“Are you seriously telling me that you’re actually going to run away. In Europe?” I smiled as I made sure to stuff my iPod in my bag, “You’re one crazy girl, Ash.”
I chuckled as I looked up to the clock, “Right, Rex, you’re the one that just got me the tickets. You encourage me.”
“Are you going alone?”
My gaze jumped to the window as I thought about that question. I still wasn’t sure if I was going to be alone. I had Rex get me two train tickets just in case, “Why are you asking me that?”
“Because I could see you have me get two tickets just to keep me off your back…” I rolled my eyes as he continued, “So who is your companion. Did you actually convince one of the other girls to go with you?”
“Right,” I scoffed, “like any of these uptight girls would ever think of leaving,” I shook my head as I looked over to the bed where Becky was sleeping. I wasn’t worried about waking the girl. She had taken to wearing earmuffs as well as taking sleeping pills. There was just no waking the girl up until morning, “No, just a drifter that brought me back last night while I was drunk.”
“Ever elusive about the gender, Wildfire,” I rolled my eyes at his nickname for me. I would never understand the man, “What’s his name?”
“What makes you think you have the right to know?”
“The fact that your account is technically under my control. I, metaphorically, have you by the balls,” I chuckled at his comment and the dry tone by which he said it in, “Oh, and the fact that I do care about you. It’s not like I’m going to get mad. I just want to know why you thought to keep it from me.”
“Stop overanalyzing everything,” I groaned. Of course, the man wouldn’t let anything go. I had tried to hide my crush on the man for so long, but it was getting harder and harder to do so. Especially when he was the only person I remained in contact with in the States and helped me get away with over half the stuff I did, “I just didn’t want you getting overprotective like you usually do.”
“Really?” I nodded and realized that he didn’t see it, but, “You’re nodding, but I have a feeling that this lie is one that I would be able to see. Whatever, Wildfire,” he paused, “You might want to hurry out. It’s almost midnight there.”
“No prob,” I heard the clicking of his keyboard a moment before he continued, “Oh, remember leave this phone behind and get a trackphone. Keep in contact. You may think you’re big and bad, but you’re still a tiny girl that doesn’t know how to deal.”
“Right,” overprotective. Was that one of the reasons I liked Rex? I wasn’t sure. Maybe it was the fact that he really was an attractive man. And he was older than me. Not by much. He had only just turned nineteen so it wasn’t like it was that much of a difference. It was just enough for me to realize it, “What if I don’t keep in contact?”
“I can freeze the account in a matter of seconds. Leave you stuck in the middle of nowhere with no funds. And it really wouldn’t be that hard to find you. Especially since you really wouldn’t be able to go very man places after your last attempted transaction,” he paused, “I really don’t have the time to cross seas, Ash. Don’t make me.”
“Fine!” I chuckled as I closed my bag and glanced at the clock. It was time to head out. Finally get out of the hell I was living in, “Well, Rex, I’m off to begin my journey. I’ll call every three days. Sound fair?”
“Good enough for me. You miss a day and I will send out the search party.”
I laughed as I rose and stepped over to the window, “By send out the search party you mean you’re going to hit a few keys on the computer and then head out?”
“Yeah, yeah,” I could just see the man as he waved off my comment, “Drop the phone and get a new one. This one has a chip. One that just told me you moved three feet to the south.”
“You’re a creep,” I shook my head, “Bye, Rex,” I didn’t wait for him to respond as I turned my phone off and tossed it on the bed. I didn’t leave a note for them to read. They would know what I did. It wasn’t like they hadn’t suspected me of doing this very thing for a long while. Seeing as I had made an attempt before. This time I was going to succeed.
Well, it was time to make my way out of my room. With a simple movement, I slipped my bag on my back and then climbed out of the window. I had to say good-bye to this. Though, I wasn’t as sad as I thought I would be. I knew I was going to have to be on the run and try to avoid everything, but I wasn’t going to miss this place. At least out on the run I could do what I wanted to do.
It took me a few moments to make it to ground level. I waited to make sure that the grounds were clear before I headed for the back gate. No one usually walked the grounds at night, so when I saw the figure standing by the back gate I knew it was Preston. He had shown up after all. Though, I wasn’t sure why. Was he just like Rex and didn’t want me to go by myself or was he really in it for the money. Either way, he was there.
I hurried to his side and smiled up at him, “So you decided to come after all,” I mused as I shrugged it off. I knew he was going to be there. I could be a bit manipulative at times… “I figured as much.”
“I’m not doing it for the money.”
Well, there was that last question answered. He was the nice guy type that was only doing it because he didn’t think I could take care of myself. Man, it was really getting annoying to be considered so pathetic. I would have to get over that. At least I was getting away, “I kind of figured that, too,” I shrugged it off as I reached back to one of the outside pockets of my bag and grabbed the tickets out, “Here. I got these to get us off the isles. It’s not the greatest place to go to, but getting tickets for such a time at such short notice…” I shrugged again, “We’ll be on the mainland and that’s all that matters.”
I continued to ramble on about the trip to the coast and then the cruise to Norway as I started to lead Preston away from the school. The last thing we needed to do was get caught before we managed to get away. I wasn’t going to go back. I would rather die than return to the life I had.
“How’d you get these tickets?”
I smiled up at him as I just shrugged it off, “Same way I got the money in a secret account,” I looked down the street as I wondered why I didn’t want to tell Preston about Rex. It wasn’t like it would matter. At least if something did happen there would be someone watching over us. Though, how would I manage to get away from Preston long enough to call Rex every third day. Why did it even matter? Rex was a friend. Preston was just a companion. A means to escape.
“And that is?”
“I have my resources,” I smiled at him, “and that’s what they will remain. Mine.”
Preston sighed in defeat as he just nodded, “Okay…”
The boy was so awkward and it made my smile widen. It was so funny. And I felt that it would be best to try to help the boy relax, “My favorite color is red and I love listening to rock. My favorite band is Within Temptation, a symphonic rock group,” I paused as I tried to think of anything else that might give the boy something more to talk about, “I’m not the biggest fan of the telly and I love football. Not that pathetic excuse for football that we Americans consider the national past time. I mean the real football, or soccer as I grew up calling it. I like to speak my mind and get my way. I’m a pain in the ass, but I don’t care. I’m also a bit insensitive. So…” I trailed off. I couldn’t think of anything else to say, “I guess that’s all I have to say right now. It’s your turn. Shoot!”