Four Thousand Miles
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by Jesi Lea Ryan
Description: When Natalie Spencer loses both her career and marriage in the same morning, the emotional shock sends her on a spontaneous journey to England. There, she is nearly mugged in a Tube station, but an introverted songwriter named Gavin Ashby scares off her attackers. Recognizing Natalie's fragile state, Gavin offers help and invites her to recuperate from her trauma at his country home. As she adjusts to her new role and surroundings, Natalie finds healing by helping others. Gavin and his family begin to accept Natalie into their hearts, leading her to a choice?abandon her old life in the States and trust in a new chance at love, or flee once again?
eBook Publisher: DCL Publications LLC, 2010 ebook
eBookwise Release Date: October 2010
4 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [425 KB]
Reading time: 275-386 min.
Burning her last ounce of adrenaline, Natalie turned and ran to the station. A few steps inside the entrance, was a small flight of stairs. Natalie's shoe slipped on the tile floor of the top step and sent her tumbling, landing on her hands and knees at the feet of a man. The boys came running in after her, but finding they were not alone, turned and ran back down the street.
Natalie rolled over into a sitting position and started sobbing. Her injuries were not serious; her tights were ripped on both knees where the skin was scrapped and bleeding and her left wrist ached from her landing. She sobbed for more than her scraped knees. The flood of emotion that she struggled to repress since yesterday morning came bubbling up. The tears stung her tired eyes and mixed with mucus running from her nose.
"Are you okay?" the man asked. "What can I do to help?" His voice was kind.
"No, I'm not okay," she cried hysterically. "I'm lost and I haven't slept in two days and I have nowhere to go and no one knows I'm here and I just need sleep and I'm..." She drifted off from exhaustion.
Natalie laid her head down on the dirty tile floor of the Tube station and curled up into a fetal ball. She thought she might die there on that grime-covered flooring, but she didn't care. Her eyelids would no longer open for her. Her head spun with both mental and physical exhaustion. How did she get here? Where had she gone wrong in her life? How had everything gotten so far out of control? She just wanted to cry and go to sleep and never wake up.
The man stooped down near her and brushed her hair back off her face with his fingers. "Shhhh..." he whispered. "It's going to be okay. Is there anyone you would like me to call, or anywhere you want me to take you?"
"No," she whined wiping her face on the soft cotton of his shirt. "Leave me here. I can't move anymore." Her eyes were incapable of opening. Sleep nipped at the edges of her mind, trying to pull her under. She wouldn't be able to fight it off much longer. She just wanted to give in to her exhaustion.
"Oh, I don't think that's a good idea," he whispered soothingly with his warm breath close to her hair. "Let's get you to bed. Can you stand?"
The man lifted Natalie to her feet. Whether it was the exhaustion, the hunger or an emotional unwillingness to move, Natalie's legs gave out. With a sigh, he scooped her up in his arms, cradling her against his chest. Her body went limp as he carried her out of the station.