Angelique was still mad at the way Rickie had looked at her and had called her sweetheart. He had even threatened to call the cops about Chuck’s truck. All she wanted was to get out of the hotel. Get away from these people and find a place to wait for Chuck to call her. She had his phone on vibrate in her pocket but still no call.
She glared at Rickie and shook her head a little. She took another look at the man with boots and said “Okay, I’m ready now.” “You idiot,” Rickie said, and “At your own peril.”
The man told her his name was Boots, had been since he had been a kid with big feet and had worn big boots. He picked up her bag and headed towards the door while she followed. The heat and humidity and the bright sunlight hit her as she walked out the door. “You look a little wobbly” he said to her. “I’ve got water in the truck for you.” For the first hour as they left Orlando he told her stories about when he was a baseball player in spring training, trying to break into the majors. He told her he could swing a bat and knock it out of the park but they kept trying to teach him not to always swing at the first pitch. He said he just saw that ball coming and his body reacted every time. The coaches kept trying to tell him to take a look at the different pitches a pitcher was throwing and pick the one he wanted before he swung. But he couldn’t keep from swinging right away. He was a switch hitter. Either side of the plate, and plenty good either way. They liked that. A homerun hitter. But they kept telling him not to swing first. Then they told him he only got three strikes, like that was news. And they tried to tell him a lot of different ways. But he would just see that ball coming at him and the bat would come around. The stories made her laugh. He seemed nice, this man Boots. He asked her if she wanted something to eat and what she liked. She realized her stomach had been growling and she was hungry. When she said waffles he found a Waffle House. After that she listened to him a little while and then dozed. When she woke the sun was lower in the sky and they were closer to Cape Coral. He asked her the address she was looking for. She read him the address from where she had written it on her hand. She told him it was the cousin of her best friend, but the cousin was a little crazy according to Ashley.
“You know, Angelique, that’s way out the other way past Cape Coral, and crazy might not be what you need right now. I was just thinking. I own a little apartment building, just six apartments all furnished nice. Girls about your age live there. Just one girl in each apartment. One of the girls left the other day to go back to Tampa to take care of her sick grandmother. Maybe you would like to stay there just for a few days. I bet Chuck will call you in a day or so anyway and then he will pick you up.”