When Tomorrow Starts Without Me (Wildflower Romance #1) - Stacy Claflin

Kenna

The railroad tracks rumble beneath my pink sneakers, vibrating my entire body along with them. My heart thunders in my chest.

I'm not backing out.

Sunshine beats down on me. It's early summer, but it's already proving to be an especially hot one. A rarity for a suburb of Seattle. It's too bad I won't be here to enjoy it.

Off to the side, near the shade of the trees, movement distracts me. Something is nearby. I can't tell what.

And I don't care.

The rumble of the tracks grows stronger. It's harder to balance.

My pulse races as the deep-throated horn blares through the air.

Though the driver clearly sees me, the green and yellow machine doesn't appear to slow.

Good. That's exactly what I want.

The horn wails again, this time rippling through me.

My right foot slips from the track. I land in the middle of the two long pieces of metal. It's probably for the best. I'll be hit by the center of the train. More force to end it all faster.

Squeal! Tssh…

The brakes.

No!

Don't stop!

Trains take forever to stop. Like half a mile or something. This can still happen.

I do the only thing I can. I burst into a run toward the massive, now-slowing vehicle.

The horn blares again, but I barely notice it. I can't let the train stop before it reaches me. If I'm going to get anything right in my life, it has to be this.

Now that I'm running, it's coming toward me faster. My heart pounds harder.

This is it. It's really going to happen. I can almost count down, but it would be too disappointing to get to zero, only to find out that I'd miscalculated.

The horn now sounds like a constant noise. That driver really wants me off the tracks.

He doesn't know who he's dealing with.

I'm ready for this.

Something hits me. From the side.

Wait, what?

Now everything is a blur. I'm sailing through the air sideways. Away from the train! It's leaving my line of sight.

My shoulder hits the ground first. Then my hip and side. My head hits. Hard.

I roll. Dirt and gravel get in my face.

I'm a mess of soil and grass.

The train barrels past.

I missed my train!

"What were you thinking?" demands a male voice from behind.

I spin toward the voice and glare at its owner. The gorgeous face of the owner. His almost-shoulder-length wavy hair is mostly covered by a gray beanie which perfectly matches his plaid flannel shirt.

"What were you thinking?" he repeats.

I jump up and dust rocks and grass from my jeans and shirt. "Me? What about you? Why'd you do that?"

He stands, but doesn't dust himself off. "You mean why did I save your life?"

"Yeah." I glower at him. My heart continues racing, but now from anger instead of excitement. "I had it all planned perfectly. Then you show up. The one variable I didn't take into account. Jerk."

He shakes his head. "You're unbelievable. I save your life, and you call me names."

"I called you a jerk. That's one name. Learn to count."

"Why'd you do it?" He adjusts his hat and tilts his head. His eyes are filled more with concern than annoyance now.

The guy is flipping gorgeous, but in the most down-to-earth way imaginable.

It's infuriating.

"What's so awful that a pretty girl like you wants to end it all?"

Pretty? Me? The guy obviously needs glasses. Maybe they flew off when he ruined my plans.

"Don't you have anything to say?"

"Not to you." I fold my arms.

"Hey, I saved your life. The least you could do is tell me why you were going to throw it all away."

I sigh as dramatically as I can. Seriously, I really draw it out