. In these treacherous mountains, he didnt dare go faster. He would make up the difference on open freeway.
This was Scotts second stolen vehicle since mentally triggering the ignition of a Dodge pickup in a Smokey Mountains campground early this morning. Hed been driving the Taurus for just under five hours. He would have to trade it in soon. While it cost him valuable minutes searching for something new, he couldnt risk driving the same hot car for too long.
He turned the radio off with a thought. It had been playing static since hed lost the country-western station at the West Virginia lin
Fellowship, Bk. 2, Prt. 48Treece pressed her hand firmly around the strut protruding from Marshals chest. One towel from Cairls bathroom was already soaked and resting on the floor next to the bed. The new towel was holding up better. The bloodletting was slowing.
Cairl turned from his closet, sweatshirt in hand, and approached Marshal for a fourth time. He laid a hand on his Clerks wrist, and then on his brow. How does he feel to you?
He needs medical attention, but his heartbeat is strong and regular. Temp feels normal. He could go into shock, but so far, hes holding on.
The man on the bed opened his eyes and spoke with an intensity that surprised them both. Go. Stop worrying about me. Get out of here.
Cairl fidgeted, then pulled the shirt on over his head. Treece could see the lines of demarcation on the sides of his face where he had splashed handfuls of water to wash away the grime. He had also thrown on a fresh pair of jeans and sucked a gob of t
Fellowship, Bk. 2, Prt. 47From the shadow of the trees outside the door, he watched her throat work and her chest rise and fall as she swallowed. What happened to you? he murmured softly. What did he do to you? When he spoke again, his voice was still soft but the edges had hardened. What did you let him do to you?
The young woman lowered the pail and wiped her mouth on her shredded sleeve. Thought you could hide it from me, didnt you? He shook his head. No matter how strong you think you are, Ill always be stronger. No one keeps a secret from me for long. Didnt you learn that lesson? He fingered the buckle on his belt. Perhaps its time for a refresher.
Zach lifted the remnants of a cigarette to his lips and pulled deeply. The ash flared, lengthened and touched his knuckles. His eyes narrowed. It was the only sign that hed felt the burn. With his other hand, he reached into the breast pocket of his shirt
Fellowship, Bk. 2, Prt. 46When she next awoke, Dinas need for water crushed all others including the need for caution. She knew Zach was near, but it didnt matter. He was no longer the sole danger. Her body was demanding that she drink soon or die.
With desperate strength, she rolled to her right, gripped the beds timber frame and pulled herself to the edge. Her legs tumbled off. She knew they were hers − she recognized the jeans and the dirty mens socks covering her feet − but there was no sensation in her lower limbs. They were simply two weights sliding toward the floor, followed by her hips and an expanse of bare midriff that scraped across the raw wood.
Felt that, she thought with relief. Pain was preferable to no feeling at all.
With a harsh thud, Dina hit the floor, crushing her arm beneath her torso. Pain screamed in the crook of her elbow, then faded. She let herself roll to her stomach, and lay quietly for several minutes. A puff of sandy dirt stung he
Fellowship, Bk. 2, Prt. 45It was another twenty-some hours before Dina re-entered the world. Her eyes opened first, staring up into a weak light. The pain kicked in next, starting in her head and racing along awakening nerves to her temple, her jaw and down one arm. The third thing she noted was an unbearable thirst. She pushed her tongue out between furry teeth to lick her lips, but she had no spit. It hurt to swallow. Water, she thought she whispered.
She didnt notice much of anything else right away. Every particle of consciousness was focused on her need for fluids. Water, she said with urgency.
Gritting her teeth to lock in a moan, Dina rolled onto her side and took in her surroundings. A wall of logs filled her vision, its unfilled chinks leaking dusty slats of light onto her face. In a heartbeat, she was six again. Joy seized her chest in a painful bear hug. Davey? Davey, do we got any water? Her brother didnt answer, and just as suddenly, joy twisted into grief
Fellowship, Bk. 2, Prt. 44Hey! a surprised voice said from the door of Scott Cairls office. How did you get in here ?
Treece Bishof spun away from the small filing cabinet tucked in the corner behind the Consults desk.
and what are you doing in Cairls personal stuff?
The only light in the room was from a desk lamp the Blue had turned on shortly after entering. She couldnt identify the figure silhouetted in the doorway, but as it turned out, he recognized her.
You! St. Lucas exclaimed with relief. I just aged three years.
Boy, that was close, she returned smartly. Thought I was going to have to kill someone.
The Red stepped into the room from the outer office, letting the door slide closed. Then before Treece could stop him, he palmed the wall switch, bringing the recessed lights up full. A floor-to-ceiling opening filled the back wall behind her an opening that had never been there bef