Thursday – Snippet Week, Day Four!
Her voice was demure and quiet, but Hutch still felt the sting of her words like knife slashes. “You’ve gone above and beyond what I hired you for. I’ll make sure you are paid when we reach the Wet Lands and then you can go on your way, back to whatever pained existence makes you happy.”
Silently, he slowly leaned back into his seat and took one last glance at her before throwing the scud into gear and lurching back out onto the gravelly road.
Pain, Hutch thought. She knew nothing of the word. Her experience with pain ranked about as high as his experience with pure happiness. The prospect of jumping on a ship and flying off the planet was becoming more appealing by the second. For the rest of their time on the road, Hutch told himself he wouldn’t even miss A’ris. That he’d been better off before getting involved in her quest to save the little rock no one in the universe cared about. For hours it was all he thought of. Being free to make his own decisions, and go where he wanted and be with women who wanted to be with him. He was getting there, getting ready to cut A’ris loose and let her live her life, however short it ended up being, while he rode off and lived his own.
When the glint of the Wet Lands bounced off the windshield the pit of Hutch’s stomach clenched. They were so close to the end of their journey together that the salt in the air could be tasted. And he cursed himself because he’d foolishly thought he could save her.
– The Dry Lands, a Hutch and A’ris novel