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   Chapter 21 No.21

My Sister's Keeper By Bill Benners Characters: 9104

Updated: 2018-05-28 11:03

STANDING MOTIONLESS in front of the window, I held my breath and waited to see what Angie was going to do. Her eyes pleaded with mine and mine with hers. The two of us stayed fixed on each other until the lights in the room went off whereupon she bolted across the porch back toward the door from where she'd come.

"Wait, " I whispered, spanning the deck behind her.

"Please don't tell, " she pleaded as I got closer. "I'll do anything you want." She let her gown fall open and as the wind whipped it out like a sail, I saw that she wore nothing underneath. "Please?"

I stopped a few feet from her. "I don't work here. I'm just trying to find out what happened to a girl that's disappeared."

She pulled her robe closed clasping it at the neck and waist. "I—I don't know anything about the others. I just started last week."

"What do they do here?"

She looked inside her room then back to me and whispered, "Who are you looking for?"

"Ashleigh Matthews."

As the chilly wind pressed her thin robe against her naked body, she struggled to keep it closed. "I've never heard that name."

"What do you do here?" I asked again.

A sliding door rolled open one level above us and hard leather shoes scuffed the porch above our heads. The door closed with a bump and as the shoes crossed the deck and started down the stairs, Angie pulled me into her darkened room closing the door behind us. Through the misty glass I could make out the shape of a heavy man in his 50s or 60s as he continued down the stairs and disappeared.

"That's creepy Fat Albert. He walks around all night, but the girls say you can get anything you want from him if you do him favors. Don't let him see you."

I took her arm and swiveled her to face me. "Tell me the truth, Angie. What goes on here?"

She ripped her arm out of my grip and stepped back into the darkness. "How did you know my name?"

"I just heard you say it on the phone."

"Please. Leave now before you get me in trouble."

I whispered gently, "Listen to me. This girl could be in a lot worse trouble and I need to find her."

Her voice grew fainter, "I told you I've never heard of her."

I shuffled blindly toward her voice and spoke softly. "A blond man from here was in her house earlier tonight looking for something. When he left I followed him here. He drove a black Corvette and had a mole on his face. Who is he?"

I could hear her breathing through her mouth. "That's Greg. He works here, too."

"Doing what?"

"Whatever they want."

"On the phone you said things were crazy around here. What did you mean?"

Her breathing became more rapid. "Someone took some money and they're trying to find it. They questioned us and searched ou

d back, and saw a man running down the drive toward me. As the car's lights popped on and it squealed from under the house, my heart leapt into my throat. I bolted across the road and up the opposite drive, tossed the cassette in the saddlebag, hopped on the bike, and cranked it to life. The car picked up the man running, then sped across the highway and was right behind me as I spun out the backside of the property, crossed another sandy lot, and fled out a different road. I pushed the bike to speeds of over 70 M.P.H. with my helmet flapping off the side and the sedan swerving back and forth across the road just a few car lengths behind me.

Managing to get my helmet on, I cut through another sandy lot back to the beach road hoping for more cars, but summer was still officially two months away and traffic was light. I passed one slow moving vehicle, but the sedan also cruised by it and got even closer. As I neared the next car, it made an abrupt left turn causing me to skid on the sandy pavement and bounce off a blue and white 50s-era Chevy parked on the shoulder of the road. I smacked the pavement and got hung up under the bike as it made a 360-degree spin on the roadway and skidded into the deep sand of a beach access ramp.

Pain flared through my left leg as I wriggled out from under the bike and strained to lift it. The sedan slowed, its tires squalling, then swerved and headed straight for me.

Throwing my leg over the bike, I rammed the throttle and—with the back tire spinning in the loose sand—wobbled up the slippery wooden ramp and clunked onto the beach. As the bike hit the sand, it lurched forward just as the sedan came crashing into the sand behind me and stopped dead. I heard their engine racing and their tires spinning freely in the sand as I sped off down the beach.

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