As I approached the final turn to head for the front gate, I realized I'd been outmaneuvered. Lights ahead suggested there were cars blocking the exit, so I turned and shut off the headlights while I crept through the darkened, curving streets, wracking my brain for a way out of this mess. There was always the possibility that those lights hadn't been from cars filled with people that wanted to beat us to bloody pulps, but male egos had been bruised and alcohol was a factor. That was a recipe I wanted to avoid, so I wasn't going near the entrance. In fact I was wracking my brain to come up with a second way out of the development, but I just didn't know it that well. After a few street changes I saw an opportunity in a garage door that wasn't entirely closed. I pulled up the short drive and hopped out of the car, racing to the garage. I braced my hands underneath it and pushed with a strength fueled by fear.
It gave once, twice and then wouldn't budge – but it was enough. I got back in and pulled the car into the darkened space, killing the engine and racing back to unhook the emergency release and let the door thump back to the ground. My heart started to slow, and for that I was grateful. I leaned my head against the door and listened, wondering if the door was thin enough for me to hear if they yelled out or drove by – or if I'd hear anything over the pounding of my heart. A minute or so later, I walked on unsteady feet back to the car to check on Mason. He looked up at me, his face white. I grabbed his chin and looked at his face. There was a red spot on his right cheekbone, but I didn't think it'd bruise.
“Are we safe?” he asked as I let his chin go.
“For the moment,” I replied and glanced at the garage door. “I'm hoping they'll be looking for the car, but we're probably stuck here – unless we try to get out on foot.” I paused. “I think that's a bad idea, and I'm going to need your help to get the door back up, later.”
He nodded and blinked owlishly. “I really fucked us this time. I'm sorry.”
I looked away. “Don't tell me you're sorry when you'll just go out and do it again.”
He sighed. “Why do you even put up with me?”
I didn't want to be a jackass to Mason, but I was stressed out. He gets in jams sometimes, but never like this. We've climbed out a few windows in our day, but this was absolute insanity. Doubt plagued me as to whether those cars were there for us, or maybe a deal of some kind was going down – either way, we'd not have been welcome. I glanced at Mase, and despite my attempts to feel as little as possible, I still felt a pang for him. I knew what I was signing up for when I agreed to drive him tonight, this was just more than it had ever been before. But, we were safe for the moment.
I went back over to the garage door to listen. Behind me and to my left was a window letting in weak light through a cracked, dirty pane. Hearing nothing I went to the window and looked out, but the angle didn't let me see much besides the neighboring house. I heard Mason climb out of the car and lean against the door once it closed more loudly than I'd have liked.
“Should we see if there's anything we can sleep on in the house?”
I glanced at him. I felt vulnerable, right or wrong, and checking out the house would let me move and get more information. “We should check the house and make sure we have an escape route if they find us. I have no idea how long they will hunt for us.” If they are, I added to myself. I was too scared to find out.