The drive from Noah's Fork to Lukasville took 30 minutes. Riley arrived at the Courtside Mall in late afternoon. He hated shopping, but needed some new clothes. The painting projects at Ayanna's had left the jeans splattered and polka-dotted with white paint. After the argument with Tricia, he managed to pack only a pair of jeans, some briefs, and a few t-shirts before quickly leaving the house. She promised to pack some of his other things and bring them to Ayanna's, but she never did.
In less than twenty minutes, he picked out three new pairs of jeans, some golf shirts, several pairs of athletic socks, and a new pair of running shoes. He stopped in the Food Court and grabbed a chicken sandwich, waffle fries, and a soft drink before leaving the mall and driving back to Noah's Fork.
The last remaining flickers of sunlight disappeared over the horizon as Riley took the Noah's Fork exit off the Interstate and drove toward Ayanna's. He noticed the headlights behind him following closely at every turn. They followed him on the business loop and continued behind him on Turkey Creek Road. Most people wouldn't have given the headlights a second thought, but after two years in Iraq, Riley had become more aware of the surroundings while driving. In the streets of Baghdad, the American military vehicles had to be constantly on the look out for suspicious vehicles. The potential for an ambush, car bomb, or attack from one of the rebel groups was a constant threat.
But this is Noah's Fork.
He drove the pick-up truck past the old Cannery building by the river and headed South on Mainstreet before making a semi-circle around the courthouse. The vehicle drew a little closer as he turned South on Seventh Street. The headlights followed him across the railroad tracks and past the highschool. He turned into the section of town locals called Old Noah, getting close to home, and the headlights disappeared.