Crash

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Bella tapped her fingers on the steering wheel in time with the song on the radio. Bertha, her big, blue truck, roared down the town's main street, cutting a path through the rain-slickened asphalt. Summer rain was her favorite kind of weather, but it made for dangerous conditions. The four-lane road wasn't too busy due to the late hour.

The mountain community wasn't a large city, but tourists demanded that they accommodate during the tourist season.

The crinkle from the plastic bag on the passenger seat reminded her of the reward she would receive once she got home. When she realized she'd run out of all flavors of creamy gelato she had, a late night run down the mountain was a necessity since the local place closed at eight.

After working all afternoon on a project, she needed the icy goodness the same way she needed air. She also wanted the sugar rush to enable her to work the rest of the night so she could look through all the pictures she'd taken onto her laptop and loaded into her cloud drive.

Running beside her on the left was a sleek black car, some fancy brand that she hardly paid attention to-a BMW maybe-but she was clueless. It looked expensive. The windows weren't tinted, and inside, she saw a handsome, older man, chowing down on a meatball sandwich. It was only a second or two, but it was enough of a glimpse to see he had sauce all over his mouth. So sexy, she thought sarcastically.

The sight almost made her honk her horn to tell the idiot to pay attention to the roas. She'd seen too many serious accidents since she lived on Dead Man's Corner back home, a nickname earned after several fatal accidents over the years.

She rolled her eyes at herself.

Even after six years since her dad died, she still was the Chief's daughter, through and through. The traffic picked up as she neared the intersection of Cross Street and Jackson Ave.

She had moved from a big city out to the middle of nowhere California. In the three months since then, she'd gotten to know many locals. Since she'd been traveling for the last month, she hadn't met them all, but eventually, she would.

The light overhead turned a brilliant red.

She started to slow down, but the fancy car beside her kept on going. After a two-second glance at the driver, she saw that he was distracted. His gaze was on her, and his once crisp white shirt was now stained red with sauce.

His hands reached for his throat.

"For the love of God!" she cried out. "You're choking now! Now! This is what happens when you eat while driving!" His eyes nearly bugged out as he noticed her shaking a fist at him. She turned her attention to the road and realized he was about to head right into Demetri, a local truck driver whose semi was now in the intersection.

She cursed as she swerved, thanking her godfather, Marcus, for the laps at the track whenever she visited in her youth. Her tires burned rubber streaks onto the asphalt, the brakes screeching an unholy wail as her life practically flashed before her eyes.

She realized something as memories rushed through.

She needed to have more sex.

Her lack of a love life was all Paul's fault. The three-minute wonder left her always wanting more...though, not from him. The three months they dated over a year ago, now seemed like such a waste of time and money, once the cost of the condoms she insisted on using were calculated.

As her hair whipped across her face, she caught up to the present, and suddenly, the sound of metal against metal bounced around in her ears. Glass exploded on her right and her entire back window shattered, forcing her shoulders to curl forward and up for protection. She cried out as the black bitch of a car threatened to push her into the intersection's traffic. It halted after a foot or so, her truck coming back to a full stop, bouncing once as her tires hit the ground. She groaned as her head throbbed to an equivalent of an oncoming migraine. It took another second or two for her to get her bearings and see that the man was still choking.

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