I soon broke into a run, glad of my much higher endurance. A human would not have been able to do this.
The dog, of course, was equally untiring. We weren’t heading for the house we’d visited the other day, though. We were heading out of town, I realized, altogether. West towards Manassass.
It takes a long time to get out of town in DC even with, say, a car or a bike. I should have summoned a steed, I thought. At the same time, running cleared my head. Once the dog stopped, so did I. I called Mike. “I’m halfway to Manassas.”
“Stay there.” I could hear the eyerolling from here. “I’ll get a car and come get you.”
“I can’t follow the trail in a car.”
“You won’t be any good if you’re exhausted. I’m sure even you can’t run forever.”
He was right. I sat down on a bench, the dog next to me. Waiting for Mike to show up. When he did, he was in an unmarked cop car.
I didn’t ask how he’d got it or what strings he’d pulled. Having the sirens for an emergency might come in handy. I hopped in and pulled the dog in after me, then rolled the window down.
“I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that thing.”
“He’s under control.”
The dog, just like any mundane canine, stuck his head out of the window and panted. “And he needs to do that to help us find her.”
Mike laughed. “Of course he does.”
The dog tapped me on the knee. “Turn right.”
We did. And it was a good job he’d come with the car. I would never have got there before nightfall otherwise. As it was, we were past Manassas and into rural Virgnia.
“There. That house.”
It looked abandoned. “Good place for a bail jumper to hide. I can’t believe she did that.”
“I scared her, like I said. But yeah, she should have had more sense than to do that. Way to make yourself look guilty.”
“And now kidnapping. She must think she’s got a payoff that’s worth it.”
Worth ending up in jail? Worth having to change her name and start her life over?
“Uh. We need to get in there.” I wasn’t sure of the reason for the sudden sense of urgency, but I wasn’t about to ignore it. Clara might or might not be self-rescuing, but I knew to trust my instincts.