Chapter One   


Getting Away  (story told by Bradley Oltlfantimes10)

Evangeline watched as the elevator doors closed on John. It was her version of a goodbye for now and forever. Natalie was back safe and sound and John was the hero, he accomplished everything that he needed to do. He saved the girl. Evangelineís heart broke yet again but this time she wasnít going to cry over him over them. John had Natalie and she had no one, but for now that is what she needed. Being so involved with John had changed her, she was neglecting her work and her friends. When those elevator doors closed she knew it was time to get out of town. Although she had broken up with him she wasnít ready to watch him move on with someone else, let alone Natalie.

Llanview Police Station~

"Hey, what are you doing back here?" Nora asked as Evangeline came rounding the corner.

"Hi," she smiled and started fishing through her briefcase, "Just came back to get some documents for Antonioís custody case."

"How did the rescue go?"

Evangeline looked up at Nora and smiled, "Natalie is safe and sound at Llanview Hospital." She said walking away from Nora.

Nora reached out and grabbed her arm, "Whatís going on? Whatís wrong?"

"Nothing, nothing at all."

"I can tell youíre lying to me, what happened at the hospital."

"Natalie and I talked."

"You talked to her?" Nora asked shocked.

Evangeline forced a weak smile, "Yeah she thanked me for helping her and we agreed on a truce on John. Weíre over, so she can have him."

Nora rubbed Evangelineís arm as she tried to read her friends face, "Really hun?"

"Yes really Nora. Itís okay, Iím okay. Iím actually going out of town for a few days." She said with a pleased smile.

Nora looked at Evangeline tilting her head to the side, "What about Antonioís custody case?"

"I can work on it from the small cabin that Iím staying at."

"A cabin really? Where are you going?"

"A small mountain town about five hours from here is that okay with you?" she asked smiling.

"Yeah, I guess so," she leaned in and hugged her gently. "I want you to call me as soon as you get there okay?"

"Yeah Nora, Iíll do that." She said laughing, "Iíll be back in a few days." She winked at Nora as Evangeline turned and walked away.

Nora stood in the middle of the police station watching Evangeline walk away. She didnít like her running away from all of this. It may not seem like what she was doing, but Nora knew different. She just hoped that this trip would help clear her head.


Evangeline walked into the bar and scanned it looking for her sister. She saw Layla and Antonio huddled together at the corner of the bar. She walked over with a smile, "Am I interrupting something?" she said raising an eyebrow.

Layla looked at Evangeline then back at Antonio, "Nope sis, what can I do for ya?" she asked walking away from Antonio and around to the other side of the bar.

Antonio gave Evangeline a warm nod and went to the back of the bar, to his office. Layla shot him a quick wink as she followed Antonioís body around the bar. "What can I get ya?" she said turning to see her sister.

"Whatís up with that, something going on between you two?"

"What makes you think that?" she asked leaning across the bar, "Dirty martini?"

Evangeline waved her off, "No thanks, Iím good."

"Are you? What happened? Heard about the rescue."

Evangeline took a seat at the bar and threw her purse on it, "Yeah, it was touch and go there for a moment."

"And of course John came to Natalieís rescue right?" she said rolling her head.

"Please, Lay. I donít want to talk about this tonight. I just came by to tell you that I was going out of town for a few days, thatís all."

"Why are you running Vange?"

"Iím not running Layla."

"Yeah right, your not running and Antonioís not hot!" she said with a smirk.

Evangeline rolled her eyes and picked up her purse to leave, "I just wanted to come by and tell you that I was going to be out of town for a week. I didnít want to wake you in the morning when I left." She said with a smile.

"Ohh, thatís so sweet of you." She said sarcastically, "thanks for the heads up though. Can I have a party?"

Evangeline stopped in her tracks and turned back around glaring at Layla, "What!" Layla asked reading her sisterís expression.

"You have a party at my house and Iíll tell mom that you want to come home and live with her." She said smiling.

"Oh no you donít!"

"Bye Layla." She said throwing her hand up in the air waving at her sister.

Layla stood there with her arms across her chest glaring at the back of Evangelineís head. Layla rolled her eyes and flipped her hair, "Bye sis!" she called after her.

Evangeline walked into her apartment kicking off her shoes. She scanned the apartment looking at the mess that living with her kid sister had created in her usual peaceful and clean apartment. She saw the brochure to cabinís she was renting sitting on the table in the mail. She flipped through it and decided that this was the best thing for her right now. She found the small town of Fordsville while doing a google search for antique stores. The town had one phone in the general store that was a few miles from the cabin she had rented for the week It was a few hours from Llanview just far enough to get away from everyone in that city but not to far too where she could come back the same day.

As she flipped through the brochure that the cabin rental company had sent her she realized she still needed to pack. She had rented a car and was picking it up in the morning to drive out there. A little piece and quiet is exactly what she needed right now. As she moved into her bedroom she pulled out her suitcase and started packing. No pant suits or dresses, nothing but jeans and tee-shirts exactly what she needed. On a whim she threw in one of Johnís LPD shirts that he had left there awhile ago. A small smile crept across her face as she finished up her packing and changed into her pajamas. This trip was exactly what she needed to clear her head and start a new. Sleep that night came quickly and easily as soon as her head hit the pillow she was out.

Next Morning~

Evangeline rolled over and smiled it was a brand new day and nothing was stopping her from getting out of this god awful town for a while. She was sick of people worrying about her and giving her sad and pathetic expressions for what she went through with John. She was fine, she was okay and she was sick of people acting like she was a china doll. Always giving her that pathetic head tilt and a forced smile when she came walking into any place. A quick shower and her hair in a ponytail and she was ready to go. She fixed a mug of coffee and headed back to her bedroom to get her suitcase.

She pulled her suitcase out to the living room and into the hallway. This was the least amount of stuff she had ever taken and that shocked even her. She saw her journal sitting on the coffee table and grabbed it before she left. She took one last look at the apartment and Layla lying on the couch with a pillow over her head. She smiled at the mess she was leaving for Layla to clean up before she closed the door. She took a cab over to the car rental place. A convertible Ford Mustang would be perfect to get her where she needed to go. She loaded up the car with her suitcase and briefcase and started her trip. The sign "Now Leaving Llanview, visit us again." Didnít come soon enough for her. She let the top down to the car, pulled her ponytail holder out and let the wind of the road blow dry her wet hair. The car had an amazing sound system that she turned up loud enough to hear the music over the roar of the road.

She pulled into the gravel driveway hours later and took a deep breath as she stood outside of the car staring at the scenery. Evangeline never really pictured herself as much of a mountain person, but this cabin was beautiful. The cabin she rented was a one bedroom with a kitchen and small living room. There was a fire place to light fires in the middle of winter. It sat on the lake in the middle of the forest and was secluded by all kinds of trees and wildlife. It was gorgeous. The sunlight was streaming through the openings in the forest highlighting little spaces of the forest floor. The wind rustled the trees whipped through the tee-shirt she had on causing her to shiver.

"Itís amazing out here." She said to herself as her eyes drifted across the scenery and landed at the cabin. It was small but she didnít need much. Evangeline pulled the suitcase out of the car and found the hide-a-key right where it was supposed to be under a fake turtle. A couple of hard shoves on the door and the cabin door flew open causing her to lose her footing and fall to the ground, "DamnÖ" she said looking back up at the door. She pulled herself up and dusted her self off then pulled the suitcase into the cabin.

Evangeline ran her hand along the wall looking for a light switch, but there wasnít one. The cabin was dark yet she saw a crack of light from across the room and slowly walked across the cabin floor to the small sign of light coming through the window. She almost tripped on a table that was in the middle of the floor but avoided it at the last second, "GeezÖ Itís dark in here." She said with her hands out in front of her walking towards the wall.

She finally made her way over to window and pushed it open. The light came through the window almost blinding her. She could see the lake from the window as the light danced across the water making the lake sparkle and shine. With the light from that window she was able to find other windows in the cabin and pushed them all open, "FinallyÖ" she said looking around at the her surroundings. The cabin was small. A couch sat on the wall a few feet from where she was standing in the kitchen. There was a small refrigerator, a stove, and a sink in the small kitchen. Along the window ledge were a row of lanterns and a bottle of oil for them.

She walked through the house and found the bedroom. A full size bed sat in the middle of the room with a window on the wall to her left. A fire place was on the opposite wall of the bed and a night stand sat next to the bed. A small closet sat on the wall across from the window next to the bathroom. The bathroom was small it had a free standing bath tub next to the free standing sink and toilet. Everything that she needed for the next week was right at her finger tips.

She unpacked her suitcase in the closet and made her way back to the kitchen to find something to eat. Opening the refrigerator door she remembered she was supposed to bring food with her. The sound of her stomach rumbling and grumbling told her that she needed to eat something. A trip into town at the general store she saw on her way to the cabin would do the trick. She pulled the cabin door shut and locked it. The drive was quick and she thanked the lord because her stomach was starting to hurt from lack of food.

The bell over the door ringed as she stepped into the store, "MorningÖ" she said looking over at the older gentleman behind the counter.

"Morning maíam is there something I can help you with?"

"No, just getting some food. Iím renting one of the cabins down the way." Evangeline said as she picked up a basket to gather some food.

"Well if you need any help finding anything, let me know. The names Nathaniel, Nathaniel Shepherd." He said with a nod of the head.

"Nice to meet youÖ" Evangeline said smiling as she started going up and down the aisles of the store gathering food.

She brought her basket up to the counter and started unloading everything. Evangeline looked up into deep soul filled brown eyes. They were stunning, the most beautiful eyes she had seen since Johnís. Johnís eyes flashed in her head and she shook her head to clear his face and eyes out of her mind. "You okay?" the man asked noticing her unusual behavior.

Evangelineís face flushed and she grew hot as she felt embarrassed by her behavior. She finished unloading the groceries trying to avoid the manís gaze, but she couldnít help it. He was staring at her and she felt slightly uncomfortable. She looked up and smiled, nodded and he returned it. Those eyes, those brown eyes affected her more than she thought possible and that smile, this man was gorgeous. He stood roughly 6í3 slim but muscular, very muscular build, long flowing black hair that came to the middle of his back. He was Native American and his skin was a deep tan, just a shade darker than what Johnís would get in the summer. "Stop it." She whispered to her self.

"Stop what?" he asked looking at her with a raised eyebrow.

"Nothing." She said smiling as she dug in her purse for her wallet. He raised his eyebrows to her and smiled again when she pulled out her wallet dropping it on the floor.

Evangeline bent over picking it up and let out a deep breath, what was this man doing to her. She was all thumbs for no reason and he had only said a few words to her. She took a deep breath as she stood back up and pulled out some cash. Their hands brushed against each other as he accepted the money, "Whereís Mr. Shepherd?" she asked looking behind him.


"Just wanted to thank him that is all."

"Iíll thank him for you." He said handing back her change. "Do you need any help with theses?"

"If you donít mind, my carís right outside." She said bashfully.

He smiled and picked up a few of the bags as Evangeline picked up the rest and headed out of the store. She unlocked the car doors and watched as he placed the bags in the back seat and then took the ones from her arms and did the same. "Thank you." She said with a smile.

He smiled back and nodded turning to go back into the store. She watched him walk away and smiled to herself, "This might not be that bad of a vacation." She thought to herself as she drove back to the cabin. She started the car and remembered she was supposed to call Nora when she got there. Turning the car off she headed back into the store and quickly scanned the store for the pay phone. She saw a sign overhead pointing to it and smiled back at the man as she headed over to it.

"Hi, Nora. Yeah, I made it here safe and sound. Itís gorgeous here. You should try this sometimes. The people, well." She said turning to look at the man behind the counter smiling at her, "The people seem nice so far." She said laughing. "I need to get back to the cabin, I have food to get into the fridge. Iíll call you later. Yeah, love you too." Evangeline hung up the phone and headed towards the door.

"Have a nice day." He said watching her walk out of the store.

Evangeline smiled and nodded as she pushed the door open causing the bell to chime again.

She took a few trips to get the groceries out of the car. Unloading them and stocking the refrigerator for the week proved to be tiring. She collapsed on the dusty couch and pulled her journal out. As she laid it on the couch to dig for a pin she saw something sticking out of it. Pulling at the glossy paper it was the picture of her and John at Noraís wedding, when they were happy. She ran a finger over his smiling face and took a sighed heavily, "Stop it girl. This your time, no one elseís, just yours." She said closing her eyes as she leaned her head back against the back of the couch.

She stuffed the picture back in the journal and continued her search for a pen, "How could I not have a freaking pen in here!" she said pulling everything out of her purse. She stood up with her hands on her hips and went into the kitchen to find a pen. "Why the hell is this so difficult?" she questioned slamming drawer after drawer looking for a pen. "Fine, obviously someone doesnít want me writing!" she said throwing her hands up in the air.

She stood in the kitchen tapping her foot trying to figure out what to do. "Food!" she had completely forgotten to eat when she brought the food home. She made herself a quick salad and grabbed a bottle water out of the refrigerator and headed outside to eat. She grabbed a blanket lying in the corner of the kitchen and pushed the back door to the cabin open. She walked down to the lake and set her food down as she spread the blanket out.

Evangeline basked in the glow and warmth of the sun; this was much better than being back in Llanview working of all things. She rolled her jeans and scooted closer to the water letting her feet dip in the cool water. The wind caused waves on the waterís surface running up and down her lower legs. The chill of the water was wonderful, she closed her eyes and leaned back on her elbows letting the warmth of the sun heat her as the cool water bathed her feet.

The hum of the wind and the noises of the forest lulled Evangeline to sleep as she fell back taking a short nap in the middle of the Pennsylvania wilderness. She woke to the sounds of chanting and water splashing. She raised a hand over her eyes to shade her them from the sunlight and squinted trying to see where the noise was coming from. She rose to her feet and slowly walked down the edge of the lake getting closer and closer to the noise, the beautiful chanting that filled her ears. She froze as she saw the man from the general store wearing almost nothing sitting on the ground chanting something and pouring water over himself. The sight of his wet body mesmerized her, she felt her body start to warm from the vision before her feeling a little voyeuristic.

Evangeline felt like she was intruding on a private intimate movement between this man and whatever ceremony he was participating in. She slowly walked backwards trying not to disturb what she saw. A hand over her mouth kept her from calling out to him. After a few steps she turned and headed back towards her cabin. She gathered up the blanket, bowl, and water bottle and headed back into the cabin.

The images she had witnessed flooded her mind as she tried to make herself dinner for the evening. The silence of cabin caused her level of tension and anxiety to rise. She wasnít used to being alone and it being so quiet where she was. Ever noise made her jump; she wasnít used to the sounds in the forest. She slowly got used to the serenity of the area as the night progressed. As she climbed into the bed for the night she found her mind wondering to the man she, the man she had the privilege of seeing today. She hoped that tomorrow would be filled with even more beautiful sites.