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He was her rock, her soul. He was her everything. When he told her they should go their separate ways it hurt so much. Cassandra knew as she watched Sean walk away from her, that she’d never love anyone with the depth and emotion that she loved him. Heartbroken and forlorn she surrendered to deep compulsive sobs.
She tucked those feelings away when she thought she had finally found the “perfect” husband. However, soon after the birth of their twins, she began to see another side of Jeff that he’d kept hidden from her.
Surviving a turbulent marriage that almost kills her, Cassandra is finally convinced to file for divorce. She takes the twins and heads up north deep into the woods to a cabin where no one will find them... but soon she discovers that they are being followed.
She noticed a truck approaching from behind, about a mile down the road. It seemed to be moving a bit too fast, gathering clouds of dust, so she found it impossible to perceive whether or not it was Nick’s truck. Assuming it would slow down, she stayed on the edge of the dirt road and kept walking. Suddenly, she glanced over her shoulder. It wasn’t slowing down, it was picking up speed.
Panic welled up in her throat when she realized it was coming straight at her. She gasped in terror and choked back a frightened cry, then spun around frantically. She leaped back into the meadow, and ran as fast as she could. If she could get to the high grass just ahead, she knew that the creek flowed close by and her salvation might lie there.
It must be Jeff, most likely very intoxicated, as he zigzagged back and forth, acting as though he was playing a game. She tried to run faster when she heard the truck approaching. The wild grass and flowers became thicker and taller, and now reached to the top of her head. She heard the vehicle very close behind.
At last, she spotted the creek and knew this was her only means to stay out of sight. When she approached the edge, she lowered to her knees and then thrust herself into the waist deep water and quickly submerged. She held her breath as her shirt billowed out with trapped air until it became waterlogged. With her short height, she was able to stay just below the surface as she moved across the rocky bottom on her hands and knees, grazing them. She followed the strong current, which eased the pain on her kneecaps.
No longer able to remain underwater, gasping for air, she frantically lifted her head just as the truck plunged into the creek and rolled onto its side.
She shivered, and tried to stay very still while she waited. She stood and watched for any movement. Then Jeff’s head and shoulders appeared through the open window.
He looked up, saw her, and hatred blazed in his eyes. His glare burned through her as she slowly moved her hand to her waist and felt for her pepper spray. Attached to her belt loop, she loosened it from the pocket of her jeans. Her clothes were soaking wet, but the pepper spray was waterproof. She crept toward the opposite edge of the creek, and stopped to speculate what her best move would be. With difficulty, she struggled over the rocky bottom, and tried to remain calm, but she was beginning to shake as fearful images began to build in her mind.
When Cassandra risked a glance at him, the color drained from her face. He’d now completely freed himself from his vehicle, and had begun to wade toward her in a limping fashion.
She turned blindly, and stumbled on the slippery rocks. Frantic now, unable to obtain a secure foothold, she looked behind her. His limp had begun to slow him down. When the tread on her tennis shoe grabbed support on a large rock, she was able to climb the small bank, and then turned to run north, toward Nick’s ranch.
Suddenly, he grabbed her forearm tightly and spun her around. His eyes darkened dangerously with a beastly, threatening look. While he kept a tight hold on her, she gasped at sight of a knife in his hand. Suddenly, he lost his footing, and she was able to pull away fiercely, and slid her arm from his grip. She instantly stepped back, grabbed her pepper spray, and turned around just as his hands reached out toward her. He had a repulsive look on his face.
“Back off, Jeffrey,” she said, but he just kept coming at her.
A Northern Woods Novel
I hope you enjoy Cassandra's journey, filled with romance and suspense!
~ Charliann Roberts ~
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