Bringer of the Fall, pt. 6

His face blanched pale as he watched the smoke rise. That had to be a coincidence, some part of his mind tried to tell him. It didn’t shut up until the squealing of tires told him that his escape had been noticed. He flat out ran, no destination in mind other than “away from here.”

Left foot. Right foot. Left foot. Breathing hard, wheezing. His lifestyle had left him ill-equipped to deal with this. He found himself wishing between breaths that he’d gone to the gym a few more times. Or at all.

He couldn’t tell if he was being followed; the paranoia center of his brain screamed that of course he was being followed. He listened to it. He’d better have some place to go.

All this over a drink? Less than that, stories about a drink? He could really use a drink. Or a clear breath.

He was rambling. Mentally at least. He wasn’t speaking. Couldn’t speak, couldn’t breathe. He needed somewhere to go, but couldn’t go anywhere. Somewhere to hide and catch his breath then, and figure out just what was going on.

He was on a side street, little-used, hardly any traffic or people. Every chase movie he’d ever seen told him that was a bad thing; he’d stand out, be an easy target. On the plus side, there was no obvious sign that anyone was actually chasing him.

He ducked down an alley just in time for the screech of tires to jolt him back into a run he couldn’t keep up. His lungs were lead weights set on fire.