Noah got out of the car and walked around to my side, he opened the door and held out his hand. I didn’t question him, instead I undone my seatbelt and placed my hand in in his. I didn’t have time to gloss over the irony because Noah pulled me in close to him before I could.
“Stick with me, got it?” he exclaimed, his voice low and quiet.
“Okay.” I mumbled, confused. Who the hell would want to smash my door in. I pulled out my cell phone, so I’d ignored five calls from Josh and six from Mackenzie, but I didn’t think either of them had it in them, as petty as they could be.
Noah walked up the path to the door, stepping over the glass carefully. “Watch your step.” He whispered as he push opened what remained of the broken door. We moved quickly up to the guest room. He checked the closet and under the bed then sat me down and walked to the door.
“Stay here, don’t call anyone. Don’t move.” His eyes were dark, the spark that had been there earlier was gone. Whatever Noah was hiding, this had something to do with it.
“Uh, you’re scaring me.” I whispered. The words left my mouth before I could stop them. Although I barely knew my stepbrother, and although I could could count the number of times we’d been in one another’s company before he’d arrived this time one hand, I still trusted him. Noah looked at me, his eyes narrowed and he nodded.
“I’m sorry.” He closed the door and I heard it lock after him. I sat there for the longest time, hearing doors open and close throughout the house. When Noah finally returned he looked at me and let out a sigh. He opened the closet and pulled out his suit cases.
I watched in stunned silence as he packed his things into them. He picked his laptop up and placed it on top of his clothes. Before closing both cases and zipping them shut.
“Come on. You need to pack too.”
I frowned and shook my head. “What?!”
“We don’t have time for explanations or questions. You need to go into your room and pack a case. Or I will.”
Noah pulled his luggage off the bed and walked out of the room dragging it behind him. I sat there for a moment still unable to process what was happening. I heard him stop he walked back to the door and stared at me. “Now Vi.”
I rolled my eyes and stood up, I walked out of the guestroom and down the hall to my room. Noah had already found a suitcase in my closet, he stood there waiting for me to pack it.
“I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what the fuck is going on.”
“The hell your not.” Noah muttered. “I guess I’m packing for you then.”
He walked to my drawers and started from the top, opening my underwear drawer first. He didn’t bat an eyelid or blush as he dug into the delicates and pulled a bunch out. He tossed them into the bottom of the case and then returned for the next drawer.
“I have to get the door fixed Noah. I can’t run away with you.”
“Fuck the door.” He exclaimed, a deep seated anger present in his voice. “If we hang around here much longer, you’ll have more than a door to worry about.”
Noah threw a bunch of shirts and pants in the case and zipped it up, he pulled it off the bed and dragged it out into the hall with his own cases. He looked up at me, with pleading eyes and bit his bottom lip.
“I know I’m being weird. But you have to trust me Vi. We have to go. Now.”
I patted my pocket down, I still had my phone, worst case scenario; I could call someone to come get me. I nodded and walked into the hallway.
“Fine. Let’s go.”
Noah let out a relieved sigh and walked through the hallway and down the stairs. He stopped at the bottom and looked both ways before walking straight out the front door and across the yard to his car. He opened the boot.
“Get in the car and put your seatbelt on.”
“Sir, yes sir.” I replied sardonically as I left my case beside his and walked to the passengers door. I climbed into the car and sat there waiting. A few minutes later Noah was in the car, he started it without hesitating and was still putting his seatbelt on as he backed out of the driveway.
“Tell me what is going on Noah. Please.”
“I can’t.” He replied. “I wish I could.”
“Of course you fucking can. It’s just me and you here. No one else is around. Are you messed up in some kind of drug cartel, is that why someone broke in. Noah, honestly. Just tell me.”
“No, I’m not messed up in a drug cartel.” He replied quietly. “Look, we’ll be driving awhile. You should get some sleep.”
“It’s barely dark.”
“I don’t know when we’re going to get proper shut eye Vi. I know you like to be Miss independent, but take a little direction and sleep. You’ll need it.”
I closed my eyes, because arguing wasn’t worth it, and my mind was already in overdrive. Sleep actually did sound kind of inviting, maybe when I woke up I’d get out of him what the fuck was going on.
“Yeah, okay. I’m here now. I’ll leave the car in the lot. You’ll have someone get it?”
I opened my eyes as the car pulled to a stop.
“Okay, cool. Yes, 23. I get it. I messed up. Reprimand me later. Bye.”
The car stopped and Noah unclipped my seatbelt as well as his own. “Vi, we need to swap cars.”
“Huh?” I whispered turning to face him. It was almost pitch black outside, but the crude light of the hotel we were parked at shone down on him enough to light up his face.
“Come on. We need to swap cars and get back on the road.”
“Bed.” I whispered wistfully.
“I wish.” He replied. “Come on.”
Noah got out and grabbed the cases. He led me around the back of the building and stopped beside an older pontiac. He bent down by the tire and pulled the keys out. The lights flashed once.
Too tired to fight his bossiness I got into the car that was foreign to me. Noah reloaded the car and then got into the drivers side.
“Where are we going.” I asked.
“Noah.” I muttered. He started the car and pulled out of the hotel car park. Frustrated I pulled my phone out of my pocket. There were no bars of service, so I huffed. The light caught Noah’s attention. He swore under his breath as he wound down the window. Before I could react he’d grabbed my phone and thrown it out the car window.
“Noah!” I yelled. “That was my fucking phone!”
“An phones are incredibly easy to track Vi.”
“You have yours!” I retorted.
Noah let out a chuckle and pulled a phone from his pocket. It was smashed and clearly broken. “I have burner phones.”
“You realise how crazy you sound right.”
“Yes. I’m aware.”
“I want to go home.” I murmured. “Please, let me out and I won’t tell anyone about this.”
“I can’t let you do that.” Noah whispered. He sounded sad, more than sad. Like his words were rebelling against his nature.
Nausea rocked through me. I’d blindly trusted Noah because his father had never given me reason not to. Maybe that had been wrong.
Desperate to leave the situation I’d somehow found myself in, I went to undo my seatbelt so I could open the door and roll out into the ditch, a broken bone or two was surely better than whatever Noah had planned for me. Before I could execute my idea however, Noah cottoned on and stopped the car.
“Vi, You have to trust me.” He begged. “I’m not trying to hurt you.”
“Tell me what is going on then.” I replied, exasperated. “Give me a reason to trust you!”
Noah pulled his seat belt off and leaned across the car. He pulled me into him and pressed his lips to mine. For a guy that proclaimed to not have time to romance, the boy sure could kiss. I wanted to push him back and tell him that making out with me wasn’t an explanation, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
Finally when I opened my eyes, there were red and blue lights behind us. Noah wound down his window.
“Everything okay here.” The officer exclaimed. “You were going a little fast back there.”
“Sorry sir. I just promised my girl a romantic weekend and we’re running a little late.” Noah grabbed my hand and enclosed his around it.
“Well, I understand that sir, but if you speed you may crash and if you crash then neither one of you will get to have that romantic weekend.”
“Yes sir.” Noah murmured.
“License and registration?”
Noah leaned across and opened the glove box to the car that wasn’t his. He pulled out a piece of paper and a small rectangular wallet. He handed the registration, and pulled the license out.
“Alright Nathan.” The officer said. “I’ll be right back.”
“Nathan?” I whispered once we were alone again.
“I’ll explain everything in a minute.” Noah promised. “Just keep it cool okay.”
I swallowed hard. “Okay… Nathan.”
The officer returned and handed the documents back to Noah. He looked over at me and smiled. “You two take your time alright.”
“We will sir.” I smiled.
“Alright, good night.”
The officer left and Noah let out a sigh of relief. “Sorry for launching at you. I pulled over before the cop did, quite suddenly and I knew he’d ask why. I figured kissing you would answer that quickly without words.”
“It’s okay.” I whispered. “I believe you owe me some answers.”
Noah nodded and started the car. “I wasn’t meant to bring you into this.” He murmured. “I was told to leave and leave you there. They’re after me… not you. I was assured that if I left you, you’d be safe. I messed up… and I don’t even know why.”
“Drug cartel?” I whispered.
“No Vi, not the damn drug cartel.” He pulled out and started driving down the dark road. “I’m so sorry. Fuck. I’ve messed everything up.”
“Noah… talk to me. In the last 32 hours we’ve been through more than some people go through in years of knowing one another. Please. I won’t judge.”
“When you realise how massively I’ve just changed your entire life… you might think a little differently.”
“Well neither one of us will know know, if you don’t tell me.”
Noah let out a long, slow audible sigh that seemed to bring a darkness into the car.
“I called my boss, she confirmed it was someone I know who smashed in the door. I was given orders to leave immediately. I was given orders to leave you behind. But I know the inner workings of the person who did that’s mind. I know he likes to strike where it hurts. I know he’ll be back. I couldn’t leave you there Vi.” He spoke slowly, deliberately, but still none of it made sense.
“You’re a sales rep.” I replied. “What orders.”
Noah paused before answering, he was hesitating, deciding if he should speak or not.
“I’ve never been a sales rep Vi. I’m a special agent, undercover. What all the movies call a spy.”
I waited for him to laugh, to explain he was kidding. But he didn’t. Finally, I let out a laugh and shook my head. “You’re certifiably insane Noah.”
Noah nodded and pulled into a car park. “You’re probably right. But it’s the truth. I’m an agent, and my cover has been blown.”