“You’ve got this car as hot as my nutsack, Simon. You roasting your little balls for the holidays?” I ask, turning toward him.

“It’s never too late to let you walk to the truck stop,” he snarls as he leans toward his door. “Though the fresh air does help with your offending smell.”

Asshole thinks he’d be able to get away with leaving me in his dust…

That’s fucking doubtful. I’ll fucking kill him before he gets the chance to leave my ass to rot anywhere again.

Lucifer asked me to take the fall for what happened ten years ago, but it doesn’t mean I’ll ever go back. Fuck that shit. I’ve had enough cramped spaces and isolation to last me a lifetime.

“The smell’s from living in a six by eight cell with nothing but time. Fuck your delicate sensibilities,” I say as I spot the sign for the truck stop we’ll be stopping at.

“Delicate…” Simon chuckles as he hits the blinker for us to merge off the interstate.

“Why’d the Devil bring me out, Simon?” I ask him quietly.

I was the sacrificial lamb. The one to take the fall for the carnage Lucifer needed.

Lucifer said he’d get me out before I went in, but I think we both knew that wasn’t going to happen. And if that fucker, Simon, had his way, I’d still be in prison. After a couple of years, I figured Lucifer felt the same way. I mean, I’m the one who wiped out the rest of the family when he took over. Even his uncle.

“Like I said, he wants Garden City to be brought back under his control. We’ve been hit too many times from forces outside his sphere of influence.”

“What forces?” I ask, trying to remember exactly who the powerholders were ten years ago.

“Like I told you earlier, the Yakuza, Russians, and Saudis, just to name a few,” Simon says with obvious annoyance as we pull into the parking lot.

“The Saudis?” I ask with a snort, remembering he did mention them. “How the hell did Lucifer manager to piss those sand-fuckers off?”

“He didn’t. My wife did,” Simon says as I hop out of the car.

Looking back to the SUV, I watch as he sits there, waving me on. I guess he can’t risk contracting a cold from the truck stop.

Fucking pussy.

Stepping into the store, I look around and finally feel something akin to freedom. I can buy any drink I want. I can eat anything I feel like, and I don’t have to worry about some fucking guard coming in to slap his wooden baton up against my head for the hell of it.

I slip my hand down into the bag Simon handed me when I got in his car and fish around for a wallet. Pulling it out, I open it to see what John gave me. Knowing that fucker, it probably has some chick’s driver’s license in it.

Flipping through the wallet, though, I’m pleasantly surprised. There’s an updated driver’s license for me and a couple of brand new credit cards. That, and the thousand or so in cash, help me feel like I won’t have to be too reliant on Simon.

* * *

Climbing back into the SUV, I smirk as Simon looks at me in revulsion.

“I thought you were going to shave the beard completely off, at least. You know, try to advance past the Neanderthal stage of your life,” he sneers at me as I close the door.

“Nah, I think I’ll keep this scruff on a bit longer. Bugs the fuck out you, doesn’t it?” I ask with a smirk.

“Infantile ass,” Simon mutters as he opens up his glove compartment and hands me a little black plastic thing with a glass top.

“The fuck is this?” I ask as I look down at the screen.

“A phone. Technology has come a long way since you went in,” he says as he pulls out of the parking lot.

Heading back to the highway, he motions to the phone.

“Push the button at the bottom, that pulls it out of rest. Once it’s up, the icons should be self-explanatory,” he says with a laugh, and I’m pretty damn sure it’s because of my lack of knowledge when it comes to technology.

Pushing the button on the phone, I watch as the screen comes to life and feel as if I really am a caveman coming into the twenty-first century. I swipe where the screen says swipe and reveal what looks like a computer desktop.

Fuck me. I guess things have come a lot further than I thought.

“Interesting,” I say as I shove the phone into my pocket. “Where we headed?”

“Matthew is having a little get-together to welcome you home. It should be right up your alley, if you haven’t turned into a rat while you were in prison.”

“Yeah, yeah. Suck a dick,” I grumble and lean my head against the glass of the car door.

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