Louise pulled the car off the road and sat there, panting. The night was moonless, black fields surrounded the car, stretching out into the dark. It was a second or two before she realized what she had done. She began to laugh, great, gulping barks, her mouth wide with deranged glee. And then the crying began. Her shoulders slumped forward, her jaw trembling with the anguish, her mouth inconsolably twisted. He was going to find her, she knew it. He always found them. There was no way out. He had designed it that way, a watertight system with no escape routes. Sooner or later they would get her. Her life was over.

She rested her head on the leather steering wheel, all of the brave hope from an hour before draining out of her body. She felt the adrenaline crashing, being overcome by the slow creep of fear, self-doubt, and the acrid taste of death. Abrubtly she hardened her resolve, and lifted her eyes. She had done it. She had actually got away. No one had ever got away before, not one of the countless girls. She knew why. She was intelligent, ruthlessly so, and she was tough. They would regret what they had done to her.

She took the thick roll of cash that was stowed in her waistband and counted it quickly, her fingers deft with experience. It wasn’t much, only what she could glean over the past week from the special clients, but it was enough for a week or so. It could buy her some kind of hide out. She turned the keys in the ignition, and the immediate, soft purr of the engine spurred her on. The black Aston Martin pulled out onto the dark highway, and the red taillights blurred into nothingness as she melted into the distance.



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