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second chance

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Prologue

Austin Mcshane sat in his truck at the intersection. His life was great. He looked at the beautiful mountain scenery. The sun was just cresting the mountains, turning the sky a magnificent purple. The town was just starting to come alive, but the traffic was still slow enough that he had sufficient time to take the kids for breakfast at McDonald's, and get them to the daycare before heading to the clinic.

This was a rare treat for them. Usually, his wife Haley took them, but she woke with one her migraines and he convinced her to stay home and sleep. So not only did they get to go to McDonald's but they also got to ride Austins new double cab truck. Something they wouldn't be able to do if Haley would've been with them.

Austin glanced over at his oldest daughter, Allison. She was turned around in her seat, giggling with her younger sister, Alisha. It was one of those rare days that they found everything funny. At five and four, they were so close in age, it didn't take much to make them fight. He always teased Haley that they got her Irish temper since both girls had her gorgeous red hair and dark green eyes.

Austin heard his youngest daughters high pitched laughter. He adjusted the mirror so he could see Abby. At two she was too young to know what they were laughing about. But that didn't stop her from giggling right along.

A.J had no interest in his sisters. At the moment, he was trying to figure out how to fit the plastic donut into his mouth. Austin smiled, watching him study the toy. At six months, everything fascinated him. A.J looked up and smiled a toothless grin, revealing two deep dimples. Haley called them his Devil kisses. God help them if A.J. was anything like him.

There was one thing he wished he could change. Daniel Birch. Daniel was the mayor, who thought he could make Providence more enticing to visitors. He wanted to bring in a land developer to build a fancy resort and golf course. The problem was the mayor wanted to put the resort on his land.

Daniel talked the weaselly banker, Brice Edwards into calling balloon payments on a couple of his neighbors, who owed a lot of money. They knew there was no way the Johnson's and Crafts could make the payment and they would be forced to sell.

They had no hold on Austin land, and it was already paid for. It worried him how they would convince him to sell. He didn't put anything past them, not where money was concerned

The light turned green. Austin pulled out into the intersection when he heard the squealing tires and saw the semi skidding into the intersection. "Oh *****" Austin hit the gas and the truck lurched a few feet before the semi slammed into the passenger's doors.

The crunch of metal was deafening, but he could still hear his kids screaming as the truck skidded sideways. Austin tried to turn into it and hit the gas again, praying he could somehow get away from the semi. He felt the passenger tires leave the ground as the truck started to roll.

Austin didn't have his seatbelt on. He slammed his chest and ribs into the steering wheel. He slammed the door hard and it flew open. He was thrown from the cab. His body hit the ground hard and he rolled several times before landing in the ditch

He was still conscious. He laid there trying to catch his breath. He didn't need to be told that he had broken ribs. He could only manage small shallow breaths and even then it felt like his ribs were coming through his side.

Austin tried to move and the pain intensified. He closed his eyes against it. The sound of one of his kids screaming for him made him forget about it, he rolled over and crawled up the small embankment.
The smell of smoke hit him and he looked over at the truck. It was a mangled mess. The passenger side was completely caved in.

Oh God, his kids. He went running over to it and someone grabbed him. It was his best friend, Ryder Collins.

Ryder was relieved to see him. He looked pale and his shirt was torn and bloody. And he was very unsteady on his feet. Austin tried to get around him. His eyes were glued on the truck. He took a couple more steps and collapsed, Ryder caught him and helped him sit down. Even as weak he was Austin kept struggling to get up and Ryder had to hold him down

"Austin, it's okay we are getting your kids. just stay down."

"No, I have to get my kids out. I have to help them."

"We are, we already have Alisha and Abby out. we are working getting Ally and A.J.

This did nothing to calm him down. If anything it made Austin struggle even harder. Lucky for Ryder, Austin's other friend Logan Samuals saw Ryder trying to keep Austin down and ran over to help. Even with both of them holding him down, Austin still fought.

Concerned that Austin had internal injuries that would be made worse by him fighting. Logan and Ryder helped him to his feet. They thought that if they took him over to Abby that it would keep him calm enough for someone to look him over. They were close to the truck when they heard one of the firemen shout that it was going to blow. Austin shoved Logan and Ryder aside and raced to the truck. He was almost to the door when it exploded.

The blast knocked him back and something sharp struck him in the gut. He fell to the ground. He lay there. He could hear Logan and Ryder Screaming for some help. But it felt like a dream like he was watching from somewhere else. The last thing he remembered was hearing Logan say we are losing him

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