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Walking in on a contract killing has Susan T. Brown, and her son, running for their lives. The only person she can turn to for help is the man who slammed the door in her face five years ago and told her to never come back.
When New York cop, Mitch Pellegrino, realizes his material witness is the woman he hates, he also knows the only chance Susan and her son have is if she and Mitch work together to catch the killer. Can they overcome their past, outsmart a killer and keep their hearts intact?
She fumbled for the key, her hand still holding the leash, and automatically tried the door with her other hand, fully expecting it to be locked. It clicked opened.
She frowned and hesitated a second. Thatâ€™s strange. He always keeps it locked.
A soft popping sound came from inside the room.
A low guttural growl became a snarl as the giant wolfhound yanked on the leash, dragging her reluctantly through the doorway.
She let out an involuntary gasp. Her peripheral vision picked out Mr. Andrews, still sitting in his favorite chair, dark blood staining the center of his forehead. Staring straight ahead she saw the man, still holding a gun.
He turned his head at the sound.
Their gazes met and locked briefly. She shivered as she stared into the coldest, palest, blue eyes she had ever seen.
Straining at the leash, attempting to lunge forward and barking furiously, Wolf almost pulled her farther into the room.
In that split second Susan Brown knew the true meaning of terror. Her chest contracted. She heard a scream. But it couldnâ€™t have come from her; she couldnâ€™t even breathe. She felt frozen, unable to move, for what seemed like hours but must have been only seconds. Offering up a wordless prayer that her legs would move, she turned and felt a flash of relief when they responded. Pulling at the leash with both hands, she raced back down the apartment hallway.
Oh God, Iâ€™ve got to get to Hank. I canâ€™t let anything happen to my son. Heâ€™s too young to be without his mother. Her pulse pounding in her ears, terror clutching her throat, her thoughts on her son, she ran. The enormity of what she had just witnessed was slowly sinking in. The killer would be after her, probably speeding silently down the hall behind her. Even if she got away heâ€™d have to find her. Sheâ€™d seen him murder a man. Heâ€™d have to kill her.
The dogâ€™s leash was still wrapped tightly around her hand. He whined as he resisted, trying to return to his master. Her mind stayed fixed on Hank, sweet, loveable Hank. She had to get to him. She had to make sure he was safe. If the killer shot her, what would happen to her son? She was a single mother. First, no father, and now there was the risk he could lose his mother. And if the killer didnâ€™t shoot her and found out about Hank, he might try to get to her through her son. Oh God, and then heâ€™d kill them both.
Prodded by fear for her son, Susan rounded the second floor landing, feet barely touching the floor. Damn, the dog is slowing me down. She should let go of the leash, but it was wrapped too tightly around her hand. She would have to stop to release it, so she kept running, dragging the reluctant, barking wolfhound behind her.
She didnâ€™t see the man until she landed on top of him at the foot of the stairs. The three of them collapsed in a pile. Man, woman, and dog, all leashed together. Susanâ€™s gaze met his glare and she found herself staring into deep, Mediterranean-blue eyes. Her stomach contracted in a spasm of cold recognition. Then the terror blasted back, full force.
"What the hellâ€™s goinâ€™ on?â€ he snapped.
Susan struggled against him. The dog leash, tangled around their legs, held their bodies firmly together.
The frantic dog continued barking, struggling for freedom. The result pulled them even tighter together. The barking, the heat, the sweat and the closeness surrounded and compressed until she couldnâ€™t breathe.
With supreme effort, spurred on by terror, Susan managed to slide out of the tangled mess. She hit the floor running, racing out the door, down the few steps and into the descending darkness of the humid air and the crowded New York street.
"You! Stop! Wait! Stop! Damn it!â€ She heard him call after her.
July rain spattered her face, dripped off the end of her nose and chin. She started breathing again. Behind her, she could hear him swearing and Wolf barking. Free of the dog she sprinted through the crowd, down the street and around the corner. Her feet
Beverley Bateman has been writing her whole life, but seriously for the past five years. When not working out the twisted details for her latest plot, she reads voraciously and loves to travel, hike and cross country ski. She now lives with her husband and two Shiba puppies in the beautiful lake country of the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, among the vineyards, beaches and mountains.
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 306
Paper Weight (lb): 13.0
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