Rock was tiring. It had been a long chase. He wasn't sure where he had lost her exactly. He too had pulled off for a while to wait for her to pass him up, but he hadn't seen her yet. She may have changed course, or maybe she had simply outwaited him and she was still behind him somewhere. He could see the orange sodium vapor glow of a town in the distance and glanced at his gas gauge. He was getting low. The harley had a bigger capacity, but Lily would need to refuel soon as well. He pushed ahead, ignoring the numbness in his legs and the creeping ache up his arms settling into his shoulders. The truck stop loomed ahead, his target, like an oasis to a man in the desert, he headed for it mindlessly. After what seemed like an eternity he was pulling into the broken asphalt of "Becky's". It appeared to be the only place for a traveler to stop. There were other businesses up the strip, but they were all closed, with heavy gates across their doorways. It was all rather industrial looking. Merely a weigh station across country. He pulled the bike around to the restaurant side, tucking it neatly behind the large grease container near the back door. Walking back around to the front of the building he noted there was a side door, exit only, and the only other ways in and out were the front and kitchen doors. Bells jangled loudly as he opened the front door, startling a waitress at the cash register out of a light sleep. The place was nearly deserted, just a pair of truckers in one corner who had finished eating but were smoking and drinking coffee, chatting with what appeared to be the chef. Or possibly the mechanic, Rock thought wryly after glancing at the mans dirty fingernails. He made eye contact with the waitress, who waved a hand around in a tired way to indicate he may sit anywhere he liked. Moving to a table in the corner but still by the front window, the heavyset middle aged woman followed and lay a grease stained piece of cardboard on the table in front of him and flipped his coffee cup upright. He almost got his hand burnt before she realized he didn't want coffee. "Iced tea, no lemon, lots of sugar." He ordered. She shrugged her shoulders and rolled her eyes sleepily, wondering if he was worth waking up for. As she shuffled off to get his tea, he let his gaze peruse the menu, if it could be called such. It had been corrected with at least four different pens of various colors and writing ability. There were stickers over prices at least three different times, and whole thing looked as though it had been rescued from the parking lot. He wondered if he should eat the food here. How bad could it be? He had a cast iron stomach, and right now, it was making some demands. Thunk ! Iced tea joined the resident stains on the pitiful paper menu. Rock shook the drops off his hand before giving her a cold look and ordered the Sunrise Special, answering the questions by rote; scrambled, toast, wheat, bacon, no sausage, all bacon please, hash browns. She turned and shuffled off to the window to place his order, her feet never losing contact with the floor. The sound grated on his nerves. His earlier hopeful mood was quickly being replaced with a sour one. He only hoped his food would come quickly and be edible so he could get on with it. Out side the hazy yellow curtains, beyond the hazy yellow window, a lightening could be seen in the sky. Day was coming. The sky had gone from a dark blue to a pale lavender and pink by the time his food came. The waitress dropped it in front of him with as much enthusiasm as she had his tea and sauntered off without an offer of a refill, although his glass was mostly empty. The food smelled and looked good and without too much more thought about it, he started packing it away. He was almost done when he heard the rumbling that brought him halfway out of his seat. He smiled and finished chewing his bacon as he rose and tossed a twenty on the table.
"Keep the change." He said to the waitress as he walked to the front door. Lily was just getting off the bike at the pumps. She looked toward the restaurant for a long moment and his heart beat heavily. DId she see him? Would she jump on her bike and be gone? She was too close to lose him again, but he would rather she let him come with her. She just didn't know what she was wrapped up in here. She turned her attention back to her bike and began fueling. He stepped out onto the sidewalk, the damned bells on the door jangling loudly, catching her attention. Seeing Rock coming toward her sent her stomach slamming to the ground. Dammit! Couldn't she get rid of him? She rolled her eyes, and waited for him to come closer. She affected not to notice him until he spoke.
"Well, that was a fun chase, hm? I thought we were going to go together." She assumed a casual look and replied;
"That's what you get for thinking! " He smirked a little and looked up at her, squinting now in the first fingers of sunlight. The light shone through her hair, making it look very red, her cheeks were pink with windburn, and despite the tired circles under her eyes, he thought she looked wild and beautiful. She looked over at his unusual lack of response and caught him staring at her in that way. Feeling a little flustered,she fixed her attention on the pump as though the numbers flipping over were facinating to her. Her tank was just about full and she just couldn't help herself but let a bit splash onto his boots as she replaced the spout. He jumped back, swearing, startled out of his reverie. Smiling inwardly, she gave him cow eyes and batted them prettily as she apologized sweetly. Too sweetly.
"Oh, did I do that? I am so sorry. I guess I'm just tired." Then her tone changed. "Tired of having you and your bad luck following me around. I don't know what you want, but I just want to go get my friend back, hopefully alive, and remain so myself. I really don't have the time to play whatever game this is you are trying to play. I don't know the goal, or the rules and I don't want to play anymore. My life was so easy until you came back into it! So why don't you go hop on your bike, or in your plane or maybe you have a rocket ship you can take to the moon. Either way, don't take a map, and kindly, GET LOST!" Waving her speedpass at the pump she got back on her bike. She had been planning to get a bite, but now her appetite was gone, her stomach all clenched up in knots. He was icing her down with his blue eyes, but remained silent. She shook her head, lowered her glasses, kicked the starter hard and roared away leaving him in a cloud of her exhaust. That's okay, he told himself. I can't tell her now, I have to have patience. I know where she's going. With those thoughts in mind he went to retrieve his bike and fill it up so he could follow along to St. Louis. Damned stubborn hard headed woman! God how he loved that about her.
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