We don't say a word after that. The four by four plunged into a deadly silence until Peter pulls into a small service stop. Just a little shop, no petrol pumps and looks dark and dingy both inside and out. Peter slams on the handbrake the second he stops the car and grabs the keys furiously from the ignition. He seems almost possessed as he sits still momentarily, hands resting on the wheel and eyes fixed on the little shop.
Suddenly his head flies in my direction, his eyes now firmly fixed on me, burning into me with a strong intent and it terrifies me. "Peter, what are we doing?" I ask my lips trembling as much as my voice when I speak. His teeth emerge from under his top lip as he grins. It really does scare me. I can't tell what he's thinking and really am not sure I want to.
Peter suddenly turns his back to me and clicks open the driver's door, as he jumps out the gravel beneath his feet gives a loud crunch. The door slams seconds later as I continue to stare out at him. What on earth is he doing? My eyes don't move or follow him as he disappears from my line of vision. I can feel my heart racing yet again and panic setting in as I begin to fear he is about to do something really stupid.
An icy blast of fresh air hits my back and whips through the fine silk material of the dressing gown I am still wearing. Taking me by surprise I don't even have time to turn and look as a hand claps around my mouth and the other pulls me from the car. My screams are muffled as my feet bang against the side of the car and then kick and struggle as they try to find the ground.
Once my balance has been restored I feel myself pinned firmly against a rapidly rising and falling chest of whom can be no other than Peter's. He firmly keeps me in place with the hand that is sort of suffocating me as he reaches down and slides his hand into his jeans pocket.
The next thing I feel is a blade at my throat. It makes me gasp and nips at my skin. What is Peter doing? I swear he's flipped, yep totally gone and lost it this time. "What are you doing?" I try to scream through his fingers but it just makes him tighten his grip and hold my head still as I struggle and thrash around trying to free myself from him. Is this his revenge? For what I did with Jim and all the times I have hurt him on this trip or is it more serious? My mind races with these thoughts and more as he turns taking me with him and we start uncomfortably shuffling towards the shop. I close my eyes not wanting to witness a thing and offering up a few silent prayers that he won't hurt me but if he does that it is quick and painless.
"Carla, baby I need you to work with me here" he whispers in my ear. "That ok?" he asks but leaves me little choice. If I don't co-operate in whatever his plan is I'm sure I'll wind up worse off. Attempting to nod in response I take in a deep breath through my nostrils and just want to scream and scream till I feel better and it settles my nerves. The knife is removed from my throat and I hear the uncomfortable clink of it against the metal door as Peter pushes it open.
A little bell rings to notify the shop attendant of our presence, however in our case it's more of a warning bell. The door is also quick to seal it's self shut and Peter's footsteps tap against the lino whereas my bare feet stick to it with each step and peel away as if they were Velcro. It's not long before we come to a halt and I sense the presence of a counter and a scared assistant who was monitoring it.
I can feel the heat of Peter's breath upon my earlobe again and he whispers in a voice so low I can barely hear it. "Stay calm baby" Stay calm, really is this some sort of joke! An eerie silence falls around us and all I can hear is three erratic heartbeats and breathing to match. The knife has found it's self back at my throat, this time digging in to my throat and I'm convinced Peter's unsteady hand has caused a cut and it is bleeding.
"Money!" yells Peter suddenly; making me jump and causing the knife to jump further down my throat, slicing a little at my skin as it does. I can't do it, can't stay calm and scream at the pain I'm feeling. Once Peter has whispered in my ear again to stay calm I find myself trying to keep focused and take deep breathes as I listen to the till ping open and the assistant fumble about in the draw to place what cash they have into a bag for Peter.
I have only two questions for him when he eventually lets go. Where did you get that knife? And why? But before I have too much time to think about them I am suddenly relieved of the knife and lunged forward with Peter as he sticks the knife into the assistant. They squeal and I can literally hear them being starved of oxygen as Peter drags me back away and the bell on the door rings out as he thrusts it open and pulls me back into the fresh air.
The soles of my bare feet scrape against the concrete gravel mix outside as he drags me backwards to the car. Before long I find myself thrown into the front seat and the ignition starting up so the engine comes alive. Peter cranks the gear into reverse and the wheels spin, spitting up gravel as we violently fly back. Hitting the breaks hard as he straightens up I am thrown forward into the dash, knocking my head and then find myself thrown back against my leather seat as he accelerates forward.
Feeling dizzy and sick I try to keep myself up right and my eyes closed. Peter has been silent since we got back in the car and it feels as though his road rage has the better of him because I'm sure we are speeding. My head rolls back and forth against the cold leather as I try to stay conscious and rid myself of this headache. It's not much use as I feel the car fly round such a sharp bend it forces my head towards the window, where it conveniently bangs against the glass.