Meeting him was a fluke. Dating him was a mistake. Watching him become a drug addict put me through hell. Running was my only option.


I’m running from my demons and when I find out she’s trying to escape her past, I know what I have to do.

One broken cop. One woman fighting for her life. A fragile love.

Sinister secrets that threaten to tear them apart.

They’ve been to hell. The hard part will be finding their way back together.

Releasing October 31, 2016




pull up in my driveway looking over at the house.  What I see pisses me off. 


she is in a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, hat and glasses pushing a brand new

lawn mower.


make sure I check my temper before I walk over. 

Right before I cross the street the little girl on the front porch stops

me mid step.


looks like just like her mother, just a smaller version.  She is sitting on a plastic little table,

that they probably just bought, coloring.


make my way over to her right when the lawn mower goes off


told you I would cut the grass.”  I try

to sound casual, but the blood in me is boiling, it must be ninety-five degrees

outside, and she’s wearing enough clothes for

a trek across the frozen tundra.


looks up “I also said I got it, and I would be doing it myself.” The little

girl from the porch makes it to her mother and hides behind her, yanking on her

pant leg. 


fearful look that she gives me is just like her mother’s.  I crouch down, getting eye-to-eye with her

and say “Hey there, beautiful. What’s your name?” She doesn’t reply, and

instead she lowers her gaze so she is looking at her feet. “I’m Jackson,” I

reach out my hand, but drop it when I know she won’t take it.  I gesture behind me, as I say “I live in that

house right over there.  I used to know

your great grandma.”  I’m trying to draw

her into a conversation with me, but nothing I say engages her.


ok baby, you can tell him your name.  Nan

used to make him cookies, so you know what that means, she must have really

liked him.”  She rubs her daughters



Lilah,” she says in barely a whisper.


is the most beautiful name in the whole wide world.  You’re lucky to have such a beautiful

name.”  She smiles at me, right as a car

back fires. She yells and puts her hands to her ears. 


things happen at the same time, her mother grabs her and runs toward the house,

and I vow to protect them.


I rush after them and make it right to the door before it’s closed in my

face.  I stand there inside the house and

watch them rushing to the corner and hide. 


broken girls protecting each other against some monster of the outside

world.  I walk up to them “It’s ok, it’s

just a car, it was nothing but a car.”


baby it’s ok, it’s ok.  I’m here.  It’s ok baby girl, were safe.” She is trying

to comfort the little girl who is sobbing quietly in her mother arms.  “No one is here baby.”


looks over at me, our eyes meeting for one minute before she lowers them again.


it’s ok, it’s just Jackson.  There is no

one here, baby.”  She rocks Lilah back

and forth. Her back against the wall while she soothes her baby girl whose sobs

are slowly stopping, her eyes closing.


can I do?”  I’m now sitting in front of

her not sure how to even start to dissect this.


you can’t do anything for us,” she kisses Lilah’s head. “No one can.”


ignore that last part not sure how to talk about this now. 


going to go outside and finish cutting the grass, then I’m going to go pick up

some food for us.  Does she like pizza?”


I don’t know what relationship you had with my grandmother, but I don’t need

your help.  We will be fine.  Please, it’s ok, you can leave.” She rests

her head on the the wall closing her eyes, the defeat of the day leaving her



going to go outside and finish mowing the lawn so Lilah doesn’t have to go

outside anymore today.  Then I’m going to

pick up pizza for myself.  You won’t have

time to cook, so I’m going to pick one up for you.  I want to eat with you guys, but I’m not

pushing myself on you either after today. 

Now I don’t want to fight with you or even discuss this, so just nod

that you understand?”


looks into my eyes, but nods yes.


can pay you for the pizza?  I have money.

I don’t need a hand out,” she says while trying to push herself up to go get

fucking money. 


she weren’t so scared of things I would punch the fuck out of something right

now.  “I don’t want your money, now or

ever.  I have no doubt you can take care

of yourself.  Consider this a

housewarming present.” I get up going to the door not even giving her a chance

to say anything else.


never had pizza before, so can you just get us plain cheese.”


don’t say anything afraid of what will come out of my mouth.  I nod and walk out the door, closing it

quietly so as not to wake Lilah.


close my eyes exhaling the breath that I didn’t even realize I was holding.


barely holding on while fighting for her life. 

She has demons, they both do.  Whatever

happened to them, it’s in there deep.  The

both of them are so scared, you can practically see the fear coming off of

them.”  I look over at Brenda who is on

her porch watering her plants. “Tread lightly, Jackson, or better yet walk away

if you aren’t going to do anything about it.”


don’t have a chance to respond she walks into her house closing her front door

softly, leaving me fighting my own demons.

About Natasha Madsion
When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…
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