Tarik had been driving for over six hours it was late afternoon, it remained pretty quiet in the van, at the moment everyone was sleeping. Tarik hoped it stayed this peaceful until he got them all to sanctuary. He found it odd that Joe’s daughters had no gifts, they were just regular humans. Joe and his wife both had powers, but his daughters didn’t? Tarik heard that this happened, he just never saw it personally. Joe’s daughters were Maria, and Lisa. Only a few years apart they looked like they couldn’t even be related. Maria was the older of the two being nineteen years old. She was tall with a healthy build, not fat mind you but she had the type of body that reminded you of actresses like Marylin Monroe. She looked Hispanic taking after Joe, her hair dark brown, eyes light brown, full lips and eyes that made you think she could be part Chinese, but she wasn’t. Maria was the most confident of the two sisters, and very weary of anyone outside the family. Lisa took after her mother who was white. She had light brown hair, her skin was pale, her lips and nose were thin, eyes blue, an oval face and large round eyes. She was short and thin, and very quiet almost timid. She didn’t say much and she let Maria speak for her. Life on the run didn’t suit Lisa well, she was very apprehensive and afraid, fear always seemed to linger in her eyes. Seeing her mother taken down violently by the Seekers was just too much for her, she was already frail mentally, the murder of her mother sent her over the edge reducing her to a nervous mute. Tarik wondered if Judge Moses would even allow the two daughters sanctuary since they were human but felt that it was possible since their father was one of the gifted. Tarik loathed going anywhere near Judge Moses’s sanctuary and even contemplated heading out of Colorado into another area, there was after all sanctuaries in other states, or counties in Colorado. Tarik would’ve rather went as far away from Judge Moses as he could, but Joe specifically wanted to go to Judge Moses, he’d been there before. And since he was paying for Tarik’s protection Tarik had to take him where he requested. Tarik shook his head in revulsion of even meeting Judge Moses again. Not that he hated him, it wasn’t that. He just knew he’d see a look of disappointment in his eyes and he wasn’t ready for that. That’s why he forced Joe to the agreement of getting him and his daughters as close as he could to sanctuary, but not getting so close that Tarik had to deal with seeing Judge Moses.
Tarik came around the bend on the highway slowing the van into rush hour traffic. He couldn’t wait to get further out onto a country road away from all of this. The journey would be much faster once they were well out of the city with all if it’s busy streets. He leaned over reaching down to turn on the radio, Joe was in the passenger seat his head against the side window, he was in a deep sleep. Tarik looked up into the rear view mirror seeing Maria staring at him, he thought she was sleeping, Lisa had her head on her shoulder sleeping peacefully. As the van came to a complete stop Tarik noticed that Maria kept her eyes locked on him. He looked away from the mirror in an attempt to shake her stare. Minutes passed Tarik felt her eyes on him again. Looking back up in the mirror he discovered he was right. This time he decided to stare back surely it would make her look away, but it didn’t. Finally after ten minutes of staring back and forth Tarik was compelled to say something, this started to make him feel uneasy. “What…?” He said. He didn’t say it roughly or rude, in fact he said it calmly. There was nothing negative in the way he asked, it was merely a question. Maria held her gaze but curiosity filled her eyes. “You have a handsome face” she said. Tarik squirmed in his seat feeling a bit uneasy.
“Huh?” Was all that came out. Oh he knew what she said and he fully understood it, but keep in mind Tarik wasn’t used to being around females. He’d never been intimate with a female or found the desire to, the vindication of his father and Deacon Marino took precedence over any of his fleshly desires. In fact he did a good job on shutting down those type of emotions long ago, or so he thought. “I like how your face looks, and how pretty your dark skin is” Maria said answering Tarik’s bumbling question. Tarik looked away from the mirror, he was completely and without a doubt out of his element. “Uh thanks” Tarik struggled to get out. He pretended to focus hard on the traffic in front of him looking about at various cars that just sat in the rush hour. “Maybe you should get some sleep, you might not get much later once we get further out of the cities. He nervously glanced back into the mirror. Was it him or was Maria looking back at him with a heated passionate stare? Looking down at her neckline he noticed her cleavage, was her shirt unbuttoned that low before? He hadn’t noticed that her breasts where that big, or maybe he just wasn’t looking until now. Or were they even that big? Maybe he was just imagining things. He was flustered to be sure, he found himself frustrated because at this moment he’d never felt so stupid, nor asked such foolish questions. Maria giggled that flirtatious giggle that females sometime do when they notice a man going ga ga over them. Tarik noticed it too lowering his head in embarrassment, or was it shyness? He looked around for a way to get off the freeway. Maria saw him moving about in his seat uneasily. “What’s wrong?” She asked with a seductice smile, she enjoyed this. In fact she needed it. This moment was a complete distraction from what had been going on. “We need gasoline or we’ll be stuck on this damn highway!” He said his voice a tad bit shaky. He found himself looking back up into the rear view mirror where his eyes met Maria’s yet again. “I guess we better get some gas then shouldn’t we?” She said, then she winked at him. All of a sudden Tarik’s face felt hot, he looked away rolling down the window he needed fresh air even though the air conditioner was already on. “Are you hot?” She teasingly asked Tarik. He looked around the dash board not even knowing what he was looking for, anything to make him look busy. “This damn traffic!” He thought to himself. Never had he felt so helpless. “Ugh it’s a little warm but I’m getting a nice breast in from the window, it’s a little cooler now” Tarik said. Maria laughed at hearing his Freudian slip, Tarik was completely unaware what he had said. “You’re getting a nice breeze? But the air condition is on and it’s hot outside” she smiled. “With the window down it’s only going to get hotter in here, maybe you should turn the air up more? Maybe that would help with your heatstroke”
Tarik struggled to find the power window button, once he did he had an even more difficult time finding the climate control buttons. “I can help you find it” She said softly. Tarik struggled even to the point of leaning down looking right at the climate control board before looking past it. “What? Find it?” He stuttered.
“Yea, it….” She said. Her voice had a sexual tinge to it that made Tarik very nervous. He hadn’t realized that the cars had already moved up in front of him, behind him honking horns began to alert him. He looked over at the side of the road, it was a clear shot to an exit that was half a mile up. “Fuck it!” He said under his breath. He slammed on the gas, the tires screeched urging the van to high speeds down the side of the road. All the while Joe’s eyes are closed his head is against the window, the entire time he heard what had been going on and he didn’t like it, not one bit. He decided to continue playing that he was sleeping but later on he and Maria would have a little talk about this matter.

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