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Once Officer Johansen, Officer Lowry, and I reached the road, I was instructed to stand in front of my vehicle. They asked me a few questions and then requested my driver’s license. It was slid through a handheld device not much bigger than a cellphone and handed back.
“What’s your friend’s name?” asked Johansen.
Alex hadn’t told me not to give his name, but given his agitation I’m certain he wouldn’t want me to. The pit of my stomach ached. My mouth felt like it was lined with flannel. I nearly choked as I said, “Alex.”
The two men looked at each other and then back at me. Lowry spoke this time. “Your friend told Officer Olsen,” he pointed to an earpiece, “that it was Shaun. They had to search him to get his ID to find out who he really is.”
I sagged against my SUV. Thoughts whirled through my mind. What is Alex up to? How much trouble is he in? Am I in? I haven’t done anything but try to help Alex? Don’t say anything these guys might take to mean I’m up to something.
“What are you doing in a restricted area of the forest?” Johansen asked.
“Restricted? I didn’t know there were any?”
The officers folded their arms over their chests and widened their stances. Their stares made me squirm on the inside. “Really? You had to have passed at least two or three warning signs,” said Lowry.