Chapter 6

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I don't need any more motivation to flee the scene, or any more pride to hold me back. I hadn't thought about what that guy or the rest of his crew might be packing and now I'm going to pay for it. I can hear them bounding after me when I make it out the door. I see a side street behind the bar and hope I'll be able to disappear behind it. My legs take me to the alleyway and I silently thank God that it isn't a dead end. I come to the end of it, still listening to the shouts of men. The roar of a bike engine breaks the sounds of the suburbs and my heart begins to pound. If they have bikes, they'll catch up to me in no time.

I push myself forward, running as fast as I can through the windy back streets of wherever I am until I see something that might be my escape. There's a gap in a fence that probably leads to someone's backyard. If I hide in there until they're gone, I'll be safe.

Glancing back, I find no one watching me so I duck between the corrugated iron fence and into a small but completely trashed yard. I have a bad feeling in my stomach about this. When I hear the bikes round the corner, I know I have no choice so I bend down behind a broken child's stroller and stay as still as I possibly can.

Moments later, the ripping roar of the bike engines zoom past and shake the wooden boards of the fence. They're shouting to each other, but it dies out as they get to the end of the street and drive away. I count to ten in my head and step under the gap in the fence and back into the alley.

The second I emerge from the safety of the trashy backyard, I'm hit from the side and sent sprawling on the sidewalk. My heart practically flies into my throat as I expect to turn around and find Tubby and his crew back for a little fun, but I can't flip over because the attacker is on me, bending my arms behind my back. I hear the familiar clink of handcuffs and my wrists are secured. That's when I realize I'm being arrested.

"Hey, what the fu-"

"Don't," growls a male voice.

I am hauled to my feet and marched toward a police vehicle parked at the end of the alley. I try to spin myself and get a look at the cop who has arrested me, no doubt for trespassing or something lame like that, but he won't let me turn around. It takes all my self-control not to yell at the guy. He's probably one of the old, smelly officers with no consideration for the youth of this generation that I always seem to get stuck with. This is turning out to be one of the shittest days I've had in a long time.

We get to the car and he leans forward to open the door. I catch a glimpse of his figure in the tinted window and out of the corner of my eye. He's young, dark haired and tanned. Clearly a gym addict or something of the sort. I am so taken aback that I forget to duck when I step into the back of the car. Luckily his hand is on my head. It hits the top of the car when I fail to enter correctly and I hear him groan.

"Sorry," I say and glance back at him. He sort of pauses and I can see the surprise in his hazel-brown eyes at my apology. There is a moment of frozen silence between us as he tries to figure out whether he's nabbed the right girl. I take that moment to admire how good looking he is. He isn't the kind of hot that melts your insides or makes you stare until you walk into a pole, but he is very handsome. Especially in a uniform. He looks ... a lot like me, in some ways. Mature, trying to escape from a bad past, smart about living in a world hard to handle. Something about this guy intrigues me. Is it possible to get all that from a fleeting glance?

The sound of a car horn makes us both jump and I am shoved a little more roughly than I'm used to onto the backseat. This time I remember to duck. He slams the door behind.

I adjust myself awkwardly and watch him stalk around the car, sliding into the passenger's seat. There's another policeman in the driver's seat and as soon as the young cop has closed his door, we turn onto the main road.

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