She was running, crashing through the forest as fast and as silently as she could. Why, she had no idea. It wasn’t as if she could outrun him. She tried before and failed. Even after the last year of peace and the appearance of safety, he’d returned for her.
But then she knew what she was doing: trying to keep her child safe. Her child, not his child. That precious baby girl didn’t belong to him anymore than she ever had. She was not about to let him get anywhere near her daughter, even for her own sake.
She had seen him in the morning paper. There, in the background of the front page display, looking directly at the camera, as if he’d known exactly where that photo was going to end up, and who was going to see it. And so she’d taken off from the house as fast as she could. If he could plan to make his presence known in such a way, then her safe haven of the past year was no longer safe, and neither was the family there that had allowed her to become one of their own. She needed to put as much distance as possible between him and the people about whom she cared so deeply. After all, she knew what he was after: herself.
She continued to run, even as she knew in the back of her mind that the desperate energy was futile. If Brian looked at the paper this morning, then he would see what she had seen. And he would know. And then he would come after her. He would try to protect her, to save her as he had the year before. Only she wasn’t so sure salvation was even an option this time around. But she knew that if there was any hope of it, Brian would surely plead with God to be the one to bring it. He had saved her life in a thousand different ways over the past year, he and the friends and family he had brought into her life. And she knew that he would always —
She heard a breaking branch behind her and paused. Sensing the forest had betrayed her whereabouts, she slowly turned. And there he was.
“Nick.” She bit the name out, trying not to choke on it. All she got was a smug, disgusting smirk in return.
“Sarah. Long time no see.”