This was not something she had planned for. She could not have a passenger on her journey, especially someone associated with her family. Just after crossing the bridge, the intense feeling of being watched had caused her to spot him.
She moved slowly out of the shadows, sizing up her threat. His olive complexion and toned body were appealing, and distracting.
“Steven…Steven whom?” she asked, stalling for time as she brainstormed her plan of action.
“Steven Collingsworth, miss Alice.” He replied, his eyes fixed on a stone near his right foot.
She made sure to smile rewardingly at him, “Much better, Steven Collingsworth. To be honest I am glad we’ve met, I wouldn’t mind company on this journey.” She turned on her heel, and headed away, knowing he would follow.
Alice reasoned with herself, weighing up the pros and cons. He knew Lucy; she had to keep him by her side until she could think of a plan. He would be a good source of protection along this dark, lonely road.
A siren startled Alice out of her thoughts. “This way!” She hissed as she grabbed Steven’s shirt. Running with all their might for the forest edge, Alice wondered if the authorities were looking for her.
“In here,” Steven commanded as he gently guided her in their sprint. Alice didn’t know where he was leading her, but she was not afraid. The smell of pine needles, underbrush and evening due filled her nostrils.
Steven led her to a large fallen oak tree, ivy and vines spreading around it, creating a safe, hide-away. Her feet were sore, and her palms burning, pieces of bark still stuck in them, she was glad to be able to rest, wait out the sirens.
Steven removed his jacket laying it on the ground. “Please, sit miss Alice.”
“For goodness sake Steven, call me Alice.” She flashed a smile once again, thinking, “Keep him close, in case he is an enemy.” She trusted no one.