17| Distance

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I occasionally look over at Stevie as she hums to the melody of the song spilling out of the stereo. The blood orange sun begins to set just as we enter the desert once again, the dusty roads blow against the heated tar structuring the road.

We were on route to Texas after much consideration we both agreed to set ourselves up in Austin. I wanted to be as far away from Califonia as I could get and now which Stevie's dad knowing who I was there was a chance that he had called the cops. I wouldn't doubt it for a second he called on us, keeping a chain around Stevies ankle while also shackling me in the process.

Now or Never had been on a loop for two hours now due to Kyla's distaste for any other song. She had been in quite a mood today and I could only conclude that it was due to being cooped up in the car all day. We had made occasionally stops for her to run around and for us to use the restrooms but these stops were only twenty-five minutes at the max before we would get back on the road.

Any given time we tried to play a different song Kyla would scream and kick, her tantrums weren't worth dealing with so we had Now or Never on repeat. Stevie checked the backseat a few times to check if she was asleep yet every time we tried turning it down she would groan for me to turn it back up.

She glances over at me and gives me a trace of a smile, she leans back in her seat and snakes her hand over into my lap. I clasp her hand and fingers into mine, her fingers intertwine with me as if they always belonged there. She leans her head against my shoulder and hugs my arm that rests on the center console of the car.

"You tired?" I ask her as the song dies down into the speakers.

"A little, you should really get some rest you look exhausted. Why don't we find a little motel for the night?" Stevie asks me still holding and rest on my shoulder while her arm is looped around mine. Her hair lightly falls on her face but she doesn't bother to try and move it away, when I look down I notice her eyes are closed gently.

"Okay, the next town is within 50 miles, we can stay there," I answer hearing her soft breathing looking down at her soft features causes a smile on my lips. She was so beautiful when she was tired when she held onto me like she was.

I peek back in the rearview to see Kyla was passed out with her mouth parted slightly and her head tilted to the side. I take the chance to take Now or Never off repeat and press on one of my more nostalgic playlists. It was as if the song had taken me back to the start, to all of the happy times I had when Layla and I were young and in love.

Memories spun around in my head and I couldn't help but give a sad smile to the melody of the song. The lyrics took me away to a time that all I ever felt was my heart swelling whenever I threaded my fingers through Layla's silky blonde hair. We were so young. We were in love and that was enough at the time.

My stream of thoughts is interrupted by the ringing of a siren in the near distance. I check the rear view mirror to see a police car gaining speed on me. My heart drops and a cold sweat runs down my spine, Stevie lifts herself up off my shoulder and shifts her body until she is facing the back window.

"Shit!" I curse feeling a surge of anxiety cloud over me. My heart was beating faster then I could even comprehend, heated sweat poured down my face while my hand physically shook under my tight grip of the steering wheel.

"We weren't even speeding!" Stevie defends furrowing her brow as I pull over and stiffly sit in my seat. A lump swells in my through and my body heat burns skin causing discomfort. "What does he want? You don't think my dad would do this?"

"I don't know, just act normal, let me do the talking," I tell Stevie rolling down my window as soon as I see an overweight cop waddle over to my side of the car.

"Good evening officer," I greet erasing any visible signs of anxiety that were there previously.

"Do you understand why I pulled you over tonight?" The cop got right to the chase. He wasn't going to waste any time with me.

"Actually I don't sir," I answer keeping it all together while Stevie reached for my hand. She laced her fingers through mine and squeezed as tightly as she could. I knew she was afraid, she was afraid that this cop was going to drag her back to her father. I was afraid for other reasons I didn't care to bring up.

"Do you have anyone in your back seat?" The cop asks me gruffly.

"Yes, just our daughter," I answer lying to the cop about Kyla being OUR daughter. I wanted to insinuate Stevie and I were together.

"Would you care rolling down the back window?" I gulp but do as he says, looking in the rear view mirror to see Kyla with her mouth parted open, she was passed out.

The cop checks the back seat then walks back up to me, "Since you got a little tyke and I'm feeling generous I'll let you off the hook tonight. That license plate light needs to be fixed as soon as possible,"

"I will take care of it as soon as possible officer! Thank you so much! I'm sorry!" I breath inwardly sighing in relief. All the tension slowly dispersing out and disappearing as soon as the officer waves us off.

"Holy shit," I breath out still feeling my body tremble after holding it tight for so long.

"All because the license plate light was out? Why would he even waste his time?" Stevie let's go if my hand and rolls her eyes watching the officer drive away into the distance while I sat in the drivers seat trying to come down from the high.

"Harry are you alright?" Stevie leans down while my head  rests against the steering wheel. "Harry?"

"I'm okay, I just thought I was going to lose you," I play off. I wanted her to think I was on the same wave length as her, playing along with the theory that her dad called the cops on us.

I was afraid that if I was found out I would lose everything, my entire life and Stevie was part of that now. I never felt so afraid in my entire life, like I was watching from the inside my life fall apart like shattered glass. The dizziness gives me an aching headache as I look up at Stevie.

"I wouldn't let that happen, you are stuck with me," she cuddles into my shoulder while I lay my head on top of hers. Taking deep breaths as I watch the sun fade into purple behind the barren landscapes.

N: Sorry I literally suck! I've been soooo busy lately! Finding the time to sit down and write has been close to impossible but I'm not abandoning any of you. I plan on finishing this story as well as my others and creating new stories as well. But updates may be a little slower then what they used to be.

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