ENDS

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34- Out

We had turned off the music player some minutes ago and continued driving in silence. A really comfortable silence this time around.

The news just sat so uncomfortably at the bottom of my belly.

Mrs. Phoebe.

What exactly did she do to deserve this? Just what?

She never hurt anyone, if anything she stayed in her lane. She kept minding her business. Only gave contributions when asked. Never said a bad word to anyone regardless.

But now she’s dead and it’s all because I put her in this mess.

If I hadn’t gone to her in my pregnancy, she may have never gotten involved with me.

She may have been alive.

The guilt is killing me, no doubt.

My cold feet if possible, just produced ice on my soles.

I was getting hungry again and I think the rumble of my stomach gave it away.

To be fair, it’s been a while since my last meal.

Of recent whenever I get scared, I just get really hungry and it’s beginning to surface once again.

I looked to Hunter and his focus on the road is making me curious to how he’s aware of such a strange path. Asides Mr. Reid’s men, we hadn’t come across any other vehicle.

Not even one that had broken down by chance.

I hadn’t realized I was staring until he called my attention to it.

“ Uhm…. Iris? Is there something you wanna ask?”

To say I was slightly embarrassed was a minimal way to express it, but I didn’t have time to ponder on that.

I ignored his question and simply looked away, I was fighting so hard not to pour the entire blame on him.

Because in clear analysis, This is all his fault.

If he hadn’t raped me, maybe I’d be out of this entire loop.

If he hadn’t joined a drug circle, maybe we’d all be out of this loop.

Maybe I’d have been on a vacation in Georgia with my friends.

But no, I’m on a blind race to find my daughter while Meredith was being kidnapped and Dylan is mourning the death of his mother.

Give me a blood knife and I would’ve sworn that my life can never get this complicated within a year.

I repeat, within a year.

I should’ve declined that job transfer, it has done me more harm than. Moreover, I do not have a job anymore do I?

I’m going crazy and I really do not have anyone to tell me. Not one soul.

“ Iris are you okay?” Hunter’s voice reaches out into my thoughts again and I tried to avoid sending him a glare.

Reluctantly, I responded.

“ Yes, I am”

“ You’ve been carrying a frown for the past few minutes” he said again and the urge to laugh sarcastically befell me.

But once again, I held it.

“ Pardon me for not finding any reason to wear a smile, I mean…. It’s not like a woman who’s like a mother to me just died and one of my friends kidnapped while I am on a hunt for my daughter who was kidnapped also. Where are my manners”

He flinched a bit at my words but still kept his eyes on the road.

“ I’ll fix everything. I promise” he said almost so lowly that I slightly thought he hadn’t said a word.

“She’s dead Hunter and unless you’re God or a mysterious force of nature, you can’t fix life. I just hope my daughter is alive because I cannot take another hit right now” I really pray because that would be the last straw for me.

“ She is” he said with a sigh.

“ How do you know?”

A brief silence passed between us before he said something.

“ I get the proof of that everyday”

Though his words were for reassurance, he didn’t sound so confident in what he said. With a little crack in his tone towards the end of his statement, I got a bit more scared.

“ Hunter please….”

“ She’s fine” he cut me halfway into my sentence like he knew exactly what I was going to say.

I swallowed my remaining words and fell back into my seat. Once more, my stomach rumbled and I angrily ignored it.

“ We could stop at the next gas station if you’re really hungry” hunter commented at the roaring of my stomach.

“ Next? Has there been a previous one?”

“ No actually, but there’s a first one at our next turn”

“ Okay” I said as I patiently waited for our next turn.

And true to his directions, in less than ten minutes we were approaching a gas station with only two individuals present and a single gas pump.

Hunter drove into the marked out area for parking and immediately turned off the ignition .

It didn’t take a minute and I hopped out of the car to the nearest vending machine I saw, but only when I approached did I remember that I hadn’t come out with any money and all my hopes for a snack were dashed against the wind.

Hunter walked straight to one of the workers here and they began talking. I stood by the vending machine and watched them for a while.

Honestly, the way he behaved, I wouldn’t be surprised if he claims to thread this path everyday because his knowledge of this area and people around is enough proof to the kind of links and connections he possesses.

More minutes go by and quickly, he begins to approach me with haste that got me worried.

I haven’t even gotten what to eat, I was busy waiting for him.

“ We have to leave” he said and began dragging me by the hand.

“ but I haven’t eaten anything yet” I whined but followed as he dragged me back to the car.

“ Where we’re going, there’s plenty to eat”

“ I can’t wait that long”

“ Iris we made a mistake, these are Soldo’s men. They are supposed to be Mr. Reid’s men”

“ I don’t understand. What happened to Mr. Reid’s men?” I asked as I got back into the car with him and he hastily started the engine.

“ That’s why we need to get out of here”

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