He didn’t care where he ended up….he just punched the gas and sped as far away from Lauren’s house as he humanly could. Nick wasn’t sure if he wanted to go home or even if it was safe for him to be there with this stalker on the loose. Whoever they were, they had gotten to Lauren. Hot tears sprang to his eyes, stinging his skin as he drove, the wind whipping through his short hair. Lauren was dead, he had witnessed this as a fact. As he drove aimlessly around Tampa, he thought about the perfume. It had smelled like….like vanilla and strawberries….Lucy. Lucy’s perfume smelled just like it. Nick wracked his brain until a clear picture of her came into view. Lucy had killed Lauren. Nick wanted to kick himself for even letting Lucy get into his head, for letting himself be attracted to her. He was sure she had murdered his girlfriend, had killed her in cold blood. His dashboard lit up as a phone call came in. Nick’s hands trembled as he pressed the green answer key.
“Lucy…” he breathed, trying not to sound afraid.
“Hi sweetheart.” Lucy said cheerfully. Nick rolled his eyes. They were not dating and she was calling him pet names already.
“What do you want?” he snapped.
“You. Come to my place.” Lucy said seductively with a wry giggle.
“She did it, you know she did. Don’t fall for it,” Brian’s voice rang out clear as a bell. Nick was having a hard time concentrating on the road, it was very dark on the backroads.
“Lucy, its not a good time for me right now.” Nick said, wiping his eyes again as he rounded a corner. He still wasn’t sure where he was headed.
“Hang up, don’t talk to her.” Brian said, appearing in the passenger seat next to him.
“Not now…” Nick muttered, trying to shake the hallucination away but it wouldn’t leave.
“I need you. Come to me.” Lucy repeated. She sounded impatient, being forceful.
“Lucy, I can’t see you anymore….please understand.” Nick said finally. He swerved to miss an animal that had run in front of the car and heard a THUMP noise before he got back onto the road. Lucy started to say something but his reception cut out.
“Boring conversation anyway.” Nick muttered to himself as he punched the gas again. He was thinking about going home when a loud BOOM shook the car and almost made him drive off the road. Nick got out of the car, cursing himself under his breath.
“Fucking wonderful.” he said once he saw the flattened tire. Nick got out of his car and reached into his trunk for the tire iron to change the flat. He hadn’t changed a tire in a long time so it took a little effort. He tried to stay alert as it was pitch black, the road was deserted.
“Relax Nick. Nobody out here but that damn raccoon you almost ran over.” Nick muttered, then thought he was crazy for talking to himself. The lug nut wasn’t coming off, he had removed two so far but had a few more to go. It was a little chilly but he had left his jacket in the car and was having trouble holding the flashlight. As he moved to the third one, he felt a hand on his face. His heart beating rapidly, he tried to run but something had covered his mouth. It made him cough…some kind of chemical was seeping into his lungs and making him dizzy. Nick struggled and tried to stand up, but his eyes rolled back into his head and he passed out, the flashlight falling to the ground and coming to rest near the flattened tire…..then everything was still once more.