Episode Five (continued)

Etta

EDDIE’S MOUTH IS HOT AND FIERCE.

A couple miles outside Gallup, he asked me to pull over and, thinking he needed to take a piss, I did. Instead of getting out, he leaned over and kissed me, so hard my teeth hurt and my lips bruised. He loves my mouth. Loves kissing it. Tasting it. Coming in it. Fighting always gets us horny, especially when our wrath is directed somewhere else and not at each other.

So, here we are, necking at the side of the road like two youthful lovebirds with no cares or concerns.

As usual, my body responds, arching towards him, desperate to be touched. Adrenaline still rushes through me and my fists are throbbing. My fingers graze his pock-scarred cheek, then reach up and tug his thick hair. He gives a guttural groan before smiling against my mouth and I can’t help but chuckle. Only the moon above bears witness to this moment. He holds me tight and I’m reminded how strong he is.

He could crush me to death.

But he doesn’t. He won’t.

When his hand slips down my jeans, I pull away and cock my head to the side. Sirens – in the distance, but coming closer. A glance in the rear-view shows the disco of red and blue lights along the pitch black highway and I push Eddie away.

“What is it?” he asks, confused. He’s not used to me telling him to stop.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck.” Candy comes to life with a twist of the key and I pound the gas. Tires squeal. Gravel sprays. We fishtail.

“Etta, hold on.”

I don’t hold on. I can’t hold on. Instinct is telling me to get going. Get out of there. Get moving. There’s no time for any more trouble. A dreadful weight of panic tells me they are after us. Come all the way from Gallup to fuck with our plans. Not happening.

No matter how hard I mash the gas, the state trooper gains on us. On this lonely stretch of highway, I can see it getting closer, until I realize there’s nowhere to hide. They’re going to get us. When I throw a glance at Eddie, he’s wearing the aggravating expression I hate, the one that says ‘are you going to listen to me now?’.

“What?” I snap.

“Hear me out.”

And the apprehensive ache in my gut knows exactly what he’s going to say.

“They can take me.”

“No,” I whisper, and stubborn tears sting my eyes. “They’ll beat the crap out of you.”

“I can take a beating, you know that.”

“No way, Eddie.”

“No choice, babe. Pull over up here and switch seats with me. Plead innocence. They will let you go with your Daddy’s car. You can go on and get Susannah.” He puts a hand on my thigh and gives it a squeeze. “It’s the only way.”

My stomach clenches, but I ease up on the gas and pull over. Eddie gets out and races to the opposite side as I climb over to the passenger seat. The lights are getting closer. Too close.

Eddie takes my chin, kisses me and says, “I’ll meet you in Vegas.”

“You don’t even know where I will be.”

“I’ll find you. I always do.”

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