Alone. Effectively so, anyway. The interesting things did include a walkie talkie with a panic button, but there was no guarantee anyone would be close enough to respond before I turned up dead.
They included throwing knives, tucked into my boots, and a fighting knife in an underarm sheath, under my shirt. I knew how to use them.
I didn’t remember learning how, but I knew. Exile. That word had haunted my mind for the last couple of days, but I pushed it to one side.
Knew. Remembered. One day I would, and I felt an odd security in trusting in that. But now I felt no security at all.
I couldn’t leave Kanesha in their hands. I couldn’t…wouldn’t…get myself killed for her. These things went to and fro in my mind, then Thea smiled. “Take the bike.”
“You won’t wreck her. I promise.”
She was up to something, but I had always gotten the impression her bike was somehow alive. So, maybe it was… “So, you are capable of cheating?”
She grinned. “Always have been. Take her.”
She’d called the bike a she before. I nodded, and then hopped on. It really was as if…it wasn’t as if I remembered how to ride so much as the bike was treating me as if I knew how and staying under me if I slipped a little bit.
Rather like the one time I’d had the privilege of riding a horse. And something niggled at my brain and I smiled.
I had to leave the concrete path to get to the spot. I did so without hesitation, knowing I wouldn’t fall. Knowing I couldn’t wreck. Wasn’t going to happen. And that gave me confidence that I could handle this situation.
The place was empty. I dismounted, kicked out the stand, waited. Maybe they wouldn’t even show up. Maybe they were leading me here to…
No. I knew what they wanted, so I waited, but I was ready to move at the slightest thing. It did occur to me they could resolve this simply by shooting me.
But then I heard footsteps approaching through the trees.