Home > See Me(8)

See Me(8)
Author: Nicholas Sparks

“Need a hand?”

It was the sound of his voice that jolted her out of her trance. Letting go of the tire, she began backing away, focusing only on creating distance between the two of them. Lightning flashed again and she noticed a blankness in his expression, almost like something elemental was missing in his personality, the piece that signaled that it wasn’t okay to rape and kill women.

“What do you want with me?” she finally choked out.

“I don’t want anything,” he answered.

“Then what are you doing here?”

“I thought you might need some help changing your tire.”

“I’m fine,” she said. “I can handle it myself.”

He looked from her to the flat tire, then back to her again. “Okay. Good night,” he said. Wheeling around, he started back toward his car, his figure suddenly receding. His reaction was so unexpected that for a second she felt paralyzed. He was leaving? Why was he leaving? She was glad about that – actually, she was thrilled about that – and yet, and yet…

“I’m having trouble getting the tire out of the trunk!” she said, hearing the panic in her own voice.

He turned on his heel as he reached his car. “Seems like it.” He reached for his door and pulled it open, ready to climb in —

“Wait!” she suddenly cried.

He squinted at her through the downpour. “Why?” he called back.

Why? She wasn’t sure she’d heard him right. But then again, she’d told him she didn’t need any help. And she didn’t, except that she did, but it wasn’t as though she could call anyone, and with her thoughts racing and jumbled, the next words spilled out involuntarily.

“Do you have a phone?” she shouted.

He closed some of the gap between, stopping when he could be heard without shouting, but not getting too close. Thank God. “Yes,” he answered.

She shifted from one foot to the other, thinking Now what? “I lost my phone,” she said. “I mean, I didn’t lose lose it.” She knew she was rambling, but the way he kept staring at her made the words impossible to stop. “It’s either at the office or I left it at my parents’, but I won’t know for sure until I get to my MacBook.”

“Okay.” He added nothing else; instead, he stood unmoving, his eyes steady on hers.

“I use that Find My iPhone thing. The app, I mean. I can track my phone because it’s synced with the computer.”



“Well what?”

“Can I borrow yours for a minute? I want to call my sister.”

“Sure,” he answered. He tucked the phone into the folds of his jacket and as he began to approach, she reflexively took another step backward. He placed the jacket on the hood of her car and gestured at it.

She hesitated. He was definitely odd, but she appreciated the fact that he’d stepped away. She hurried to the bundle and found his iPhone tucked inside, the same model as hers. When she pressed the button, the screen lit up and sure enough, he was getting service. But it wouldn’t do any good unless…

“Five-six-eight-one,” he offered.

“You’re giving me your code?”

“You can’t access the phone without it,” he noted.

“Aren’t you worried about giving it to a stranger?”

“Are you going to steal my phone?”

She blinked. “No. Of course not.”

“Then I’m not worried.”

She wasn’t sure what to say to that, but whatever. She typed in the code with trembling fingers and dialed her sister. By the third ring, she knew she’d get Serena’s voice mail. Maria did her best to keep her frustration in check as she left a message, explaining what had happened to the car and asking her sister to come pick her up. She tucked the phone back into the jacket on the hood and then stepped away, watching him.

“No answer?” he asked.

“She’s coming.”

“Okay.” When the lightning flashed again, he motioned toward the rear of her car. “While you’re waiting for her, do you want me to change your tire?”

She opened her mouth to again decline his offer, but who knew when – or if – Serena would get her message? And then there was the fact that she’d never actually changed a tire in her life. Instead of answering, she let out a breath, trying to keep the tremor from her voice. “Can I ask you a question?”


“What… what happened to your face?”

“I was in a fight.”

She waited a few beats before finally realizing he wasn’t going to add anything else. That’s it? No further explanation? His demeanor was so utterly foreign, she wasn’t sure what to make of it. As he stood in place, obviously waiting for the answer to his earlier question, she glanced at the trunk, wishing she actually knew how to change a tire.

“Yes,” she finally said. “If you wouldn’t mind, I’d love some help changing the tire.”

“Okay.” He nodded. She watched as he reached for the bundle on the hood and tucked his phone back into his pocket before slipping his jacket on. “You’re afraid of me,” he said.


“You’re afraid I’m going to hurt you.” When she said nothing, he went on. “I won’t, but whether you believe that is up to you.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“Because if I’m going to change your tire, I’m going to have to approach the trunk. Which means I’ll be approaching you, too.”

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
» Fixed series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)
» Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels #1)
» Norse Mythology