Che sempre l’omo in cui pensier rampolla sovra pensier, da se dilunga il segno perche la foga l’un de l’altro insolla.
You’re the type of guy that gets suspicious I’m the type of guy that says, “The puddin is delicious.”
—LL Cool J, “I’m That Kind of Guy”
THE PIERCING screech of tires on asphalt.
SHE DISCOVERED Decker Canyon Road by accident, not long after she moved to L.A. A random turn off the PCH near Malibu shot her up the side of the mountain, followed by twelve miles of stomach-flipping twists and hairpin turns all the way to Westlake Village. And she
But now she was speeding up Decker Canyon Road because she didn’t want to die.
And the headlights were gaining on her.
The prick had been toying with her ever since she made the turn onto Route 23 from the PCH.
He’d gun the engine and then flash his high beams and fly right up her ass. She’d be forced to take it above 60, praying to God she’d have enough room to spin through the next finger turn. Then without warning he’d back off, almost disappearing… but not quite.
The road had no shoulder.
It was like he knew it and was trying to spook her into a bad turn.
Her cell was in the dash console, but it was all but useless. The few seconds it took to dial 911 could be a potentially fatal distraction. And what was she going to tell the operator? Send someone up to Route 23, seventeenth hairpin turn from the middle? Even the highway patrol didn’t patrol up here, preferring to hand out speeding tickets on Kanan Road or Malibu Canyon Road.
No, better to keep her eyes on the road and her hands upon the wheel, just like Jim Morrison once advised.
Then again, Jim had ended up dead in a bathtub.
The headlights stayed with her. Every few seconds she thought she’d lost them, or they’d given up, or—God, please
She was almost two miles along the road now; ten to go.
Her Boxster was long gone; traded in after the accident in Studio City three years ago. Now she drove a car that suited her age—a leased Lexus. A car for grown-ups. And it was a fine machine. But now, as she took those insanely tight turns in the near dark, she wished she had the Boxster again.
Decker Canyon Road was notorious for two things: the rusted-out chassis of cars that dotted the hills, and its uncanny ability to induce car sickness, even with safe, slow drivers just trying to make their way up to Westlake Village in one piece.
She felt sick to her stomach now, but she didn’t know if it was the road doing it to her, or the events of the past few days. The past few hours, especially. She hadn’t eaten much, hadn’t slept much. Her stomach felt like it had been scraped from the inside.
She’d been up for a job that seemed like a sure thing: producers, director, writer, star all in place, a guaranteed fast-track green light. It was a supporting role but in a higher-profile movie than she’d done in years. A role that would make people notice her again—
She’d spent the majority of the past week in her Venice apartment, brooding, not able to bring herself to take much interest in feeding or watering herself or even turning on the satellite cable—God forbid one of her pieces of