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Authors: Trista Jaszczak

Little Red

BOOK: Little Red
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Copyright ©Trista Jaszczak 2014 All rights reserved.

 

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or transmitted by any electronic
or mechanical means, including photocopying, information storage and retrieval systems,
recording, or otherwise without written permission from the publisher, except by a
reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.

 

The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious.

Any similarity to real persons, living or dead is coincidental and not intended by
the author

 

Created and printed in the United States of America

June, 2014

ISBN-10: 1500157007

ISBN-13: 978-1500157005

 

Cover artist: Bookworm Productions

 

Editor: Julie Mason, the Book Gardener

 

Form and type-setting by C.L.Foster

 

To my parents, I love you.

Thank you for always believing in me and putting up with my imagination.

All those notebooks and pens that you bought me while growing up have paid off, huh?
Haha!

 

To my husband, Adam, thank you, honey, for not jumping off my crazy train.

This has got to be my wildest ride yet…so hang on tight.

I love you

 

To my daughters, Brylee and Sydney, I love you more than words can ever measure.

I am so blessed to have you two and be able to watch you grow.

Always dream big, girls, never give up, and only look back when you need to see how
far you’ve come

 

To those who helped me to BELIEVE, I love you.

Thank you for the late nights, the long conversations, the laughs, and the kick in
the ass to get moving when I needed it

 

To my P.A., Bridgette…welcome aboard this crazy train! Thank you for the guidance
and keeping me sane

 

To my editor, Julie, thank you for helping me twist, flip, and mold Little Red into
the story that I’d dreamed up

 

Little Red is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother, Patricia.

Mam, you will always be missed.

I love you

 

 

 

This is it.

This has to be it! My entire life has been spent with someone holding me back.

Always holding my life in their hands and controlling my every move.

Not this time.

Not anymore.

I’m taking my life in my own hands.

This is my new beginning; my long awaited, well-deserved fresh start

I kick back a little more on the throttle of my motorcycle as the wind whips into
my helmet and leather jacket.

It’s not quite the January weather I’m used to.

The weather is milder and the wind is much warmer down here in Louisiana.

It’s nice and kind of comforting.

My surroundings have completely changed.

I’m miles away from Kentucky.

I take a quick peek around.

The road has been quiet for a few hours.

It’s nearing dark.

This also means I risk bigger animals coming out.

Surely, they have deer down here in Louisiana.

I’ll have to find a place to lay my head anyways

I’ve been riding for hours.

It becomes uncomfortable on a motorcycle, and I have to be nearing the end of this
tank of gas; not to mention, my ass just so happens to be killing me.

I peer at a few road signs and see the few upcoming towns: nothing more than a local
diner or two and a handful of gas stations.

Not even your typical cheap motel.

I really am in the middle of nowhere.

The tent in my saddlebags will certainly come in handy tonight.

At least, it’ll do until morning.

Another twenty miles until the next town.

That doesn’t seem bad if I keep my seventy-five mile an hour pace.

I relax and begin to look forward to a peaceful night’s sleep until the loud sputtering
from my motorcycle jolts me back to full awareness

“Son-of-a-bitch!” I cry out from underneath my helmet

I’d misjudged my mileage, and with no gas gauge, I’d had no way of telling when I’d
run out of gas.

I’m luckily able to roll my bike to a slow and steady stop off on the shoulder of
the road.

I shake my head, wanting to give myself a good hard kick for not being more careful.

I glance around as I hop off.

It figures I am surrounded by nothing but woods and, my guess, swamps, and am nearly
twenty miles away from any town.

This isn’t exactly what I had in mind when I said I would make use of the tent in
my saddlebags.

I let out an exasperated sigh as I undo the chinstrap to my helmet, yanking it off
my head, and let my hair fall around my shoulders.

I bite down on my lip and contemplate.

I can’t leave my bike here on the side of the road.

I can’t walk 20 twenty miles and back just for gas with it already so dark out, either.

I have no choice.

I’ll walk my bike into the woods and set up camp.

People do this all the time, right? No big deal.

It’s not like the big bad wolf will jump out and get me

I gaze into the woods.

Darkness has already fallen over the trees.

They stand silent and still, as even the animals, it seems, have all gone quiet for
the night.

I laugh off the thought of the big bad wolf.

I guess it’s alligators I have to watch for down here.

Or, is it crocodiles? I shiver, put on a brave face, and straddle my bike once more.

It’ll take all my strength to waddle it down the ditch and into the woods over the
uneven terrain.

I figure a short way off the side of the road and into the woods and I should be fine.

Enough to be out of the line of traffic, but not enough to get myself terribly lost

As I wiggle the bike down the small slope, I begin to exert myself on the flat, but
rough terrain as I push the bike forward, throwing my petite body into it as much
as I can.

I grunt as I give one more strong push forward.

The bike lurches along slowly as my helmet clangs against the already scratched black
paint.

I groan, aggravated with myself more than ever for letting the gas tank get bone dry

“What in the hell are you doing?”

I stop dead in my tracks.

I hadn’t heard a single footstep, not even a twig.

I swallow hard and throw myself off the bike, flipping out the kickstand as I do

I turn slowly to see a rugged looking man staring hard at me.

His dark washed jeans are splattered with dirt and debris at the bottom, suggesting
that he has been romping in the woods beyond.

His heavy boots are caked in a layer of thick mud that’s starting to dry in certain
spots.

He places his hands on his hips, making his leather jacket open to display a well-fitted
tee shirt; defined chest muscles are visible even under the moonlight.

His gray eyes shine and shimmer under the light of the full moon as they glare at
me in an almost threatening way.

No, not threatening.

Warning me of something, and somehow worried.

His brown hair is styled fairly nice, which is surprising considering the five o’clock
shadow on his face.

He’s much larger than me.

Well, almost everyone is larger than me, but he must be over 6 feet tall.

Huge, compared to my tiny 5’5” frame

“You shouldn’t be out here alone.”

I glare at him and swallow, not quite sure of what to say.

“I don’t have a choice,” I tell him.

“I ran out of gas.”

His eyes shift to my motorcycle, and he lets out an almost mocking chuckle.

“You ride that?”

I nod.

“How else do you think I got here?” I shoot, now feeling annoyed with him.

I turn back to my bike as I kick the stand up and start on my way

“I wouldn’t go in there if I were you,” he hollers

“Good thing I’m not you,” I yell back.

This time, the footsteps are unmistakable.

They’re loud and pounding on the earth.

I have a sudden urge to drop my bike and run, but where? I feel his hands on the handlebars
of my bike and sigh out of relief.

I look over at him, and for the first time, I think I catch a smile

“I can’t let you go into these woods alone,” he tells me as he helps guide the bike
forward

“And just why not?” I ask.

“I’m in the middle of nowhere.

I don’t have much of a choice, and I’m not staying on the side of the road.”

His gray eyes suddenly turn on me.

I stop dead in my tracks and stare back.

They’re bright, silvery glow almost matches the full moon.

I gasp, shocked and almost frightened by their beauty.

“The big bad wolf might get you, Red.”

I let out an unsure chuckle.

By big bad wolf, he could mean himself or an actual animal.

I feel my heart rate quicken as he shoots me another smile.

“Don’t worry; I won’t hurt you.”

“And just how do I know that?” I ask, letting him take on the full weight of the motorcycle

He glances over at me, almost unsure of the answer himself.

He stops and seems to think about something for a moment.

“You just have to trust me, Red.”

“Trust you? A man I just met in the woods,” I say, crossing my arms in front of me

“I did just meet you in the woods,” he declares

I think for a moment, lick my lips, and give him a nod.

“But, I’m half your size.

You could take me out in a second,” I tell him.

I snap my mouth shut, realizing what I’ve just said

He laughs.

“Relax, Red, you’re safe.

I won’t let the big bad wolf get you.” He winks

“Red?” I ask finally

He nods toward my red leather jacket and helmet.

Both are a bright red.

I’m stupid.

I laugh at myself for a moment as he starts pushing the bike forward again.

“Where exactly do you want this thing?” He questions

“Just off the road, where someone passing by can’t see my bike,” I tell him

“Someone passing by, huh,” he says, coming to a row of trees that he hides the bike
behind.

“Would that someone passing by be anyone in particular?” He plops the kickstand down
and stands the bike up carefully.

His silvery-gray eyes meet mine again

“Just,” I pause.

“Just some old ex; he’s sort of a pain in my ass.”

“Ahh,” he breathes out.

“Running from the ex.”

I stop and think for a second.

“Something like that.”

“That must mean you’re not from around here.”

I shake my head.

“Kentucky,” I mumble as I shove my hands into my pockets

“So, Red, you have a name?”

“Samantha Wentworth,” I answer softly.

“Everyone calls me Sam.”

“Well, I’m not everyone,” he states matter-a-factly.

“I’ll call you Red.”

I stare at him, almost confused for a few moments.

“Just who exactly are you?”

“Ethan Parker.

Just call me the keeper of these woods.”

“Am I on your land?” I ask, knowing that back home a few people I know have their
land stretching for miles.

Some so far that they reach county roads

He gives his head a slight shake.

“Not exactly.”

“Going for a walk?” I ask, glancing again at his simple jeans, tee shirt, and leather
jacket

“You could call it that.” His expression changes and he glances at me in a nearly
pitying way, as though he feels sorry for me.

I quickly look down at my feet and kick a small stick out of the way.

“You really should find your way into town, somewhere safe.”

“I’m not walking twenty miles just to get to some run down motel,” I say.

“Besides, that’d be the first place…” I stop myself suddenly and bite hard on my tongue.

I refuse to tell him anything too personal

“That would be the first place he would look,” Ethan finishes suddenly

I look up and into those gray eyes.

BOOK: Little Red
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