D O V E
A shiver passed through me.
The knowledge of defeat becoming the lingering tingle down my spine at the sight of the flashing lights in my rearview mirror. My gaze shifted to the glove compartment as my hands tightened around the steering wheel. I could visualize the revolver I had bought from Tom, the owner of the local pawn shop. I had spent four months of my tips on it, along with a handful of silver bullets.
It had been an odd request – silver bullets, and Tom had appeared surprised when I asked him about them. He told me he'd had some specially made for an organization that lived out of state and that he happened to have some extra. He'd made the expected joke about me hunting for werewolves. I'd forced myself to laugh it off – he was among the ignorant few that didn't know this town was brimming with them.
The sound of approaching footsteps on gravel carried over the idling engine of my truck and the wild thumping of my heart – the rushing of my blood echoing in my ears. I closed my eyes, breathing deeply before letting out a heavy exhale. I needed to remain calm and composed. I wrung the cracked and weathered leather in my hands. Another breath. The sound of knuckles rapping against the glass made me flinch. I should've been better at masking my emotions. I had more than enough practice with it over the past year and a half.
I released my grip on the steering wheel, reaching over to roll down the window. The sound of crickets chirping and frog croaking unleashed a sudden and loud assault on my ears. The tiny hairs on my arms rose in reaction to the cool summer breeze that drifted in through the cab of my truck.
"Perry." I gave the Sheriff a tense smile.
He dipped his head down, leaning toward the open window. "Evenin', Dove."
He scanned my face before looking at the back seat where I had thrown my suitcases. I had been in hurry this afternoon. No one had been around to watch me, which was unusual. There was usually always at least one person around to keep an eye on me, that's the way Silas liked things. I could only assume now, being caught in the act as I was, that my "perfect" opportunity to escape had been a test. A test I had failed, again.
His eyes met mine. "Out for another one of your midnight drives?"
I squirmed in the seat. Midnight drives – that's what we had come to refer to my escape attempts as after the first couple of tries. This was the farthest I had gotten to date. I knew that, if Sheriff Perry had a mind of his own, he would've let me go on my way. He would see how wrong all of this was, but the problem was one of Silas's people. He had to do what the man told him to do. When the Alpha gave an order everyone in the pack or affiliated with it were expected to follow it or they risked being punished.
"I got real close this time."
"You sure did," he agreed. A pitiful smile on his lips. "Now, how about you head on home? Silas is real worried about you."
"I bet he is." Silas wasn't worried about me. He was only worried that I might make him look like a fool – even if he didn't need me for that.
"Now, don't be like that. Silas might be a little rough around the edges." That was the understatement of the century. "But he takes good care of you."
I turned away from him, staring at the sign that pointed to the entrance of the interstate. I'd been so close.
"You need me to escort you back?" Perry questioned.
I gave him a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. My gaze shifted to the glove compartment as a new plan was born in my desperation. I knew what I needed to do.
"No. I can find my way just fine."
I feared that Perry would follow me so I took the back roads. Silas had most of the people in this town eating out of the palm of his hand. He knew pretty much everything that went on in Jericho. He had eyes and ears everywhere, and most of the time he had them focused on me. I had been his lover – now I was his captive. The glitch in his well-crafted system of keeping people under his thumb.