Darker (Fifty Shades 5) - Page 145

“Sure thing. Climb aboard.”

Ros frowns and whispers, “I would never do this if I was on my own.” I help Ros to scramble up and I follow her into the cab. It’s clean and smells of new car and pine forest, though I suspect that’s from the air freshener hanging from a hook on the dash.

“What you folks doing down here?” the guy asks, as Ros settles on the comfortable-looking couch at the back of the cabin. It looks brand-new.

I glance at Ros, who gives me a small shake of her head.

“We’re lost. You know.” I keep my answer vague.

“Okay,” he says, and I know he doesn’t believe us, but he puts the beast into gear and we rumble off in the direction of Seattle.

“Name’s Seb,” he says.



He leans over and shakes our hands in turn. “You guys thirsty?” he asks.

“Yes,” we both say at once.

“Back of the cabin there’s a small fridge. Should find some San Pellegrino in there.”

San Pellegrino?

Ros retrieves two bottles and we drink gratefully. I never knew sparkling water could taste so good.

I notice a microphone hanging from above.

“CB radio?” I ask.

“Yep. But it’s not working. It’s new. Damn thing.” He gives it a frustrated knock with his knuckles. “Whole rig is new. This is her maiden voyage.”

That’s why he’s driving so slowly.

I check the time. It’s 7:35. My phone is dead. As is Ros’s. Damn.

“Do you have a mobile?” I ask Seb.

“No way. I want my ex-wife to leave me alone. When I’m out in the cab it’s just me and the road.”

I nod.

Fuck. Ana might be worried. But I’ll worry her more if I tell her what’s happened before she sees me. And she’s probably at the bar. With José Rodriguez. I hope Elliot and Katherine will keep an eye on him.

Feeling glum and a little helpless, I stare out at the scenery. We’ll shortly be on I-5, and on our way home.

“You guys hungry? I have some kale and quinoa wraps in the fridge left over from my lunch.”

“That’s mighty hospitable. Thank you, Seb.”

“You folks mind a little music while we drive?” he asks when we’ve finished his lunch.

Oh, hell.

“Sure,” says Ros, but I hear her uncertainty.

Seb has Sirius on his radio and he turns it to a jazz station. The mellow notes of Charlie Parker’s saxophone playing “All the Things You Are” fill the cab.

“All The Things You Are.”

Ana. Is she missing me?

I’m on the road with a kale-and-quinoa-eating trucker who listens to cool jazz. This is not how I expected my day to go. I give Ros a brief look. She’s sunk onto the couch and is fast asleep. I breathe a sigh of relief and close my eyes.

If I hadn’t been able to land.

Jesus. Ros’s family would have been devastated.

Both engines?

What is the likelihood?

And Charlie Tango had just had all her routine checks.

Something doesn’t add up.

The rumble of the truck goes on and on and on. Billie Holiday is singing. Her voice is soothing, like a lullaby. “You’re My Thrill.”

Charlie Tango is hurtling to the ground.

I’m pulling back on the collective.

No. No. No.

There’s a woman screaming.


Ana. Screaming.


There’s smoke. Choking smoke.

And we’re hurtling down.

I can’t stop this.

Ana is screaming.

No. No. No.

And Charlie Tango hits the ground.





I wake suddenly, gasping. It’s dark, except for the occasional light on the freeway. I’m in the cab.

“Hey.” It’s Seb.

“Sorry, I must have fallen asleep.”

“No problem. You two must be bushed. Your friend is still asleep.” Ros is out on the couch behind us.

“Where are we?”


“What? Great.” I peer out and we’re still on I-5, but the lights of Seattle are in the distance. Cars whiz past us. This has to be the slowest piece of transport I have ever traveled in. “Where are you heading in Seattle?”

“The docks. Pier 46.”

“Right. Could you drop us in town? We can pick up a cab.”

“No problem.”

“So have you always done this?”

“No. I’ve done a little of everything. But this truck. This one is mine and I’m working for myself.”

“Ah. An entrepreneur.”


“I do a little of that myself.”

“One day I’d like to own a fleet of these.” He slaps his hands on the wheel.

“I hope you do.”

SEB DROPS US AT Union Station.

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you,” says Ros as we climb out of his truck.

I hand him four hundred dollars.

“I can’t take your money, Christian,” Seb says, holding up his hand and refusing the cash.

“In that case, here’s my card.” From my wallet, I give him my card. “Call me. And we can talk about the fleet you want to own.”

“Sure thing,” says Seb, without looking at my card. “Nice meeting you folks.”

“Thanks. You’re a lifesaver.” And with that, I shut the door and we wave him away.

“Can you believe that guy?” Ros asks.

“Thank God he turned up. Let’s get a cab.”

IT TAKES US TWENTY minutes to get to Ros’s place, which, fortunately, is near Escala.

Tags: E.L. James Fifty Shades Billionaire Romance
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