The drone of shuffling pulled Elizabeth from her sleep

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The drone of shuffling pulled Elizabeth from her sleep. She didn't want to wake up. All she wanted to do was settle back into the stiff mattress and finish off her dream. She didn't remember it, but she knew it was better than the reality that was the stuffy motel room.

Elizabeth's body cried out when she went to rollover. How long had she'd been sleeping? She swore it couldn't have been more than twenty minutes. It surely didn't feel like it. But even through her closed lids, Elizabeth could see the red rays of light probing at her.

Against her body's wishes Elizabeth peeked one eye open. Then the other. Reuben's upper half was visible over the foot of the mattress. His duffle bag was inches from her toes as he rustled through it.

"Where are you going?" The words came out of Elizabeth's mouth in a rough groan.

He zipped up the large compartment. "I was going to go grab us some breakfast. You didn't seem like you were going to be getting up anytime soon."

Elizabeth dragged her forearm across her face. The sunlight streaming through the open window had her squinting. "I'm awake."

"Then are you getting up, or what?"

"Yeah," she said, rolling over into a more comfortable position. "Five more minutes."

"I'm leaving now. Checkout's at eleven. I can bring some back for you."

Elizabeth sprung up from the discoloured sheets. "You're not leaving me here by myself."

Even in daylight this place gave Elizabeth the heebie-jeebies. There was no way she would allow herself to be left alone. Not when she had the feeling that Reuben wouldn't come back.

"Then hurry up."

"Are we bringing everything with us?"

"Might as well come back and take our time packing up. I want to shower before we leave."

Reuben plucked his phone from his pocket and started playing with it. Elizabeth settled back into bed, not taking notice until he flashed the screen in her direction. The timer was on.

"I'm giving you five minutes."

"Five minutes? What kind of farce is that?" Elizabeth said, watching as the numbers ticked lower and lower. It takes me at least two minutes to brush my teeth."

A hardy chuckle emitted from somewhere deep in his chest. "Then you better get brushing, Biz."

Elizabeth had never gotten ready so fast in her life. She was rushing out of the motel room door with seconds to spare. Her flip flops clapped against the parking lot, kicking up gravel as she stumbled. Once she reached the truck door she swung it open. It creaked in protest, it's old hinges not appreciating being put to work.

Reuben snorted at her while she tried to hoist herself up. Despite being taller than an average adult female, she struggled. It didn't help that her upper body strength was comparable to that of a newborn kitten.

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