Amber felt her inner feline rising and offered him a slow smile. “Do I look like a princess to you?”
“No, you’re a siren. Beautiful, dangerous, and scary as hell to any man with functioning genitalia.”
Her smile faded. “That light behind us is creeping closer.”
“Not that I’ve noticed.” Amber turned in her seat and almost bit her tongue off when the front tires struck a rock.
“Can we lose him?”
“Oh, we can do a lot better than that.” Reaching back, he grabbed her pack and dropped it in her lap. “We’re on a high point of land. Narrow road, no guardrails. There’s a canyon on our left. I’m going to slow down at the next bend. When I tell you to jump, tuck and roll. When you stop, head for the trees. Take this.” He handed her what looked like a small cell phone. “It’s a comm link. It has a one-mile radius. Keep it switched on, and I’ll find you.”
Never in her life could Amber recall having so many instructions fired at her in under fifteen seconds. “Are you sure—” she began.
But he cut her off with a firm, This is as slow as it gets, Snowbird. Go. Now.”
It must have been his tone. Either that, or she’d gone as crazy as he obviously was. Amber grabbed the link and her pack, shoved the door open, and jumped.
Her martial arts classes had taught her how to fall without injuring herself. However, when she factored in the momentum of a moving vehicle, everything she’d learned about a safe landing flew from her head. She hit hard, tumbled, and wound up on her stomach with her face buried in a patch of wet leaves.
“Ouch,” she mumbled.
She struggled to slow her spinning mind as she rolled over. A series of crashes reached her from the road ahead. The sound penetrated her mental haze. It also got her moving.
Head for the trees, Gage had said. Which trees? There were an awful lot of them on this side of the road.
Working herself into a crouch, Amber switched on the link and waited for the light to blink green. When it did, she zipped it inside her pocket, hoisted her pack, and struck out for the woods.
She heard a final crunch of metal on rock and knew exactly what Gage had done. He’d shot his truck over the edge of the cliff into a fathomless canyon where no one in their right mind would dare venture at night. If there happened to be a lake at the bottom, so much the better.
How long would the diversion last, Amber wondered as she ran. Two or three hours? Until morning?
A horrible thought suddenly occurred to her. Halting, she spun to look back. Gage’s truck had gone into the canyon. But what if it hadn’t been empty when it left the road?