Cassidy gripped the dashboard as Travis's truck bounced over the shoulder and stopped in front of the RV. Adrenaline coursed through her veins. Her hands trembled and her heart pounded against her rib cage.
"Stay here," he said. Gun in hand, Travis leaped from the truck and carefully walked over to the RV. After checking the exterior, he yanked open the RV's door and pulled out the driver—a young woman. She wore a flannel shirt, ripped jeans and the look of fear in her eyes. After holstering his weapon, Travis bound the woman's wrists with handcuffs.
Waving, he motioned for Cassidy. She joined him at the door of the RV. "I've got a problem," he said. Before she could ask what was wrong, Travis continued, "I've got to search this RV and I can't leave the two of you sitting in the truck. You both have to come with me."
He lowered a set of stairs to the cabin and opened the door. Cassidy climbed the steps and entered the RV. The first thing she noticed was the smell. Stale beer. Body odor. Rotten food. The musk of sex. The shag carpeting was sticky in some places and stiff in others.
There was a small kitchen area behind the driver's seat. Flies buzzed above a sink filled with dirty dishes. Two sofas, one on each side of the cabin, took up most of the room. At the rear of the RV, a door was open and an unmade bed was visible. Had her daughter really been kept here?
Leading the young woman by the elbow, Travis entered the RV. "I need to look around. Cassidy, don't touch anything."
"Don't worry," she said. "I won't."
Opening each drawer, Travis conducted a cursory search. It took only minutes and he had nothing to show for his time other than a cell phone he'd found on the dashboard. Holding up the phone, Travis asked the girl, "Is this yours?"
She said nothing.
Travis tried again and asked, "What's your name?"
"Lisa," she said, her voice small.
"Can you tell me what you were doing?"
Cassidy understood that the girl was scared and didn't know who she could trust. She glanced at Travis and titled her chin toward the young woman. He nodded slightly, wordlessly giving Cassidy permission to interact with the young woman.
"Lisa," said Cassidy. "I'm Cassidy. Have you been living at the compound long?"
She shrugged. "I guess."
"Where were you going?"
Another shrug. "Nowhere."
Cassidy had been a mother long enough to know when someone was lying. "Listen. My daughter was at that camp. Maybe you met her—a girl named Brittney?" A bare hint of recognition in Lisa's eyes. "I want to help my daughter and you, too—but I can't if you aren't honest with me."
Chewing on her bottom lip, Lisa said, "It was Booth. He figured that after the cop came, someone was watching the compound. He knew if I drove away, then I'd be followed. He told me not to stop, otherwise…"
The air in the RV grew warm. "Otherwise what?"
A single tear followed the contour of Lisa's cheek. "Otherwise," she said, "he'd make me sorry."
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