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.All it’ll take is one phone call about our whereabouts and we’re screwed.Delphi can buy just about anyone.“All right.I need to go.Thanks for the info.”“Be careful,” she whispers.I hang up and take a deep breath, trying to process everything.I don’t know what time it is or even what day it is.I don’t even know if I’ll make it to Georgia in time.I don’t have a car.I’m low on cash.Fuck.I jog as quickly as I can back to the motel and trudge up the stairs to our room.I don’t want to go in and dump all this on Briar.I don’t want to see what I’ve done to her life shadowed on her face.I grab the railing in both hands, letting my head fall between my arms.I don’t know what the hell I’m supposed to do.We need help.But there’s nobody who can help us.“I take it you didn’t get good news?” Briar says, resting her hand against my back.I let myself soak up her comfort, if only for a second.“What day is it?”“Wednesday,” she says, a clear question in her tone.“What time is it?”“A little before eight.” Again, the question’s there, but she doesn’t ask it.“We have thirteen hours to get to Atlanta and we don’t have a car.There’s about ninety dollars left in my wallet.And our faces are all over the news.” I straighten up and finally look at her.“No, not good news.”35BriarAfter I pulled Benji inside and made him clarify all that information, I paced for several minutes, trying to work it out.Sadly, what I kept stumbling over was the fact that my face was on TV for everybody to see.I still can’t seem to wrap my head around that.But I’m glad my parents found a way to buy themselves time.I’m also terrified they pissed Delphi off with that stunt.“I have a credit card,” I say as I come to a stop at the end of the bed.“We can’t use a credit card.They’ll trace it.”“So what? They already know we’re in North Carolina.Or at least that we were.We rent a car and get the hell out of here.”“You have to be twenty-five to rent a car.And most rentals have tracking devices.It wouldn’t work.”I bite my lip and start pacing again.I never tried to rent a car before, so I didn’t know that.A bus is out of the question—we don’t have enough time or money.I contemplate hitchhiking for a moment before the image of being kidnapped and murdered flashes through my mind.There has to be somewhere that rents to someone under twenty-five.I saw college kids on campus rent U-Hauls more than once.“What about U-Haul? Do they use tracking devices?”Benji lifts his head from the pillow, sitting up abruptly.He swings his legs onto the floor and pulls the nightstand drawer open, snatching out the phone book.“Not if you rent from a smaller dealer.I think it’s standard on the new trucks, but the little franchise owners don’t usually bother spending the money to add them to the older vehicles.” He glances up at me and grins.“You’re a genius.”As he flips through the pages, I move around the room, packing up the couple items we have.“Okay, there’s one not too far from here.We could actually just walk it, I think.We need to hurry, though.They close soon.” He scoops up his backpack, plucks a folded piece of paper from the outside pocket, and slips it into his jeans.“Let’s go,” he says.Benji sets a fast pace as we book ass to the U-Haul place.I struggle to keep up with his long strides, but I don’t complain about it.It feels good to have some sort of a plan and to actually do something.“Hopefully nobody will recognize you, but if they do, we get out of there fast.” He looks sideways at me and I nod.“They’ll need to run your card, but if everything goes right, we tell them our destination is Michigan.That way if Delphi is tracking your card, he’ll think we’re coming to him.Can you take out cash advances?”“Yeah, up to three hundred dollars.”“Okay good.If they have an ATM, pull the money out first.We’ll need it for gas.”The sign comes into view, still lit, and I breathe a sigh of relief while urging my legs to move faster.~*~Maybe I’m turning into a pessimist, but I honestly didn’t expect renting the U-Haul to go as smoothly as it did.With the luck we’ve had, I figured the guy behind the counter would take one look at me and call the cops.He barely even glanced in my direction and everything went exactly as Benji had hoped it would.As we pull onto the highway, I laugh, half out of relief and half out of surprise.Benji glances at me and grins, sharing the sentiment [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]