After the Caldwells give us our licenses back, Reese and I head out.
“Do you want a ride home?” he asks.
“That’s okay. It’s only a couple miles,” I say. “Let’s talk about the evidence tomorrow.”
“I’ll go over it tonight,” he says, grinning at me.
I’m glad he’s into the techie side of the business. Going through hours of video and voice recordings bore me. Drew and I climb onto my bike. Dark clouds cover the moon, so I pedal fast to beat the rain. I should’ve accepted the ride.
We aren’t even a quarter of the way home when fat droplets splatter my arms. “Shoot.”
Drew squeezes my waist. “Get over. This SUV’s going to clip us.”
Bike reflectors are hard to see at night, so I don’t look behind me but get off the road as far as I can. The headlights shine on me and light up the road in front of me. I’m right against the curb. Surely, he sees me. The SUV slows. The engine breathes on me. I don’t look back. Why isn’t he going around? The vehicle camps on my rear fender for a minute.
“What’s he doing?” Drew asks.
“I don’t know.”
The SUV slowly comes beside me. I look into the tinted windows. I can’t see inside, but the thought of someone staring back at me sends chills along my arms.
The SUV speeds up and brushes against my left pedal. My body jumps as if I’ve been struck by a live wire. The bicycle swerves. I hit the curb and flip, which would’ve seemed graceful if it had been on purpose. My body slides against the sidewalk then onto someone’s lawn.
“Jerk,” Drew yells, pumping his fist in the air.
“I don’t think he can hear you.” I gather myself while rain droplets plunk down on my head, matting my hair.
“Are you okay?” Drew asks, helping me to my feet.
“I’ll survive,” I say, assessing the damage. My right knee is banged up. Shin and palm road rash. I’m shaking hard like I’m holding onto the wing of an airplane flying through a storm.
Computer? I yank it from my back pack. It’s okay. I sigh with relief.
My front handlebars are askew. Great. I’ll have to walk my bike home in the rain. Another drop hits my nose. I tighten my thin jacket and shiver from the sudden wet cold. I pick up the bike and push it while wincing with each step I take.
A blue FJ Cruiser drives onto the curb behind me. Add embarrassment now to my list of injuries. The rain patters my head.
The driver gets out. It’s Hayden, Mr. Terminator. My knees buckle, not that they needed much encouragement. Why couldn’t it be a teacher, someone I don’t care if he sees me looking my worst? Hayden’s in jeans and a snug polo shirt and looks fabulous whereas I probably look like road kill.
“Jesus,” he says. “I saw that guy run you off the road. He was probably chatting on his cell phone.”
That could be true, but the way he slowed down still has me trembling. “Did you get his license plate?” I ask.
“Sorry. I was too far back.” Hayden walks over to me. “Are you okay? Do you want me to call an ambulance?”
That would cost money. “No. I’ll be fine.” I hobble another few steps forward, because the rain is picking up its tempo.
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Genre - YA Paranormal Mystery, Romance
Rating – PG-13