Celia on the Run
148 pages

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148 pages
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Nick Novaczek is a cautious soul, a 17-year old with a boring life, a predictable future, and a quiet thirst for danger. On the eve of his beloved grandmother's funeral, danger finds him by the motel swimming pool. Her name is Celia and she's everything he's not. This foul-mouthed beauty is hitchhiking across the country to make amends with her estranged father and doesn't carry an ounce of fear or hesitation in her tattered suitcase. She's bad news all around, but for a rule-follower like Nick, she's intoxicating.Twenty-four hours after speaking to Celia for the very first time, following one extremely lucky night, Nick is hopelessly hooked and "e;borrows"e; his parents' car to join her cross-country mission, even though her story is full of holes. It's the mistake he's been waiting his whole life to make. Together, they dodge a train, jump off a bridge, and scam everyone in their path. Nick is blossoming into a teenage fugitive, just like Celia, and he's never been happier. She may not be who she says she is, but she's got his vulnerable heart.After weeks of detours, with hundreds of miles left to go, their wild adventure starts to unravel. The money dries up, Celia's dark secrets begin to surface, and it's clear they both want vastly different things out of this partnership. Celia is all about no strings attached and severing whatever they may have between them once they reach their destination, while Nick is head over heels in love and wanting a future with the girl in his passenger seat. They seem to reach a new low on a daily basis, but she won't turn back, no matter how desperate things get. After all, this is her trip and Nick is just the driver. Celia's got a charming smile to pay her way, a willing accomplice, a hidden agenda, and an endless supply of lies. Not to mention a gun.



Publié par
Date de parution 29 février 2012
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9781611872781
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0113€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Table of Contents
Celia on the Run by Sarah Mandell
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Celia on the Run
By Sarah Mandell
Copyright 2012 by Sarah Mandell
Cover Copyright 2012 by Ginny Glass and Untreed Reads Publishing
The author is hereby established as the sole holder of the copyright. Either the publisher (Untreed Reads) or author may enforce copyrights to the fullest extent.
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold, reproduced or transmitted by any means in any form or given away to other people without specific permission from the author and/or publisher. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to the living or dead is entirely coincidental.
Celia on the Run
By Sarah Mandell
Chapter 1
“If you’re listening to this little tape of mine, I guess I finally kicked the bucket.”
Nick smiled at the sound of his late grandmother’s voice, haunting him through the speakers. “I tell ya, it’s about damn time already!” she went on to say.
Nick chuckled to himself in the back seat. His granny’s mouth was consistently rude, even in her pre-recorded Last Will and Testament. He loved that about her.
Amy, Nick’s mom, ended his amusement with a disappointed “enough, mother” aimed at the car stereo. Nick joined his parents in solemn silence like a good boy should, as his grandma went on to designate an heir to her Band-Aid colored Cadillac, the savings bonds, and her two-bedroom rancher in Kingman, Arizona. Occasionally she’d cough. Every cigarette she’d ever chain-smoked was clanking around in her chest, disgruntled, as she addressed each family member individually to offer some brash wisdom, just like she always did.
“Nick, sweetie pie. You’re a damn good kid. I know your mamma tells you that all the time, it’s probably making you soft. And damnit, you don’t need all those scholarships to prove it either.”
Nick’s protruding ears turned red.
“But…you’ve never done a damned thing wrong and it makes me worry about you. Skip a day of school. Vandalize something. You should be breaking hearts at your age.”
Nick’s red hue spread over his face. He focused his eyes further on the horizon, listening. “Which brings me to my next piece of advice,” she said in a mischievous tone.
Swallowing hard, Nick winced in anticipation. He knew it was coming.
“Don’t take your youth or your health for granted. Your equipment won’t work like that forever, just ask my dear Clark. Bless him and bless Viagra,” she chuckled. “How did I get started on that?”
Nick prayed she lost her train of thought. He prayed hard.
“Oh. Your junk, that’s right. That’s what you kids call it these days, right? Get out there and use it for heaven’s sake! Whatever the hell you wanna call it. You’re only young once! Oh the things you can do when you’re young and spry. Make those girls…”
And that’s when Amy ejected the cassette, her eyes bulging in horror. “Okay then,” she said, giving the tape and the ghost of her batty old mother a single dirty look.
Alexei, Nick’s father, took the tape and stuffed it in the driver’s side door. He looked back at his wife and shrugged. His late mother-in-law had given him a similar speech once upon a time, back when he was young and spry.
Nick stared out the car window. Everything his grandma said, as forward as it may have been, was dead on. He was a good kid indeed, an exemplary seventeen-year-old with a promising future. His childhood and teenage years were unmarked. Not a single fistfight, broken heart, or moral dilemma interrupted his smooth upbringing. The long stretch of highway outside was all too familiar, resembling his straightforward life, teeming with monotony. If only there was something to look forward to other than college, finding a job and dying at an old age.
After six miserable hours in the backseat holding an iPod with no charge, ear buds still in place so his parents wouldn’t know he was listening to their conversation, Nick was so bored he was ready to smash his head against the infinite Jersey wall outside the window. Indulging his dark daydream, he wondered what shape the blood would make as it ran down the concrete. Perhaps seeing some red abstraction might spark curiosity in the next numb teenager to drive by this mile marker, leading them to question the meaning of life.
Amy’s sharp cry broke the hours of silence, “Oh! Oh my goodness! Should we stop?”
Nick looked up to see his mother’s head whip around at the sight of a female hitchhiker towing a black suitcase along the side of the highway.
“No,” Alexei stated, removing his massive hand from its resting spot on his wife’s forearm.
“But she looks so young, I’m sure she’s harmless,” Amy pleaded, sounding like the caring mother she truly was. She always wanted to help others and hitchhikers were no exception. “Did you even see her? She’s practically a child! We really should stop.”
“No. It’s not safe,” Alexei replied with gentle authority. “We’re almost there.” He tenderly kissed his wife’s hand, melting away her pleas. “Somebody else will give her a ride. Don’t worry, my angel.”
Nick looked out the back window at the figure in question as she got smaller and smaller in the distance. She parted the dusty air as she walked. Her confidence kept her posture straight, her stride showed no hesitation. Nick couldn’t fathom living like that, vulnerable without a car, wandering from place to place. It was a dangerous way to go and he envied the girl’s life suddenly. She could do whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. She probably faced real danger on a daily basis, made some tough calls and struggled to survive. Nick couldn’t claim any of that. He’d been living the most sheltered life imaginable, but it was all he’d ever known.
Once the ruby Taurus was parked in front of the Rancho Motel, Nick’s father addressed him, gesturing towards the suitcases in the trunk. “Can you get those?”
Nick’s gray eyes sparkled with affirmation, knowing his father actually needed him for this duty, at least for the next six weeks while his shoulder healed. Being needed was a rare opportunity so he jumped right in, lifting the luggage onto the ground, downplaying the weight by offering his unimpressed father an eager-to-please grin.
The hotel room smelled of cigarette smoke, just like his grandma’s house. Nick didn’t bother unpacking. They were here for a funeral, not a vacation. He plopped on the lumpy couch and watched his mother hang up her modest black dress and carefully smooth out the wrinkles. Nick looked out the window towards the pool. The last colors of the sunset were hazy while two children in neon bathing suites played in the outdoor shower rather than the pool itself.
Blackness crept over the sky, matching his grandma’s lungs and his mother’s dress. The family ate a silent dinner at the motel bar. Amy needed a few drinks to calm her nerves. Nick wondered how much alcohol would be present at the viewing and funeral over the next two days. He’d been getting offers from his relatives since he was twelve. Perhaps tomorrow it would be appropriate to toast his grandma. Nah . He turned down the offer before anyone had the chance to make it. Amy finished her third scotch, Alexei finished his third vodka, and Nick watched the condensation run down the side of his single Cherry Coke. Tired and full, they wordlessly headed across the parking lot, back towards the room.
The thought of hanging out with his parents in that smoky motel room without cable TV got Nick to thinking, searching for an out. Surely there was something he could do to avoid listening to his father snoring and his mother turning pages. Scrub the lint off the vents. Pick the cigarette butts out of the planters. Clean the dead flies from the fluorescent light fixtures. Anything.
“I think I’m gonna go find the vending machines,” Nick blurted out.
Amy looked at her son with complete confusion. “But we just ate.”
Alexei winked at his wife, then reached into his back pocket. “Yeah, good idea. Actually, I saw an arcade, why don’t you see how long this will last.” He handed Nick a twenty. Staring down at the money, Nick understood this to mean his parents needed some alone time. He took the money and turned away, not wanting to think about their rather healthy sex life. It was remarkable he was an only child. Truly remarkable.
“When are you gonna stop growing?” Amy teased. “Your metabolism is expensive!”
“Sooner or later,” he mumbled over his shoulder, noticing for the first time he was eye-level with his father. Nick couldn’t escape it; he was a clone of his dad. Alexei’s Russian features overpowered Amy’s Midwest genes and Nick ended up with the pale skin, dirty-blond hair, gray eyes that were borderline blue in the sunlight, and his enormous nose with a bold bump on the bridge that his father passed down.
After finding the vending machine, then locating a motel employee to break the twenty-dollar bill, Nick had satisfied his fake snack craving with only fifteen minutes and seventy-five cents. Knowing it was way too soon to return to the room and having no interest in the arcade, he wandered around aimlessly, getting lost in his thoughts and his sense of direction. It was his scaled-down version of exploring the world. This skuzzy motel was housing a wide variety o

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