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.Out of this damn mess of their own creation.”Something clenched Kerri’s heart, and it wasn’t her undying love.“You mean run away?”“I wasn’t going to put it quite that way.”“I don’t know.” Kerri pulled herself away from him and wrapped her arms around her legs.“Where would we go? What would we do? They would come looking for us.”“I know.But we could buy some time.The media would definitely latch onto it.”“Hunter!”“I know.I don’t like it either.But we could use it to our advantage.I don’t know how, but it will happen.”“You’re talking nonsense.Listen to yourself.You’re asking me to take a huge risk in my family.You can brush yourself off from a scandal.You can get a job anywhere.What do I have? If I lose my parents’ favor, then I’m screwed.” Kerri didn’t even want to think about it.“I know it’s crazy.But I don’t know what else to do.I refuse to live like this when we know we want to be together.How can we let our foolish parents dictate this sort of thing? Are we not adults?”“Adults talking about acting like children.”“People have done crap like this for more foolish reasons.If we’re still mad about each other after three months apart, then this is something we must pursue… with or without them.”Kerri shook her head.“I don’t know.I can’t even contact you.They took my phone.”“Here.” Hunter reached into his pocket and pulled out his.“Take it.I’ll turn off the GPS.I’ll text or message you when I have news on where we should meet to get out of here.Give me a few days.I promise I’ll get this sorted out… and then we’ll be together.”“Hunter.”“You don’t have to meet me when I contact you.But I hope you will.Pack light, but be prepared to be away for a while.”“I can’t believe I’m listening to this.”“What do you have here, Kerri? Security? They’re going to keep using you until they ultimately get what they want, and you know exactly what that is.Some guy they have picked out for you.Probably some trust-fund douchebag who will treat you like his trophy wife.”“You make it sound like I would agree to such a thing.”“And if you don’t? They’ll make your life hell.Stand up to them, even if it’s like this.”“Easy for you to say.”“It is easy for me to say.But I’m hoping you’ll do it.I can’t bear the thought of living like this anymore.”The phone her parents had given her buzzed on the nightstand.Speak of the devil.Kerri reached over and saw a message from her mother.“She’s coming,” Kerri said.“You better go.”Letting him kiss her goodbye was the hardest thing she had done in a while.But it was done, and Hunter quickly leaped off the bed and went to the balcony doors.Kerri followed him as far as the door and watched him eyeball how to get down before choosing a ledge that gradually went down toward the wild irises.She nearly had a panic attack just watching him shuffle along before making a hazardous jump and sprinting off in some direction.“Kerri!” Brenda knocked on the door.Her daughter thrust the curtains closed, ran to her bed where she smoothed out the covers, and made sure she was presentable before going to answer.“You okay in there, honey?”No.Kerri cracked the door open and saw her mother standing in the hallway like a solicitor.I’m not okay.Whatever her mother wanted, it was inconsequential.Not like what Hunter wanted.He desired his girlfriend to run away with him to God knew where and defy the only people she had ever trusted.The fact that she did not trust them at all now was not lost on her.Chapter 3Deciding how he and Kerri were to make their great escape was no easy task.There were many matters to consider, such as money (which Hunter had) and trusted connections (which he did not have).Going to the bank every day and withdrawing funds here and there so he wouldn’t have to use his cards when they took off was easy.Finding someone he could trust in case everything went wrong was another.He considered telling Ronnie, since she seemed like the only authority in this situation who had any sympathy.But she was a pushover, especially with Terrence.It hadn’t taken her long to agree with him that she had been foolish in keeping Kerri a secret from Terrence and Paul.She would fold under his pressure like a cardboard box without its tape.There were no friends around he trusted as honored confidants.Sure, he had friends – in all four corners of the country, most of whom could easily be bought out by somebody.No, at this point the only person he trusted wholeheartedly was Kerri, and she was the one putting more faith in him during these times.Within a couple of days Hunter had what he thought the best plan he could manage.There were just a few loose ends he had to tie up before he took Kerri and ran away for God knew how long.At least until the election was over, however they would effect it.He drove to one of Joshua Payne’s rallies out in the middle of nowhere.More farmland.Why Payne was trying to appeal to them, Hunter had no idea [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]