What good is running AWAY when you only end up lost?
Cassandra Pierce had her whole "perfect" life planned out by her parents. One night of pure weakness and lust has her running away from it all and seeking refuge in Alamosa with her best friend. But it seems life has other plans for her when she finds herself lost in the small town of Keaton.
Jason Bradley is a charming country guy. He lives a simple life that’s nothing like what Cassandra is used to. A single moment in life changed everything he thought he once knew, leaving him with a broken heart and an unplanned future.
What happens in Keaton is nothing Cassandra or her heart could have ever prepared for. The instant connection she shares with Jason is no secret, but what they're keeping hidden from one another is. Will these two be able to find a way to trust each other or will their secrets tear them apart?
Not a word was said as we headed in a direction we had yet to go in this town. I kept my eyes in front of me and Jason did the same. It was awkward and it was killing me, but I was hurt. He lied to me. He knew what was going on the whole time and made me believe I was hiding it from him. I wiped the tears that were slipping out in a continuous flow now as I thought of how he had to feel about me now, pregnant, lost, and apparently not as good of a liar as I once believed.
“You probably think I’m a terrible person and I’m sorry I lied to you, but I was afraid. I was terrified of what you would think of me once you found out. I was scared of losing you and your friendship that I’ve grown to enjoy too much,” I said quietly as I closed my eyes, wondering if he even heard me.
“Look, I'm not going anywhere, you have to believe me. I want to help you; you don’t have to go through this alone. I know you have your friend, but you have me too.”
I looked over at him, his eyes still shying away from mine. “You should have told me you knew Jason. You shouldn’t have let me continue to hide everything if you knew.”
“It wasn’t my place to say, Cassie. You needed to tell me, but then tonight, seeing Jeff and his damn hands, I couldn’t take it anymore,” he said, his hands slamming down on his steering wheel. “I knew you would want answers so I just had to come clean. Listen, I’m not proud of what I did, but I’ll be damned if I let someone put their hands on you.”
“Where are you taking us?” I asked lost, hurt, and scared. I didn’t want to hear about his feelings, how he didn’t want someone else to touch me, yet he wouldn’t. I just wanted to run, go back to his house, and cry into my pillow.
“You’ll see,” he said quietly.
Before I knew it, we had arrived at what looked like a farm. I could only guess it was theirs. “Your farm?” I asked as he parked in front of a huge wheat field.
“Yeah,” he said, finally looking at me. “It’s the only place far enough from the town that you actually feel far away from the world, I like it here.” He grabbed a blanket from the truck, the same blue quilt from his room as he stepped out. I did the same and followed him to the back, watching as he quickly spread the blanket across the bed of the truck before hopping down.
“Give me your hand,” he said, reaching his out for mine. “Let’s take a walk and talk first.” I placed my shaking hand into his. We started walking into the field, the wheat stalks tickling the bare skin in between the boots and my dress.
I followed him, our hands intertwined, as we got further into the field. It didn’t take long for the nerves to take over my whole body. I stopped and let go of his hand. I couldn’t take the silence anymore. “Jason, my heart is racing. I am so nervous right now. I just… I need to tell you what happened, I need you to know the whole story,” I told him.
“I want to know what happened, Cassie, but only if you’re okay with telling me,” he said, his body facing mine.
I wasn’t okay with confessing it, but he had to know. I just feared for what was to come after he heard it. I knew he wouldn’t be so inclined to help me anymore. He would think horrible things about me; I knew this, because I thought them myself.
Chapter 1 - Jace POV
Flipping my phone open I answered the call. I already knew who it would be.
"If you’re calling to tell me you’re not coming, I don't want to hear it, Dan." I waited for his response and only got a sigh.
"Why man?" I asked him. I didn't want to be upset, but I missed him. I hadn't seen my brother in a few months. Coming home was hard for him. I tried to understand, but they're still our parents. "You can't avoid them forever."
He released another heavy sigh into the phone and finally responded. "Listen, Jase. I want to come down. I had every intention but I can’t find anyone to cover at work this weekend. I promise I'm not avoiding them entirely.”
I moved the phone to my other ear as I set the piece of paper down on the grass. "Alright. It's okay Dan," I told him. It was hard to be mad at him. I just missed him. "How have you been?"
"I’m good. I haven't received a letter in a few days. I'm starting to get impatient here," he said.
I chuckled. "Uh, two way street brother."
"Already on top of that one, Jase. I mailed yours yesterday. You should get it in a couple of days."
"Should have known. You never forget." I couldn't help but grin. Our letters were a thing we started when I was in high school and he was in college. We could have called, texted, or hell, even used email. But there was always something so exciting about receiving a letter the old fashioned way. Technology already had so much of our lives, why give them one more thing?
"No bro I don't. So tell me, anything new going on?"
"Not really. I'm actually just sitting in our spot outside the library right now. Getting ready to write your letter."
"Okay, you write, I gotta get back to work. I'm going to shoot for coming down in a couple of weeks, okay? I’ll try to get Carter to cover for me. He owes me anyway." He chuckled into the phone. It sounded more nervous than it was happy. I knew he wanted to come down and I didn't blame him for not coming home more often. The way Mom and Dad treated him these days, I'd probably avoid it too. It broke me.
"Talk to you later, Dan."
I flipped my phone closed and shoved it in my pocket. Releasing a breath I picked up the blank paper, pulled a pen out of my back pocket and started the letter.
As I began to write my thoughts, something that sounded like a car tire blowing out caused me to look up. And just like that the world stopped. The wind suddenly relinquished, the earth stood still, and the term 'slow motion' was in full effect as I watched it unfold. The car was headed straight for the tree and there was no time for me to even help. The car hit the tree and screeching metal pierced my ear drums. My heartbeat was pounding so loud, it took over my senses. I could feel it and hear it. Thud, Thud, Thud. I looked down at the letter to my brother. It was now being clutched tightly in between my shaking hands.
"Shit," I muttered as I watched the steam howling out of the engine. Jase, get it together. I snapped to and left my spot as I ran over to the car and looked into the driver's side window and tapped on the window. Oh God, it's a young girl. My eyes wouldn't leave hers. She had blood coming down her forehead, she looked panicked, scared, and about to freak out. Jase, stop staring, you're scaring her. Call 9-1-1. We learned this in elementary school. My inner thoughts were right. I knew what to do.
“Hold still. I’m calling for help right now. You were just in an accident. Your airbag didn’t deploy, and you hit your head pretty hard. I need you to stay put,” I told her. If only she knew how awful this scene looked. Who knew what condition she was in? At least she was alert. I reached for my phone in my pocket and dialed 9-1-1. I told the operator what happened and our location and shoved the phone back in my pocket, returning my attention back to her tear covered face. I had to keep myself together. She looked more frightened than anyone I’ve ever seen.
“I know you’re scared, Sweetheart, but help is on the way.” She was far past scared though. I just didn’t know what else to tell her. She looked petrified. As if something beyond the accident had her terrified. I couldn’t be sure, but my gut told me to trust my instincts. A loud pounding on the window drew my attention back to her. She looked as if she was using all her last energy trying to fight her way out of the car. I had to help her.
“I need you to calm down. You’re going to be okay. The cops are going to help get you out.” Where in the hell were they? This town isn’t that big. They should have been here by now, or at least I should be able to hear their sirens.
“NO! I need out of here. I need out now!” she yelled. I had never seen such an alarmed and frightened girl before. Damn it. I was going to have to help her out. I couldn’t take it anymore. Between her sobbing pleas and the blood on her forehead, I was going to start panicking if she didn’t get out soon. I grabbed the door handle, with no luck. It was locked. I ran over to the other side and what would you know. It wouldn’t open either. I motioned for her to unlock it and after she did I bent down and put myself into the car. “Hi there,” I told her. I didn’t even have to try to smile at her. She made it easy. Right away I noticed her shoulder length blonde hair, soft hazel eyes, and anxious nerves. She was most definitely a city girl. I’d remember a face like hers, she wasn’t from around here.
“Hi,” she replied quietly. Her voice was faint as she appeared to be studying me.
“I saw the whole thing happen from across the street. Your tire blew, and you hit the tree. You seriously need to stay calm, okay?”
“I just want out of the car. Can you please help me?” How could you say no to that? You couldn’t.
“Alright.” I nodded my head. “Let’s get you out then. I need you to climb over your console and come out this way. Can you do that for me?”
“Yeah… I… I can do that,” she said with a hitch in her voice. I reached my hands out for her to take. She gripped them tightly and swung each leg over. She let out a sigh and it was then I knew I had to help her out the rest of the way. Something inside me shouted to pick her up, and hold her. And that’s what I did.
A small sigh escaped her as I held her close. “See, you’re out and you’re okay. What’s your name, Sweetheart?”
“It’s Cassandra. My name is Cassandra. At least I can still remember my name.”
“Cassandra, that’s a great thing.” I cocked my head to the side to get a better glimpse of her. “Mine’s Jason. I’m the town’s knight in shining armor,” I told her, trying to be funny.
“Thanks for the rescue, Jason.” She smiled. It was small, but it felt huge. Maybe I was helping to ease her nerves. “I have a splitting headache right now though.”
Oh shit. I forgot about her bleeding. How could I? “No, no, no. Don’t close your eyes. You need to stay awake. You hit your head pretty hard. In fact here,” I told her as I pulled a handkerchief from my pocket and set it on her lap. “Press that firmly against your forehead. It’ll help stop the bleeding.”
She looked at the handkerchief as if it were covered in something disgusting.
“It’s clean, Cassandra. I promise.”
She laughed quietly. “No, it’s not that. I’ve just never met someone so helpful to a complete stranger before.”
“I don’t know where you’re from, but that’s how we do things around here. But, it’s not every day that I get to help out a pretty girl like you.” I wasn’t sure what spell she had over me, but never in my life have I ever said anything like that before. I was shocked at my forwardness.
“Does the town pay you to say that?” she asked.
I loved that she had some sarcasm in her. I wasn’t sure what was going on with her but at least she was alive and okay after an accident like that. “I wouldn’t need to be paid to tell you that,” I whispered to her.
What a stubborn woman. She wasn’t even comprehending what she just went through and then she was refusing to be seen by a medical team. Stubborn and persistent. I shook my head and knew I had to intervene. “Cassandra, they need to check you out,” I told her, trying anything to reason with her.
She didn’t answer, she only ran. I started to follow her and then saw as she unleashed her insides all over the grass. Clear signs of a concussion. She was going to the hospital whether she wanted to or not now. My gut was beginning to tighten as I thought of how scared she must be, especially being all alone. This wasn’t fair for her. No one should have to be alone.
I knelt down and put a hand on her back and handed her back the handkerchief.
“I don’t think you want this back,” she said after she finished wiping her mouth clean.
“Well, you’re right about that. You can keep it,” I told her, letting out a soft laugh, trying to ease her nerves. “But you’re going to the hospital now. You could have a concussion, Cassandra. They need to check you out.”
It was all I had in me not to pick her up in my arms again and carry her to the Goddamn ambulance myself if she didn’t get up herself, but she did.
I stood up next to her and protectively put my arms around her without touching her. She wouldn’t fall on my watch.
“I can walk to the ambulance,” she said. I could tell by her voice she was more than upset. Something about having to go to the hospital was not settling with her at all. The only thing I could think was, this poor girl. She was trying to be independent, but something in me told me she wasn’t used to it.
“I know you can. I just want to be here to catch you in case you fall.”
We walked the short distance and they loaded her up in the back of the ambulance. She laid there with a look I’ll never forget. Her face was getting paler by the second. “Thanks for your help, Jason.”
My stomach was in knots. The kind your shoelace gets into when it’s almost to the point where you can’t untangle it. I knew what I had to do. I raised my hand and waved to her as they shut the doors. But it wasn’t a goodbye.
Don’t worry Cassandra. I’m not letting you go there by yourself. I’ll be there.Playlist
Cowboy Take Me Away – Dixie Chicks
Wanted – Hunter Hays
If I Didn’t Have You – Thompson Square
Crash into Me – Dave Mathews Band
Sure Be Cool If You Did – Blake Shelton
Runnin Outta Moonlight – Randy Houser
Don’t You Wanna Stay – Jason Aldean
Collide – Howie Day
Fix You – Coldplay
Wherever you will go – LifehouseOver You – Miranda Lambert
My Review- Debut Book
Cassandra Pierce has a perfect life planned out for her - by her parents. But her perfect life has just got worse and the only thing she does is run to her best mate Melanie who in college hours and hours away.
Cassandra isn't very good with directions even with a gps. she ends up in the opposite direction going through a small town when she ends up having a blow out in her car and going into a tree.
Jason Bradley has watched everything that happened and goes to help. He become her hero in more than one way..
Wow, Wow, Wow I loved this story. I loved everything about it. I loved Cassandras transformation when she's not with her parents. I loved Jason- girls there's a new book boyfriend on the block. Jason is a true gent. He looks after her from day one. I love the way they both have secrets and they have to trust in order to explain. But is it with devastating effects.
I think this quote fits perfectly-
"It was as though his key found the perfect lock to fit into, filling every bit of me as though we were made for each other"
This book is stunning, it compels you to read from the first page. I couldn't put it down. It is an amazingly, Fantastic Read.
This is an amazing debut book by Barbara Wolfe. She is the Author to watch out for in the future.
Barbara thank you for a Fantastic read. This book is Amazing.
This gets 5/5 stars and 5/5 for movie moments.
About The Author
B.A. Wolfe is a girl with a passion for reading and writing, and lives in the good ol’ state of Colorado with her husband (her biggest cheerleader), and her two crazy min pin fur babies. These days, her life is anything but calm, and there isn't one thing she’d want to change. B.A. spends all her free time either furiously typing stories on her laptop or happily reading through her endless TBR on her Kindle. Her list of favorites would be long enough to fill a book, but most would likely fall under the romance category. She is a sucker for a good love story that makes her cry, and an amazing book boyfriend who will melt her heart. ‘Away’ is B.A. Wolfe’s debut novel.