Fences: Sneak Peek
A peek at the next book in the Smith Mountain Lake series: Fences!
. . .The car comes out of nowhere, racing up behind me, its front end almost touching the Mercedes’ bumper. I touch the brake again, and the car falls back a short distance, then shoots around me in a black flash, even though the double yellow lines indicate a no-passing zone.
Thirty yards ahead, the car slams to a stop in the middle of the road and swings around at a ninety-degree turn, tires squalling.
I fumble for the door lock, fear a sudden, choking knot in my chest.
I’m in the middle of nowhere, not a house in sight. A black 911 with New York plates now blocks both lanes in front of me. It’s hardly the kind of car someone who needs to steal a vehicle would be driving.
I grip the wheel until my knuckles lose their color. I’ll go around it. The shoulder is steep, but it beats waiting to see what this lunatic has in mind. A few moments ago, I’d foolishly wondered what it would be like to leave it all behind. Now, adrenaline fuels an undeniable rush of survival instinct.
I stomp on the accelerator, but just then the car door opens, and a man climbs out. The headlights catch his profile. I slam on the brakes again, feeling the blood leave my face. The front bumper of the Mercedes stops just short of his knees. I sit, frozen to the seat, my hands glued to the steering wheel.
Disbelief weighs like a rock on my chest.
How many times have I wondered what it would be like to see him again? Imagined what I would say to him?
In what feels like slow motion, I unlock the door and get out, barely aware of my feet touching the ground.
“Are you trying to kill yourself?” he asks, walking toward me.
The voice is a surprise. Deep and even, it is the voice of a man, not the boy I remember.
“Apparently so,” he says when I don’t answer. He slides inside my car and pulls it over to the shoulder of the road. He gets back out again, my keys in his hand.
His highhandedness strikes a nerve. “Give me back my keys,” I say.
Again he ignores me, tossing them up and catching them in his palm, before turning and making his way back to his own car.
I stand there for a moment, feeling as if some ridiculous gauntlet has been thrown.
The taillights from his car throw him into silhouette. He is as tall as I remember, but his shoulders are wider than they had once been. His slightly wavy hair touches the collar of his light blue shirt. He opens the car door and slides inside. “Get in, Jillie,” he says without looking at me. “We need to talk.”
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