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Jackson slammed his fists against the dashboard and hissed a curse under his breath. On the other side of the windshield, the ghostly smoke of a dying engine trickled up from beneath the hood of his silvery Volvo. Heavy, and defeated, Jackson folded his arms across the warm steering wheel baking under the magnified heat of the desert sun, and buried his forehead in his shivering muscles.

He'd been driving all day, tearing through some forgotten highway deep in the sandy plains of Arizona after giving his middle finger to the Dallas skyline that morning. Even though he was just shy of nineteen years old, he held a rage beyond his years. When he woke up this morning, he felt his emotions soothed by the knowledge that a glimmering future awaited him just hours away in San Francisco. But now, as the flickering, scarlet "Check Engine" light teased at him, he knew that the future would have to be postponed.

All of his life, Jackson had lived with his mother, a domineering sort of woman who smothered him with love and attention. At least, that's the woman he preferred to remember. Two months ago, she'd entered his room unexpectedly, walking in on him as he sat back in a chair in front of his computer desk, stroking away at his teenaged meat while two, chiseled bodies fucked on the screen. He turned around in a panic, desperate to cover up his throbbing member, but it was too late. His mother cried out, her gasps mixing in with the moans and grunts of the two electronic men slamming together in the throws of passion. He'd felt a heaviness growing inside his chest as tears started to well inside his eyes; she knew.

They hadn't talked much since the incident. He supposed that there were things his mother had just preferred not to hear. Most of their conversations ran like business transactions as the two of them planned his escape to college in the Golden State. He would be half a country away, and he could finally start to live his life in peace and freedom.

But now, he was lost, and scared. Sitting along on the deserted stretch of road, he felt like a child again. Like a little boy separated from his parents, panicked and terrified. He looked down at his cell phone. Should he give her a call? Ask for some maternal advice? He shook his head; he couldn't start rushing back to mommy after only half a day of separation.

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