No one was on the roads, it was cold and quiet, except for a faint hum that hadn’t been there before. It came from somewhere beneath the car. Every time someone made a noise there was electronic feedback.
“Mouse,” I said, as quietly as I could. “Can you hear that?”
“No.” Her words said one thing, but her nod said something completely different.
I pulled over to the side of the road. She took one of the sheets of paper from the files we’d stolen and found a pen in the glove compartment.
They’re recording us, aren’t they? I wrote on the back.
Mouse nodded again and gestured for the paper.
It was a setup, she wrote, confirming my suspicion. We need a new car. They know this one now.
I just bobbed my head in response.
We pulled back onto the road and drove southwest into Georgia, not stopping until we reached Atlanta. It was still the very early hours of the morning when we drove into the parking lot of an all-night supermarket.
Mouse waited in the car and I jogged inside for the roll of electrical tape she said she’d need and some food, it felt like forever since we’d eaten. I’d never tried picking a car lock before, neither had Mouse… That had been Briana’s forte.
We waited in the car and munched on our sandwiches until another car turned into the lot. As soon as the owner disappeared into the store, I tossed the tape to Mouse and she sprang into action.
She dashed toward the car and approached the driver’s door on the other side. She fiddled with something and it seemed to go well. A smile of satisfaction crossed her face and she opened the door.
The moment of triumph ended as a shriek filled the air and the car alarm went off. Her eyes widened and she sprinted back to our car.
I reversed; the wheels spun on the wet ground. As we drove through the gates, the owner cleared the door, yelling and waving his fist at us.
She slumped in her seat. “Shit.”
I kept driving until we reached another parking lot, this one seemed deserted.
Mouse approached an older car, in hopes that it wouldn’t have an alarm. She tried again, but this time no siren screamed as she opened the door.
We moved quickly. The last thing we wanted was to be stopped by the cops with an unconscious boy into the back of a stolen car and a veritable arsenal of military-grade weapons.
We carried Jake carefully to the other car and laid him on his side in back. His long legs made things difficult. We tucked a few blankets around him to keep him warm and set to transferring the rest of our belongings.
Once the original car was empty, Mouse shuffled underneath to inspect the tracking device. She reemerged with a small black box in her hand. A yellow L.E.D. shone brightly in one corner, a red one flashed in the other.
“It’s a magnet,” she said. “There must be a bug inside the car too. There’s no speaker or microphone on this one.”
I held out my hand for it and she dropped it into my palm. I took it to the corner of the car park. Finding the shiniest car I could, I kneeled and placed the magnet on the undercarriage of the car.
Mouse took the wheel and I found Matt’s phone.
Where can we meet you? I pushed send and waited.
The phone buzzed in my hands, a message appeared below mine. It contained nothing but an address.