Louis’ ex-girl tastes of peppermint gum, almost like she was expecting activity. Her short skirt and smooth, tanned legs give me the feeling Louis used to have rivals for the night time. I stroke my fingertips down the side of her face, then down her neck and the side of her arm, then repeated the action, in the way girls always love.
“You know,” I whisper, “we can always stop off at Travelodge?” I murmur suggestively, in the huskiest tone I can manage. She begins to answer, “Well, stranger, I...”, when a soft bang followed by a scraping sound thudded through the roof above me. I looked at her, and then we both looked up. I looked around at the other passengers. I was suddenly all too aware of the suitcase hooked behind my ankle, and felt glad of my trusty, well practiced axe that always resided in there, as sharp as wit and as lethal as cyanide.
As I watch, I notice, for the first time, a man lying on the floor in the aisle, and I can just see a broken man with a hearing aid, whose eyes looks like he has seen too much, leaning over him. He turns to look through the sunroof near my seat. He raises his eyebrows, and his mouth opens in to a flattened “o” shape, quivering minutely at the corners. With an apprehensive and confused expression, he turns his attention back to the casualty. The ill man does not bother me. Not when I have my brothers head next to my legs. I take a cautioned glanced up. From where I am, I can see nothing unusual. A twig, I wonder? It seems unlikely, the man in front of us wouldn’t have been so shocked by a twig, but it’s the best I can come up with, and after all, he is preoccupied.
I return my attention to the unfortunate girl beside me.
“Sorry, babe, you were saying?”
“No. Honey... I think this bus is stopping. Why are we in a lay-by?
I swear through my teeth, suddenly rigid and shaking.