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Brandon checked the black rearview mirror and then asked her name, introducing himself right after, thinking Kyle a strange name for such a beautiful girl.
"Nice…nice to meet you," she said weakly.
He tucked the gun back under his seat. "So, what's the deal here?"
Kyle studied her hands, folded in her lap. "I…I broke up with him four months ago. Couldn't take it anymore."
"Couldn't take what? His stinking attitude?"
When she didn't answer, Brandon shifted in his seat to get a better look at her, but she never looked away from her hands.
"I thought I loved him," she said, and he wondered if she wasn't making excuses. "He was nice at first." She swallowed hard, her gaze locked on her interlaced fingers. "Then he changed."
"Well, maybe you should've left right then."
"I was working on that," she said, finally raising her head to glance his way, then stare straight ahead. "Got a job as a waitress." Tears started down her cheeks and he regretted the off-the-cuff remark. She leaned over for her bag on the floorboard, out came a ragged Kleenex she used to dab her eyes and nose. " I told him I was leaving and he came after me at the restaurant. Man in the parking lot called the cops. That's how come I'm still alive."
She lifted a forearm to show him red stripes of healing scar tissue. "He cut me pretty good."