Race to Refuge

Race to Refuge by Liz Craig Read Free Book Online

Book: Race to Refuge by Liz Craig Read Free Book Online
Authors: Liz Craig
Tags: Fiction
going to be able to escape the city.
    “Where are you headed?” asked the old man politely.
    I noticed the pronoun he’d used. So he was definitely not making any assumptions that he was along for the whole trip with me. This was a good thing. I’m not sure how Annie was going to take my showing up with a homeless guy in tow. And Jim would be looking at me like I was crazy, too.
    “Do you need to drop me off along the way?” he asked, his voice gently understanding. “It’s okay. You don’t know how much I appreciate you helping me escape.”
    I shocked myself by saying, “I’m trying to get to a safe place in the country. It’s a house my friends own and they’ve invited me to come. I’ll bring you along, if you like.”
    His clear blue eyes were grateful. And with a skill that I, as an insomniac, admired, he fell deeply asleep with a trust in me that was almost childlike.
    He didn’t wake up until I stopped the car to check the GPS. It felt like a safe spot. There were no surrounding homes or buildings. I had the doors locked, too. I pulled out my phone and sighed. Maybe the car charger had a short in it, because it was seriously low on battery. I opened the GPS program and carefully punched in Annie’s address with one finger.
    That’s when he woke up and gave me a questioning look.
    “I’m not exactly sure where we’re headed,” I explained. “I have a general idea of where to head, but I need more detailed directions.” I frowned at my phone, which was moving very slowly.
    “Is it pulling up?” he asked.
    “Maybe. It sure is slow, though.” I looked at him thoughtfully. “I’m Mallory,” I said, holding out a hand. “Good to meet you.”
    He beamed at me, bright blue eyes pleased at going through the old formalities. He held out his own weathered hand. “I’m Joshua,” he said.
    “Nice to meet you,” I said a little absently. At long last the directions were pulling up. “I’d better jot these down before I lose all connection.”
    Joshua immediately said, “If you’ve got paper and a pencil, read out the directions to me and I’ll write them down.”
    I watched as he carefully wrote the detailed directions in a neat print. Then he had me read them back to him as he checked his work for errors. Satisfied, he laid the paper down in the center console. “It looks as if it will take a couple of hours to get there from here. How are we on gas?”
    He was touching on one big area of concern for me right now. “We’ve got a little over half a tank. And this car doesn’t exactly go light on gas, either. It’s not a gas guzzler , but it definitely can use some up. When we see a station, I’m going to try to fill up,” I said.
    We continued on again until it was dark and getting late, Joshua dozing on and off as we went. Finally, I pulled to the side of the road. It was a very quiet road and we hadn’t passed many cars along the way. And on this even smaller road, I hadn’t seen any other motorists.
    “I’m thinking we should stop for the night. Unless you’d like to drive, Joshua?” I asked. I still could hardly believe I was being so trusting. The old me would have been worried about allowing Joshua to take control of the car.
    He smiled gently at me. “I wish I could help out with the driving, but the truth is that it’s been a number of years since I’ve driven. Maybe in an emergency, I could help in a pinch, if we were really desperate. But now…why don’t we just set up camp? You look as if you could really use the rest and you won’t get good quality sleep sleeping in the car.”
    “Although at least in the car, I’ll feel safer,” I added.
    He nodded. “Although I’m guessing the threat here would be very small. We don’t seem to be around any cities. Finding a safe place to bed down is one area where I’ve had a bit of experience.”
    I flushed a little at not having figured that out for myself. “I guess you’d have to be an expert.”
    “And I’m

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