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Jeannine D. VanEperen
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Felicity finished her coffee while telling herself that everything would be all right. Surely, she could find a place to be safe, and surely, the killers would be brought to justice without her testimony. Wasn't she always taught in school that justice would prevail? But she was no longer a wide-eyed school girl, and she knew that danger and violence existed. She had seen it up close and personal. The last look of surprise on Ron's face flashed before her and she saw the blood ooze through his jacket from his chest. Felicity shook her head to clear it of unwanted painful memories.
The bus pulled into the station in downtown Chicago.
As Felicity picked up her suitcase and disembarked, she got a prickly sensation on the back of her neck. She glanced around, noticing among the winos and scruffy looking people a well-dressed male figure in the shadows who quickly turn away. Had Bruno Fuller’s men already learned she’d left town? Was he one? In her terror she felt the oppressive humidity and heat suffocate her. The putrid smell of the terminal assailed her nostrils. She wanted nothing more than to leave the cursed place she had arrived at and continue moving. Felicity saw a bus close its doors in preparation to leave. She ran to it, hammered on the glass, and bounded up the steps as soon as the driver opened the doorway.
“Ticket, lady,” the driver said.
“No ticket. I’ll pay you.”
“Uh, where are you heading?”
The driver gave her a quizzical glance, but made no remark about her ignorance. “This bus goes as far as Oklahoma City, ma’am. Is that how far you want to go? Makes stops in St. Louis, Kansas City, and lots of little places in between.”
Felicity set her suitcase on the floor as the man talked. Jumbled thoughts ran across her mind. There probably was a sign on the front of the bus denoting its destination of Oklahoma City. Police might be looking for her, too. She took a deep breath. Both types of men, crooks and police, at the moment, were equally distasteful. She wanted no part of either.
“If I buy a ticket to Oklahoma City, can I get off somewhere else and then get a later bus?”
“Sure. That what you want to do?”
She shrugged, wishing she was not so scared and so tired.
“Why don’t you just take a seat right there?” He indicated a space several rows behind him. “When I get out on the highway, then you let me know.”
“You’ll trust me?”
“Why sure. Don’t think you’re out to stiff me, are you, ma’am?” He grinned broadly, white teeth gleaming in his dark face. “I gets lotsa ladies in your position, and I ain’t been taken advantage of yet. Don’t think you’re gonna be the first.”
Felicity shoved her suitcase down the aisle and slipped into the empty seat. Few people were on the bus, but she suspected that business would pick up. If it weren’t for dire circumstances, she certainly would not choose the wee hours of the morning to board a bus. She glanced at her watch. Two forty-three. She closed her eyes to rest them for a moment. Sleep quickly overtook her.
FAR-Award-winning author, Jeannine Van Eperen, currently lives in Wisconsin, the state of her birth, but she lived for many years in New Mexico and sets many of her novels in New Mexico and Albuquerque, the place she calls home. You Can Bank on It is a fictionalized version of her early years working in the Albuquerque National Bank and also the Bank of New Mexico. She is a people-watcher and “what-ifs” often become the basis for stories. Some incidents happened but most are made up, just as the characters are.
Jeannine attended schools in Chicago and Albuquerque, attended the University of New Mexico, College of St. Joseph on the Rio Grande and Western States University College of Law in Anaheim, California.
Besides the banking industry, Jeannine worked in the insurance industry as an office manager, in the travel industry as a motel manager, and was the director of publicity at the University of Albuquerque. She and husband Lou love travel and have been to all fifty of the United States and Puerto Rico, most Canadian Provinces and thirty countries. She is particularly fond of New Zealand and England. She is a private pilot, enjoys reading, euchre, downhill skiing and needlework.
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 252
Paper Weight (lb): 10.6
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