Monday, August 5, 2013

Midnight Falls: The Beginning ~ FREE EXCERPT

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Chapter One

            The thunder roared like cannons going off on a battlefield. Her vision obstructed by the driving rain, Angel Michael’s couldn't even see the road she had been driving aimlessly for a week. Angel had to get away from him. What was she going to do now? For days that’s all she’d been thinking about. Paranoia kept her looking in the rear view mirror as she drove. He couldn’t be behind her, but something made her look anyway.
            Nightfall was setting in and she had to find a motel. A motel and a new life. Where would she go? What would she do? She pulled into a small truck stop/motel in the middle of nowhere. They had a diner, and she was starving.
            Angel checked into her room and then went over to the diner. She needed a good meal and an even better night’s sleep. She had a long drive ahead of her. She had no idea where she was going, but it had to be far enough away from him that he couldn't find her.
            After eating, she went back over to the motel gift shop to find some clothes. She had left without packing a thing. Angel was a beautiful woman with light brown hair that went halfway down her back. She wasn't too short, but not too tall either. She always seemed to fit in the just right category. She was a nice size 8. She wasn't fat, but she wasn't sickly thin like some of those super models that she saw on the t.v. She enjoyed a double cheeseburger and fries from time to time.
            How she ever got mixed up with the son of a warlock was beyond her.  When she first met Eric Anderson, she had no idea who he was. He was extremely kind to her. She had car trouble one night and Eric stopped to help her. They were inseparable from that moment on. How was she supposed to know what kind of man he was or what his family was like. The secrets, lies, abuse, and crimes were finally too much for her, but once you are in the Anderson family, there is no getting out.
            Angel didn't mean to shoot Eric with the fire ball. She just wanted to get away from him. It was self-defense.  He was going to kill her. In hind sight, she wished she’d killed him.  Once the healer was through with him, he’d hunt her down.
            Angel jumped, pulled from her thoughts by the sales woman at the motel gift shop.
            “Can I help you miss? You seem to be studying that shirt very hard. Can I answer any questions about it for you?”
            Angel looked up in shock. “Oh, I'm sorry. I guess I was in my own little world for a minute. I'm fine. I just need to pick up a few outfits and personal items. I think I can find everything on my own.”
            She continued to shop for a few minutes and then took her purchases back to her room. She didn't have a lot of money, but she had taken a few thousand out of Eric's safe, which made this whole ordeal that much worse. He would want revenge for his wounds and stealing his money. What was she going to do? Angel knew she needed to find a home somewhere Eric wouldn't think to look and she would need a job. But where does a witch who doesn’t want to be noticed find a job?
            Angel took a long hot shower and went to bed. She tossed and turned the entire night and woke up the next morning drained. She drug herself out of bed, got dressed and headed to the diner for breakfast before heading out on the road again.
            Angel sat down at the table and glanced at the menu for a few minutes.
            “Can I take your order?”
            Angel looked up at the waitress staring at her. “I guess just give me two scrambled eggs with a little cheese melted on them, some bacon, and toast with jelly. Thanks.”
            “Would you like anything to drink with that?”
            Angel looked down at the menu again to see what they offered. “I know it's probably strange to hear this early in the morning, but I would really like a Dr. Pepper with my breakfast.”
            “No problem.” The waitress said as she walked off.
            Angel got out her atlas as she waited for her food to cook. She needed a plan. She had left New Jersey over a week ago. She couldn't keep driving forever. She would need to decide on a place and get there fast. She deeply needed to get settled. Her mother told her if she ever got into trouble to find Hunter McDaniels. He was an old friend, and powerful warlock. He would protect her.
            Angel paid her bill and then walked to her car.  Maybe she wouldn’t need to go to Hunter. Maybe she could just hide and be a normal woman instead of a witch. She got in and looked at the map one more time. It was now or never. It was time to pick a destination and a new life. She studied it hard. Where would I like to live? She had decided that she wasn't leaving that spot until she had made a decision. Okay, it's decided. I'm going to Montana.
            She drove for what seemed like forever by the time she crossed the state line into Montana. Now what?  She pulled into the Welcome Center to read about her new state. Angel walked into the office and started picking up every brochure she could get her hands on. Something in that office had to grab her attention.
            “Excuse me. Is there anything I can help you with?”
            Angel looked up to see an elderly man sitting behind the desk. “Not really.” She said. “This is my first time to Montana and I don't really know what I want to do.”
            “Well you’ve come to the right state.” The man told her. “My name is Wes. I've lived here my whole life. It's a great place. What you want to do is go over to the Jenson's Bed and Breakfast. It is the most beautiful ranch house you will ever see. It is worth the two hour drive out there. I will promise you that.”
            “That sounds wonderful. Can you give me directions to it? I would love to go out there.”
            The man jotted down some directions on a piece of notebook paper and handed it to her. “You can't miss it if you follow these directions.”
            Angel headed out of the building with a load taken off her shoulders. At least she had a place to go now. The rest she would figure out in time.
            Angel followed the directions precisely. It was actually quite easy to find. She stayed on the main highway for most of the drive and then turned onto a dirt road, dust clouds billowing out behind her now filthy car. After forty five minutes she reached the driveway.
            At the end was the most beautiful house Angel had ever seen. She couldn't believe it. It was a two story log cabin with a wraparound porch, and, of all things, a lunch bell. I wonder if they actually ring that when it's lunch and dinner time. The place looked like it was straight out of a western movie. It was going to be a nice change from the city life. She stared out across the endless fields. This would be a great getaway for the night, but she still needed to find a job and a house.
            Angel parked the car and walked to the front door. There was a welcome sign hanging on the door that read “Always open. Come in” So she opened the door and walked in. An old woman looked up from sweeping the shiny hardwood floor.
            “Hello, my name's Angel. I was told that this is a great place to stay. Do you have a room for the night or maybe two?”
            “Hello dear. I'm Tanya Jenson. It's nice to meet you. Of course we have room. We always have room.”
            “Great. I'll take a room for a while.”
            Tanya looked at the sadness in that complete stranger’s eyes and felt sorry for her. “Awhile? You’re not sure how long you’ll be staying?
            Angel wasn't quite sure how to answer. “Well, I need to find a job and a place to live. Moving here wasn't completely thought out and planned very well.”
            Tanya had a soft spot for troubled people. “Well, Angel, You’re in luck. I’m currently looking for a cook for the bed and breakfast. The pay isn't great, but it includes free room and board so that makes up the difference if you're interested.”
            Angel couldn't believe what she was hearing. This was like an answer to her prayers. It would be perfect. “I would love that, but you don't even know me. Why are you doing this for me?”
            Tanya looked over at her with a smile. “I'm a good judge of character. I know who I can trust and who I can't. Let me show you your room so you can get settled.”
            As the two of them walked down the hallway together, Angel couldn't help but feel a little sad. She really liked the idea of staying there and cooking. It was perfect, but it was just a fairytale. She couldn't stay there forever and put these wonderful people in danger. If she stayed in one place too long, Eric would find her. She knew that she had to eventually get to Hunter if she wanted to be truly safe. But for now, the ranch house was in the middle of nowhere miles from New Jersey, a good temporary solution.


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