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Authors: P.L. Parker,Sandra Edwards

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Riley's Journey

BOOK: Riley's Journey
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Table of Contents

Title Page



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

About the Author



P. L. Parker

Riley’s Journey

COPYRIGHT © 2007-2011 by Patsy L. Buker

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from
P.L. Parker

Published by Amazon KDP

Seattle, WA

Electronic KDP Edition: October, 2011

This book is a work of fiction and all characters exist solely in the author's imagination. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Any references to places, events or locales are used in a fictitious manner.

Cover Art by
Sandra Edwards

Cover Art images obtained from

This book was formatted for Kindle and Nook by
Sandra Edwards


For all those who believed in me.

My special thanks goes out to Sandra Edwards for the beautiful cover art and her help in formatting this book.


acing the void
, he cried out in anguished desperation, “Bethany! I can’t stand it anymore. I should have stayed and faced them!” His cry went unheeded, only the sound of the wind whipping through the trees answered. The quietude, once treasured, had quickly become a prison, and loneliness for his own kind overwhelmed him. He fell to his knees, despairing of ever touching another human face again.

* * *


“Let’s see,” Dr. Collins commented, as she shuffled through Riley’s application file. “Your qualifications are excellent. You’ve received your Ph.D. in botany, with a master’s in biology. Good, good! Now, Ms. Ames, tell me about yourself, tell me about your hobbies, that sort of thing.”

Riley took a few moments to gather her thoughts. “Well, I’m 28, unmarried, I live by myself. I don’t even have a cat. My only hobby is reading. I love to read just about anything.”

“Why do you think you should be the one selected?”

“As you said, my qualifications are excellent. Besides my scholastic achievements, I am also certified in CPR, which could be an asset in the right circumstances.” She hesitated, smiling, “I am also an excellent cook and I can handle that end of the project if the need arises.”

“Anything else you would like to share?” she questioned as she eyed Riley over her reading glasses.

“No, I think everything else really important about me is there in my application.” Three months ago, this job had appeared on the reader-board at the university library. The flyer explained about the research project and the specialties needed to fill out a research team currently under organization. Riley jumped at the chance. She immediately submitted her application and anxiously awaited a response. Never happy about being in a lab, field work was what she had always dreamed about and this position was her best opportunity to date. After what seemed like an eternity, a letter arrived acknowledging her application and requesting that she contact the woman before her, Bethany Collins, head of the research project, for an interview.

“You understand this project would require you to be away for an extended period of time, and at a site that is extremely primitive.” She waited, studying Riley intently.

Her response came out in a rush, “I understand, and I would like to add that I would be perfect for the position. I don’t have any family. I’m an orphan and what few friends I have won’t miss me that much. I’m not much of a social animal and I’ve never enjoyed being in crowds. It would be wonderful to have the chance to get away from the city for awhile.” Sadly, though Riley hated to admit it, there would be no one who would really miss her if she left.

Dr. Collins nodded her head, shuffling papers again. Finally she folded her hands and looked hard at Riley. “We have a few more applicants to interview, but I must say, you’re the most promising I’ve interviewed so far.”

Riley’s breath expelled. “I am really excited about this research project and I know I can do the work. I just need the opportunity to prove myself.”

Dr. Collins stood up, extending her hand, “We’ll be in touch. We should have a decision by the end of the week. If you are selected, how soon can you be prepared to leave?”

“I can be ready any time, just let me know. Where is the research facility anyway?”

Dr. Collins hesitated, choosing her words carefully, “The home base for the research facility is in northern Montana, but we’ll only be there for a short time before we leave for the actual site. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the right person, but it will be rigorous and there are some hardships that can’t be avoided.”

“I can handle it and I want the opportunity to be on the team!” The interview over, Riley turned to leave.

“One more thing,” Dr. Collins stopped her, “We will require that the selected applicant have a complete physical prior to departure. Do you have any medical problems that would hinder your ability to fulfill the duties of the position?”

“None that I’m aware of. I haven’t had a physical for awhile, but my health has always been excellent.” Dr. Collins nodded, smiled and then waved her out.

Outside in the waiting room, Riley took a deep breath and relaxed. That went well! She was somewhat mystified by the job parameters, but what she did know seemed reasonable, although vague. Now all she had to do was wait to see whether or not she would triumph over the other applicants. Feeling confident, her mood lifted, and she sauntered out.

* * *


“I can’t believe you’re actually going to go through with this,” Miles strongly objected. “And how do you really expect to cover it up?”

“I have to! I can’t let him stay there alone anymore. He won’t make it if I don’t do something soon!” A spasm of guilt washed through her, but Bethany quickly contained it. Nathan was the only thing she really cared about. She had to do something.

“Have you given any of the applicants any idea what the

“Somewhat, but not everything!” she snapped at him.

“Do you think that’s fair? I don’t!” His myopic eyes studied her through the pop-bottle lenses of his glasses.

“When has life ever been fair, and why do you care anyway? It’s no skin off your nose if anyone finds out about it. I’ll be the one who shoulders the blame for my actions, not you!”

His face darkened, “Maybe so, but part of this project is my baby and it’s my butt that’ll be in a sling right along with yours if something goes wrong. What, if anything, have you told the applicants anyway?”

“I told them the job entails a number of hardships and they would be away for an extended period.”

“Do you think
comes under the category of ‘
extended period
’?” His mouth tightened. Bethany had gone too far this time! Even though he really couldn’t care less, these young women deserved the right to make a decision based on the facts. Where they were going, there was no return, and it was criminal not to advise them of that one

“Besides,” she defended herself, “I made sure that every girl I interviewed had no family and nothing to hold them here.”

“That’s not the point, and you know it!” He was growing angrier by the moment. “You don’t have the right to do this! What you are planning to do could ruin the whole project, and if you can’t understand that, then you need help!” He turned and stalked out, his back stiff with anger.

No, she didn’t have the right, but it wouldn’t stop her. Nathan deserved better than what life had dealt him and she was just the one to make that happen. She picked up the applicant folders and leafed through them again. Of the two left to interview, only one was vaguely interesting, but a quick look at the enclosed picture dampened her limited enthusiasm. She looked too much like somebody’s grandmother.

BOOK: Riley's Journey
4.73Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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