Authors: Jayton Young
No More Running
Copyright© JaytonYoung 2012
Left Behind – Thriller/Erotic Romance Ménage a Quatre (M/F/M/M)
Finding Aiden – Suspence/Romance (M/F/M)
Guarding Angel – Post-WWIII/Romance (M/F/M/M/M)
For Their Happiness – Werewolf/Teen Romance (Book 1 of the MoonBeam Pack Series)
After an eleven day stay at the hospital, Di has finally had enough.
Diana James has been abused for five years by her boyfriend, Chuck, and knows that if she doesn’t get away, he is going to kill her. With the help of a friend, Di is able to change her identity and escape him, but she can never stay long in one place because he is always one just step behind her.
Garret Starr is the owner of Starr Security and Di’s current employer. He knows all about her past after a very thorough background check, and knows she’s going to bolt any minute, but he has a secret and can’t let her go. Not to mention the fact he has fallen for the brown haired beauty.
Will Garret be able to find an incentive good enough for Di to risk staying and confront her past, or will he lose her for good?
“I’ve seen you time and time again in here, Ms. James. Are you willing to get out of the situation you’re in now?” Dr. Dustin Stevens had made it a point to help me every time I’ve been admitted to the hospital; he had even made several house calls for me, and figured out what was going on a long time ago. If I considered myself to have any friends, Doc would be the one. He has tried to talk me into leaving Chuck numerous times, but I didn’t have a way to leave him. He wouldn’t let me work, so I didn’t have any money of my own, not to mention a car. When my mother died she left me some money, but Chuck had control of the bank accounts, so I never saw any of it.
“You know what happened last time, Doc.” I replied in a scratchy voice. Along with four broken ribs, a broken arm, and a healing stab wound to my abdomen, my whole throat was black and blue from the hand that squeezed it until I had passed out. “He finds me no matter where I go. In his line of work he could find me no matter where I went.”
Dr. Stevens nodded his head saying he understood. “That is why I have used some of my contacts, and taken up an anonymous collection. I’ve got you four possible identities to choose from, a car, and close to fifteen thousand dollars. You need to get away from Mr. Sanders, or next time I see you it will be on a slab in the morgue. I want you to take what I’ve gotten for you and get out of here away from him.” He said gravely. “I’ll miss you, but I’d rather you be somewhere out there alive then losing you to that man because you couldn’t get away.”
Tears leaked from my eyes. I couldn’t believe it. “How did you do all of this?”
“There are a network of people that have lost someone due to domestic violence, and we all try to help the next would be victim to get away before it’s too late for them. It was too late to help my sister; I don’t want to be too late for someone else.” He said.
“He’s a detective. Won’t you get in trouble for helping me?” I didn’t want anyone else to get hurt because of me.
“I’m the only one who knows your name. I didn’t tell anyone else who we were helping this time.” He assured me. “It is both protection for you and the people in the support network. Now, I’ve brought a bag that has some clothes for you, enough medicine to get you through until you get your cast off, and the money and car keys. The car is a blue Mercury Sable parked on level two. Use the key fob to unlock it; you’ll see the lights flash to tell you where it’s parked on that level. I need you to sign these papers saying you checked out against my orders, so it won’t come back to me.” He started disconnecting all the IV’s and monitors. “I have an e-mail address I’ll give you to check in, and I’ll try to let you know what’s going on here. I have sources that can keep an eye on Mr. Sanders.”
“How can I ever thank you?”
“Stay alive. Don’t let him win.”
I had started out from Chicago around eleven pm, while Chuck was home showering and changing clothes. He was in his ‘I’m so sorry, it’ll never happen again’ phase.
Doc had left a full tank in the car, so I just drove until it ran out. I filled up again in a small gas station that I hoped didn’t have a camera, and then spent the night in a seedy motel that you pay cash for by the hour. I wanted to do everything I could to avoid leaving a trail for Chuck to be able to follow.
Before I had gone to the motel, I stopped and picked up several hair dyes. I needed to change my appearance from my normal brown hair to something that he wouldn’t be looking for. I didn’t have contacts to change my eyes, and I didn’t really want to. They were the same eyes my mother had had, a bluish hazel. I had always been proud of my eyes. I knew it was vain, but I just couldn’t bring myself to change the only thing I really had that connected me to her.
All four of the new identities were names that had Diana, Dianne, or Dina in them, so I could keep my nick-name of Di. I decided to go with Rebecca Dianne Jennings first. I would be a red head. I could live with that.
I decided to put the money in different accounts by the different names I would be using, just in case. I didn’t trust traveling with so much money on me. I would stop at different banks along the way. I hid all of the identity changes in a special side compartment I found in the trunk.
I kept driving for a week before I finally settled in Tacoma. I got a job as a waitress in a period café that had a costume shop attached next door with a wall torn out to make it a walk through, which was kind of cool. I got to wear different costumes, and the little old lady that owned the shop was so eccentric and fun loving, it was hard to remember I was there to work. Patty, my employer, rented an apartment to me that was above the shop. It was a studio with the kitchen in the back of the room on the right, the bed set up in the back on the left, a little dinette area in front of the kitchen, and the TV and couch in front of the bedroom area. The only two doors other than the entrance were to the bathroom and a walk-in closet.
When I first got settled in Tacoma, I thought a lot about why and how I’d ended up staying with Chuck for five years. We’d started dating the last year in high school. The typical ‘it’ couple. We actually loved each other. It wasn’t until we graduated that things started changing. We had gone on our first date the summer before senior year when we had just turned seventeen. My mother loved him to death and considered him the son she never had.
After high school Chuck wouldn’t let me work or go to school. We lived with my mother. He worked to put himself through the academy. Being a detective was all he’d ever wanted to do. He wanted to be able to solve murders and put the criminals behind bars. His parents had been murdered in a home invasion when he was thirteen, so he had been raised by his uncle after that, and from the stories he told me, his uncle didn’t treat him too nicely and was very abusive. His parent’s murderer was never found, and that motivated him to want to help others not to have to go through that.
He worked as a patrol officer on swing shifts, so he took home courses to get a Master’s Degree in Criminal Law. This is when he started to change. He was easy to set off, and the first time he hit me, I thought he would kill himself, he showed so much regret, so I forgave him. Stupid me.
The next few times it happened, I fought back, hitting and kicking as much as I could, but I was still worse off in the end. When I finally said I was leaving him, he said he would kill my mother if I did. He was buying the house from my mother at that point, so the house was in his name, and mom and I had nowhere to go.
When I was twenty, my mom had an ‘accident’ and fell down the stairs, breaking her neck. I never accused him out loud, but with the timing, I knew he’d pushed her. My mother had found us a place to go, and we were leaving. Chuck had overheard our conversation, and I ended up in the hospital for three days. He said that he had found Mom when he got home after his shift, but I didn’t believe it. He had followed through on his threat.
With Mom dead, I had nothing to hold me there anymore. When I tried to leave him after her funeral, he found me after three months and literally dragged me home. When we there, he beat me until I couldn’t move and wouldn’t let me go to the hospital to get help. Doctor Stevens knew me by that time and made a house call while Chuck was at work. Doc started his campaigning in earnest to get me to leave from that point on. He knew Chuck was losing it, and I didn’t have much time left.
Now it was over. I was twenty-two years old and I was finally free from the asshole. I thought about it and didn’t see how he would be able to find me this time. He had said if I ever left him again, that he would kill me, but he wouldn’t be able to find me this time.
It was a sunny Monday morning, and I was walking to work like I normally did. I greeted the shop owners as I passed with a smile on my face. I really liked it here. Everyone knew me by now. I had only been in Savannah for a little more than six months, but I had sold my car on the way here to get some cash, so I walked everywhere now. Savannah was a good size southern city, but was so homey and welcoming; I looked forward to my daily walks. I would walk into town on the weekends, just to be able to get out, enjoy the scenery and people, and not feel cooped up in the studio apartment I was renting above Mrs. Chambers’ garage.
I had met Mrs. Chambers on the bus I had to take after selling my car. She was the one to talk me into trying out Savannah. I had told her I was travelling around America trying out new things in different places. She offered me the apartment free of rent until I got a job, which I cleaned her house for free to make up for. She had fussed about that at first, but I told her that I didn’t accept charity and wanted to feel like I was making my own way. Anyway, she told me that Savannah was the best and friendliest place to live, and so far I had to agree with her.
Mrs. Chambers even recommended me for the job I have now at Starr Security as the owner’s executive assistant. I had no experience with that position, but Mr. Starr, the owner, was the God-son of Mrs. Chambers and ‘had to do as he was told’, he had said good naturedly. She told him he should hire me, so he did; simple as that. He said all it would cost him was training time for me, and was willing to do that to avoid her wrath. Of course anyone could tell all of that was said with love. Mrs. Chambers had raised Mr. Starr after his mom left him. I didn’t know where she went, or why she left, and didn’t feel like prying because I didn’t want anyone prying into my life.
“Hello, Mrs. Davis. Is Mr. Davis any better today?”
Mrs. Davis and her husband owned the coffee shop and bakery. Mr. Davis had been suffering from bronchitis for the past week, but was on the mend. Both of the Davis’ had taken me under their wing from the first day I walked into their shop. They never let me pay for anything. I told them that they’d go broke if they kept doing that for people, but Mr. Davis just said the he was adopting me, so it was the family discount. I would never go in because of that, I felt guilty taking from them, but every morning Mrs. Davis would conveniently be outside sweeping the sidewalk when I passed by and she’d pull me in. I had tried to vary the times I passed, but she caught me every time, as if she were waiting on me.
“He’s doing great, dear. Thank you for asking.” She came over to me and looped her arm with mine. “I’ve been telling Thomas you were asking after him. Why don’t you come in for some hot chocolate and a cruller, and let Thomas dote on you bit.”