Catching Smoke: Ch. 44

catching smoke cover

“Did you think you would get away with it?” Monique asks in her heavy French accent.

Emmalee’s heart is racing as her mind searches for a way out. She could jump out of the car like she did when she met Colin. But then what? Where could she go? Back to the agency?

She doesn’t even know where that is.

“We had a deal,” Emmalee says, forcing herself to sound stronger than she feels.

Monique scoffs. “A deal? Is that what you call it? I call it thievery!”

“What do you want?”

Monique slams on the brakes, and Emmalee grits her teeth as she pushes her hands out to keep herself from flying forward, catching herself between the passenger and driver seat. Monique swivels in her seat, and glares at Emmalee.

“I want my life back!” she says.

Emmalee takes advantage of the opportunity to escape. She quickly slides to the door, unlocks it, and dashes out of the car into oncoming traffic. Horns blare as drivers veer to avoid hitting her as she half-limps, half-runs across the street. One of her legs feels heavier than the other. When did that happen? 

She doesn’t have time to think. 

Monique lets out a piercing scream behind her, but Emmalee doesn’t stop or turn around. She just keeps running until she reaches the other side where there’s a fence circling a private park. Emmalee throws herself over the fence, but the edge of her shirt catches on the tip and rips. She spins around to unhook herself from the fence, and without missing a beat, disappears into the park.

She stops to catch her breath for a moment behind a large tree, and looks up. What the hell just happened? How did she get in Madame Delvaux’s bed?

The numbing feeling in her leg begins to trickle up her body until her whole right side feels heavy. She leans against the tree, and allows herself to sink down to sitting, and that’s when she notices the pricking sensation on her lower back. She slides a hand behind her back, and has a moment of panic when she realizes there’s a small, tack-sized needle in her lower spine. She quickly plucks the needle out, and holds it up in front of her. Her heart starts pounding as she realizes what it is.

And before she has time to react, she’s out.

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