Read an Excerpt
Follow Me Episode 2 on the Run
By Cara Lockwood
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2013 Cara Lockwood
All rights reserved.
Cal glanced at her iPhone but saw no new messages.
The prepaid SIM card she'd gotten in the market earlier meant her phone worked slower than usual, but it was untraceable, using an entirely new number.
Loud laughter erupted on the other side of the lounge in the Naxos hostel where Cal and Daniel found themselves. They had walked there from the garage. Cal had changed into a flowered sundress, which she thought might be less conspicuous than the cut-off shorts she'd worn in the airport. The dark night sky, flecked with stars, blanketed the island. Inside the small hostel lounge there were no televisions, and hardly any furniture, just four bare walls, a futon, and a couple of folding chairs. It was the kind of dark, dingy place that only the most broke college student would even consider. The lounge was empty save for two girls sitting in the corner. They wore old, faded concert tees, and bandannas wrapped around their heads.
Cal and Daniel had just gotten their key from the front desk.
"Can't believe it's eight hours until the next ferry," Cal said.
"Rotten luck to just miss the last one," Daniel said. "God, I need a drink."
"Me, too," Cal said. She glanced over at the girls in the corner. "Maybe they have some." The pretty tall blonde threw her head back and laughed at something the other said. It was obvious that she made the laugh louder on purpose, hoping to draw Daniel's attention. They were smoking cigarettes, blowing rings of smoke up above their heads. The brunette was petite and wore worn black Converse. She sported a tramp stamp on her lower back, a big black butterfly, and runny mascara ringed her eyes.
"You think?" Daniel stretched, and the girls noticed the ripple in his muscles. He looked even taller than his full height of six three, and the two girls turned to stare. The tall blonde smiled at him. The brunette whispered something to the blonde, and then they both laughed.
Daniel hesitated, debating.
"Let's go ask them and see," Cal said.
Daniel seemed on the verge of going, and then changed his mind. "Later," he said, sounding preoccupied. "Let's put our stuff down in the room, first."
Cal shrugged, and then turned to follow Daniel down the hallway leading to the hostel rooms. "I thought you wanted a drink?"
"I don't know. It's a bad idea. About as bad as that last drink of Kitro last night."
"Last night? That last shot of Kitro."
"When was that?" Cal slowed her steps.
"I don't know. At the house, I think, right?"
"We didn't have Kitro at the house," Cal said, frowning down at the keys in her hand.
"Yeah, we did."
"I don't remember that." Cal stopped in front of the door marked 129, and slid the key in into the lock.
"I do. In the living room. The three of us. You, me, and Gia. One last shot of Kitro. We emptied the bottle, then ..." Daniel's voice trailed off and he grew thoughtful.
"Then what?" Cal swung open the door.
"Then ... then the two of us wake up next to a dead girl and now we're running from the police. How the fuck did any of that happen?"
Daniel looked at the room in front of them. Inside the tiny space, there was a single iron bed with a thin mattress and one wobbly little bedside table. The carpet was a dingy gray, matted down. It hadn't seen a vacuum in a long while and carried a couple of mystery stains in the corner. The room smelled vaguely of mildew and pot.
"This is a dump," Daniel said, walking past her into the room. Inside her backpack, her phone dinged.
"Who's messaging you?" Daniel asked, his voice sharp, suspicious. "Didn't you put in the new SIM card?"
"Of course I did. No one has this number." She looked at the face of the phone. "Some wrong number, I guess."
"Why would someone be texting a prepaid SIM card?"
"I don't know!" Cal shrugged it off. "They must recycle them or something."
"Hmph," Daniel grumbled, not satisfied. He threw himself on the bed, the mattress squeaking in protest under his weight. "You know what? That cop at the airport. I remember him."
"You should. I think he was the one who came to the house. The night we kicked Marco out."
"No, not then. At Rojo."
Cal stopped pacing. She slumped into the small wooden chair opposite the bed, watching Daniel. "Maybe. Lots of people hang out at Rojo."
"No. He's the one who wanted to fuck you."
"So?" Cal's face challenged him to say something more about it.
"Everyone wants to fuck you, Cal." Daniel squinted at her, suspicion in his face. "I'm sure even the girls in the lobby wanted to fuck you. Everybody does."
"I thought you wanted an open relationship." Cal leaned forward in her chair, her arms on her knees. "Or are you one of those guys who likes to talk big, but can't handle the reality? You jealous?"
"No. I'm not. That's not what I mean."
Cal reached out and touched Daniel's face.
"I know what will make you feel better." Cal took Daniel's hand, and she kissed it, and then she took his index finger and put the tip in her mouth. She sucked it slowly, seductively, just the tip, flicking her tongue on the edge of his finger as Daniel watched.
She let his hand go. "We've got time. We've got plenty of time." Cal leaned in and kissed him with an open mouth, her tongue meeting his. He responded, softly at first, but then he pressed against her, hungrily driving his mouth against hers. She grabbed his hand and moved it to her inner thigh, pulling it up, higher and higher, beneath her flowered skirt, between her legs. She guided him up, and at the point where there should have been underwear, his fingers hit her slippery center.
"Cal ... Jesus ... you're so wet."
"That's how bad I want you."
Daniel's lips parted, his pupils wide and dark, as he rubbed her, and then plunged his fingers deep inside. He moved them slowly and deeply, and she threw her head back. She gasped, moaning, as her hips rose to meet his fingers, as she rode them, meeting his rhythm with her own. He pushed them deeper, and then, with an ecstatic shout, she came.
"You can come anywhere, damn," Daniel said, his eyes appreciative, as he withdrew his hands and stood, unbuttoning his shorts. She took him out of his shorts and expertly stroked him, until he strained against her touch, leaning into it.
"I'm not done, yet," she said, blue eyes sparkling. Daniel sat down on the chair this time and kissed her again, his tongue deep in her mouth. Cal pulled away, stepping backward. She did a little striptease for him, slowly moving her hips as if she were dancing to music only she could hear.
"God," he whispered, eyes bright as he looked at her, watching her let the dress slip to the floor. She rubbed her hands up and down her own body, letting him get a full look. Then she moved to him where he sat on the bed, turning around, sitting against him, rubbing against the top of him. "Come here," Daniel growled, grabbing her.
Cal slapped his hands. "Not so fast," she said. "You deserve a tease."
Cal flipped her straight blonde hair to the side and ground up and down on him, her own version of a lap dance. She wiggled, rounding her hips on him, moving with the seductive ease of a stripper. Daniel sucked in a breath as he grabbed her rounded hips, squeezing the flesh there, eyes unable to stop watching as Cal slowly slithered against him, holding up her blond hair, exposing the milky smooth back of her neck. She squeezed her bare nipples, making them stand at attention as she moved.
Daniel groaned. "You're so freakin' hot, Cal."
Cal leaned back on him, her blond hair against his chest as she slid slowly up and down his lap, the friction building, and he grew even larger, his eyes dark with need.
"You need to be fucked," Daniel growled.
"Fuck me, then," Cal purred.
He stood, slipping her off his lap. He took control, pushing her roughly down on the bed, face first. He didn't take her gently, each thrust rougher than the next. The springs on the thin, cheap mattress creaked loudly. The wiry metal knob of the headboard thwacked against the whitewashed wall but Daniel didn't care. He grabbed her by both shoulders, ramming harder from behind until he came with a harsh shout ripped deep from within his chest. He collapsed on top of her back, his weight heavy there.
"Jesus, Cal," he breathed into her ear. "What are you doing to me?"
"Giving you the best sex of your life?" She laughed, her back still to him.
"Yeah, you could say that. Shit." Daniel nuzzled the back of her neck. Cal rolled over so they were face-to-face.
"I think it's cute when you're jealous," Cal said, stroking his face.
"Come on, Cal." Daniel rolled his eyes.
"I mean it. It's adorable." Cal laughed. "Hey," she said, suddenly, sitting up a little. "I know what will cheer you up even more. Why don't we work on one of those girls in the lounge right now? Bet one of them would get naked for you. At least show you her tits."
"Cal ..." Daniel stood, looking confused and a little uncomfortable as he yanked up his shorts and fastened them. "I don't want to do that right now."
"You never say no."
"Cal ... I mean, there are things that we need to take care of. I need clothes! I only have what I'm wearing. I didn't get a chance to get all my clothes before we left."
"We'll get some clothes," Cal said. She propped herself up on her elbows. "That's not what this is about."
"No." Daniel paced the small room, accidentally knocking over Cal's backpack and spilling out some of its contents: a packet of gum and several folded twenty-euro bills. Daniel stared at them for a long time. "What the fuck?" he asked, voice low, as he reached to pick the blue bills off the floor. "Why do you have my money? The money I got from the ATM at the airport?"
"That's not your money. It's mine." Cal sat up on the bed, pulling up her dress.
"You've got three hundred euros here, Cal. That's what I got from the airport. I folded them, just like this." He studied the big rectangular bills. "And you said you didn't have any money left."
"That was rent money," Cal said, sitting straight on the bed. "I was going to give it to Remy. I just forgot. I forgot it was even in there." She reached out her hand. "Give it to me."
"No. Uh-uh." Daniel reached down, grabbing Cal's backpack, roughly yanking it off the ground.
"What are you doing?"
"Where's my passport, Cal?"
"I don't have your passport. Why would I take your passport?"
Daniel held the bag in his lap.
"If you did have it, you'd give it to me, right?" Daniel asked. There was an edge to his voice.
"You wouldn't be lying to me, would you, Cal?" Daniel watched her with cold, dark eyes.
"I told you, I'd never lie to you. I've got no reason to lie to you." Cal sat up and grabbed her dress from the floor. She wiggled into it.
He just shook his head, and laughed to himself bitterly about something. "Girls lie. It's just what they do." He stared up at the ceiling, his knuckles going white as he gripped the backpack strap.
"I'm not like other girls, remember?"
"Bullshit!" Daniel's face was flushed red and he laughed harshly. "You took my goddamn passport and all my money."
"Well, let's find out then." Daniel ripped open her bag and started dumping things out: her brush, a T-shirt, some socks.
"Daniel! That's my stuff!" Cal jumped up from the bed and ran to him, but Daniel stopped her with one swipe of his hand. He was stronger and much bigger than she was, and he shoved her as if she were an undersized defender on the football field. She crashed with a thud against the wall, her head bumping against it. Her teeth rattled together. "Ow, Daniel!" Her hand went to the back of her head, but Daniel didn't notice.
He looked like a man possessed as he unzipped the bag and pawed at the contents. He tore through her clothes, knocking her mini bottles of shampoo out, and even a box of tampons. Cal reached down and snatched the box from the floor. Then he took the backpack and just twisted it upside down, shaking it madly, so every last thing inside tumbled out.
One of the last things to hit the ground was a small blue American passport, a golden seal on the front. He glared at her. "I knew it. I fucking knew it." He waved it in her face, nearly smacking her with it.
Then, he slipped his finger in the back, opening it.
Inside, Cal's picture beamed up at them.
"I told you." Cal swiped the passport from his hands. "I don't have it. Why would you even think I did? What the hell, Daniel?" Her voice was annoyed, angry. She took in sharp, panted breaths as she began stuffing things back inside her bag. She knelt on the floor to pick up her clothes, her hands shaking. "You're acting like a crazy person. Scaring the crap out of me."
Cal stuffed her things back in her bag, angrily jerking clothes back inside. She snatched a tampon up off the floor. Daniel watched, a sheepish expression crossing his face.
"Cal ... I just ... I'm ..." Daniel was having a hard time focusing.
"You are acting like some kind of dumb bitch, Daniel. One of those girls you hate so much. Crazy, jealous clingy? And it's pathetic." Cal shoved more things into her pack and then slung it over her shoulder. She stalked out of the room, shutting the door on Daniel, who had slumped down in the chair in the room with his head in his hands.
The only bathroom was at the end of the hall, shared by all ten rooms. Cal's phone dinged, and in the relative privacy of the hallway, she reached for it.
Marco's text came through:
It's dangerous to ignore me.
She quickly texted back. Send me the proof.
She walked quickly to the bathroom, slipped inside, and locked the door. Cal sat on the closed lid of the toilet and waited. Seconds later, a small video file came through. Hastily, Cal fumbled to get her headphones plugged in. She clicked play. She saw the small bathroom attached to Gia's bedroom. The angle made it clear the camera was posted somewhere high, in the corner. The view showed the shower, and the sink. Cal nearly dropped the phone when Gia came into the frame. Shock registered on her face as she watched her roommate, alive once more. The film had a time-date stamp, showing it was filmed last week. Gia scrubbed herself in the shower, soaping herself up under the spray of warm water, suds slinking between her breasts and down to her navel. "Fucking pervert."
Cal's hands shook as she held the phone. She leaned forward as the video ended abruptly and another one began. It showed footage of the morning Cal and Daniel left the house. She saw herself come into the shower, the bloodstain on her shoulder. She wiggled out of her panties, dropping them on the floor, and stepped in the shower, washing every last bit of blood off.
She got out and Daniel came in, panicky and shaken, scrubbing off the thumb-size blood print on his face.
Cal leaned forward, hand covering her mouth. She clicked off the video and pulled up her messages again.
What do you want? Cal texted back with shaky fingers.
You know what I want, Marco texted. But first, let's start with money.CHAPTER 2
Nico lay in Thena's bed with her head against his chest, her dark hair streaked with blond spread out over her shoulder. She rested her cheek against his muscled chest, her eyes closed, her breathing deep and even. Nico was wide awake, staring out at Thena's large bedroom window, which faced the sea. A big, bright moon hung over the water, casting a silver glow inside the room. Even at night, the island seemed brighter than any place should be. The window was open, but there was hardly a breeze. Thena's room didn't have air conditioning, and the room felt sticky, even with the cool sweep of the ceiling fan.
Nico's arm tingled with pins and needles, and he moved it, shifting enough to disrupt Thena, who moved over to her side. He rolled over and sat up, putting his feet on the floor.
"Can't sleep?" Thena asked him, her voice husky and soft in the moonlit room.
"I never can on this island," Nico said, glancing over his shoulder at Thena. "I didn't mean to wake you. Go back to sleep."
"That's okay." Thena sat up, pulling the sheet up against her chest. "Something you want to talk about?"
Nico let out a long sigh. "What if someone finds out about us?"
"It's not, technically, against the rules."
"You know how people at Headquarters will feel about it. It's not something we're supposed to do."
Excerpted from Follow Me Episode 2 on the Run by Cara Lockwood. Copyright © 2013 Cara Lockwood. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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