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Then There Was You

Then There Was You

Tatum Whispers

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Tyler Moore is the Sheriff of a small town far out from the city. With a body that is carved to perfection, this soft-spoken man should not be underestimated. Even though he is elegant and yet powerful, there is far more than lives underneath the façade that he brings. Jenna Davis, a girl that decides to leave her husband at the altar, runs away to the small little town where Tyler lives. She gets stuck on the side of the road in nothing but an empty tank, a wedding dress, and singing to Britney Spears. Tyler is the one that finds the poor damsel on the side of the road. Even though he finds her situation amusing, he is immediately captivated by her. She pushes him to his limits and brings the danger that he craves, that he desires. The two soon send off on a whirlwind relationship, but there is one thing that Tyler refuses to give…his heart. Will Jenna ultimately win his heart? And if she does, will she leave Tyler at the altar too?

Chapter 1
Runaway Bride

Breathe...Breathe Jenna...Breathe...You can do this...

I have been planning for this day for months; I have been waiting for this day for years. This is the day that dreams are made of. It should be the happiest day of my life.

I have dressed for the part, a classic princess dress with a modern twist, a beaded lace bodice with a thin beaded belt, a dreamy and voluminous tulle skirt that gorgeously flares out underneath. My porcelain skin is composed to perfection, and my hair is tucked neatly into place. And to finish off, a pair of stilettos that hug my feet and glimmers as it shines.

This is my wedding day.

But as I stare at myself in the full-length mirror, there is a growing awareness that something is not right. This is more than just the wedding jitters, more than just cold feet. Every part of my being tells me that I do not want to do this; I do not want to walk down the aisle and marry the man waiting for me at the other end.

I have known Brendan for as long as I can remember; we are high school sweethearts, such a cliche. We always believed that we were destined to be together forever. So straight from college, we settled down, we got the white picket fence, the dog and the cat. While the rest of my friends were discovering the world, I was busy playing house.

It took him six years to finally pop the question and another two to set the date. He is set in his ways, sometimes too set; he has forgotten how to live a little. Fun does not fall under his goals, nor does the word spontaneous. He is boring to the core; there is no exciting bone in his body, none at all. He is set on making partner one day; nothing else moves him in his world.

Don't get me wrong, I do love him, but it's not the way he would want me to. I have fallen out of love with him, and to me, that means more than any ring on my finger. I cannot marry my heart to a man whose body I do not even want.

I cannot marry Brendan.

I need to get out of here.

Do I leave him a note, or do I just disappear? I am sure in time he will understand; who knows, he might not even miss me when I am gone. All that I can scribble out of me is three words, ‘I am sorry.’ It sums up the end of a small lifetime together. It is enough; it has to be.

Here goes nothing. I grab my purse, my car keys, and my phone. Lifting my white wedding dress, I head for the door. I do not look back; I keep running towards where I shall find my car. I pass a group of confused wedding guests and the entrance to the church. Brendan sees me running away, away from the altar, away from where I am supposed to be. My secret is out; he knows. So I pick up the pace and firmly shut my door behind me as I get into my car.

As I turn the ignition, I see him appear in my rear-view mirror. He looks hurt and confused. My decision is made. I have to go. I put my car into gear and speed away from him and the life I do not want to have.

When the adrenaline subsides, the reality of what I have done sets in.

"Fantastic, Jenna!"

"You have really outdone yourself this time! Have you completely lost your mind?"

"Where do you intend going from here? What do you even do now? Have you thought about where you are going to stay?"

"No!”

"All you have is this way too expensive wedding dress, a phone, and if you lucky, a fifty in your purse."

But then, as I come up to a gas station, it comes to me, this is

what I shall do. I am filling this tank, and where it runs out, that is where I am going to stay. Out there in the middle of nowhere, that is where I shall find my new home.

So with my head lowered and slightly embarrassed, I enter the small shop. The store clerk nearly drops off his chair. "What is the occasion?"

He smiles as he looks me over and points at my wedding dress. "You running a bit late for your wedding?"

"It's more like running away from it.”

"Ouch, poor guy, what did the man do to deserve this?"

"He is not what I thought I needed; I need more adventure in my life. I need to feel that I am alive. And anyway, he will get over it."

As I turn to leave, the guy behind the counter speaks again. "I hope you find the adventure you are looking for."

He stops and hesitates for a moment, "You might want to get rid of that wedding dress first."

I only wave him off; it would have been great if I grabbed my overnight bag on the way out.

Back in the car, I take the map that I bought and decide by the toss of a coin which direction I will head in. It's decided, I will head south. With the top down and my hair blowing in the wind, I pull my car onto the road. I am headed towards a new future, to a new life. To the complete unknown.

Just for a brief second, I relish in the thought of what I have done; I have abandoned my fiance at the altar, left my old life behind, I am on my way to nowhere, I am a runaway bride.

I chuckle at myself and put the sound of my radio louder.

With my head in the clouds, I set down a very long road, some parts are scenic, and some parts are, well, boring. It's beautiful and yet scary. This is where I want to be. I just hope this tank does not run dry right in the middle in the middle of boring.

At times a suffocating panic sets over my body. Did I make the right choice, or did I act in haste? But then I look at the open road, and my soul is set to rest.

After several hours and what seems like forever, I check the gas tank, it is starting to run low. A slight hint of panic, set in over my calm being, but then I remind myself why I am out here.

"I swear, I am starting to go crazy."

"I have never seen so much road in my life."

Then radio is starting to crackle; I turn the dial to find another station. I nervously start to giggle, but the sound of my favorite song sets me at ease.

"Oh, my favorite song is playing."

I set the music loud and sing at the top of my lungs.

Then it happens. The car gives a few jerks and comes to a complete standstill. Perfect, I am really in the middle of nowhere, smack bang in boring, the last place I wanted to be.

"Perfect, Jenna!"

"I don't think this road will see another car in days."

"Where is the closest town even?”

"What if there are wild animals here that would eat me for breakfast?"

"Am I going to sleep in my car?"

"Oh my god, I going to die out here!"

There is nothing I can do but wait. I get into the back seat of the car, with my feet in the air and the music still loud. I sing as loud as I can to another one of my favorite songs; it is scary how I know every word of it.

I close my eyes; I am enjoying the sun on my face and the wind in my hair. The sound of my voice echoing across the fields. Then I open my eyes; I am scared out of my mind by someone standing over me.

"Where did you come from?! You should not creep up on people!"

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