Sometimes the shelter is more dangerous than the storm…
For best friends and high school seniors Molly, Lenni, and Bianca, the future is bright and right around the corner. With graduation just weeks away, the girls are ready to leave behind the emotional insanity of high school and step together into a saner, less dramatic chapter of life.
But when a courageous stranger named Raley Hale risks his life to save the girls from a deadly tornado, his fearlessness leaves them thunderstruck. As his injuries heal, the mysterious hero manages to claim each of the girls’ hearts while reclaiming his strength.
Can friendship survive the brutal winds of jealousy, heartache, and betrayal? Or will graduation from Redbend High really mean goodbye forever?
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“What a rush!” Bianca dropped her head back and pushed off in the swing. “The rain feels amazing.” She laughed as she swung, rain soaking her hair and clothing. Lightning tore through the sky. The crack of thunder that followed seemed to shake the earth.
Molly didn’t know which was scarier—the black clouds overhead, boiling like a witch’s brew, or the echo of Bianca’s laughter as she soared skyward toward the storm. Red hair flying, she winked one black-lined eye at Molly and swung even higher. Molly’s stomach churned along with the rumbling sky.
“I don’t think this is a good idea.” Lenni tucked her blonde hair behind her ear as the wind whipped more strands into her face. “I think I see a funnel.” She pointed to a monstrous cone-shaped cloud just above the train trestle.
“Seriously, Len? We’re in Oklahoma, remember?” Bianca dragged her feet in the red dirt, slowing the swing. “It’s nothing but a thunderstorm. We’re in for a little rain, at most. You might be sweet like sugar, but trust me, you won’t melt.” Bianca rolled her eyes. “Graduation is only eight weeks away. Relax and have some fun on our very last spring break together.”
Molly hiccupped loudly as the swirling cloud Lenni had pointed out dipped below the others. She always got the hiccups when she was scared. “Lenni’s right. We need to take cover.” She shot her gaze around the park, looking for shelter.
“Geez, not you too, Mol? You’ve lived here long enough to know there’s constantly a storm on the horizon this time of year. People are always dragging one another to the cellar, only to learn it was a false alarm. Besides, do you think those guys would still be working on the trestle if a tornado was overhead?”
A big raindrop splashed the end of Molly’s nose as she looked toward the old trestle. Five or six men in bright orange vests moved quickly along the tracks, climbing over the rails and scurrying under the bridge as the rain began to pour.
Lenni widened her eyes at Molly, her gaze desperate. “The armory building beside the water tower is a community shelter. Maybe we can get in.” She clamped her hands together over her wet hair, holding it in place.
Molly glanced toward the water tower that pierced the angry sky a football-field length away. Could they make it in time? Hailstones pinged off the large metal swing set like warning shots. They had to try.
“Bianca, let’s go!” Molly screamed, the shriek of the wind stealing the words from her mouth and the breath from her lungs.