by LaVerne Thompson
coming Sept. 30- from Red Rose Publishing
a paranormal romance with bite.
Do you trust your instincts?
The place was dark but he didn’t need to turn on any lights, he saw quite well in the dark. He found the fake flooring in the bedroom, pried it up and unlocked the safe. It was her birth date, she used that for everything. A sound, too low for normal senses to hear but not for his, and not part of the night had him jerking his head in the direction of the front door. He couldn’t see the door from the bedroom, but he had to hurry someone was walking around the pool area. Sticking his hand into the chamber he felt the outline of a slender book. He grabbed it and shut the safe, replacing the flooring. A different sound, closer this time, like someone was trying to get into the pool house through the front door. He stood up and made his way back to the front room, glad now he’d had the forethought to change the door code so no one else could come in behind him. Staying in the shadows of the room, he moved over to the blinds and peered around the edge to look outside. It was none other than Richard. The light beside him perfectly illuminated the pissed expression on his face because he couldn’t open the door.
It took all the self-control Ethan could call upon not to open the door and beat the shit out of Richard. Get him to confess that he was the one who had been having an affair with Sharon and killed her. As satisfying as that seemed, Ethan knew it wouldn’t work. Without proof a confession from Richard to him would be meaningless. Even if they had been having an affair that still wasn’t quite enough to shine the light on Richard. Unless Richard was there for the same reason he was. Ethan glanced down at the red velvet journal he held in his hand. This was what Richard came here for. Richard knew just as well as he did Sharon kept a journal, and since the police didn’t have it, it was still somewhere on the grounds. Now if Ethan were lucky it would contain the proof he’d been seeking.
Richard kicked the door and headed back toward the house. Ethan heard him open the patio doors closing them behind him, but Ethan stayed where he was. Richard was still in the house and might be able to see the pool area. But he couldn’t stay in the pool house long, it was too dangerous. He moved into the sitting area toward the back of the house where there was a large window facing away from the main house. The curtains in there were pulled back, but he could see nothing but trees beyond the dark expanse of lawn. He’d be in an open area a little but the land slanted downhill and if he kept low and in the shadows he should be able to make it back into the woods. He’d hidden his motorcycle there so it wouldn’t be spotted from the road.
In order to get out he’d have to turn off the alarm, so he went back to the front room and did that. Time was getting away from him, the longer he stayed the greater the risk Richard would return and decide to just break in. He could be right now calling the security company. Since Ethan’s arrest, Richard now had access to lots of information. Ethan opened the window and climbed out into the bushes flanking the area. Keeping his body hunched over, he stayed in the shadows and between the trees until he made his way back to his bike. As soon as he reached it he stored the journal in his saddlebag hanging off the back, but survival instincts had him whipping his head around. He wasn’t alone.
A woman stepped from behind a large tree. He didn’t recognize her scent, and even with his night vision, he couldn’t see her features clearly but her silhouette showed her to be tall and willowy. It took him a moment more to realize she also held a dark shiny object in her hand and it was pointed in his direction. Even though it was in shadow he recognized the shape. A gun. She had a gun.
He held his hands palms up and at his sides. “Ah, sorry if I’m trespassing,” he said thinking she might have been a neighbor. “I just had to take a quick bathroom run into the woods I’m leaving.”
“Oh, I don’t think so.”
Her voice was soft, sexy. Not the kind of voice you’d expect to find coming from a woman holding a gun, but then again he’d never expected a lot of the things that had been happening to him lately.
“Look, I don’t want any trouble.” He moved to climb onto the bike. She moved closer to him planting herself directly in the only clear path for the bike to get out onto the road.
“Sorry, Ethan Graves, but you’re a wanted man, and I’m here to take you back into custody.”
“What the hell?” he said, not understanding entirely what she was saying. The clouds parted just as she stepped out of the shadows and he could see her features clearer now. A sliver of moonlight bathed her body. She had brown skin, like chocolate melted in warm milk, a heart shaped face, and high cheekbones accenting a plump bow of a cherry mouth, and a feminine body built like a dancer. Broad shoulders, tiny waist, and long legs. Her hair was pulled back into a ponytail the end rested across one shoulder ending just above her breast. In another life he would have wanted her name and number, but that was a long time ago.