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Home > Who I Am with You (Unexpected Heroes #1.5)(5)

Who I Am with You (Unexpected Heroes #1.5)(5)
Author: Melody Anne

“You have to stay in contact with me, though,” her mother told her firmly.

“I promise I’ll check in every day.” And she would. Taylor loved talking with her mom, at least most of the time. Though she was honestly eager to get away, she didn’t know how long she’d be able to handle being up there all alone—her newfound fears of things that go bump in the night might well get the better of her.

Straightening her shoulders, she forced that thought from her mind. There was no way she was going to let her accident stop her from doing anything. She was more than capable of being on her own.

She’d had her own place since she was eighteen, minus the year she’d lived with her ex-boyfriend. That hadn’t ended particularly well—he’d been the rebound guy after Travis—but the two of them had ended up friends because they raced on the same circuits a lot of the time.

Not that she’d heard from Jeremy since her accident. Hell, she hadn’t heard from any of her racing friends in a long time. Out of sight, out of mind, apparently. That stung a bit, but she refused to dwell on it.

Nothing would stop her from getting back to her chosen profession. No one would, either—not doctors, not her brothers, and certainly not her parents. She’d put too much time and effort into becoming the best motocross racer in the U.S.—heck, in the world, if she had her way.

“Let me make a few meals to take with you, then.”

Taylor turned to find her mother opening the fridge and pulling out ingredients to make a macaroni salad.

“You know I can cook up there, Mom.”

Maggie laughed. “Oh, honey, we both know how much you despise cooking.”

“I know. I know. All women should be expert chefs,” Taylor said with a roll of her eyes.

“I didn’t say that,” Maggie muttered, but Taylor knew her mother hated that she’d never taken an interest in the kitchen. There were just too many more interesting things to do besides stand over a hot stove.

“I have at least learned to make the basics, Mom, so every meal won’t be eaten from a box,” she said with a laugh. “And believe me, I have no doubt that you love me, faults and all.” Taylor sat at the breakfast bar with a pen and a piece of paper and began making a list of everything she’d need. Organization was one of Taylor’s strengths, and thankfully, the head injury hadn’t seemed to mess with that.

“Of course I love you.” Maggie was putting a pot of eggs on to boil, which made Taylor smile. Taylor got so distracted when she cooked that she’d put something on the burner and forget all about it. One time she’d left eggs boiling on the stove for so long that the water had all evaporated and then she’d nearly had a heart attack when the eggs began exploding in the pot, shell and egg chunks going everywhere.

She’d had to clean up the huge mess. And the only thing she hated more than cooking was cleaning. That’s why she preferred to eat on paper plates with plastic utensils. So she wasn’t the most domestic of women. Many men didn’t care about that.

Not that she’d dated a whole heck of a lot of men. It was difficult to do when your first lover was a man like Travis. She’d compared every single guy she’d dated since then to the miserable man, and they’d all come up short.

With a sigh, Taylor completed her list, got up, kissed her mother on the cheek, and then headed upstairs to pack. Now that she had a plan, she was eager to begin. When her father got home an hour later and gave her the keys to their little four-door sedan, she loaded it up, said a fond good-bye to her parents, and hit the road.

The sooner she got settled into the cabin, the better. It was time to evaluate her life, and the best place to do that was far away from everyone, with no chance of someone wandering up and knocking on the door. If that did happen, she’d be shaking in her boots, because there were no neighbors around for miles. And everything seemed to make her shake now. But that was just another thing she would beat.

Taylor pulled up to the quaint cabin just as the sun began lowering in the sky. Though she had to battle her fears of being so isolated, she unpacked the car, headed inside, fastened the dead bolt, and threw all her belongings on the living room floor. She’d unpack later. First, a hot shower, some of her mother’s macaroni salad, and then a lot of soul-searching.

Something wasn’t right!

Travis slowed his truck as he came around the last corner on the winding road to the cabin. He could feel an intruder’s presence before he actually saw the car sitting to the side of the cabin. The stranger wasn’t even trying to hide the fact that he was trespassing.

Backing up, Travis hid his truck behind the turn, then crawled silently from the cab and shut the door without even the slightest of clicks. Drawing his Beretta M9, he stole forward, gliding like a ghost.

The sun was down, but lights were blazing in the cabin he’d left empty just a few hours earlier. Whoever thought they’d found free lodging would be sadly mistaken.

Creeping up onto the deck, Travis looked for signs of a break-in, but didn’t find any. But that didn’t mean someone hadn’t barged in; it just meant the man was a smart criminal. Travis’s best friend, Bryson Winchester, owned the cabin, and Bryson had assured him that no one would be disturbing him out here.

So whoever was in the cabin was there without an invitation. Travis tried the knob and found it locked. Taking a quick jog around the place, he couldn’t see the intruder anywhere, so he quickly made his way back to the front deck and drew out his keys, careful to stay silent as he unlocked the door and smoothly slid it open a few inches at a time, keeping his ear tuned in to the slightest of sounds.

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