"Your mother and me have been wild with worry, Carrie. Officer Peterson just left and he's insisting David is a criminal and gun runner!"
"Officer Pet..Peter... Peterson?" Carrie stammered out between sobs,"Daddy, what did you tell him?"
"I told him the truth! I said I never trusted him!"
"Daddy," Carrie whispered,"It's not true!"
"David never won my trust and now your implicated in something of a federal level. You better tell him everything you know!"
Carrie glanced around the apartment, her hand curling around the cold pistol.
"Daddy, I have to go." she clicked off as he was yelling at her to stay on the line.
Carrie got up and grabbed an overnight bag, throwing in crumpled jean's, t-shirts and sundry underclothes into the bag. She tossed in bathroom essentials and a few accessories along with her phone charger and some antacids.
She ripped the dog food bag open so the dogs could forage and poured water in a big metal bowl.
"Be good," she admonished the dogs and patted them on the head, "I'll be back as soon as I can figure this out."
Carrie peeled out of the drive, looking to be sure no one was around and headed back to the hospital.
At the Y in the road, she turned the opposite direction of the hospital at the last minute. The garage was four miles away. Maybe she'd find something to shed some light on the attack. She felt sweat pouring down her t-shirt. The face in the rearview window looking back at her never looked so alone or terrified. David, you have to help me. she thought.
Carrie eased up on the gas pedal approaching the dark garage. The safety light that always shone bright in the night was extinguished. She hesitated before slowly approaching the door. Off to the side of the garage she saw movement. A dark sedan was pulling out around the back onto the road going west. Carrie hung back until tail lights disappeared in the opposite direction.
Carrie parked close to the road and pulled the pistol out of her bag. She thanked her father for all the hours at the shooting range. If she had one thing to rely on it was confidence in her ability to defend herself.
Carrie crouched and ran along the treeline up to the man door of the garage. It was slightly ajar. The hair on her neck stood up. She shoved the door open enough to enter and using her phone flashlight shone the light around David's office. Someone had ransacked the office, apparently searching for something. The chair was upended and paper strewn over the floor. All the drawers of the desk were emptied.
Carrie krept through to the garage that smelled of old oil and tires stacked haphazardly along the walls. A red Ford 150 was up on the rack. She skirted it and went to the back of the garage. She remembered a bathroom in back with a hidden door David kept a safe nestled in. He said that it was as good a hiding place as any here.
The spot was buried under boxes of toiletries and garage cleaners. She hauled them clear of the door, mindful that she may need a fast exit. Carrie cringed as a creeping claustrophobia overtook her in the back corner of the garage. The closet exit was the garage door that felt miles away. In reality it was about four car lengths to the door, if she could even get there if an intruder came.
The small hidden door was visible now and Carrie panted with exertion and a fear she could smell.
She pulled on the door, but it stuck. A master lock was affixed to the metal hinge.
She cursed under her breath. Pulling it ineffectively, metal on metal clanged loud into the empty garage. Making a split decision, she pointed the pistol at it and shot the hook. The lock popped off the hinge and the ricochet hurt her ears. She gasped and looked out toward the door. No one was coming...yet.
Opening the door, she found a large dark colored safe. This is what they are looking for, she thought. Her fingers trembled with the code. Would David use the same codes?
The lock turned and clicked release after the fourth try. The variation was just a bit off. He used her birthday and thier anniversary.
With hands shaking uncontrollably, she lifted the lid. Stacks of cash were lined up edge to edge. But what is this? She pulled out a list of names. Scanning the list she gasped... *Peterson, Doyle, Carmichael and the list continued. She didn't have time. She snapped a photograph of the sheet, doubting it would be clear, and folded the paper. She put the paper down her interior jacket pocket and pushed the money back in the safe shoving the safe back she hurriedly stacked the boxes back up in front of the small door.
Now Carrie was sprinting toward the door. Headlights appeared in the distance as she ran out of breath to the car. She flung the driver's side door open and inserted the key in the ignition. Pulling out of the drive, she stomped the gas pedal feeling the car's rear end swaying, tearing up gravel as she drove with reckless speed toward the hospital as headlights neared her from behind.
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