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Donna Baumann
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No Where To Hide

Chapter one

“I'm sorry it won't happen again.”
“I know.” The scream came out, then, everything went dark. Jade awakened in the darkness screaming, “NO” as she had sweat glistening all over her body and her breathing ragged. It took her a few minutes before she was able to gather her thoughts. Once she was able, she then staggered out of bed and went to the bathroom to compose herself. “Wow. Where did that come from and why now after all this time?” She said aloud. The nightmare seemed so real, that she checked herself in the mirror. Turning off the light, Jade went and sat at the Victorian window and looked over the grounds. The moon was bright making it seem almost ghostly as she looked out her window. She could see the roses that had grown on the picket fence across the yard and the trees swaying in the night breeze. She has spent the past two years hiding watching over her back and now for the first time she felt at ease until the dream. A shiver went down her spine thinking of what could happen. What in the world was she going to do if he found her, she thought? There was no way that he could, she had made sure of that, or had she. It had taken her jumping nearly to her death to escape him.
Jade loved working and living at The Yellow Rose Inn Bed and Breakfast. The homes plantation style has six bedrooms, a large living room, a parlor room, a dining room and kitchen and a small library located next to the living room and was built in 1865 for the McIver and Young Families. The porch wraps entirely around the four thousand square foot home. There are two balconies, one from the east room and the west room. The east room is known as the Emerald room and the other the travelers’ room. The Travelers room was named because it was used in 1865 for people who were passing thru and needed boarding overnight. The home looks the same as it did when it was built, down to the bathroom in her bedroom and the one upstairs was made to look as though it had been there since the beginning. Placing the upstairs bathroom where it was, made it easier to build and still maintain the unique homelike feel of the bed and breakfast. Jade occupied the only downstairs bedroom, which at one time belonged to Ms. Dallie, the mother of the wife of McIver. The bedroom is filled with the original furniture brought over from Ireland by the first owners. The fourposter bed is queen size with a coverlet that reaches to the floor. The fireplace that was in her room was made of old stones. The original diplomas of the first family adorned the wall above the fireplace. All the bedrooms had fireplaces in them. It was how they kept warm in the winter back in that time.
Throughout the room she could see other artifacts that had belonged to other family members wishing that she could put her family on the wall, but she knew that would be too risky. She looked around the room wondering what times where like when the McIver and Young families owned the home. Where times simpler or more difficult, how were the relationships between men and women back then. What struggles did they have to over come? Or if there where any? Questions that would have to remain dormant, because there was no one around from the family any longer to answer them. Jade got up and went over to the bed lying down. Although she had just had a bad dream, she fell back to sleep rather quickly. Waking to the alarm, she slowly raised. It seemed like it was only minutes ago that she had went back to bed. Jade groggily went to the bathroom to begin her morning ritual of showering and dressing. The porcelain claw tub was against one wall while the pedestal sink was opposite it with the toilet next to the sink. The tub also had a shower head placed in it for convenience. There was a door that led into the hall that she kept locked. Jade added a flower shower curtain and put in a small cabinet to make it feel as though it was her own.
Being the manager of a Bed and Breakfast in a small town, she didn't always have to dress up when at work. So, she decided on a pair of black slacks and a cotton shirt in blue, with black flats. Jade ran her fingers through her short black hair styling it in a spiky array on top of her head. Looking in the mirror she could remember a time when her hair flowed down to her waist and wished that it hadn’t. But that was a different time and place. Now she could spike it up or let it lay flat. She decided to put on some eye shadow and mascara, then turned and started out the door. Jades’ Native American background made wearing makeup easy. Her great-grandmother was from the Blackfoot tribe and her great-grandfather was Cherokee. Her grandmother was married to another Cherokee, as well as her mother. It seemed destined for Jade to do the same, but her mother understood that she wanted to go to college and become the best violinist she could. She dreamed of playing in a Symphony or on Broadway for a play. No one in her family, except her uncles played any instruments and they just played the Native drums for powwows. So, no one really knew where she picked up playing the violin but didn’t care, because she loved it so much.
That dream was put aside when she fell head over heals in love with a local boy back in Denver. She was attending a Junior College taking the harder courses there when she met him at a library while studying. She remembers seeing him walk in and straight for her. He had a “bad boy” attitude with a little assurance and could make her laugh. He was smart, confident and interesting. They dated for a while before he asked her to move in with him. It took while, but after he convinced her to move in with him, all hell broke loose. Jades thoughts were interrupted when she heard a knock at the door. She jumped a little.
“Yes.” Jade said.
“Jade do you want me to turn down your room?”
“Not today Ms. Betty.” Betty Holiday reminded Jade of Aunt Bea from the Andy Griffith show. She was short and stout and wore her hair in a tight bun with little to no make up. Jade figured the only difference between Aunt Bea and Betty was that Betty said what she was thinking. Betty was such a character, Jade thought. You never know what was going to come out of her mouth.
“Very well. Oh, I almost forgot. The Smiths are ready to check out.”
Jade looked at her watch. It was only nine o’clock am check out isn’t until twelve. “Okay, thanks.” She hurried and folded up her night clothes placing them under her pillow and hurried to the front desk to check them out. “Thank you, I hope that you enjoyed your stay.”
“We did, thank you.” Mr. Smith answered as he looked over at his wife. Jade watched the couple as they gazed in each other eyes and could see the love they shared. She had wanted that kind of love for so long now she wasn’t sure it could happen. She wanted to be able to love with all her heart, to trust without fear. But she knew that it would never be. Denver taught her she could never completely love or trust another man.
“Uh hum.” Jade was brought out of her thoughts by Mr. Smith clearing his throat and she realized she had been staring at them. Jade gave him the receipt she had been holding in her hand.
“Please come back and stay with us again.” She watched them leave, walking arm in arm. Jade shook her head. Her dream last night must have affected her more than she thought. After checking them out, Jade made her way to the kitchen for breakfast. Janice would have something already cooked and waiting. “Morning Janice.” Jade said as she made her way to the coffee pot to get her a big cup of coffee.
“Morning Jade. Did you sleep well?” Jade nodded not wanting to say what really happened. Janice Lighthouse was a very loving and caring person. She is in her mid-forties with a slender figure and shoulder length brown hair. Jade figured that Janice stood a few inches taller than her five-five self. Janice hadn't been married before but did in the past have a long-time boyfriend until about three years ago. He left her for another woman with more money and a home in England.
“Yes, I slept well. How are you today?”
“Just wonderful.”
Jade eyed her funny. Janice was always a cheerful person, but this was a little more than that. Janice placed a plate of eggs, sausage and toast in front of Jade as she sat at the kitchen table. The table could hold six people, possibly eight if squeezed together. Since Jade had lost some weight, she hasn’t been big on breakfast. Just some toast and she was good for most of the day. Janice knew this, but still put a big plate in front of her. Jade would eat a little to make Janice feel better.
“Morning Starshine.” Jade looked up and saw Tyler James entering through the kitchen door.
“Morning.” Jade and Janice said at the same time.
“Beautiful morning, huh?”
“Yes, it is.” Jade answered. She wondered what in the world got into him. Tyler was on average a happy person, but this morning seemed to be different. He tipped his hat before taking it off and sat down across from Jade. Tyler is in his early fifty’s, stands five eleven and is in great physical shape. His eyes are a soft green and his short hair, salt and pepper in color. Tyler had been at the Inn before Jade arrived and he was great in helping her get things together after she took the managers position. The whole staff was great. The only one that Jade hired herself was Joshua who took care of the grounds. She hired him shortly after she became manager. Tyler could manage the day to day needs of the inn and correlate the whole staff well. Jade figured it was from his military background. Tyler didn’t like talking about it and no one wanted to ask him.
“What has you in such a good mood? You get any last night?” Jade, Janice and Tyler looked up to see Betty standing in the doorway.
“Mind your business, you, crazy old woman.”
“Tyler, be nice.” Janice told him.
“I was.” Betty let out a hardy laugh and sat next to Jade for a cup of coffee and a plate of eggs and sausage.
Tyler finished his breakfast and cleaned his plate, then went about his business. The staff usually all had breakfast together, but they were missing one this morning and that was Joshua Sherman.
“Hey, where's Josh?” Jade asked.
“He stayed in this morning. He wanted to eat breakfast with Tracy.” Janice answered.
“Oh, that’s so sweet.” Jade once again thought about how she wanted a love like that. She took a deep breath and shook off the thought because she knew that was not ever going to happen. Since the only guest at the B & B checked out, there was no need to hurry to get to the office. With no other guest expected for another week, Jade figured she had plenty of time to get the paperwork done and decided to sit and have another cup of coffee. Jade watched Janice as she cleaned up the dishes she used. She had a slight smile on her face, a gleam in her eyes and she was humming.
Jade wondered if there was something going on between her and Tyler. Janice was watching him out the kitchen window. Jade stirred her coffee admiring Janice, wondering how she must feel. Did her heart flutter, were there butterflies in her stomach each time she saw him, did her palms get sweaty. Jade wondered what Janice must be thinking. Was she thinking of the night, or what could be happening tonight? Jade wanted that but was afraid of what could come from her last boyfriend.
Jade took her plate to the sink and cleaned it up. Janice watched her. “Don't you want anything else hon? You barely touched your food.”
“No, I ate my toast and some eggs. I'm good. Thanks though.” Jade couldn’t take it any longer. She had to ask. “Janice, is there anything going on between you and Tyler?”
Jade could tell that the question through her off balance and wondered if she was out of place asking. Janice looked surprised at her wondering what she would say if she told her. “Oh um, why do you ask?”
Jade shrugged her shoulders. “No reason. Just noticed you watching him.” Jade could tell that there was something. “Oh, you can tell me. It’ll be our secret.” Jade encouraged.
“Promise?” Jade nodded.
“Well yes we are.” Jade let out a squeal of excitement. “But Tyler doesn’t want everyone knowing right now.” Jade motioned with her index finger an x across her heart.
“Promise.” Jade hugged her friend. “So, give me details.” She asked Janice as the two sat back down at the table.
“It was out of the blue.” Janice started. “We happened to be at the drug store at the same time and decided to have a malt and shared some fries and the next thing I know we are dating.”
“Wait, you told me that you had to stop by the drug store last week.” Jade said with her brows crinkled. Janice smiled.
“I know.” Janice said with a smile.
“You two have been seeing each other for over a week now?”
“Yes. Oh, I have been wanting to say something, but Tyler didn’t know how you’d react or the others.”
“Who cares what we say so long as y’all are happy.”
“Thanks Jade. I’m so glad its out.”
“I can’t believe you’ve been able to keep this a secret for a week.” The two laughed.
“I almost gave it up a couple of times.” Jade took her cup to the sink and rinsed it out. Janice noticed that there was something about Jade that was sad in a way. “Jade are you alright?”
“Hmm, oh yes I’m fine.”
“Okay. You know you need to eat more, you're too skinny.” Jade rolled her eyes and hugged her friend.
“Where did that come from?” Janice shrugged. “And no, I'm not, but thanks for caring.” Jade left and went to hide in her office. She needed to avoid Janice and her “caring” nature. Sitting at the desk, she looked down and decided to start on paperwork. If she planned it just right, she could get all the paperwork done and spend the rest of the week relaxing before the weekend. Jade loved going to the meadows that is within walking distant from the Inn and looking out over the fields at all the blooms there were. Some days she would take her violin and play some of her favorite pieces.
Jade enjoying have days like this so that she could maybe also go ride her horse, get more books for the library, not that it really needed any, but she had that option, or she could go shopping. Jade visited her horse everyday since it was located on the grounds in the back of the property. There was a large barn and stables that housed not only her horse but others as well. Off the barn is roughly five acres for the horses to run and play.
She made it to her office and began working. Her office is located behind the front desk. It’s small but functional. There’s a built-in bookcase on the back wall, a solid oak desk, and file cabinet. Other than the computer on her desk, there really wasn't much of anything else. She had no family pictures out or anything, for that matter, from her past or present. Jade didn’t really care for decorating because if she did have any pictures up it would give opportunity for questions. The less anyone knew of her, the better. It did leave for a lonely life, though. Jade had spoke with her uncle one time since she moved where she was, and that was just to let him know that she was safe. She missed him so much, she thought. She couldn't dare get close to anyone because she was afraid that they would find out about her. Jade decided when she left Denver that she was better off being alone. At least she thought of the staff as her friends and right now that was enough. Jade had plans that maybe one day, she would own the Bed and Breakfast that she managed. Letting out a deep sigh, Jade buckled down and began working on paperwork.
“I don’t care what you have to do.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean I want her found. I don't care how much it costs Greenwood. I just want her back.”
Jack sat on the edge of his hotel room bed remembering those words from two years ago. There wasn't a person that he couldn't find but this one was proving to be difficult. Why she didn’t want to be found was evident from the first time he spoke with Tom Otto. Jack didn't like the man from the beginning, but he was being paid and that meant that he needed to do his job. No matter what the outcome. So why was he feeling different about this person, he wondered. Could it be that he now knows what an ass Tom is or what he could have possible done to her? Although from the picture that he had of her, there wasn't much to her looks. She seemed very plain and a little on the heavy side. Jack felt as though she was different from anyone else, he hunted, but couldn't put his finger on why. Maybe it was her eyes, she looked so sad in the picture, like she wanted someone to help her. Maybe that’s what he was supposed to do, he thought. But he didn’t know or maybe it was the fact that he could tell that she had Native American background in her. Either way, there was something about her or maybe this feeling he was having was because this case has been different than any other. This woman has led him across different states and towns only God knew existed to find nothing. Jack didn’t know what the reason, but he needed to find out.
“I will find you! What we do from there, I don’t know.” He said out loud as he stared at the picture. It has become an obsession to find her. No one has ever eluded him like her. Two years he has been chasing her. No new leads would mean starting over from the beginning and he didn’t have that kind of time. What he needed most was a break right now, if nothing else just some time to clear his head. He thought about his younger brother. Jack decided it was time to go see him after all it has been two years almost since he’s seen his brother, he thought. It would only be for a few days, but it would give him the break he needed.