Lyndon is running on empty when he makes his last courier pickup of the day at a strange business. He’s definitely not ready for the shy and attractive man who’s supposed to sign off on the delivery to jump into his van and order him to drive as fast as he can. But acting on instinct is sort of Lyndon’s thing, so before he knows it he’s in a cross-country chase with danger hot on his heels.
Curtis had his doubts about working for his employers, but he deeply appreciated the routine of it. When he discovers that he might have unwittingly helped create a bug that could spread like a deadly fire through the country, though, he knows he has to act, and he’s only glad that the brash courier who picks him up is willing to go all the way to make sure what Curtis is carrying reaches its final destination.
“You know you could just ... leave me here,” said Curtis, but he followed Lyndon back to the van and got in the passenger seat nevertheless.
“I said I’d get you to Springfield. Don’t remind me I’m making shitty decisions.”
“Not like I’ve made stellar ones since I got up today.”
“Believe me, Curtis, I know.”
They both glared out the window as Lyndon got them back on the road. The hum of the wheels, the evenness of the white lines was mesmerizing, and while Lyndon wasn’t falling asleep, he certainly wasn’t paying as much attention as usual. He opened the last can of coffee, thinking he’d have to pull over soon and get more. Curtis was silent, staring sullenly out the window, and Lyndon didn’t feel like pressing him at the moment. He had other things on his mind.
If he lost his job ... hopefully he should be able to get hired on at another. There were other medical couriers in Peoria. Still, it worried him. He wasn’t exactly well off financially, and the one thing he couldn’t afford to lose was his testosterone. Thankfully his last injection was only a couple days ago so he wouldn’t be missing one with this shit he had going on with Curtis, even if it somehow took longer than he thought.
But he had few resources otherwise. He wasn’t currently on speaking terms with his family, and he’d already asked a lot of the few friends he had over the course of the past few years. He fleetingly thought of annoying Curtis for money if he got fired, but Lyndon very much suspected Curtis would be in jail after this.
Lyndon didn’t want to think he might be, too. He glanced in the rearview mirror, wondering what the fuck was even in those containers.
He should just open them and look. He didn’t see how knowing could make the situation any worse for him at this point.
Something in the rearview mirror caught his eye. A white SUV coming up fast on his ass. Lyndon kept expecting it to signal and pass him on the left, but it showed no sign of slowing. Frowning, he pulled to the side of the lane as much as he could, silently cursing the asshole. People drove like shit.
“Fuck,” said Curtis. He’d noticed the vehicle too.
“It’s some asshole,” said Lyndon. He didn’t manage to even reassure himself.
The SUV seemed to slow for a moment, like the driver had noticed them. Lyndon breathed out. And then the vehicle sped up enough to tap his bumper. The jolt was enough to shake them, and Lyndon resisted the impulse to break. Instead he tapped the accelerator, just a little. He wanted the distance, but he didn’t want to go any faster, in case ...
The SUV sped up and tapped his van again. Lyndon merged into the other lane without signaling.
“What the actual fuck?” he asked, hoping he sounded more pissed than scared.
“They found us.” Curtis sounded half numb. “We’re fucked.”
“Who. The. Hell. Found. Us,” said Lyndon, not a question, as the SUV merged behind him and hit his bumper again, harder this time. “Who the fuck are you working for?”
“I don’t know!” said Curtis as the SUV hit them again. “Catholics?”
“Catholics? Really, Curtis?”
“We’re going to die ...”
“We’re not going to die, you bastard.” Lyndon was not going to let some bad day get the better of him, not when he’d had worse days and survived those. An exit was coming up.
“Nobody’s doing anything,” said Curtis, eyes darting toward the other cars on the road. If anything, they’d slowed down or sped up, putting distance between them.
“Don’t know what anyone’s supposed to do,” muttered Lyndon as the SUV hit them again, much harder.
“Do they want us to pull over or are they trying to run us off the road?” asked Curtis.
“Don’t care,” said Lyndon. If he timed it right ... This looked like the last exit for several miles at least.
The SUV hit them again, so hard it nearly ruined Lyndon’s plan. But he managed to merge back to the right and hit the break enough to get them onto the off ramp without rolling or crashing. He could practically feel both himself and Curtis holding their breaths at the maneuver; the SUV shot on past them.