They held their breath and laid low for the remaining week they had left at the motel, though fortunately for them, their time at the motel ended without further incident. Instead of paying for another month, they used the money they’d found in Maureen’s room, along with the money they’d earned, and decided it’d be best to leave town altogether.
They dropped down to Redding, California which was just over a hundred miles from Klamath Falls. Redding was bigger than Klamath Falls, though not as big as San Diego. There they paid a month’s rent for a room with a kitchenette at another small, privately owned motel.
Thanks to an aggressive search on both their parts, they landed jobs within ten days, long before their money could get the chance to run out. Shania would work at a small Native-American specialty store with the owner, a middle-aged woman, while Lauren worked at a Laundromat washing, drying and dry-cleaning clothes. Her only coworker was a young man who took care of maintaining the self-service machines on the other side of the large Laundromat. The perky African-American was hoping to make it big as a rap star someday, and often “rapped” to his work. Lauren found it rather amusing, while some customers found it a bit annoying. Even strange.
“Guess folks just aren’t used to rappers in a nothing town in northern California as opposed to the big bad cities, huh, Denise?”
“Yeah, I think that’s got something to do with it. They’ll get used to it, though. At least the customers of this old place will.”
“Maybe sometime you can bring your cousin over and hear me and the band play.”
“Maybe,” said Lauren, though she knew she wouldn’t. It simply wouldn’t be a wise thing to do since they still had nearly a year to go of having to keep a low profile. Besides, other than when it came to Shania, she still didn’t like mixing business with pleasure. She went to work to make money, not to socialize and make friends.
After work, she drove to pick up Shania, who got off work at the same time she did. “How was work?” she asked her.
“Boring. How was your day?” asked Shania, snapping on her seatbelt.
“Same old, same old.”
“That dude still rapping your ear off?”
“Of course,” Lauren answered with a chuckle.
Back at the motel, Lauren was pleased as well as a bit surprised to receive an email from Courtney saying that no one had been by to question her about her whereabouts since her initial disappearance.
They showered together. Not bothering to dress afterward, they had chocolate-covered strawberries for a snack.
Shania lit a stick of magnolia-scented incense they’d gotten at the grocery store, while Lauren set some romantic music to play from the laptop.
They began to slow dance together, naked bodies rubbing deliciously against one another. Not long afterward, they found themselves in bed.
Shania scooted back on the bed and leaned back on her arms. She spread her legs eagerly.
“Oh, you look so good,” said Lauren, voice filled with desire. She followed Shania onto the bed and hovered teasingly above her for a moment. Her dark eyes shone with lust as she rubbed her body alongside Shania’s.
Shania longingly wrapped her legs around Lauren’s middle, pulling her closer.
As their desire mounted, they shifted positions so that each one could taste the other’s most sensitive spots. Five minutes later, they were just about to climax when the knock on the door came, startling them both and spoiling the moment.
Shania wondered if knocking on doors would send her into a panic for as long as she lived.
“Who is it?” Lauren called out.
“Police,” came the answer.
Lauren flashed Shania a fearful look as Shania’s heart took off at such a frantic pace that she thought she’d faint. Without thinking, she reflexively jumped off the bed and quickly headed into the bathroom, closing the door behind her. She just didn’t want to deal with facing the police and possibly giving herself away, if by some chance they weren’t here to arrest them.
Oh, please, please be here for something else! she silently begged.
Lauren threw on a robe and opened the door. “Yes?”
“Hello there,” replied a deep, no-nonsense voice. “Has anyone here seen a white male in his early twenties passing through? He would be about six feet tall, blond, light eyes, slender.”
“No, can’t say that I have. We’ve been in the room for hours.”
“Yes,” said Lauren. “My cousin’s in the bathroom right now getting ready to shower. What’s this about anyway, if you don’t mind my asking?”
“There’s been an escape from the local jail.”
“I’m afraid so.”
“What did this person do?”
“Oh, just a little breaking and entering mixed in with some narcotics sales.”
The officer looked over Lauren’s shoulder and scanned the room before he said, “Ok, thank you, ma’am, and don’t hesitate to phone us if you see anyone suspicious lurking about. Especially anyone fitting the description I just gave you.”
“Have a good night.”
Shania didn’t come out of the bathroom until she heard the door close.
Lauren quietly crept over to her. “Did you hear?”
“I heard. How’d you manage that without passing out completely? Do you think he was for real, or do you think he was making up some story just to check us out?”
“I don’t know, but I sure as hell hope he was for real.”
Shania’s brows were creased with worry. “Maybe we should split.”
“We can’t keep running every time we see a cop, Shania.”
“We can’t go to jail either.”
“We’d lose an awful lot of money if we left now.”
“Better that than an awful lot of freedom.”
“Why don’t we do this,” Lauren said. “We’ll just keep our eyes wide open. If there’s any trouble ahead, I’m sure we’ll see it coming in advance if we keep a sharp watch. The slightest sign of trouble and we’re out of here, ok?”
Shania nodded and said, “And then when our month here is up, I think we ought to go where no one expects us to go.”
“And where would that be?”
Again Shania nodded. “Yes, home. Right smack in the middle of sunny San Diego.”