Lauren stomped on the breaks, but it was too late. The deer’s head came crashing through the windshield. The front of the car buckled against the deer’s massive body and the driver’s seat door flew open on impact. The air bag deployed, but that wouldn’t help Lauren. She wasn’t wearing a seat belt and her body was thrown twenty feet from the car.
“Holy shit! Dodger shouted. He brought the beamer to a screeching halt.
“Oh no,” Jordan yelled. She ran from the car and to where Lauren was lying on the side of the road.
Frank and Haley crawled out of the back seat of the beetle through the passenger door. Blood ran down Haley’s face. Frank examined the top of her head and found a deep gash along her hairline.
“Dodger,” he yelled. “Bring me the kit.”
Dodger brought the first aid kit from the trunk. He immediately went running to Lauren. She was unconscious.
“What do we do?” Jordan was pale.
Dodger felt Lauren’s neck. “She’s got a pulse.”
Jordan pulled out her cell phone and began dialing 911.
Dodger snatched it from her hands.
“What are you doing?” she screamed.
“You can’t call for help,” he said,
“We’ve all been drinking.”
“It doesn’t matter. She needs help.”
“Give me a minute.”
Jordan watched in horror.
Dodger felt around Laruen for any broken bones or open wounds. The exposed skin on her body was covered in road rash. Blood swelled to the surface.
“Give me my phone,” Jordan demanded.
Dodger ignored Jordan and continued to work on Lauren.
This time Jordan screamed as loud as she could. “I said, give me my phone.” She was about to attack Dodger when Frank grabbed her from behind. He put his arms around her so she couldn’t move. She squirmed in his arms but was unable to break free. Haley slowly came to them and sat on the ground. Frank had bandaged her head and she held her chin in the palm of her hand as if she were holding it up.
“Let me go,” Jordan yelled.
“Shhhh,” Frank tried to calm her. “Dodger knows what he’s doing. He’s had training.”
“What is he? Some kind of doctor?”
“Not exactly,” Frank said.
“Then she needs one.” Jordan stomped as hard as she could on Frank’s foot.
“Shit!” he yelled but didn’t let go; he tightened his grip. “No need for that. I’m telling you, he knows what he’s doing. Think about this for a minute. If we call the police we will all be arrested. You don’t want to go to jail tonight, right?”
“No, but I don’t want to see her die either.”
“She’s not dying,” Frank said.
“She sure looks like it.”
Jordan was weak from drinking, her muscles like gelatin. She was unable to get free from Frank’s grip. What took ten minutes seem like an eternity. Lauren finally opened her eyes.
“Hey Lauren,” Dodger said. “Good to see you. Don’t move just yet. Do you know where you are?”
It took a minute for Lauren to answer. “Yes.”
“I had an accident.” She thought for a minute. “I hit a deer.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“She’s sitting right here beside me, but don’t turn your head just yet.”
“Haley,” Lauren called out.
Haley, still in shock, looked toward Lauren.
“Haley, are you there?”
“Yes, I’m here.”
“Are you okay?”
“I hit my head.”
“Is she okay? She sounds funny.”
“She’s fine. You’ll be able to get up in a minute and see her. You don’t have any broken bones that I can tell. I’m going to sit you up gradually. You can rest against me.” Dodger helped her up and she instantly looked at Haley.
“She looks worse than she is, I assure you,” Frank said.
“Is the ambulance on its way?”
“Not exactly,” Frank answered. “We are going to leave here on our own.”
“We’ve all been drinking.”
“Oh, right.” Lauren looked behind her at her car. The deer still hanging through it.
“What will we do with my car?”
“I’m going to call a friend. He will come and get it and bring it to a nearby auto shop. Then you can call your insurance company and tell them you hit a deer and had the car towed. Do you think you can stand up?”
Dodger helped her up. He held her steady on her feet and helped her walk to the beamer. Once she was in the back seat he went for Haley.
Frank let go of Jordan, who remained steamed over the entire situation. Dodger and Frank talked to the girls all the way to Lauren’s apartment, sizing them up for serious injuries. Jordan fell asleep for some of the ride and had no idea where they were when she woke. She was alone in the car and parked in front of a high-rise apartment building. She reached for her cell but remembered that Dodger had taken it. She rummaged through all the compartments in the car in hopes of finding either her cell or someone else’s phone. Her head was pounding from all the alcohol and probably from whatever pill she popped. She fell back into the leather seat to think. She must be at Lauren’s apartment. She assumed the guys were helping the girls inside and would be back soon. Her choice now was to stay or go. It was 5:00 a.m., still dark and cold outside. She could take off walking but she didn’t even know which way to go since she didn’t have a clue as to where she was. She wondered if the guys were going to take her back to her car or would they want to do something else. She could hardly believe it, but she just wanted to go home. She was thirsty and her mouth felt like it was full of cotton. She had gum in her purse, but it was then that she realized she didn’t have her purse and she hadn’t see it since she had been at The Byre. If she took off now, without her purse, she would be without money, credit card or identification. She could see the guys coming from the apartment entrance. In a split second she decided to go it alone. She got out of the car and ran away from the complex and the car. She was hoping to be out of sight by the time the guys got to the car.
Jordan ran until she became winded, which didn’t take too long considering the night she had been through. She wasn’t used to such partying. The complex must have been on the outskirts of a city because there was nothing around except factories and shops; an industrial area. Car lights approached her the front. The car turned into one of the factories. It was just about shift change, she thought. She began to see more cars, one at a time, coming from all directions driving into the factory parking lots. A van with a loud muffler approached her from behind. It seemed to slow as it came near her. It slowed down to her walking pace and stayed right behind her. She was a little frightened. She became so afraid that she decided to walk through one of the parking lots and enter a factory. Surely it would be safer inside with other people around. But she didn’t get the chance.