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Authors: Tali Martel

An Escape to Love

BOOK: An Escape to Love
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An Escape to Love

 

 

Copyright 2013 Talisha Martel

 

 

             

Chapter One

 

Jake quickened his steps, hurrying toward the end of the road. The bright orange shirt he’d been wearing a few minutes ago was tucked under his arm, a white undershirt in its place. His eyes darted to and fro, but he tried to be discreet. He knew that if he attracted any attention, it was game over.

He wasn’t going back to prison.

No matter what happened, he would not go back to the hell hole that had been his home for the last four years. His pace quickened as he saw the sign for the gas station that was his first stop. Cars whizzed past him and he kept his head low, his senses on high alert.

Jake could literally hear his heart beating in his neck and the pulse was making him shake. He wasn’t scared; he was just fueled by adrenaline because it was either flight…or die.

A car honked behind him and he glanced at the rubber watch around his wrist. He was right on time –if only it had been Thursday instead of Saturday.

The plan for his escape had been set in motion a month ago and it depended on a certain doctor at the prison infirmary going on leave. The bastard had stayed three days longer than planned and ruined a perfect plot.

Jake had to wait three days to go ahead with his break, and that had made every detail a variable.

He reached the gas station and going around the side of the cinder block building, stepped inside the bathroom. Jake took a deep breath, preparing himself for disappointment. He pushed through the second stall door from the left and closed it behind him, locking it securely. Taking a second to compose himself, he tugged at the ceramic lid over the tank on the toilet. Inside, wrapped in a black, plastic bag were the things that his life depended on.

He pulled out the package and wiped it off with toilet paper before biting at the air-tight seal and looking inside. It contained a gun, a knife, $25,000 in twenty dollars bills, and a car key that he knew would fit perfectly into a small car parked around the block.

Jake placed everything on the floor and pulled open the garbage bin in the stall, tugging out the cans of beer and discarded toilet paper before reaching inside. His hands touched a canvas bag and he breathed a sigh of relief that the garbage man hadn’t done his job in the last three days.

A brand new pair of jeans in his size, a checkered shirt, an ordinary pair of black sneakers, sunglasses, and a warm jacket presented the most heavenly sight of his life. He stripped quickly, pushing his orange trousers and shirt into the bag along with his tattered shoes.

He grabbed the cash, gun, and knife and hid them in various pockets before opening the door and stepping out casually, car key in hand. A few quick steps and he spotted the small black car parked on the side of the road.

Jake could smell freedom. He was so close! He took a shaky breath and was almost to the car when a man opened the passenger side door and stepped out. Jake’s heart stopped and he glanced at the license plates. This wasn’t the car that had been parked there for him.

He scoured the road and the small parking lot beside the gas station, but no other black car was in sight. Since it had been there for an extra three days, it had probably been towed.

Now the only thing Jake could do was hitchhike or steal a car using the gun in his pocket. The thought made him clench his teeth in disgust. Four years in prison had rubbed off on him, otherwise he would never have even considered the thought.

Jake looked around for a bus stop, and he knew he had only minutes before the alarm was sounded on his escape. He was lucky it hadn’t been done already, and he thanked his lucky stars when he absentmindedly hit the unlock button on the car key remote.

A beep a few feet away from him made him turn around in surprise. He pressed the lock button again. The beep sounded again, along with the sound of the locks softly popping down. The car was dark blue.

“Idiots!” he hissed under his breath.

The man responsible for getting the car here was probably color blind or just plain stupid. Jake quickly opened the door of the small car, pushing the seat back to its farthest position to accommodate his long legs. Just as he was about to close the door behind him, he heard sirens pierce the air. Police cars screamed, low sirens from far away and high ones from nearby. Every police car in the area had been alerted of the escaped murderer.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

It began snowing on the way to Colorado and Jake cursed himself for not ordering a bigger, four-wheel drive vehicle. He slid off the main highway and up the winding hill, heading straight to the place that would be his hideout for a while.

The sight of it made him breathe normally for the first time in hours. He got out of the car and looked for the hidden key. He knew the people who owned the place; they were his friends, or at least used to be. They had no idea he was using it to hide out until the heat died down and he could leave the States for Mexico.

Jake found the key in the fuse box at the back of the house and slid it in the back door. It opened and he stepped inside, taking a deep breath. He was safe – for now.

His eyes roved over the familiar living room that had wide glass windows and the latest in electronic entertainment. He was safe here, or at least he thought that he was. The search for him would focus on his trying to flee the country, but he would throw them off by staying here in the mountains. He was counting on relaxing here for a few days before he was on the run for the rest of his life.

The first thing he wanted from this makeshift vacation was a shower. A long, hot shower—alone, without the prying eyes of guards or the company of his fellow inmates—was long overdue. He needed to clean away the filth of his prison cell and the memory of his humiliating, painful trial.

Jake stood in the shower, letting scalding water run down his back, when a memory of his fiancée Jessica’s beautiful green eyes made his chest constrict painfully. He clenched his eyes shut, only to see her behind his eyelids as she had been the night she died, her whole face ravaged by her attacker, her beautiful black hair dripping with blood.

The prosecutors had made it clear what they believed, that he had killed her in a moment of rage when she told him she was pregnant. But the truth was he had never even known she was pregnant, and he doubted even Jessica knew herself. He had loved her more than life itself, and someone had not only killed her, but had framed him for her murder.

Jake got out of the shower reluctantly when he had used the last of the hot water, luxuriating in being allowed to take as long as he wanted. He dried himself off before walking naked to the bedroom where he opened the closet and found racks full of clothes. He took out a blue sweater and soft khaki trousers and reveled in the crisp, new clothing.

A thudding noise followed by loud banging made him lurch and grab his gun from the dresser. His heart pounded at a million beats a millisecond and adrenaline flooded his body. He opened the door a crack and the muffled sound continued relentlessly. Gun in hand, he slipped out of the bedroom, and that same instant, he saw a girl through the window.

Her face was turned the other way and Jake hid the gun swiftly, pushing it in the waistband of his pants and covering it with the sweater. He tried to seem calm and she glanced in his direction, her eyes filled with desperation.

“Please open the door. I’m lost. I’ve been walking for the past four hours,” she said loudly, yet her voice was weak.

It was cold outside and a storm was brewing, causing harsh, chilly winds to glide through the mountains with a howl. Jake walked behind the door out of her sight, and thought over his options.

If he didn’t open the door for her, she would die of the cold because there were no other houses nearby. Even if there had been, it was all mountains, which meant hiking. She didn’t look like she could afford any more of that.

He unlocked the door and she barged inside, her teeth chattering and her nose red. “Oh my God! Oh my God! I’m never coming to this godforsaken place again! I could almost picture myself being attacked by some wolves and eaten alive like in that movie,
Frozen
.”

Jake stared at her and his calm was shattered. She was obviously a chatterbox and he had no patience for any of it. He had to get her out before she got too comfortable. “I’m sorry but I can only offer you some warm clothes and coffee before you get on your way. I’m expecting someone.”

She stared at him openmouthed. “What? I’m freezing! I could die out there without a car. I’ll call someone and they’ll come get me.”

Shock made Jake’s blood chill. “I don’t have a phone here.”

His uninvited guest responded to his revelation with a glare. She stared at him. “Are you for real? How can you not even have a cell-phone in this house, which for some reason is built in the middle of nowhere?”

“I just don’t,” he replied after a pause, but his mind worked overtime, burning his energy as he tried to stifle a sense of panic.

If she called someone here, it was over for him. If she left and saw his face plastered on every TV channel across the country, it was still over for him. She had to stay, at least until he was ready to leave.

“I’m sorry. I’ve just been a little on edge all day. Of course you can stay. I’ll get you something warm to wear. Help yourself to coffee. It’s on the left, on the kitchen counter.”

She stared at him, her eyes suspicious as she failed to understand why he suddenly had such a change of heart. One second he was trying to throw her out on her ass in the cold, and the next he was so hospitable.

“I’m Leona,” she said grumpily, her eyes narrowing as she looked properly at the man. His eyes were gray, steely gray, and his face tanned. His wide shoulders were muscled and it was obvious he worked out a lot. The khaki pants clung to his narrow hips and his blonde hair dripped dark spots of water onto his pristine, expensive sweater.  He didn’t bother replying and Leona cockily twisted her head to the side, goading him.

“What’s the problem with you? I know I’m at your mercy right now, but the least you can do is be polite. I’ll leave as soon as I can. I’m sorry I can’t leave you to it…whatever it is you were planning to do in this hermit’s mansion.”

“Have you always been so chatty?” Jake asked calmly before heading to the bedroom, opening the closet, and pushing the men’s clothing aside to reach the women’s hangers. He pulled out the first sweater he could find along with a dark pair of jeans before coming out and throwing them on the couch. “Here are some clothes. Get out of yours before you catch something and I have to answer for your death.” The words spilled out of his mouth without thinking, and he clenched his jaw instinctively to combat the pain of Jessica’s face flashing through his mind again.

“I’m sorry. That was uncalled for. My name’s Jake. I’ll stay out of your way.”

He collapsed onto the couch and switched on the TV, planning to ignore her for the whole time she was there. She left to change after opening the first door she came to, which he knew was the guest bedroom.

Jake hastily found the phone in the kitchen, unplugged it and brought it to the master bedroom where he would be staying. He found another cordless set on the bedside table which he threw in the closet, closing it securely.

The young woman came out of the guest bedroom wearing the emerald green sweater and perfectly fitting jeans that accentuated her long, lean legs. Jake couldn’t help but follow her with his eyes as she walked into the kitchen barefoot.

She was African-American, and didn’t look to be older than twenty. He could be wrong though, he had been in prison so long he didn’t even remember how to talk to women anymore. Her eyes were dark brown almost black. Her long brown hair was lying in waves along her back and her skin was pristine, smooth. The way the sweater clung to her breasts before falling loosely over her stomach, it was obvious that she had curves in the right places.

Jake pulled his eyes way from her in disgust at his own thoughts while his cock hardened. He was turning into a pervert. It didn’t matter that he had been celibate for over four years. He still couldn’t believe he was looking at a girl probably ten years younger than him, fully clothed, and getting a boner.

 

 

Chapter Three

 

It was almost dinnertime and Leona sat down on the high-backed chair next to the sofa. Jake avoided flicking through the channels, knowing that every news channel was giving regular updates on the convicted murderer who had escaped from prison.

Jake glanced at Leona sideways, entranced by the way the light from the TV danced across her gleaming dark skin and features, accentuating her high cheekbones and long lashes. He had no idea what he was going to do now, except that Leona’s arrival meant he would have to leave this place earlier than he had originally planned. Maybe it was his only chance to normally communicate with a woman again before he became a fugitive for life in an unknown, backward area of South America.

“So, Leona. Won’t anyone be looking for you?” he asked casually.

BOOK: An Escape to Love
13.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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