She reluctantly walked down the hall toward their bedroom. He rushed into the kitchen and emptied his pockets of the money he'd cashed out earlier from their bank account. Rummaging through a drawer, he found a piece of paper and pen and scribbled a note to the landlord. He didn't want any loose ends when they left—no trail that could lead back to them. Not if he hoped to protect his wife and unborn child from the monster who had once been his best friend.
He slammed his fist against the counter. Why hadn't he noticed it sooner? The muscles in his neck constricted. All he'd wanted to do was provide for his growing family by working for a legitimate business. He shook his head at his stupidity and misplaced trust.
Pam's footsteps interrupted his thoughts as she neared the kitchen. He finished the note telling the landlord they were leaving and wouldn't be coming back. He tucked it under a cup with enough bills to cover the remainder of the lease and turned to Pam. She stood in the doorway, wearing a solemn expression, dressed in a grey sweatshirt and jeans with a brown suitcase in hand.
"I packed as much of our stuff as I could." She tried to smile, but it didn't reach her eyes. Matt sensed her misgivings. How would he ever explain this to her?
"Good." He took the suitcase.
She stood firm. "I want you to tell me what's going on and why we're leaving in the middle of the night."
"We don't have much time—"
She crinkled her forehead. "What does that mean?"
"It means we need to go." He reached his hand out for hers but she didn't reciprocate.
"I don't understand what's happening."
Matt stepped close to her and ran his hand down her arm, grasping her hand in his. "I know this all sounds confusing and crazy, but I need you to trust me. Please. I'll try to explain everything after we leave." His eyes pleaded with her, hoping she wouldn't ask any more questions or weaken his resolve.
"You're acting so erratic. You're scaring me."
Matt set the suitcase down and pulled her to him, losing himself in the familiar strawberry scent of her hair. He wished things were different. But they weren't. All he could do now was run—run fast and run far, without looking back. Their lives depended on it. He stepped back and gazed deeply into Pam's eyes. "We have to go before they realize that I've left."
"Our lives are in danger."
Pam's eyes widened. "Danger?"
Matt nodded. "Yes. Let's go."
"Where are we going?" A tear snaked down her cheek. "What are we going to do?"
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