Sometimes it pays to revisit the past.
Jane runs from a smothering ex who won't take no for an answer right into the last thing she's looking for—a mysterious stranger who appears wherever she is, watching her.
Simon knows they're meant for each other the first time he sees her. Why she can't just do as he says and accept that is almost beyond him.
Can some help from an interested observer be what they need to have a forever together?
Publisher's Note: This story was released as part of the Bound Brits Anthology by Totally Bound Publishing.
General Release Date: 15th June 2009
See Jane. See Jane run. Did it count as running when the reason for fleeing the country was self-preservation? Jane Templeton had been asking that question for a week and a half, ever since she'd gotten on the plane in the Pittsburgh airport and left her old life behind forever. She wasn't sure where she'd end up starting over but it certainly wouldn't be anywhere near Pittsburgh. She'd throw herself off a roof before she let herself get sucked back into that life again.
Jane took a calming breath and stared blindly out the train window. She shouldn't be thinking about that now. She had almost three months to come up with a plan and there was no way she was going to waste the entire time dwelling on it. Not when she was finally taking the trip she'd dreamed about. True it was ten years later than originally scheduled but she was determined to enjoy it as much as possible before facing the reality of her new life, whatever that may be.
Noticing the passing scenery, Jane sighed. The Yorkshire Dales. As pretty and inviting as she remembered. Soon she'd be in Harrogate, a place that held many fond memories. Unfortunately none of her friends lived there anymore but the quaint town itself still held enough appeal to draw her back even without them.
The train pulled into the Harrogate station. Jane grabbed her military surplus duffel and made her way to the exit. She stepped onto the platform with a smile. She was almost there. A day in Philadelphia, six in Toronto, three in London, four planes, two trains and now just a short hike from the station to Agate's Guest House and she would finally be able to let herself relax. She really was going to make it. All on her own. Without any major disasters. Without even getting lost. Her smile grew. See? She was competent enough to accomplish this so that meant she was more than capable of looking after herself the rest of the time too. Didn't it?
Walking along Leeds Road, Jane was more than tired, but in a good way, for the first time in what seemed like years. She'd started coming back to life four months earlier when she walked out of the Mount Lebanon house that had become more of a prison the last few years than a home. As it turned out, leaving the structure hadn't severed her tethers as she'd expected. Once she accepted that, she knew the only way to truly end things with her former jailer was to put enough distance between them to make any continued harassment impractical because she knew there wasn't a place on earth she could go where it would be impossible. There was a slim chance that having an entire ocean separating them would make it so inconvenient that it would manage to discourage him, or so she hoped. She'd left some false trails along the way and hadn't told anyone her final destination. She'd have at least a little reprieve before he located her. Not that there was any doubt he would sooner or later. Maybe, with luck, he'd have decided it really wasn't worth the effort and give up before then. Luck. She was definitely due for some of that since she'd had absolutely none for several years now. She shook her head. There were two things she'd never understand. One, how the man she'd lived with for almost seven years knew so little about her and two, why it had taken her so long to realise that.
Jane turned the corner onto St. Georges Road and stopped to stare at her intended residence. It was a three story stone building, partly covered by ivy, definitely imposing-looking but not at all menacing. To Jane, it seemed protective and welcoming. Sighing, she shifted her bag to her other hand. It felt heavier than it had when she'd claimed it in the Manchester airport earlier, even more so than when she'd checked it in London. She knew it was an illusion, but she'd been travelling for days after months of building tension following years of stressful living. It was a small miracle that she was still standing at this point. And a major triumph.
Word Count: 19,270
Book Length: NOVELLA
Genres: BONDAGE AND BDSM
For Barbara Huffert, reading has always been a favourite pastime. A few years ago, she started her first novel after one of the friends she trades books with challenged her to write something better than the last book they read. Barbara's been writing ever since. With her three opinionated cats sprawled wherever is most inconvenient, she now spends her days happily wandering through the worlds of her characters.
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