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Read Online Books/Novels:

Run Away With Me (Come Back to Me #3)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Mila Gray

Language:
English
ISBN/ ASIN:
1481490966 (ISBN13: 9781481490962)
Book Information:

Emerson Lowe and popular ice-hockey player Jake McCallister have been best friends since third grade but just as their friendship starts to morph into something more, a terrible event occurs that heralds the end of innocence for both of them. Within a week, Jake’s living on the other side of the country and Emerson is left alone to pick up the pieces of her life in a small town determined to paint her as a liar.

Seven years on and Emerson is still living on the beautiful Pacific West island of Bainbridge, helping her family run their outdoor adventure company. The last thing she needs is Jake turning up, bringing with him old memories and opening up old wounds. But Jake—even better looking than Emerson remembered and on the cusp of a bright sporting future—seems determined to revive their friendship no matter how much Emerson tries to push him away and soon they’re in the midst of a passionate summer romance that neither of them wants to end.

But if they’re to have any kind of future, they’re first going to need to confront the past, a past that most people want to stay buried.

Books in Series:

Come Back to Me Series by Mila Gray

Books by Author:

Mila Gray Books

Prologue

The woods are dark as a grave. Not a sliver of moonlight breaks through the firs and alders. The dank, loamy smell of wet leaves and earth fills my lungs and I draw it in deep as though I have been holding my breath underwater for the last twenty-four hours and have finally broken the surface.

I break into a run, stumbling over buried roots, ignoring the branches that whip my arms and face, ignoring the cold that slaps my cheeks and makes them sting, ignoring the damp that has soaked through my shoes and socks and jeans.

As I run, I can hear his voice echoing through the trees. He’s chasing me, gaining on me. I run faster. I need to make it to the tree house. I’ll be safe there.

“Em!” He calls my name again. This time closer. “Em!”

It sounds like he’s right beside me.

I push on, sprinting now, desperate to escape him, but I can’t because his voice is in my head and there’s no running from it.

Fighting through a moat of ferns, I make it into the clearing, dart toward the tree house, and start scrambling up the ladder. A hand grabs my foot; another hand grabs my thigh. I yelp, kick out, almost fall, but manage somehow to keep climbing.

Dragging myself onto the landing, I lean over the ledge to look down. There’s no one there. I’m imagining it all. It’s not real. It’s not real. It’s only in my head.

I dig my fingers into the wooden boards I’m lying on—like it’s the deck of a storm-tossed ship—and I hold on tight, until my breathing finally returns to normal and my heart rate begins to slow.

“Em?”

I jolt upright, scanning the forest floor, my heart bashing wildly against my ribs. There’s no one there. Scrunching my eyes shut, I curl into a ball and press my hands over my ears.

“Shut up, shut up!” I scream at his voice in my head.

My skin prickles as if worms are crawling all over my body, leaving dirty, slimy trails in their wake. Another nest of worms writhes in my stomach. Why? Why? Why me? a voice mumbles over and over again, but there’s never any answer. I must have done something wrong. That’s the only thing I know.

Exhausted from crying and shivering from the cold, I finally open my eyes. My gaze lands on a half-empty packet of marshmallows. Have the Walshes been here? Or Jake?

A rustle in the undergrowth makes me jerk around in fright. Automatically, I cower backward into the shadows, holding my breath.

Is it my parents come looking for me?

Is it Jake?

Or . . . is it him?

7 Years Later

Emerson

With my eyes closed and my face turned toward the sun, it’s easy to pretend I’m somewhere else, like an island in the Caribbean, and not one in the Pacific Northwest. Though it’s at least twenty degrees too cold for the pretense to last longer than a moment.

I stand there, hearing the water lapping the shore, trying to summon some images of my other life—the alternate version, that is. The one I planned for and imagined for years. The one where I get to escape from here—from this island that’s turned into my very own version of Alcatraz, only with higher walls and not even the slightest chance for escape.

When the images won’t come, I give up and open my eyes. The kayak still lies in the sand in front of me like a beached red whale. Sighing, I reach for it. And that’s when I hear a voice behind me.

“Need some help with that?”

I spin around.

It takes a couple of seconds for my brain to confirm that it’s actually him. That it’s actually Jake McCallister standing in front of me and not a hallucination. My heart does this fierce smash and rebound against my ribs as though it’s been violently woken from hibernation. I draw in a breath so big it feels like my lungs might explode, as if all that air is filling a vacuum and I’ll never be able to let it out again.

I hate this feeling. Hate the way the adrenaline floods my bloodstream and tears sting my eyes. Hate the way my body reacts in a thousand contradictory ways at the sight of him, as though someone has plugged me into the wrong socket and fried all my synapses.

I have an impulse to throw myself at him, but I’m not sure if it’s because I want to hug him or beat the living crap out of him. I drop the kayak, my hands fisting automatically at my sides.

I watch the smile on his lips fade when he notices the set of my jaw. His expression started off wary, but now I see him swallow and press his lips together, something he always does when he’s nervous.


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