A Voluntary Kidnapping

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  "If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience." ~ Woodrow Wilson 

~**~~**~

It wasn't considered kidnapping if he had voluntarily gotten into the car, right?

Or was that just semantics?

The rain was beating down on the windshield.

Hard.

Almost too hard.

Thomas was pretty sure that any second now the rain would shatter the glass, sending deadly shards and fragments careening towards him.

Subconsciously, he tightened his seat belt, leaning back in the passenger's seat. He sent a side glance towards the woman next to him. Her hands clenched the steering wheel tightly, whitening under the tension.

Staring straight out into the flooding road ahead, she maneuvered the car around potholes and ditches. Bringing one hand away from the steering wheel, she briskly wiped away a hanging strand of hair before resuming her former position.

It wasn't the fact that Thomas had gotten into a vehicle with a woman he had only just met, knew nothing about, and was pretty sure could murder him and dispose of his body without a trace that worried him.

No, it was the fact that he hadn't hesitated at all when she had motioned for him to follow her that was really causing him some anxiety.

And sure, maybe the fact that Gizmo had attack the woman the second he had seen her should have put him off, but Thomas was pretty sure it had more to do with the bacon in the woman's pocket than the dog's judgement of her character.

Besides, she had quickly removed a piece of the tasty meat and gifted it to the golden retriever, definitely making a friend for life.

Even so, despite Gizmo's acceptance of her, Thomas was off put when the mysterious doctor appeared on his porch out of the storm. All the emotions that had been tumbling around his skull suddenly vanished only to be replaced by one.

Confusion.

He had no idea why she was here.

Since the Widow Praxton's murderer had been arrested, he assumed the doctor had left as well, leaving Thomas to his dreary, old routine.

And after the confusion had faded, elation filled his soul. Even if it was for a moment, he wanted to taste adventure again.

He had watched her take a small step into the house, just enough to close the door behind her and lock away the blustering winds outside. As she perused the room, Thomas felt his cheeks heat in embarrassment.

Her eyes flitted over the threadbare carpet, the moth-eaten curtains, and the pile of bills clearly marked 'Overdue' in a blaring, bold red.

He was nearly positive she was used to the highest standards of living and his little shack in the middle of the woods didn't even begin to compare.

Yet, if she was judging his way of life, he didn't know. Her face remained neutral the entire time.

He had no idea what she was thinking. At all.

Finally finished with her inspection, her gaze rose up and met his.

Icy-blue irises attacked him.

He wasn't ready for the assault and he had felt himself lean back a few millimeters. Probably indistinguishable to the average layman yet Thomas knew the doctor had seen it. Her eyes followed the movement.

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