Roadside Assistance by Julie Lynn Hayes
“I said get in the fucking trunk!” Chip growled.
I shrank back against the car. The door handle jabbed my ass, painfully, and I winced. I hadn’t taken Chip seriously the first time he’d spoken the words. Now, I was starting to think he just might mean it.
“W-what the hell, dude, you need to chill out.” My words sounded braver than I felt, and stuttering wasn’t helping a damn thing. Chip was mad, and I knew it, but it was just so ridiculous. All because I’d happened to notice a stranger at the gas station. A cute guy in a white T-shirt and rumpled jeans. Probably a traveler, just like us.
So maybe Chip was just a tad on the sociopath side, and just maybe he intended to dump me somewhere on the side of the road. One thing I’d noticed, ever since we started driving through Florida, was the tons of water situated beside the highway. Lakes, ponds, swamps, even the ocean. A guy could go missing out here. Like permanently.
And suddenly I realized I didn’t know Chip very well at all. Guess that’ll teach me not to take up with the first good-looking guy who wants to take me for a drive.
“I’m not going to tell you again.” This time I saw the knife in his hand. The blade glinted wickedly in the bright sunlight.
I glanced desperately around me, but no one was there. We might as well have been standing in a ghost town. Even the cute stranger was nowhere to be seen. I gulped, forcing liquid into my too-dry mouth, looked between Chip and the open trunk, then crawled inside. He almost hit me when he slammed the lid, plunging me into darkness.
The ride was excruciating. It felt like he deliberately found every pothole and rut he could. All I could do was lie there, cramped and aching, waiting for him to stop… and then what?
I wondered if Chip had done this before. Did he have a usual spot where he took his victims? A dumping ground of sorts? He seemed the type that just might. In the short time I’d known him I’d noticed he was methodical that way. Not one for loose ends.
I was feeling more than a little claustrophobic by the time the car stopped, almost grateful for the lack of motion. I say almost because I knew what would come next. Wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. I braced myself for the worst.
When the lid lifted, I squinted up… into the handsome face of my partner.
“Comfy in there?” He grinned, deliberately flexing the muscles inside his form-fitting shirt.
I growled as he handed me out. I spied Chip, in cuffs, by a squad car.
“Took you long enough—“ His kiss stopped my rant.
“But I got here, and we just caught the Florida Mangler. You complaining?”
“Not I.” I sighed contentedly and snuggled against him.
Another good day’s work.