Dallas thinks it’s a bad idea. I’ve seen it in the set of his face ever since my mother dropped the duffel bag and told me to start packing. Now as we speed west on Route 10 through New Mexico in my Jeep, a hundred miles from El Paso, a hundred miles from my dead father and grief-stricken mother, he’s gotten his argument formed and starts in on the alternatives.
"It’s not a sure thing that a jury would convict you, you know." Like we were in the middle of a conversation, instead of sitting in silence for the past hour.
My skin is damp with sweat that has nothing to do with the temperature. My thighs stick to the seat. My stitches itch. "I’m not sure I want to risk a life sentence for murder one on 'not a sure thing'." It comes out bitter and bitchy, but before I can apologize, Dallas smacks the steering wheel of my Jeep so hard that I jump.
"This is bullshit, Colt."
His anger flares my own, and suddenly I’m unbuckling my seatbelt, yelling at him. "You don’t have to come with me, Dallas. You can pull the fuck over and take a cab home, and I’ll get the rest of the way there by my damn self." The breeze from the open window hurls a lock of my hair into my mouth, and I swipe at it in irritation.
When he turns his eyes to meet mine, they’re wet with tears. Not misty, not glassy, but full-on overflowing, wet tracks glistening off his cheeks, trailing into his scruff of goatee. He tries to smile and it about breaks my heart. "Not on your life. If these are the last days I get to spend with you, I’m taking every second I can get."