Faithless…new writing, unedited, incomplete…

The problem with rattling bushes is that you never expect what falls into your lap. Or at least that’s what my mother said to me. “If you go looking for trouble, you’re bound to find it.” Mad Michael wasn’t much of a father, but even he knew you don’t hunt trouble.
You let it come to you.
As Lilly and I drove to the address provided to us by Paddy, I thought about the man I had seen last night. Lilly drove, so I had time to think of other things. Mostly because her ability to avoid collisions, and the high probability she’d cause one, had taught me the value of turning my attention elsewhere while she drove.
My partner was an expert behind the wheel, according to her, but my stress level would hit all-time heights if I didn’t avoid looking at the road. Lilly had her right hand on the wheel, her left hand held her phone, and she was trying to talk to me. All while driving.
“What are you thinking about, Konan?”
“There was a guy sitting on the bench last night when I boarded the bus. I’m trying to picture his face.”
“What did he look like?”
“He had a beard, like a blonde Viking would have.”
“So, he was a blonde?”
“Maybe.”
“What else do you remember about him?”
“Not much. It was dark.”
I put my left hand against the roof of the car and held onto to the bar above the door with my right. Lilly sighed, took a sip of coffee, and said, “I’ve got it, Konan. Sheesh. You worry more than an old woman.”
Lilly avoided the car, the owner of the Buick SUV jammed on the horn, and I leaned back against the seat. It was totally within the realm of possibility that one day I would file a disability claim for a bad back.
“Do you think the guy has something to do with our case? Was it Titus?”
“I don’t know. It didn’t look like Titus, but if he’s back he’s bound to change his appearance.”
“We ran him out of town, and he never showed to any of the usual ports. Do you think he survived?”
“I’d put money on it.”
“Why?”
“Survivors are fighters, Lilly. Titus didn’t give up when Bronowski got pinched. He didn’t turn himself in when his other cohort killed herself on the church steps. Titus continued to fight to not only exist but to escape.”
“You admire him? Do I need to remind you of what they did to Bradley Freeman?”
“Nope. I don’t need reminding. Drop me off about a mile from our destination. You continue going to the home. I want to check something out.”
“What?”
“Just drop me out. Don’t get out of the car until I peck on your window.”
“Konan, what is going on?”
“Glance out your side mirror. Do you notice that black truck three cars back?”
“Yeah.”
“It’s been with us the whole way.”
“Do you think it’s Titus?”
“I don’t know. Speed up and pull off somewhere. Let it pass us.”
Lilly sped up and raced toward a small community. A bridge crossed a small creek prior to entering the community. She pulled the car off the right side of the road and popped the hood. I got out and lifted it. The black truck passed us, and I tried to get a peek at the driver, to no avail.
The windows were pitch black. It continued into the community, and I pushed the hood down. I climbed into the car, and Lilly proceeded to the address. There was no black truck in sight.
“Where did it go?”
“I don’t know, Lilly, but I don’t like it. Something isn’t right.”

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