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“Okay,” Ava said. “Now what?”
Caleb pulled out his phone, tapping away on it.
“Wait a second,” Ava said, stilling his hand. “Is it safe to use a cell phone? Can’t it be traced?”
Caleb shook his head. “Not this one.” He glanced up at her. “Do you have one?”
Ava pulled her phone out of her backpack, and Caleb cursed under his breath.
“It’s not on,” she said.
“It doesn’t matter.” He grabbed the phone. “I could take out the battery, but they’d still know this was our last location.” Caleb thought for a moment then grabbed Ava’s hand, turning to walk quickly down the block.
“Where are we going?” she asked.
Caleb pointed to a Greyhound sign across the street. They walked into the small bus station, coming to a stop in front of the departures board. “Wait here,” he said after a moment, glancing around the station before heading out the back door. Ava paced nervously, her eyes darting around, before she took a seat on one of the hard plastic chairs. Caleb returned a few minutes later, motioning for her to join him as he walked back out the front entrance.
“What was that all about?” Ava asked with an irritated wave of her hand.
“Couldn’t risk leaving it here in town, even if we took the battery out,” Caleb said.
“We’ve been monitoring your movements for quite some time. It’s good that you turned it off, but even then, it’s not impossible to track. I put it on a bus to New York, just in case.”
Caleb nodded. “It leaves in a few minutes. With any luck, it’ll throw them off the trail. At least long enough for us to get to the safe house.” He looked back down at his phone and pulled out a small piece of paper from his jacket pocket.
“What are you doing?”
“The location is encoded. I just have to figure out . . .” He looked back and forth between the paper and phone for a moment, and Ava leaned in, scanning the strange combination of symbols, letters, and numbers.
She tried to make sense of it, biting her lip as she leaned in a bit closer. Caleb’s breath ruffled the hair at her temple, and Ava stiffened, suddenly very aware of how close they were standing. She swallowed thickly, fighting the urge to jump back like a frightened kitten.
Then—so slightly that she thought she might have imagined it—Caleb’s breath hitched. A prickle of awareness ran along Ava’s skin, her heart thudding heavily in her chest, and she stepped back purposefully, looking away down the street. What in the world was that?
- MORE, Chapter 9
About the Author:T.M. Franklin started out her career writing non-fiction in a television newsroom. Graduating with a B.A. in Communications specializing in broadcast journalism and production, she worked for nine years as a major market television news producer, and garnered two regional Emmy Awards, before she resigned to be a full-time mom and part-time freelance writer. After writing and unsuccessfully querying a novel that she now admits, “is not that great,” she decided to follow the advice of one of the agents who turned her down—write some more and get better at it. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Mike, is mom to two boys, Justin and Ryan, and has an enormous black dog named Rocky who’s always lying nearby while she’s writing. Whether he’s soothed by the clicking of the computer keys or just waiting for someone to rub his belly is up for debate. In addition to MORE, Franklin penned the Amazon best-selling short story, Window, as well as another short story, A Piece of Cake, which appears in the Romantic Interludes anthology. The sequel to MORE, The Guardians, will be released November 7, 2013.