By:  Haley Green   Updated just now
Language: English
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When Emery Starr witnesses a crime, she is forced to uproot her entire life. Sure, she was shy and wasn't exactly popular, but she had good friends and a loving father. Now, she must leave her life behind as she hides from a notorious kingpin who is hell bent on keeping Emery from testifying. Who can she trust in her new town? Will her intimidating new bodyguard be able to keep her safe?

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54 Chapters
1| There's No Place Like Home
I took a large inhale the second I entered the familiar building, the smell of coffee and reheated breakfast sandwiches hitting my nose. Starbucks. My happy place after a long day of classes. I didn't waste any time before placing my order and meeting my best friend and roommate, Melany, at our usual table. We came here almost every day; it wasn't exactly easy on the wallet, but it certainly made me happy. "So, Emery, what extravagant coffee did you order this time?" Melany asked as I took my seat. I was known for switching up my drinks because I often got bored of the same ol' stuff. There were just too many good options on the menu to stick with the same one. "Nothing too crazy today. I decided to go with a grande latte with 3 pumps of peppermint and 2 of vanilla. Oh, and an extra shot of espresso—it's gonna be one of those days," I explained while patting my backpack dramatically. I had a lot of homework to get done, and I was dreading it."Ugh," Mel sighed as she unzipped her ow
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2| Heart to Heart
I came downstairs to find my dad sitting in his usual chair in front of the TV."What do you want for dinner tonight?" He asked as I took a seat on the nearby couch."You didn't plan anything?" I teased. I knew he wouldn't have planned dinner for us without my opinion.My dad was a simple guy. If it were up to him, he would live off of frozen pizza, microwave meals, and cheddar ruffle chips. Earlier when I mentioned having home cooked meals, that's only when I was home to cook for him."Well, I went grocery shopping earlier, but I'm not sure if you have anything to make; why don't you take a look in the kitchen? We could do steaks, or tacos, or I don't know, maybe spaghetti if I have it?"I chuckled at his random options, "Let's do steaks; I haven't had one in forever and that way you can grill while I make whatever sides I can find."He agreed with my suggestion and I sat down beside him on the couch, watching the football game that he had on in comfortable silence. I wasn't a huge d
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3| Witness
I woke up the next morning to several drunk texts from Mel, and a few from Landon.Mel: Omg Emmmm! Landon jus ask about you. He thinks you're smokin.Mel: Henry just hit on me! should I go for it? I think I'm gonna go for it.Mel: I went for it! Thanks for the support! Wish you wereMel: Srry. I hit send lol oooop I drunk. I wish you were here. Say hi to your dad for me!Landon: Hey beautiful. Miss you tonight.Landon: Hi boo... let's get drinks tomorrow?I sighed, setting my phone down beside me. I wanted to attend the party, I did, but I just couldn't leave my dad yesterday. As I laid in bed staring at the ceiling, I wasn't so sure I wanted to leave him tonight either.Although it's been years, and we were both okay, last nights conversation was difficult. I could see how broken up my dad still was— not that I blamed him. It was hard enough for me losing a mother and sister. I couldn't imagine finding a love like my parents had, and then losing that one person who made you whole. No
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4| Hospitals and Heros
After the police, firemen, and paramedics arrived at the scene, I was gently pulled from my car and placed on a gurney as they loaded me into an ambulance. I stayed alert throughout the process, but the feeling of the accident and the sensation of being loaded into an ambulance was all too familiar to me, as images of my past accident flashed in my mind. Panicked, and after a final request to call my dad, I somehow lost consciousness before making it to the hospital. When I finally woke up, I wasn't sure how much time had passed, but I was in a hospital bed with my arm now in a sling and a thick bandage over my shoulder. My dad was in the room, but he was chatting with an officer and another man off in the corner. The officer wasn't doing much of the talking, but the man next to him was holding something in his hands that looked to be an FBI badge. He was a very large man--muscular and definitely above 6' as he was much taller than my dad. He was dark skinned, bald, and looked to be
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5| Safety Plan
“Hello, I'm Jaxon," my bodyguard spoke; it was here that I realized he was probably around my age or maybe just a few years older. "Mr. Starr, I heard your concerns, but I just want to assure you that I am very good at what I do. I will keep Emery safe." I was mesmerized by the sound of his voice. It was so velvety smooth and yet so masculine; definitely a voice that demanded attention. He sounded very convincing when he spoke, and I almost felt safer just with him being in the room. Almost."Thank you. I appreciate that. I don't mean for this to come across as rude, but... aren't you a little young to be a professional bodyguard?" The corners of Jaxon's full lips twitched as if he was expecting this question. "Well yes, I am young; I have to be in order blend into the college where Emery will be placed. Chief will explain all of that in a minute; but once again, I assure you, I've had all the required training." "Jax is one of the best. He was top of his class, and as my adopted s
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6| Motel (part 1)
Almost 5 hours had passed since Jaxon and I left the station, and I already felt like it had been an eon. I shifted in my seat, crossing my legs and hugging my arms tight to my chest for comfort and warmth. "You okay?" Jaxon asked, turning the radio down a few notches. This was the first thing he said to me since we left; I must not have moved much until now. Although his question was nice, it seemed he was trying to keep me at a distance; like he asked more for common curtesy rather than legitimate concern. But to answer his question, no. I was in no way okay. My arm was throbbing from the gun shot, I had whiplash starting to kick in from the car flipping, and I was freezing from the inside out. But, the absolute worst part, was knowing that everything was about to change, and knowing that my poor father was left behind, on his own, to sell my death to everyone. So no... not okay, Jaxon. "Emery?" He asked again while still remaining focused on the road. This time though, I did c
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7| Motel (part 2)
My heart was pounding. I found myself trying to be impossibly closer to Jaxon as we walked, longing to touch him for a sense of security. I hated feeling so vulnerable and weak, but Jaxon did have a way of making me feel safe; even though he wasn't Mr. Sunshine. With a big, muscular frame and chiseled features, a person would need to be crazy to try and fuck with him."Stay close and act normal," he commanded while opening the door. We were instantly hit with a cool breeze from the air conditioning being sucked outside. I nodded in response, my whole body shuddering once again as it adjusted to the new temperature. He frowned at me before shrugging out of his black leather jacket. "Here. Put this on." I quickly accepted it and tried to thank him, but he was already turned away from me and walking towards the front desk. I quickly put on the jacket and hugged it tight to my body as I followed him, a waft of cologne hitting my nose.The receptionist was very pretty and not what I expe
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8| Hot and Cold
After my shower, I made quick work of getting dressed and crawling into bed. Jaxon and I only exchanged a few words, and he hadn't looked at me even once since I was out of the bathroom. He had the TV on and asked if I had a channel preference, which I politely declined. I knew I wouldn't be awake long anyway once I was tucked into the firm hotel bed. Sure enough, I fell asleep within moments despite the fact that I had a lot to process. My brain and body were just completely drained at this point. However, because of everything that happened, my subconscious was on overdrive, and it made for some horrifying dreams. I don't remember the specifics of the dream, but next thing I knew, I was being woken up by Jaxon. He had his hands placed gently on my uninjured arm, shaking me slightly as I came to. I was surprised to find I had only been asleep for about an hour and that tears were still streaming down my face as my body trembled. Honestly, I was amazed I even had any tears left in
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9| Identities and Information (pt. 1)
I must have fallen asleep again in the car; I wasn't sure for how long, but boy was my dream intense. When my eyes finally fluttered open, all I saw was a man's face hovering in front of me. Since my dream was so incredibly violent and I had been in such a deep sleep, I couldn't register what was happening, or that the man I was looking at was Jaxon and not an attacker/shooter.Without thinking, I struck out with my good arm and kicked my legs, fighting off my assailant.The man caught my fist as it flew, but the momentum sent me tumbling sideways out of the vehicle until I was seized around my waist."Woah woah! Emery, it's me!" Jaxon called as he caught me and held me to his body to stop me from fighting. He held on tight while I was eased from the car and placed gently onto the ground.Immediately, I snapped back into reality and let my body sink into his large, sturdy frame. "Jaxon? Oh god... I am so sorry! Did I hurt you?"I felt Jaxon chuckle slightly as he steadied me on my fe
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10| Identities and Information (pt. 2)
After Laurie took my measurements for new clothes and took my photo for my new ID, she lead me through a series of hallways until we arrived at a different room. She opened the door to reveal a small, plain room where Jaxon was seated, going over what looked to be blueprints with another man— Cal, I assumed."Jaxon, she's ready for you," Laurie announced. He and Cal immediately turned to look at me, and I suddenly felt self-conscious. I was about to reach out and stroke my hair out of nervous habit, but stopped when I realized I no longer had the length that I used to."Wow... nice job, Laurie," Jaxon stated. My heart was pounding. He had complimented Laurie, but did that mean he thinks I look nice? I willed my face to stay neutral as I approached the table. "Did you look at your file?" Jaxon asked me before I had time to overthink his comment. I nodded in response, feeling nervous for some reason about finding my voice. Something about the small, bland space was oddly off-puttin
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