Accidental Surrogate

Chapter 321: The Storm


The weather, bizarrely, gets worse as we drive. I’m usually not skittish about driving in bad weather, by
as the miles pass I feel myself getting more and more anxious. The water pounds against the
windshield and thunder booms around us, lightening flashing through. the forests through which we

“What the hell is this,” Roger growls, leaning forward to look up into the sky. “I can’t believe it’s lasted
this long and it’s raining harder, not letting up..

“Can you even see?” I ask, my hands gripping the leather of my seat anxiously now as I stare out the
windshield in front of us. To me it looks like a vast sheet of grey water with the occasional flare of the
guard car’s brake lights ahead of us.

“I can see,” Roger murmurs in reply, a little annoyed, apparently, that I’d even call his skills into
question. I roll my eyes at this, but trust him there must be something about his wolf senses that can
see into the road ahead of us that my eyes cannot make out. Still, despite my trust, I’m anxious. We
could run into another car, or a fallen tree, or a lost animal at any moment – how could we even see it

My phone lights up in the cupholder next to me and I release my grip on my seat to grab it, looking at
the new text from Ella. “Roger,” I say, anxious, glancing at him. “Ella says it’s not even raining at home
what –

But suddenly the car lurches, skidding sideways a little I see the diver’s wheel shift in

Roger’s hands, moving without his control – hear him curse under his breath as the car hydroplanes
and drifts at high speed to our left. I give a little shriek, pressing my eyes. closed, my whole body tense
– anticipating at any moment that we’ll slam into a tree, or fly off a cliff –

But we just slow, and then come to a stop, and I peek my eyes open.

“It’s all right, Cora,” Roger murmurs, frustrated but in control of the car again. “We skidded but we’re
okay. We just hit some high water

“Where’s the other car?” I gasp, still freaked out, looking steadily out the window.

“They got through it,” he tells me, putting the car in park and picking up his phone, glancing at the road
ahead of us. “I don’t know how, though, it looks completely flooded…” the road ahead of us. Roger’s on
his phone now, speaking to the guards in the car, who have stopped on the other side of the flooded
road, separated from us. They speak for a few moments, trying to figure out a plan, but they don’t come
up with much.

“It’s no good, Cora,” Roger says, hanging up the phone and turning to me. “They can’t come back
across the road. We’re going to have to backtrack and find a new route.”

“Seriously?” I ask, my eyes wide with anxiety. “We can’t like… ford the river, or whatever?” Roger
raises an eyebrow and gestures towards the water in front of us, which looks like it’s rising by the
minute. As I watch, what looks like an entire tree floats by what is quickly. becoming a river across the

“How did that happen so fast?” I ask, a little breathless. “Between one car length and another?”

“I don’t know,” Roger replies, his voice tight as he turns in his seat and puts the car in reverse, backing
away from the rising water line. I watch him, waiting for him to continue, but he doesn’t, his brows knit

And then, suddenly, I realize that he already knows what I’m just now figuring out. That this storm…is
not natural.

“Roger,” I whisper, my words shaking. “What’s happening?”

“We’re going to get through it, Cora,” he promises, his eyes on the road as he turns the car around and
heads in the other direction. “Do you trust me?”

And I do. I know it, deep down in my gut, that I trust him to get us out of this. But instead of telling him
that, I just nod, sitting back tensely in my seat as we retrace the ground we’ve already crossed. Even
as we drive back down the road, though, the storm does not let up.

Lightening crashes around us and the tree limbs whip wildly above, threatening to come down on us at
any moment.

When it starts to hail, big golf-ball sized pieces of ice, I open my mouth to say we need to do get out of

But Roger beats me to it. “It’s no good, Cora,” he murmurs, glancing at me. “We have to stop.”

“Okay,” I breathe, somehow at once more anxious and simultaneously relieved. I want to stop I know
that for sure, I don’t want to ride on this road any longer in this storm – but what’s waiting for us when
we stop? Something is fighting to keep us here. What happens

“I think I remember…” Roger begins, peering out the window, but his words fade off as he looks. I wait,
holding my breath, not wanting to interrupt his concentration, looking out. the windshield along with
him, unable to tear my eyes away. But as I watch – a red neon glow comes barely into sight in the
distance. “Yes,” he murmurs. “A motel. Thank god.”

I breathe a big sigh of relief as Roger pulls into the parking lot, the wind hitting us so hard now from the
side the car rocks as he slides the gears into park. The rain is coming at us sideways now, punishing
and incessant. As I stare at it, baffled by the sudden hurricane conditions, Roger surprises me by
taking my hand.

“We can stay in the car,” he offers, “if that feels safer. But…I think we should get inside, Cora. What do
you think? Make a run for the lobby?” He gestures towards it, just a few feet away, but somehow in this
insane weather it feels as if getting there means running a gauntlet.

“Roger,” I say, anxious, looking into his eyes. “What’s going on? What is this?”

“I don’t know,” he says, concerned, shaking his head at me. “I honestly don’t, Cora. But we can’t drive
in it not now. So our only choice, I think, is to weather the storm. And we can do that here, in the cold
car. Or…there,” he says, nodding to the motel.

“In a flea-infested bedroom with rusty tap water,” I murmur, grimacing a little and looking at the motel’s
run-down façade.

“Yup,” he says, putting a hand out to me. “What do you think? Want to make a run for it with me?”

Suddenly a huge gust comes, shifting the car so that it feels almost as if it lifts up on two wheels
instead of staying steadily on four, as a car should.

“Yup!” I say, giving him a big anxious grin. “Let’s go!” and I slap my palm against his, tightening my
fingers to grip his hand.

Roger gives me a little wink and then grabs his car door’s handle. “On the count of three…”

“Wait!” I gasp, sliding my phone into my back pocket and then grabbing for the copies of the pages
from the book and shoving them hastily under my shirt, where I hope they’ll keep relatively dry.

Roger pauses for a moment, still holding my hand tightly, and then smirks, murmuring” lucky paper.”
Then he meets my eyes and begins to count. “One?” he asks.

“Two,” I say, meeting his eyes and smiling a little bit, despite myself.

“Three!” he shouts, and we both throw open our doors, leaping out into the elements. I am almost
instantly soaked as I sprint for the doors of the motel, Roger at my side for every step.

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