Story Excerpt
My Girl

flame div

“Okay, the train is going to take you to Chicago. From there, you get on another train and take it to Denver. There’s a car waiting for you in the parking lot of the Denver airport. You can drive that all of the way to the West Coast.”

“Why not just fly to Denver?” Nicholas Rylander asked.

“Because we don’t know if anyone is trying to follow you. I’ve booked you under several different aliases. Any one of them could be compromised. If you use different modes of transportation, you might be able to lose a tail.”

Where was James Bond when he needed him? Nicky felt like he should have paid more attention when watching spy movies. Too bad he didn’t like them.

“Do you understand that you can’t have contact with anyone?”

Nicky nodded because speaking wasn’t exactly something he could do at the moment. He had a lump the size of Nebraska clogging his throat. Fear had become second nature for him as of late but this crazy idea of Detective Vincent De Luca’s took it to a whole new level.

“Even if you trust them explicitly, phones can be tapped.” Detective De Luca’s voice was absolutely emotionless and it chilled Nick. “We already suspect that Morales has someone on the force feeding him information. There’s nothing to say he couldn’t tap someone’s phone. So, as much as you may want to, don’t call anyone, not even your mother.”

“Except you, right?” Nick asked, needing that one last lifeline to his former life. “I can call you, right?”

“Only if there is an emergency.” Detective De Luca handed Nick a small canvas bag. “There are ten disposable phones in here. Every time you use one, get rid of it. Never use one more than once. If you need more, I’ll send you some money and you can get more.”

“What if you need to call me?”

Detective De Luca dug into the canvas bag and pulled one of the cell phones out. It had pink sparkly rhinestones on the back of the case in a peace sign pattern. “Keep this phone on you at all times. You can use it as your regular phone but only to make local calls. Never call me on it. Use the burn phones for that.”

“Rhinestones?” That was a disturbing thought. “Pink?”

“Yeah, about that.” Nick had only known the detective for a few weeks. He had never seen him look so uncomfortable before. De Luca wouldn’t even look him in the eyes.

“What?” Nick asked.

“Pink kind of matches your new identity.”

Nick’s nerves tensed immediately. “My what?”

Detective De Luca pulled out a manila envelope from his inside jacket pocket. He undid the top and dumped the contents out onto the table. Nick’s jaw dropped as he picked up a picture of himself, but not. It was a woman with his face.

“This is why you had me dress up?” There had actually been several outfits, makeup changes, and photo sessions. Apparently, this was the one that the detective had picked because Nick could see his made up face on several IDs and different pictures with different backgrounds.

It was really amazing what technology could do. He had never been to the Grand Canyon and yet there was a picture of him made up as a woman standing in front of the national landmark. He had even been Photoshopped into some pictures with total strangers and yet he looked like part of the family.

His entire life sat right before him in living color, and yet it wasn’t him, Nicholas Rylander. It was some woman with long, curly, sandy blonde hair and boobs. 

Nick picked up the driver’s license. He didn’t even want to know how the detective got ahold of it. There were just some things he was better off not knowing. He wished he could reverse time and go back to a time he didn’t know his life was in danger. He had been in the wrong place at the wrong time and now he was on the run.

And apparently that meant becoming someone else and moving all the way across the country. “Good-bye, Nicholas Rylander.” Nick couldn’t control the trembling within him as he stared at the photo on the ID card. “Hello, Nicky Ryland.”