Hidden Secrets
By Sherlyn Peterson
Date: October 7, 2020
Ch. 11


I pull the car into the little gas station in Helena, Montana. I’ve been driving west for 33 straight hours, only stopping to fill the gas tank before getting back on the road; putting as much space between us and New York as possible. I keep looking over my shoulder, expecting to see Angela or one of her minions in my rearview mirror at every glance.

I look over at the sleeping beauty that is snoring softly in the passenger seat. I focus my mind and push my thoughts into her memory, fabricating the last 33 hours’ worth of road trip conversation, food and sightseeing.

I grab the camera off of the dash board and take a picture of Olivia sleeping soundly curled up with a pillow. I’ve been diligently taking pictures the entire trip, only waking her every few hours to stretch her legs, eat, and relieve herself at the gas stations, then I send her back off into a deep peaceful slumber.

“Hey, baby, it’s time to wake up.” I gently shake her shoulder and smile when she groans and buries her face in the pillow to block out my voice.

“5 more minutes!” she whines “I was having a good dream.”

I tug the pillow from here grasp, lean over, and begin planting kisses all over her cheeks. She giggles and squirms away “Alright, alright, I’m up.” She finally yawns.

“We’re almost there.” I tell her through a chuckle, “Besides, aren’t you hungry?”

As if her stomach has ears, it starts growling with the mention of food. She sits up, stretching her arms and legs as she takes in our unfamiliar surroundings.

“Where are we?” she asks opening her door to the chilly mountain air, shivering as it hits her.

“Helena, Montana.” I tell her as I reach into the back seat and grab her brand new coat. It is one of the many new items I’ve had to purchase her on this trip because I didn’t have time to grab hers when we were fleeing from Angela back in New York.

Thank goodness I had the foresight to hide a good deal of cash and a getaway car; I’ve been planning on escaping from Angela for a long time now, I just hadn’t planned on needing them so soon.

“You’re pumping the gas, right?” I tease her. I know damb well that she won’t stand out in the cold to put gas in the car; she’s a warm blooded girl. It’s a good thing I don’t get cold or I would pay one of the locals to pump it for me while I stand inside with her where it’s warm.

“Not a chance!” she smiles,slipping the coat on and giving me a grateful kiss before venturing toward the gas station, leaving me out in the cold to pump gas.

I admire her ass in the tight blue jeans as she walks away and disappears off toward the bathroom. I let my mind wonder into fantasy land, imagining what I’m going to do to her when we finally stop driving. A loud click makes me jump before I realize it’s just the pump saying the tank is full and I laugh at myself for being so jumpy.

I walk through the doors of the gas station and stop dead in my tracks to gawk at the sight in front of me. Olivia is standing there, arms overflowing with bags of chips, snacks, soda, and whatever else she could stack on the pile, which is so tall that she is using her chin to hold it in place.

“Wow!” I chuckle in amusement, taking the brunt of the load from her and placing it on the counter.

“What?” she asks sounding a bit offended “I’m starving! It feels like I haven’t eaten in a month.” She smiles and cracks open a soda, guzzling down half of the bottle before letting the cashier ring it up “Don’t worry, I’ll share.” She winks at me.

“Thanks.” I say sarcastically, pulling out my wallet and giving the cashier some bills.

I shake my head. Maybe I’m not feeding her enough, I’ll have to remember to set some alarms on my phone; she would starve if she waited on me to get hungry. As far as she knows I’m human, I need to remember to act like one.

The man behind the counter bags up all of our things and bids us a good night.

“Hey,” I turn to Olivia “why don’t you take these out to the car while I use the restroom and get directions.”

“Ok, I’ll be in the car stuffing my face when you’re done.” She smiles at her little joke and takes the bags, giving me a chaste kiss on the cheek before heading out into the cold.

I watch her walk to the car and scope out the store for any other customers within earshot before turning to the cashier. I clear my mind, allowing it to connect with his thoughts and memories. When our minds are fully connected and I have access to his memories of the last few minutes since we showed up, I begin clearing us from his mind. I let him remember up until the moments before we showed up and then I leave.

I hate having to mess with people’s heads but I have to be as cautious as possible; I can’t leave any trace of us behind for someone else to follow.

I glance at the map, memorizing the rest of our route up the mountain to the little cottage, and slipit back into my pocket just as I reach the door of the car. We have another 45 minutes to an hour left to drive until we reach our destination.

I know being stuck in the middle of nowhere doesn’t seem like a very nice vacation, most people want sunshine and beaches, but it was the best option I found online on such a short notice that would take cash. It’s secluded, surrounded by a forest that we can disappear into at a moments notice, and the last place Angela would ever think to look for us.

I rented the place for a whole month, just the two of us. I will have to keep Olivia busy while we’re here so she doesn’t get suspicious of why we chose the mountains instead of one of the many honeymooner hot spots for a ‘vacation’.

I’ve been doing my research about this place, according to the internet and the few brochures I’ve picked up along the way, there is horseback riding, hiking, and we can even pan for gold. Hopefully that will be enough to entertain her.

As for me… there is plenty of big game out here. Animal blood isn’t my favorite way to survive but until I can find a way to fix my ‘fang problem’ it will have to do. If I was a normal vampire my body would reject it, but there have been a few perks of being Angela’s guinea pig including the fact that my body can live off of any blood that comes fresh out of the vein, human or animal.

I climb into the car, “Ready?” I ask, reaching over I steal a chip out of Olivia’s hand and pop it into my mouth. She narrows her eyes at me and growls like a starving dog.

She grabs a candy bar and throws it at me. “Get your own food!” she barks. I laugh and dodge her feeble attempts to punch me in the arm.

We turn out onto the highway laughing and head up the mountain to our secluded retreat. It feels good to be able to joke and push my worries, temporarily, aside.

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