I looked at the woman in shock. "Where did you learn to do that?" She sighed and said, "I was a former member of the CIA, I trained at a secret training camp to turn anything into a deadly object when used correctly." I looked at her in shock. Then I said, "Can I at least know your name? I never got it when I saved you." The woman answered," My name is Annie Monroe. I never got your name I don't think. So what is your name?" I laughed a little and said, "My name is Renee Mason. I am a wanted criminal for something I don't even know about. All I know is that for as long as I can remember I have been hunted like an animal. I don't even know who wants me dead. I've never done anything to anyone except for the bullies at school that were being idiots and even then it was defensive." Annie then laughed and said," You know, I get the feeling that you are pretty impressive in action. Would you like me to train you further than what I have already seen that you have taught yourself?" I grin and say," I dare say I could use some improvement in the knife throwing department, that is if you don't mind teaching me?" Annie chuckled and said, "not at all. In fact I could teach you how to use other firearms too. I'll go back to our cabin and get the safe that has the guns in it out of the ashes. Then I can take you to a firing range around there and I can teach you how to hide a gun well and how to use other calibers of pistols." I held up a hand and said, "Just stop for a minute. I need time to process all of this." She nodded and then turned to her family and talked to them about taking me in. I still thought it was crazy. Usually it would be just hiding out at my grandparents for a few years. This is so different, for crying out loud, I was on the east coast! This was huge, at least now I can go and do things that I've always wanted to, like see the statue of liberty, and go to the top floor of the Empire State building.

I turned back to Annie and said,"alright I'm all in. on one condition, you let me do a few things that have been on my bucket list for a while. After all, I never know when I'm going to die considering that my life is constantly at risk." Annie chuckled again and said, "Alright what are you thinking?" I smiled one of my rarer smiles and said, "I just want to see the statue of liberty and the empire state building before I die." Annie smiled and said," I can understand that. I have some wigs and such that you can use for those outings."

An hour later, we snuck out of the hospital. If you're wondering why we had to sneak out, it was because of the little "mess" we had left in our hospital room, what all with the dead guy and the wall full of bullet holes. So there we were all piled into a little minivan with Annie driving and her husband, James in the front, their little daughter, Allyson in a car seat in the middle seats, and Merrick and I in the very back. I looked out the window and asked him, "Did you mean it what you had said, back in hospital before the psycho copter came?" I heard him chuckle a little and then he said, "You never did answer my question back there…" I turned to look him in the eye and said, "Yes I do like you, but you know that I can't take the risk of ever having a serious relationship with anyone. It would just put them at risk, and I care about you too much to put you in that kind of danger." I saw the pain in his eyes and it tore me to pieces because I really did care about him. Then he said,"yeah I know, but I am willing to put myself in that kind of danger even if you're not. All I want to know is if you really mean what you just said?" I looked at him right in the eyes and said, "Every word."

The rest of the van ride Merrick and I held hands while Allyson looked at us like,"oh gross too much love in the car right now!" I chuckled and nudged Merrick gently. He looked at me and I nodded towards Allyson's face. He chuckled too and said," Remember when you were like that? It was funny when I came over and you made faces your parents kissing good-bye. It just made me laugh and want to have you as a friend more. Eventually, I guess you could say I fell in love with you, despite the craziness of it all." I looked at him then said, "You do know that I have had a crush on you since before I met you?" He looked at me," So that was why you always kept your distance? You didn't want to get me involved and you were afraid of rejection?" I looked away, out the window and said dejectedly, "Check and check." Merrick said," Hey, look at me." I wiped away my tears of weakness quickly and looked at him, trying to hide the fact that I was crying.I looked at Merrick and said, "And now you have seen me in the saddest state that I have ever been." Merrick chuckled and said,"Oh Renie, Renie, Renie, when are you ever going to learn. Crying isn't a weakness, if anything , when we cry in front of other people it shows others that we have enough confidence not to care what other people think. So if you're going to cry, come here." I shook my head, "I'm good but I'll take up your offer anyway." After that I heard a gagging sound from Allyson. I laughed and kissed Merrick on the cheek. I saw out of the corner of my eye, Allyson mime making a noose and hanging herself. She is very mature for her age. Anyway, I laughed out loud and muttered, "Drama queen." Then I leaned into Merrick and feel asleep.

sorry for the super long wait typical bogged down with work. here's the chapter that you guys have been waiting for.