Excerpt from Lakota Dreaming:
Zora had flown down this road earlier in the day, but now, when she couldn’t see past the headlights’ reflection, she literally crept at twenty-five miles an hour. Bright red eyes stared at her from the shoulder. Don’t even think about it. You’ll be road kill by tomorrow morning. She was beginning to know her way around the reservation. She laughed. Okay, maybe she only knew the way to Joseph’s house and all the points in between, but that was progress. She knew if you took this road another five miles or so past Joseph’s turn-off, you’d come to Chet’s—.
Rising out of the ditch on the right, a vehicle’s front tires rested on the road and the rear ones were in the gulley. Her convertible’s headlights illuminated the police insignia on the vehicle’s door.
Her heart nosedived straight to her sling backs.
She slammed on the brakes. The car zigzagged. She jumped out, almost running out of her heels as she closed the distance between her Chrysler and his vehicle. He had to know every bit of this road. What would cause him to drive his Jeep into a ditch?
His head lolled against the headrest. His long, dark hair partially shielded his face. Please let him be okay.
He didn’t respond. Reaching through the open window, she touched his shoulder. When she felt the unmistakable rise and fall of his chest, she exhaled a trapped breath.
“John, wake up.” With a trembling hand, she tucked wayward strands of silky hair behind his ear. She allowed herself the pleasure of running her hand over the contours of his rugged features.
What was she doing? She snatched her hand away. This wasn’t Terrance. This was a brutish, uncultured police officer with delusions of living in the Old West.
“John.” She slapped him lightly on the face. When the action evoked no response, she hit him harder. “Wake up, you Neanderthal.” She raised her hand.
“Hit me again, and I’ll shoot you.”
One dark eye squinted at her.
She laughed, dizzy with relief.
He rubbed his head, winced then froze. His gaze flew to hers. “Get in your car. Now!”
At the command in his voice, her hackles rose and her eyes narrowed. “Now look—”
For the first time, she smelled the fumes. Instead of backing away, she reached for the Jeep’s door, her hands clumsy and cold. “Get out. Get out.” She pulled frantically on the handle, but her actions were as ineffective as a child’s. The door didn’t budge.
“Get. To. The. Car.” Each word came out in staccato burst as he shoved against the door’s frame. The Jeep groaned and settled deeper into the ditch.
She backed away. Her eyes never left his face. Putting both hands on the window frame, he dove out, landing partly on the road and partly in the ditch with a bone-jarring thud.
When she reached him, he was already scrambling to his feet. Grabbing her arm, he ran with a lurch that resembled Quasimodo.
The Jeep exploded behind them.