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"Are you mad at me?"
His voice was empty and haunted, his blue eyes blank as they stared through the windshield, avoiding her angry brown eyes at all costs.
Jane Sickamor breathed in deeply, counting the seconds it took her to respond in a calm, collected, manner. 1. . .2. . .3. . .4. . .5. . .
"You kidnapped me." She didn't answer his question point on. She wasn't quite sure of her answer yet. Was she mad at him? Could she be? Now, of all his seventeen years of age, he looked like nothing more than a helpless little boy who had just been reprimanded by his mother.
"I had to," he answered quietly. He laid his head against the steering wheel. His short black hair looked so irrestibly soft, like rabbit fur, but she willed herself not to touch it. She was (maybe) mad at him.
And she had every right to be. She was in an old, rusty red Chevy truck on some old farm in the middle of Tennessee. She was miles away from Chicago, in the car with a trial-escaping boyfriend/ex-boyfriend who had kidnapped her for reasons she wasn't quite sure yet. Why did he need her to escape with him? The law wasn't after her.
"You killed my best friend," she accused again, voice biting. She pulled back her brown hair, arranging it into a rag-tag ponytail. She could see her expression in the rear-view mirror. Her heart-shaped face was somehow red and pale at the same time, her brown eyes fierce. She looked angry.
"Only because he was going to kill you."
She looked at him, eyes wide. "He was not!"
"Yes, he was. He told me. He was mad at you, or something. He thought I wouldn't say anything. He was going to hurt you, Jane, and I couldn't let him do that. So I killed him. But I killed for you. Can't you see that? He's the one who killed that girl down on Elm, he's the murderer that they're all after. Is it wrong to kill one to stop him from killing others?" David's voice was shaking. He was scared. Of what? Of the law? Of her?
"That doesn't explain why you drove me seven freaking hours to Tennessee."
David was quiet for a moment. "It's my grandparents farm. That kid. . .the kid whose after you. . .might still be after you. I won't let him hurt you."
Jane said nothing. The color drained from her face. She was too tired, too hungry, too cold to be mad.
"David," she said slowly, "that doesn't make you any less of a murderer. You're still the bad guy."
David's mouth turned down in a slights frown. "Am I?"