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Authors: Mary Elizabeth

Posey (Low #1.5) (9 page)

BOOK: Posey (Low #1.5)
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Does it feel really, really good while you’re doing it? Does it feel like bliss when your body explodes and you go numb? Do you lie there, out of breath, and weightless with thoughts of me?

It only lasts for a few seconds, right?

Then reality hits like a sledgehammer to the stomach.

That’s when I remember I’m here and you’re there, and we’re alone.

Does that happen to you?

Aloneness is worse, but it doesn’t stop me from doing it again.

I love you, and I miss you.

Sincerely,

Poesy

 

 

POE,

I’M COMIN
G
home.

Low

 

 

I HOLD TH
E
short letter against my chest and close my eyes, truly smiling for the first time in months.

Our prison sentences are almost over. Lowen will be released from behind bars, and I’ll be free from lonesomeness. Together, we can truly live the rest of our lives.

Things will be different.

“Where do you want this, Poe?”

I fold the letter and slip it into my back pocket before turning toward my dad. He’s sweaty, red-faced, and out of breath from carrying the little bit of furniture I have from the moving truck to inside the apartment. With my TV in his arms, he waits just inside the front door for direction.

“I guess you can put it against the wall,” I say. “I’ll have to get a table or something to put it on.”

My mom follows him inside. Her hair is in a messy ponytail, and her skin glows from perspiration. She has a box of mismatched dishes and old pots and pans from her own kitchen in her grasp, complaining about how hot it is outside.

“We should have started earlier,” she grumbles. “I hate being hot.”

Rolling my eyes, I head back out for the microwave my parents have given me, untroubled and determined. The apartment I’ve rented is run-down, in a bad neighborhood, and not worth the money I spent to get it, but it’s Lowen’s and mine now. With my signature on the dotted line, it’s six hundred square feet of space that belongs to us. 

And this is only the beginning.

“You know, Poesy, I wish you would think about this a little longer,” Mom says, walking around my small kitchen, opening and closing the cupboards. “There has to be something nicer available.”

“I like it here,” I say, lifting the microwave onto the counter and plugging it in.

“Why are you in such a rush to move out?” She crosses her arms, standing in the spot where I hope to put a table soon.

“Because I’m too old to live at home, and Low—”

Mom puts her hand up, stopping me. “No, I don’t want to hear about him.”

“Fine,” I say, unwilling to let her tarnish my happiness.

“But, you can come back if you need to.” My mom takes a step forward, but then stops.

“I won’t,” I say, confident, making peace with my past. 

After they leave, I spend time unpacking until Patricia stops by with her son’s belongings. Unlike the experience I shared with my life-givers, she couldn’t be prouder of our little place.

“It’s a wonderful starting point, Poe,” she says, with bags full of cleaning supplies and toiletries she’s bought for us. “You’ve done this on your own. My son doesn’t deserve you.”

“Of course, he does,” I say, pulling her in my arms. “We deserve each other.”

 

 

 

“IT’S TWO THIRTY-FIV
E
p.m., and we have breaking news out of Pinella Pass, Alabama. Sky 2 is over the scene, following two suspects believed to be Lowen Seely and Poesy Ashby, also known as the Four-Four Bandits.

“We’re going live with our news chopper to bring you up-to-date on the situation. Can you confirm this is actually the Four-Four Bandits, and where exactly are you?”

“This is Stan Andrews in Sky 2 above Interstate 85, heading north toward Montgomery. We have been advised by city police and the FBI to stay five miles back to allow Police Helicopter, Forty King, room to follow the stolen car, confirmed to be driven by Lowen Seeley, while ground units close the north and southbound sides of the highway.

“As you probably remember, Lowen Seeley and Poesy Ashby have been on the run for the majority of the past year for the murder of bank security guard, Jonathan Henning, in a Hollywood, California robbery. In the months since his death, the Four-Four Bandits have become celebrities, considered to be the modern day Bonnie and Clyde. Sightings of the dangerous pair were reported worldwide after the Hennings family raised over a two hundred thousand dollar reward for their arrest, but they were never caught, despite robbing convenience stores and banks from one side of the U.S. to the other.

“But it’s the reward that led police to their whereabouts today. At exactly twelve twenty-five p.m., Pinella Pass PD received a tip that Lowen and Poesy were hiding out in a trailer park on the 600 block of Sixth Street. The FBI was immediately called in, and by the top of the hour, authorities made contact with the wanted criminals. Shots were fired, and I’m told K9 Officer, Chase, wounded Seely during a foot pursuit.

“I can also confirm that Poesy was originally behind the wheel of the stolen Cadillac Eldorado, but switched seats with the male suspect before driving onto the highway. Their speed has remained at a leisurely rate, at approximately sixty-five miles an hour. Authorities have done a good job of closing the highway to keep other drivers out of danger, and for now, this chase seems to be playing out safely.”

“Stan, what can you tell us about the mindset of the Four-Four Bandits?”

“Because they’re in a convertible, both suspects are in plain sight. Lowen has his arm over Poesy’s shoulders, and they seem to be talking. Oddly enough, if they weren’t two of the FBI’s Most Wanted criminals, they could pass as an average couple on a Sunday drive.

“I should also add that even though there are no other vehicles on the road, in the last half hour or so, thousands of spectators have appeared on the outskirts of Interstate 85, cheering as the outlaws pass. Some hold signs of support, but most just take pictures with their cell phone cameras.

“There’s no doubt the country is sympathetic toward the bandits after stories of their charity began to surface. A homeless woman in New York claims Poesy gave her a blanket and cash to get a room for a week. Reports of money for their victims being found in the cars they’ve stolen became Lowen and Poesy’s calling card. In fact, Jonathan Henning was the only casualty during their entire crime spree. They are not your typical criminals, but no one should forget they are, in fact, dangerous murderers.

“I don’t see a way out for them. This may be the end for the Four-Four Bandits.”

 

 

WE COME T
O
a stop when the engine starts to sputter, low on fuel, leaving us stranded in the middle of the highway. To our left and to our right, and atop the bridge before us, hundreds … maybe thousands of people stand by, waiting for our next move. News cameras record, reporters report, and others shout and clap, jumping up and down, waving their arms.

Directly in front and in back of us, dozens … maybe hundreds of police cruisers, trucks, and motorcycles wait, too. With only a mile between us on each end, they notice we’ve come to a halt and position themselves accordingly. Protected by bulletproof doors, FBI, HP, Sheriffs, and city police alike build a wall of armor between them and us—Good vs. Evil, Right vs. Wrong—and prepare to open fire.

“Step out of the vehicle,” they call out over a bullhorn.

A spike strip is thrown out, promising to mangle our tires if we try to drive over them.

I slip closer to Lowen, leaving no space between our bodies. He rests his arm over my shoulder, and our fingers lace together, careless about the steady stream of blood dripping onto my lap from his wound.

“There’s no way out,” I say softly, exhaling an easy breath. This is what it’s come down to. “Will I be beautiful in stripes, inmate?”

He kisses the top of my head, rubbing his thumb on the inside of my palm.

“What do you think all of these people want?” he asks, looking around. “What are they waiting for?”

I follow his eyes toward the crowd, taking in the pandemonium. “A gunfight.”

Our eyes meet, and his are clear blue, swallowing me whole. I search his expression, expecting to find signs of worry, but his lips are curved into a small smile, and any signs of stress have melted away. My heart beats steady, and the trembling in my hands slow. Fate is easier to accept than I expected.  

We’re not going back.

“I fucking hate stripes, anyway,” I say to the only boy I’ve ever loved, because I’m willing to die for him.

Lowen tucks a lock of hair behind my ear before resting his hand on the side of my face. I turn to kiss the inside of his bloody palm, licking the taste of rust from my lips.

“This isn’t it for us, Poe.” Tears burn my eyes, spilling over. “There’s more.”

“We had one hell of a ride.” I laugh lightly. “We gave each other a wonderful life, right? Not many people have done what we have, Low. It means something.”

“It means everything.”

I cry out, but a smile spreads across my face as the warm sensation of understanding relaxes me from the inside. Pulling love and life into my arms, I hold him until our heartbeats touch and our souls sync. I run my fingers up and down the back of his neck, breathing in his breath, melting under his eyes.

“I’m not leaving, you son of a bitch,” I whisper. “I’m here. I’m here with you.”

We spend a few moments touching each other’s elbows, behind the knees, below the waist. We kiss between fingers, on the wrist, and on the mouth

“Do you swear we’ll be together, Low? Do you swear it?”

“Yes,” he answers simply. 

In an instant, our entire time together flashes before me. Rosebushes and thorns, bus rides and forbidden kisses. There’s the angry sound of my father’s voice when he caught us together. And the tender sound of Patricia’s when Low brought me to their home for the first time. We’ve had our struggles, but there have been more good times than bad.

He’s
my
favorite thing.

The most precious one.

The only person who’s ever loved me unconditionally and totally.

“We can’t take it with us.” I unzip the bag of money and sit up on my knees. “And we’re going to need all the brownie points we can get.”

He starts the car.

The crowd roars, and the law prepares.  

“Drive, Lowen!” I shout, holding the bag above my head. “Get us the fuck out of here.”

He presses his foot on the accelerator and rolls the tires forward, laughing as we gain speed. The money flies from my grip one-dollar bill at a time, floating in the air around us, painting the sky green in our victory.

We were here.

Even crooks love.

BOOK: Posey (Low #1.5)
2.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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