Locked up with the Badboy.

I take a seat on the floor in front of him, "What?"

He combs a hand through his dark hair and sighs, "This is a maximum security prison, the people here have killed babies, shot up schools , killed multiple partners and run crime rings and you, are saying that I'm mean? "

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15. Hit the road.

 

 

We wake, eat a portion of Ben’s endless bread supply and hit the road. “We need to switch vehicles soon.” Ben says, taking a swig of his iced tea, “Experience has taught me that police aren’t as stupid as prison supervisors, so an identity change as well.”

“Yay!” I laugh, “I’m gonna be Bonnie.”

“Bonnie?” Ben, switches lanes.

“Yeah, you know like Bonnie and Clyde? Famous outlaws…”

“Who died after getting shot about a hundred times…”

I wrinkle my nose, “We could be the Bonnie and Clyde that live.” 

He stares at the road for about five minutes and I watch my window at a roadside studded with Cacti. “Actually… that’s a great idea,” he says, wiping a cool hand through his hair.

“What? Being Bonnie and Clyde?”

“No, not getting shot.”

****

We eat at a diner, pay in cash and stop at Hill’s Genuine Leather Emporium, “Coming in padner?” He asks with a southern accent so terrible it makes me laugh, “Nah, I’m good.”

When he comes out with two bags, I raise an eyebrow, “What did you get?”

“It’s a surprise,” He replies, trucking them into the Boot.

We drive casually for most of the day, taking a couple of Detours around police stops and flooring it when flashing lights appear behind us. Initially I’m shit-scared again but Ben seems to take it all in his stride and eve turns the radio on as we spin a roundabout in order to avoid our purser. Gradually  he relaxes me until I’m able to attempt a nap, at 80 miles per hour.

As the day draws to a close signs advertising various Grand Canyon lookouts appear, Ben dosen’t pay them any heed, instead he keeps driving straight off the road and onto hard-packed soil. With the sun low-set in the sky the Maserati rolls up a slight incline and like the world falls away beneath us we see the Grand Canyon.

“Ben, there it is.” I say practically exploding out of the car. It’s almost impossible to imagine something so vast, let alone see it with my own eyes. Ribbons of red orange and blue flow like water through the rock, the golden sun illuminates the valley perfectly.

Despite there being a thousand foot fall below Ben walks to the edge and sits with his legs dangling.

“Ben!” I whisper, afraid a yell will startle him over.

“You coming?” He asks, turning his face and holding out a hand. Despite the danger and my heart beating like Josh Dun the opportunity’s too good to miss.

Carefully edging my way toward the edge until I’m almost there and have to crawl I keep my eyes on the up, lest I should panic. Ben watches me, then offers a hand as I reach him. Taking it and encouraged by it’s warmth I slowly slide my conversed feet over. Surprisingly I don’t feel the urge to puke.

Maybe it’s because of the danger or because We’re right in the thick of it but the canyon seems more larger, grander and more beautiful. I think of my brother. “Chris would’ve loved to have seen this.” I say, “He was into the whole adventure thing.”

Ben lets go of my hand and instead wraps his arm around me, “Really?”

“Yeah, he hitchhiked Europe and biked through Asia.” My eyes get a little teary and I have to wipe them as I speak, “He would’ve loved to have met you, and he was a good guy too.”

The side of my head rests on his shoulder, his arm behind my back is so reassuring, so strong. “I’m not a good guy,” Ben says.

“I don’t think you’re seeing the Ben I see. Even a criminal, you’re the only person to comfort me. Even my family…” But I have to stop because Ben turns and silences me with a kiss. As his lips touch mine it’s all I can think about, even the majestic canyon below us is forgotten about. And there’s a message with his kiss, in the feel and taste of it;

I understand, he’s conveying, I understand.

As the sun goes down and the canyon falls into it’s own shadow Ben helps me to my feet, and we walk back to the car.

****

I wake in the back seat of the most expensive car I’ve ever been in. Ben still sleeps beside me so I lay my head back on the headrest and watch him. Even sleeping he still looks hard, finely chiselled gratinate, it’s like his face never wants to relax, like he’s always ready to jump into gangster mode.

As gently as a mouse, I touch one of my fingers to his cheek and instantly his eyes open, they search around then focus on me, “What is it?” He asks, his voice deeper then usual.

“Nothing,” I shrug, “It’s just your face doesn’t change when you sleep.

“Does that matter?” Be sits up and rubs his eyes a little, other then that you couldn’t tell he’d been sleeping moments before.

Shaking my head, and not even sure why I brought it up I say,  “I guess not.”

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