Catching Smoke: Ch. 47

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The car runs out of gas just as Colin nears the coastal city of Maresias.

He pulls into the first gas station on the outskirts of the city, puts on a cap to make hiding his identity easier, and walks into the store to pay. A young woman is crying into the shoulder of the clerk, who is petting the young woman with a crooked grin on his face. The clerk snaps a glare at Colin when he walks in, obviously not pleased by the intrusion, and the young woman buries her face in the man’s armpit.

“We’re closed,” the clerk says.

“You should have a sign, then,” Colin says. He pulls a bill from his pocket and tosses it toward the clerk. “For the gas.”

Colin turns around and walks out of the building to the car. He doesn’t have time for this pathetic conflict. 

As he fills his tank, he peeks a glance through the store window toward the clerk and the young woman. Her face is no longer buried against the clerk’s chest, and Colin nearly drops the gas pump when he recognizes who she is.

It’s Emmalee.

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