The carpetbag hit the ground with a loud thud mingled, to Sarah Cole’s great annoyance, with a loud clang. She ducked down under her window and waited. What did she have in there that could clang? Grandmother’s jewelry box. It had to be. She’d been of two minds about taking it with her. Sure, it was all she had of her mother’s mother, but it was clunky and a little heavier than she liked being made of solid metal. But the scrollwork on it was pretty and she had so few truly pretty things that weren’t tainted. How could she say no?
She couldn’t. So, it was in the carpetbag. It must have connected with her hairbrush or something. She should have wrapped them up in her clothes. Stupid mistake. She should have known better.
Listening with everything she had, Sarah peeked out over her window ledge into the moonlight. There seemed to be nothing happening. No one cried out or called. The early morning was silent once more. Even the neighbor’s dog wasn’t barking anymore. The little section of Seattle that she had called home her whole life was silent as the grave.
Good. The last thing she needed was either of her parents waking up now. That would be disastrous.
Standing up, she set about leaving. If her parents woke now, she would be in such trouble.
So, Sarah, what are you doing climbing out of your window at three-thirty in the morning? Where are all your things, Sarah? Why is your bureau mostly empty and your closet? Your bookshelf is also kind of light, don’t you think? And why is your carpetbag down there on the street?
She could almost see her father standing there, his face firmly set in a scowl. Only he wouldn’t be asking. He’d be punching. Brent Cole was the kind of man who mostly spoke with his fists. It wasn’t surprising since that was what he was paid to do and paid well. He was good at his job.
If it were her mother, well, Mother was a mouse. The only other person who could stop her was Brandon, her older brother. He was a copy of their father, all his brains were in his fists. He even worked for Mr. Boles, just like their father.
Leaning out over the window ledge, Sarah almost let out a small scream. She froze. Of course, she was outlined by the light of the full moon that hadn’t set yet. There was no hiding.
“Sarah? What are you doing?”
It was her mother.
“I can’t Mama,” Sarah said in a hoarse whisper. “I won’t marry that man.”
Now, her mother would try to convince her of the folly of her ways. She would say things like “Father knows best” and “this is the right thing for the family.” Mother was such a compliant mouse, that she would most certainly tell Father. All hope of escape was gone.
Her mother turned in the doorway and disappeared.
Oh no. It was certainly over now. Father would come in and she would be hauled into the room and thrashed solidly. She would be forced into a life she didn’t want and there was nothing she could do about it. She’d never have another opportunity like this to escape.
Sarah leaned out of the window, one leg in her room and one leg out. Could she climb down before father reached her? She wasn’t sure. It was only the second story. She could probably jump and do nothing worse than sprain an ankle. But that would slow her down and father would catch her before she ever reached the station.
Well, nothing for it. She would try.
Turning, she saw her mother come back into the room. Her white nightdress seemed to glow in the moonlight. Her face was haggard and drawn, the signs of a hard life evident in the wrinkles on her skin, the strain in her eyes.
She walked over to Sarah hurriedly and shoved something into her hand. It was a little material pouch.
“What is this?” Sarah asked, frowning and holding it up to the light.
“It’s money,” her mother said. “You won’t get far on your savings. I know how you like to spend.”
“But…is this the jam jar money, from the pantry?” Sarah asked, aghast. It couldn’t be. That was her mother’s special stash, the place she hid money from Sarah’s father. What she was keeping it for was a mystery to Sarah. Perhaps, her mother dreamed of leaving too.
“Yes, now take it and go,” her mother said. “I have to get back to bed or he’ll know I’m missing.” She put her cheek against Sarah’s. It was wet.
“Oh, Mother don’t cry,” Sarah said, hugging her mother. “I’ll come back and get you.”
Her mother shook her head. “No. You run, Sarah. Run as far and as fast as you can. You know how your father tracks people for Boles. You’ve seen it. You need to be smarter, faster and keep moving. Only when there is an ocean between you and your father…then you’ll be safe. Promise me.”
“I promise,” Sarah said. “But Mother…you can come too.”
She shook her head. “I’ll only slow you down. I love you, my little blue bird. Now, go!” Her mother let her go and wiping her eyes, left Sarah’s room.
For a long moment, Sarah sat on the window ledge clutching the purse. It was full of coins and quite heavy. All of that would get her far, she hoped as she wiped her own tears on the back of her sleeve.
Climbing down, Sarah made use of the drainpipe and the uneven bricks the house was made of. They made it relatively easy to climb out of the house. She’d been doing it since she was a little girl and knew where every hand and foothold was. No surprises.
Jumping the last three or four feet to the ground, she landed lightly beside her bag. She had modified the carpetbag by sewing in two sturdy canvas straps to it, so that she could sling it onto her back. That would free up her hands.
Dressed in a dark jacket she pulled a navy-blue scarf from her inner pocket and fastened it over her honey blonde hair that shone like faerie gold in the moonlight. Thus disguised, no one who saw her walking up the street toward town would know her or think anything of her being there. After all, some folks began their shifts at the mill or the docks very early.
Even the bakers had to be up and at the bakery before the sun considered rising. She could be mistaken for one of them. And should Mr. Boles’ snoops see her, she hoped she looked ordinary enough to be left alone.
Sarah tucked the purse into her jacket’s inner breast pocket. There were pickpockets about during the more sociable hours and she’d learned the hard way that they were rather sneaky. Knowing this, she buttoned up her jacket against the early morning chill. It was still early in September and the fall chill hadn’t sent in yet, but she could feel the change from summer. There was a bite in the air as though the perpetual winter in the north was just waiting for an opportunity to reach its icy fingers down south.
The walk took a long time. The Coles lived near the outskirts of town. This afforded them a little garden that Sarah’s mother loved to tend. Sometimes, Sarah thought the garden was the only thing left in her mother’s life, aside from her children, that brought her any comfort or happiness. Heaven knows her father certainly didn’t.
But she couldn’t think about them now, or she would run home and drag her mother from her bed and force her to come too. Of course, then it would be all over, and Sarah would be a mouse in a cage just like her mother.
She ran a hand over the place where the purse rested against her in her jacket pocket. How much had her mother given her? How long had she been saving this money?
The bakery on the corner was showing signs of life and now as the houses loomed around her, Sarah saw that she was not the sole wakeful one. Down one street a man stepped out of his front door and ramming his hat on his head, ran up the street passed her. He never looked at her, too intent on his own business.
On another street three houses had lamps lit in the kitchen windows and smoke began to rise from the chimneys. Other men and a few women stepped from their doorways. The early shift were on the move.
Sarah blended in with these people walking at the same pace, head down, not looking around. She used her peripheral vision as much as she could to make sure she was behaving like those around her. Some of these people would work for Mr. Boles. Well, many of them would but only a few would be the rats he paid to keep eyes on people. And there were generally eyes on her.
Ever since Mr. Boles had taken a fancy to her, Sarah’s life had been a living hell. It was only three months, but it felt like an age. He was fifty years old, twice her age and a horrible man. His first wife had died of some strange disease. Sarah thought Mrs. Boles must have committed suicide. After all, her husband was a snake—cold, calculating, and vile. Even the thought of him sent shivers of revulsion down her spine.
The sky was lightening when Sarah reached the industrial heart of Seattle. Between the docks and the train yard, there was little of beauty about this section of the town, but it would make it easier for her to slip away. At least, that was the plan.
What had just begun was an elaborate game of cat and mouse. Sadly, for this game, Sarah was the mouse and her father the cat. When he found out she was missing, he would do a few things. He would get his posse together and they would go to all her usual haunts. They would speak to her friends, not that she had many of them, and demand to know where she was. None of them knew anything of her plan.
They would check her father’s stable and find his horse and the family pony both still there. Not one piece of tack would be missing. So, they wouldn’t watch the roads. After all, she couldn’t walk across the continent, now, could she? No, she would take the train or a boat. Those would be the two options for her.
Of course, they would be. And she would leave them ample clues for both.
First, she went to the docks. It was a long walk, and she was quite tired. Her bag was heavy and weighed her down. She found the man on the docks who sold tickets for passengers on the ships. He was a skinny fellow with dark eyes and tangled hair. He looked down his hooked nose at her.
“And what can I do for you?” he asked.
“I would like to buy a ticket to Los Angeles, please,” she said. “That’s in California.”
“Is that so?” he asked.
She had been watching him for the last two weeks and she knew that he would give her a hard time and then sell her a ticket anyway. They began their bargaining. Sarah was careful to give him enough trouble so that he would remember her but not enough that he would tell her to go away. That would defeat the purpose of this little exercise.
The man rubbed his forehead with a callused hand and sighed. “Fine! Fine. You can have a ticket, at the agreed price. You’re trying to beggar me. I’m only glad you came so early no one else is around to hear you haggle.”
She smiled, took her ticket and wandered off casually, as though she was merely passing the time before her ship was ready to take on its passengers.
When she was out of sight of the docks, she made haste to the train station. It was only a shed on the side of the tracks. It had been built with loading and off-loading freight in mind. Passengers were not considered as important and there wasn’t so much as a bench to sit on.
Here, there were more people. The first train was due to arrive soon and people were crowding around the tracks, being careful to stand far enough back to not get squashed when the engine finally arrived.
A young, spotty man with buck teeth and thin blonde hair sat in the little shed that served as an office. His eyes were red and he was unshaven. He blinked a lot as he served the customers, selling one ticket after another. First train in was coming up from the south and heading on into Canada. Sarah decided to buy a ticket for it. Canada was a large country; she could easily disappear there. Her father could look for a good long time before he ever found her there.
She waited with the crowd at the tracks.
There were people all around her. Most she didn’t know. Thank goodness. She was alone. A tropical bird in the midst of all the sparrows. She liked that idea. And as soon as the train arrived, she would be gone.
Her heart stopped beating in her chest. It was a man’s voice that had spoken.
“It is you?”
She turned to see who was speaking to her.
“It’s me, Jimmy Ditchley, from school? Don’t you remember?”
As he said his name the penny dropped, and she recalled him. He’d been a small boy, much shorter than the other boys in their year. His red hair, green eyes and freckled skin were the same as they had been back then. Only his features were older, and he was wearing a full beard now.
“Oh, hi Jimmy,” she said softly. “Didn’t see you there.”
“It’s fine,” Jimmy said. He’d certainly had a growth spurt after school. He was easily six feet tall, and his voice was as loud as ever. “I thought it was you. My goodness! Sarah Cole.”
“Yeah,” she said, grimacing. But how could she tell him to keep his voice down?
Hey, Jimmy you dolt! I’m running away from home and you’re attracting far too much attention. Think you can shut your mouth for a minute?
She turned away from him and stared ahead of her at the train tracks. She could feel eyes on her neck. Several people were watching them now. Through the crowd she spotted someone she did recognize. It was Troy Pratt.
He was one of her father’s men from the posse. Had he been following her all this time? Or was it simply a coincidence that he was here, at the station when she was? She didn’t know and there was no good way to find out. But it didn’t matter, not really. Not now. Troy would be sure to tell her father he’d seen her at the station and that would mean that instead of thinking she’d gone to Los Angeles by boat, he’d know she’d gone to Canada by train.
Blast you, Jimmy Ditchley!
Sarah had to do some quick thinking. As Jimmy prattled on and on, she looked around for a means of escape. But nothing presented itself. Troy was moving through the crowd toward her.
A year ago the economy in Seattle had taken a serious nosedive. Businesses had closed and many had been forced to leave. Some had found work up or down the train lines and would travel back and forth.
Sarah had hoped to blend in with those. There was no hope of that now.
But a moment later the train rolled into the station with puffs of smoke and steam and came rolling to a stop. The crowd surged forwards and Sarah was borne toward the train like so much flotsam in a flooded river.
She got on the train and walked down the passage to one of the cars. She was one of the first people on board. Somehow Jimmy was there too, and Troy wasn’t far behind.
“Listen, Jimmy,” she said finally turning to him and cutting him off mid-sentence. “I need your help. You see that man there? The one with the hat and blonde hair?”
“Sure,” Jimmy said.
“When he comes this way, can you trip him for me? He’s giving me some trouble,” she said.
Jimmy was only too happy to comply. He took a seat in the middle of the car in the row of seats and casually waited. She took a seat further up the car, closer to the door. She waited. Troy entered the car, jostled by several people in work clothes. He was closing in on her. If Jimmy didn’t get this right, she would be done for.
Troy walked up the aisle. He never saw Jimmy extend one of his long, thin legs.
Sarah sprang up as Troy went down with a crash. She slipped out of the carriage door and was running down the tracks and away from the train. She ran and ran until, finally, the buildings swallowed her.
After that it was a quick walk to where she had left her newly purchased horse in the forest the day before. In no time, she had him saddled and was riding south out of Seattle as the sun rose high in the sky.
New York City, New York
The hansom cab negotiated the crazy New York midday traffic with skill and ease. Yet, this smooth flow of movement did nothing to calm Aaron Wilder’s nerves. Today was the day, and he had already chewed the inside of his cheek raw. If they were caught…
“How far are we from the station?” Amelia asked, brushing a lock of jet-black hair from her forehead.
“Not far now,” Aaron replied.
Her clear blue eyes followed his movements as he reflexively felt for his gun holstered under his jacket.
“Aaron,” Amelia said in a tone he knew well, “we’ve done all we can. There is nothing left to do but hand it all over to God.”
Her words were meant to comfort and bolster him, but Aaron hadn’t found God present in his life. If anything otherworldly was working on him, it sure wasn’t the good guy.
Discarded on the steps of a church in Brooklyn, Aaron Wilder had been left with nothing but a note stating his name and date of birth. No sorry for leaving him there, no explanation of his birth, nothing. Not even his mother’s name.
From that less than auspicious start, it was hardly surprising that Aron had fallen in with the wrong crowd from an early age. Nothing more could have been expected. But he was a clever boy and took the opportunities being one of a great many kids afforded him in the orphanage.
And then one day, he picked the wrong pocket and met Mr. Salazar and his whole life changed. What would most likely have become a life of petty crime with limited options became something much more lucrative. And seventeen years later, led to this ultimate betrayal. Aaron was leaving New York and Mr. Salazar’s employ all in one move. And he was taking Mr. Salazar’s wife with him.
Amelia was watching him again. She ran her hand over her belly in an unconscious manner. Being five months pregnant with Salazar’s child, he knew she was concerned for more than just her own safety.
The problem was that Mr. Salazar wanted a son more than anything and he didn’t tolerate failure well. With eight daughters from three previous wives, the odds were stacked against Amelia producing this most elusive male heir.
Naturally, she was afraid. Wives who brought girls into the world quickly met with disastrous ends, the last having died not a year previous of some strange illness that Aaron suspected was poison. It was a harsh world, and Mr. Salazar seemed to only make it more so.
Should Amelia fail to produce a son, she’d be as dead as the others, her child along with her. Aaron couldn’t take any more of this. He’d liked the last two wives, Henrietta, and Josephine, before Amelia, and he’d been powerless to stop them dying. He wouldn’t fail this time.
The hansom pulled up to Grand Central Station and stopped. Aaron got out first, pulling his hat down over his face to make himself harder to recognize. He had changed out of the jacket he’d worn that morning when leaving the building where Mr. Salazar had his headquarters, and was now dressed like a businessman in a suit and cravat.
He walked around to the other side and opened the door for Amelia. She had also changed her jacket and swapped out her small hat for a bigger brimmed one that she wore rakishly to one side. Like this, no matter which angle one looked at her, only a slice of her face was visible. It wasn’t much, but it would have to do.
Aaron had insisted she pack light for this trip. Although they would never go back to the brownstone where she had lived in a luxurious apartment, they couldn’t afford to carry too much luggage. If Salazar went up to her room and found the place empty of all her things, he would know she was leaving and escaping New York would be harder than ever.
So, when the driver placed a suitcase and a valise on the curb along with Aaron’s own portmanteau, he realized just how much Amelia had left behind.
Aaron paid the driver and picked up the bags. They were heavy but he was a strong man used to carrying all manner of things for his boss.
They made their way through the doors into the station. It was busy. It was always busy. There was a line at the ticket office and that gave them time to decide which train they would be taking.
“We could go to Denver,” she said. “I have an aunt and uncle there.”
Aaron shook his head. He never stopped looking around, checking the faces of all the people moving in the station. Any one of them could be their downfall and the penalty for desertion was death. Even Aaron didn’t think he could talk his way out of this one if they were caught.
“We can’t go anywhere they can trace us to,” he said. “Wherever we go will have to be new to us both.”
She sighed. “I was hoping to be able to see them again.”
“Maybe in a couple of years,” Aaron said. He didn’t add that it was unlikely that Mr. Salazar would ever stop looking for Amelia, unless she produced another girl. He might leave her alone then.
“Fine, then where should we go?” Amelia asked her blue eyes brimming with unshed tears.
Aaron smiled and put a gentle hand on her shoulder. “As far away as we can,” he said. He perused the board. There was a train that went all the way through to Portland, Oregon. That looked promising. That was all the way across the country with a lot of changes and stops along the way. They could even get off at any stage and disappear.
“Okay, let’s get tickets to Oregon,” he said.
“Oregon?” she asked, frowning. “But it’s so far. And I get sick on trains under normal circumstances.”
“Don’t you have that medication the doctor gave you?” Aaron asked.
“It makes me sick too,” she said. Then sighing, she smiled. “You know what? I’ll be fine. I’ll just drink a lot of ginger tea. They have to have ginger tea, don’t they?”
“We’ll make sure we have plenty,” Aaron said, his eyes back to roaming the crowd.
They should be all right for a couple of hours. Amelia had been to her doctor’s appointment that morning. That was why they were allowed out. As her security guard, Aaron went everywhere with her. When they came up with the plan to leave, they started going shopping for things for the baby on the days she went to the doctor for a checkup. It was the perfect cover. Amelia would ask for money and Salazar would give it. Then she’d spend it on things for the baby and herself. When they returned in the late afternoon, Aaron would be weighed down with packages and bags. They had done this six times so far, establishing a pattern that would mean that unless someone saw him sneak the bags downstairs in the dead of night, they had another three hours before they would be missed at all.
He also hadn’t allowed them to buy tickets in advance. It was too easy for a maid or one of the other security personnel to find a ticket among their things. Nothing that went on in the brownstone was ever truly secret. There were eyes everywhere.
Salazar’s operation was huge. He owned brothels, opium dens, and a shipping company—which was the legitimate part of his business. Then he had his fingers in a whole host of pies, some legal and others not. All in all, it created an empire built on a web of intrigue and violence. And Aaron had been a valued part of it. Which meant there were probably eyes watching them now. He could only hope they would not be recognized.
They reached the front of the line. A little old man with gray hair and a wiry mustache sat in the booth. He looked tired, his eyes milky above baggy pouches and sunken cheeks.
“Where ya heading?” he asked in a cracked voice.
“Two tickets to Oregon, please,” Aaron said.
“Will that be first class, or would you like a double sleeping compartment? It’s a feature they’re offering for married couples,” the old man asked. His bushy, gray eyebrows rose like two spiny caterpillars. Was he asking if they were married?
Aaron nodded. He wasn’t used to the subterfuge he and Amelia had worked out. They were to pose as a married couple since her condition would become more obvious as the journey progressed. “We are married,” he said. “So, I guess the double compartment would suit us best?”
He looked at Amelia. She nodded. “That sounds fine, dear,” she said. “It’s our first time leaving New York.” This last she added with a little excited giggle. Aaron marveled at the wonderful actress Amelia was becoming. But then staying alive was a great motivator.
The old man nodded and pulled two tickets from the blue roll. When Aaron handed over the money, which was a large sum but included their breakfast each day, he was handed the tickets and another little book. He thanked the man and they moved off to the waiting area.
There were thirty minutes until their train was due to arrive. A lot could happen in that time and Aaron was determined that they should remain unrecognized. That meant sitting quietly, not drawing attention to themselves in any way.
They found two seats next to each other and sat down. Aaron began to examine the little book the ticket seller had handed him. It was the rules for train travel and said it covered everything from common areas to where it was safe to smoke and bathroom etiquette.
“Anything interesting?” Amelia asked, leaning over to peer at the book too.
Her close proximity to him unnerved him. She was Mr. Salazar’s wife and he’d rather cut his hand off than touch her. This was a notion he’d have to get over if they were going to pretend to be married.
“Are you comfortable with the shared sleeping quarters?” he asked in a very low whisper. They were surrounded by people. Anyone could be listening.
“Yes, it’s fine,” she said, resting her head on his shoulder. “It will be just fine.”
He wasn’t so sure. Mr. Salazar had trained all his boys from a young age to respect his women and never touch or look at them for too long. Aaron suspected he might have learned that lesson a little too well. He tried to force himself to relax and behave as though she really were his wife, carrying his child. He slipped his arm around her shoulders. That would have to do.
For a while they sat like that, not speaking. Aaron felt himself grow more tense as he sat there. Something felt off. So far, he’d not noticed a single person who looked out of place. No one had come in and paid them any undue attention. They were the same as many other couples who were waiting for trains.
The white letters on the boards above their heads clicked and clacked as they ticked over, announcing trains arriving and leaving. It was almost hypnotic. Aaron watched from under his hat brim and waited.
Had they done something wrong? Had they left a clue behind that Salazar or someone else, perhaps his closest henchman, Burke, would find? Was there a trail for the men to follow? Aaron couldn’t think. It felt as though his brain was covered in snow, cold and dull and oh so slow. His thoughts meandered around in his head. Would the doctor have picked up on something being off with them? Had they behaved any differently to how they usually did at the checkups?
“Relax,” Amelia said, snuggling into his shoulder. “You know we did everything right.”
“How can you be so sure?” he replied softly.
“Because you did it,” she said. “Aaron, I have complete faith in you. You’re my best, and let’s face it, only friend. Without you, I’d likely be dead in a couple of months when this baby turns out to be another girl.” She rubbed her stomach and sighed. “Yet he’s so convinced it’s a boy. How could he possibly know? It’s inside me and I have no idea what it is.”
“It’s your child,” Aaron said. “That’s all it needs to be.”
“You’re so sweet,” she said.
Letting other people’s conversations swirl around them, Aaron wondered for the millionth time if perhaps his mother had been in a similar situation to Amelia. If she had had a man like Alfonse Salazar breathing down her neck, it might explain why she’d left him on that church doorstep. If she’d been in trouble, running for her life, it would justify her actions. Aaron had to think it was something like that that led his mother to discard him like a pair of old shoes. It had to be. It couldn’t be that she hadn’t loved him. Could it?
He stopped thinking about it. Down that road lay nothing but madness. He would never know what his mother was thinking or feeling when she gave birth to him and then left him. There were no clues, no magical fairies to come and tell him what happened and no little angels to take him to her. All he could do was make sure that Amelia and her baby were safe and as far from Salazar as it was possible to get them with their limited funds.
Escaping across the sea on a ship would have been the way to go, but since they had to use Aaron’s savings which he’d kept under his bed in an iron lockbox his whole life, they didn’t have enough funds. Not to travel to Europe and be able to eat when they got there.
So, out west it was. It would be fine. There was a lot of country between New York and the west coast. Oregon was a rural place from what he knew about it, still largely wild. They could find a little town and settle down and raise the kid. He’d be happy with that.
The story about them being married to each other, him and Amelia, had been all her idea. She didn’t want the stigma of being an unmarried woman, or a runaway mother-to-be. Both of those would raise suspicions and so, Aaron had agreed to the ruse. He would rather have played her doting brother. But that wouldn’t work either. They looked nothing alike.
Her mother was Chinese and her father of Welsh heritage. That gave her black hair and almond-shaped blue eyes. She was unique and lovely.
He was American through and through. With his brown hair and deep blue eyes and olive skin his heritage was a mystery. But it didn’t include Chinese and that was obvious.
“That’s our train, isn’t it?” Amelia asked.
Aaron started. He’d drifted so far off into his thoughts he’d neglected to read the board or check for anyone watching them.
He stared at the board and saw she was right. Their train had just arrived at the platform. She stood and took the lighter valise while he picked up the heavier bags.
They began the walk to the platform through the crowd of passengers. Once or twice, Aaron thought someone looked familiar, like one of Salazar’s snitches, but then they would turn their head and he knew they weren’t.
He and Amelia walked to the train and found their compartment with ease. It was all so simple and working so well. No one raised the alarm, there was no one stopping them. When Aaron closed and locked the door to the platform and turned to Amelia, he was surprised to see her crying.
“We made it, didn’t we?” she asked. “There’s nothing he could do now.”
Aaron knew there was still plenty Salazar could do. Only once they were out of New York and speeding on the rails across the country could they finally say they were safe. Only then would he consider relaxing. He sat by the window staring out onto the platform. He began to chew his cheek again.
Men walked with speed and purpose toward the train, only to board it like normal people with tickets in hand. Women cast him funny looks as they tried to find their compartments and there was so much noise and bustle about that Aaron found it difficult to inspect everyone. He had a terrible feeling that he’d missed something, left something undone. But what could it be?
As the train began to pull out of the station, chugging and whistling as it went, he leaned back and cracked a small smile.
“Okay, Amelia,” he said. “We can say we made it now.”
She grinned. “I told you we’d be fine.”
She clapped her hands and began to chatter as she unpacked, putting things away to make their cramped compartment more comfortable. Aaron didn’t listen to her. He was still nursing that uneasy feeling in his gut. They missed something. He knew it but couldn’t for the life of him think what it was. He just had to hope it wouldn’t help Salazar track them down.
“Chasing Love on the Run” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!
Growing up in an abusive family has made life hard enough for Sarah Cole, but being promised to her father’s boss becomes the final straw. He is a dreadful man, with a terrible reputation and old enough to be her father. Being resourceful, bright, and unwilling to succumb to a life of despair, Sarah decides that the only way out for her is to run away from home…
Stepping bravely into an unknown future, she has no idea whether it holds peace or more danger…
Aaron Wilder has overcome many sticky situations in his life, but this time around he is in dire straits. He broke a cardinal rule and befriended his crooked boss’s pregnant wife. She has begged Aaron to help her escape, knowing that if she bears a girl her husband will surely kill her. Aware of the risk and against his better judgment, Aaron agrees…
Can he manage to smuggle them both out of New York City without anyone knowing?
The fates align when both Sarah and Aaron find themselves in a sleepy little fishing village off the Oregon coast. Sparks fly between them as they try to settle in and before long their attraction is impossible to deny. Have they truly escaped their pasts though? Caught in a turmoil of intrigue, gun battles in the streets, and a love that can never be, can they dare hope for a happy ending?
“Chasing Love on the Run” is a historical western romance novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.