Last month, I started a serial story for you. If you missed it or need a reminder, you can find it here: The Getaway, part 1.
Here’s part two…
The Getaway, part 2
Peter raised his head from the heart-stopping kiss. He didn’t believe in love-at-first-sight, but what about love-at-first-kiss? Jada had to feel his heart pounding next to her. “Wow.”
A murmur came from her as she held onto the blanket and wrapped her arms around his waist, resting her head in the space between his shoulder and chin.
He forced his gaze back to the river in front of him. She hadn’t been a part of his planned escape, which he’d hoped to make without detection, but somehow he wasn’t too bothered by her presence.
“What now?” she asked as he slowed the boat.
“My plan was to keep going until I ran out of gas, and then make my way to where my mom and I moved after your boss’s goons torched our house.”
“Former boss, thanks to you.”
“Yes, well, I doubt she’ll have much trouble finding us. She’ll know I took a boat, since I left the bullet-ridden car at the pier. And now since we are a pair, it’s harder to avoid detection by nosy neighbors and random do-gooders.”
“So we go separately.”
He slowed the boat to a stop and lowered his gaze to meet hers. Suspicion filled him. “Wanting to get away from me so quickly?”
Her green eyes filled with tears. “I… I though about it, but Ms. Scrimpton had hinted that it was time for me to start earning my keep in other ways. Up until now she’s protected me from her guards. I don’t think it’s in my own best interest to return, even if sharing your plans increases my value to her. I doubt it would last long.”
“Are you sure?” He pulled her closer. “I could drop you off, and you could make your way back. You could say that I forced you to go, which would be the truth.”
A few tears slipped from her eyes. “My parents died when I was twelve. Ms. Scrimpton said they’d been at the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn’t know what that meant then. I learned about her business when I got older and started cleaning for her, but with no family, no money, and no place else to go, I stayed. I still have no place to go, so I may as well stay with you. At least I’m pretty sure you won’t…” Her words faded away, and her cheeks colored.
With a kiss to her forehead, he pushed the throttle to get the boat moving again. “No, I won’t. My momma taught me better than that.”
“What will you do with me?”
He considered the question for quite some time before he answered. “I’m not sure. I’d like to get to know you better, but I feel badly for getting you into this mess. I know some people who can help you find a job and get you settled into life away from Ms. Scrimpton. I wouldn’t be able to stay with you though.”
Her hold tightened around his waist. “I don’t want to stay without you.”
“You don’t even know me.”
Her nod seemed to acknowledge his statement. “What did you take from the safe?”
He startled at her abrupt change of subject. “My mother’s jewelry.”
Her fingers caressed his cheek until he looked down at her. “Why?”
“Because nothing else belonged to me.”
“That’s why I will stay with you. I’ve seen inside that safe. I know how much money she keeps in there. Only a good man would leave it behind.”
“I was tempted,” he confessed.
“But you didn’t give in.”
“Take me to your mother. We will get married, and then we will disappear together.”
“Get married?” He sputtered right along with the boat’s engine. Twisting the key did nothing to start it again. He checked the fuel gauge. Empty. He maneuvered the flood light to point toward shore. They floated twenty or thirty yards away. “Do you know how to swim?”
Check back next month as I conclude The Getaway.