Chapter 28

Somehow she managed to keep the tires on the asphalt. The trembling weakness in her hands hadn't helped. It'd only reminded her of just how truly terrified she was. And torn.

How could she be making a run for it, driving at a speed that was inadvisible toward the darkened park entrance, when her brother and the man that she loved was back there somewhere in danger?

Steven's words had spurred her on at first, urging her to get out of the line of danger so that he could do his work. But now . . . Could she lose them both?

She pressed her foot on to the brake, bringing the car to an abrupt halt. Heart pounding, she glanced into her rear-view mirror. Dark and stillness were all that reflected back at her. Turning in her seat did little other than to provide a wider range of vision. Still it was dark and she could see and hear nothing of what might be going on deep in the park.

She was so confused. What should she do? What could she do? Turning back to face forward, she looked at the park entrance, just yards away. Half between her position and official exit was a broadened section of pavement. In that moment, it seemed meant for her. She drove forward into the pull off and cut the engine and her lights. Here she would wait for whatever came.


Jerry registered sound and motion, though both were faint beneath the weight of the surrounding darkness. He'd barely drawn breath to call out when a hand settled on his shoulder.

"Shhh. Don't move." The words were spoken barely above a breath, but still Jerry recognized the speaker's voice. Ray. A different Ray than the one that had hung around the soccer field for the past few months. This Ray's voice held a no nonsense tone of authority.

The situation rushed back with stunning clarity. They'd obviously made it into the maintenance shed, but it was too dark to make out little more than shadows. Ray was on the floor beside him, and they were both up against the wall to one side of the door opening. Along with the smell of mildew and old paint another aroma lingered in the air, one that Jerry's subconscious struggled to identify. "Somebody was shooting at us." The words were out as soon as his mind made the connection.

"Quiet!" Ray's words were much more forceful, and Jerry caught a glance at something in the shadows. Ray had a gun.

"What are you doing?" Jerry demanded.

"Shhh!" Ray's voice sounded again, but there was another sound floating in the night air. It was the undulating sound of approaching sirens. Police sirens. The calvary was coming. It was then that Jerry realized, he had no idea what sort of person he was trapped with.

-- --

"Ma'am, I need you to step out of the vehicle. Slowly."

Kim had shuddered with releif as soon as she'd seen the welcome blue of sirens reflecting against the night. The first two cars had pulled on beyond her, while the third had veered in front of her and up onto the grass blocking her exit.

It wasn't until the uniformed officer had climbed out of his car, on hand on his holster that she realized her position. The realization had frozen her to the spot. On the tail of the night's tensions, she couldn't convince her mind to move into gear.

"Ma'am! Do you understand? I need you to get out of the vehicle."

Another officer got out of the car on the other side. He was tall and lean, and for just a moment in the shadows cast by the night, he looked like Jerry. Kim blinked.

"I understand," she called, her voice shaky and insubstantial. She felt like she couldn't catch her breath. "I'm going to open the door," she said, then reached downward with a trembling hands to pull the latch and swing it outward.

"Nice and easy," the officer instructed.

"Okay. I understand." She stood and stepped around the door, surprised that her legs bothered to support her, they felt so weak. "My name is Kimbra Davies. My brother Detective Steven Storm is the one who called you. He's back there trying to find a friend of ours whose name is Jeremy Dumas. I think something may have happened to him." She spoke slowly and as clearly as she could hoping the details came out the right way.

"Do you have any weapons or illegal substances on you, Ma'am?" the officer asked.

"No, no I don't." Kim answered his question. "What are you going to do with me?"

"We're going to put you in the back of our cruiser and officer Carmichael here is going to remain with you."

"Okay." She nodded and sniffed, appalled when tears came unbidden and began to spill down her checks. "Thank you." She allowed herself to be lead toward the car. "Can you tell what's going on? Do you know if they're okay?"

Officer Carmichael's expression gave nothing away. "There's nothing I can tell you at this point, Ms. Davies."

"Thank you." Kim settled in the rear seat of the cruiser as the tears continued to fall.