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The Love and Murder Series, Book 4
For thirteen years, Penny Sparks has managed to hide from the political powers who murdered her family. When she unwittingly exposes her true identity, not only is she marked for death, but the people closest to her risk meeting the same fate.
Jake Winters is out of rehab and coming to grips with his demons. When he meets his sister’s roommate, Jake believes Penny might be that someone who can help him find life after rock star status…until her secrets blow up his world.
With a government agent turned hit man closing in on her, Penny and Jake race to expose the presidential contender behind the murders of her family. Even if they win the race with death, the murder that stands between them could end their hope for a new life.
Page Count: 304
Word Count: 76965
Closing the pad, he slipped it and the pen in a shirt pocket. “Thanks, we can verify that.” He drew two sets of keys from his pants pocket. “I couldn’t get your truck to start, Mr. Winters. Penny, since you left your keys in the car, I brought yours here instead. It’s parked right out front.”
He took the keys from the officer. “Thanks for doing that.”
“Of course.” Carlos glanced at Penny. “You’ll need to stay somewhere else tonight. The house will be off limits for a while, until forensics is finished. Could I get your cell number? Detective Ranclin will call when you can get back inside.”
She put a hand on the bed as if to steady herself. Jake started toward her, but she shot him a glare that held him in place. “He’ll have to call me at work. I don’t have a cell phone.”
“Detective Ranclin has my number, officer.”
“I’ll tell him.” The officer gazed back at Penny. “Is there anything more I can do for you?”
“No, but thank you.”
He stepped back to the door. “I’m sorry for your loss, Mr. Winters.”
Jake nodded, but all he could concentrate on were Penny’s last words before the officer appeared. When they were alone again, he threw up his hands. “What do you mean, go back to Phoenix? Why the hell would I do that? My sister’s been murdered, and I want to find out why.”
She turned her back on him, went to the open door of the bathroom, and lifted her clothes from the hook. Beneath the thin hospital gown her spine was straight, her movements tight, as if coiled and ready to spring.
“Penny, I know how much she meant to you.” How much she meant to both of them. He wanted to hold her, share their loss. “I’m not leaving you.”
Untying the gown, she let it drop around her feet, and sidestepped out of the heap. She pulled the dark gray sweater over her head then stepped into black velvet jeans, refusing to make eye contact or speak as she sat on the green plastic chair.
This was killing him. The need to hold her, help her with her pain—his pain—rushed through him. Haltingly, he made his way to her, touched her head, and waited while she zipped her boots. “Penny.” She resisted, but he tipped her chin, forcing her to look up. “Come on, baby. You don’t have to worry about me leaving you.”
“When I tell you the truth, you will.”
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