Running from a violent ex husband bent on revenge, website designer Susan Lawton flees the Midwest, leaving no clues behind. She finds refuge at a small motel along old Route 66 in Siesta, New Mexico. But how long before her past catches up with her? Albuquerque police detective Carson Rhodes accidentally shot a child during a drug raid. The recurring nightmares, even after counseling, push him to resign from the force and go home to run his family's Siesta Motel and Cafe. Susan brings out all his protective instincts, and he persuades her to stay. It's as safe a place as anywhere, they hope. Mysterious Zuni Indian fetishes, the ghost of Carson's great-grandfather, a lost treasure, and preparation for battle against the relentless evil stalking Susan keep the pair busy even as they realize their attraction to each other.
Can a lasting love be their reward for success against the odds?
Page Count: 196
Word Count: 50754
Susan lay stunned, flat on her back, her head throbbing from where it had struck the hard ground. A heavy weight lay atop her chest. Dang! What had happened? She lifted her head to see Hans stretched out on top of her. She wrinkled her nose at his stinky breath and the dirty odor of his coat. It’s time for a bath, buddy.
Reality hit. Hans! Dewayne shot him. She folded her arms around the animal and gasped with relief to feel his rapid pants. She stroked his side and whispered, “Lie still, boy. Play dead.” Maybe he’d think he got them both.
Susan slipped the .38 revolver from her coat pocket and eased it under her right leg within easy reach. The sound of running footsteps drawing nearer alerted her to Dewayne’s approach. Eyes closed, she tried to let her body go slack and pretend unconsciousness. No doubt he’d be able to see her erratic breathing under the animal. Willing it to slow, she waited.
This is it, Susan. Your chance to kill the man who beat you senseless, scarred your face, and caused all the grief you’ve suffered. The death of Lauren. Hate boiled inside and steadied her nerves. Slow breath, wait…let him think you’re dead or at least unconscious.
The sounds of Dewayne’s footsteps slowed, and then stopped. His harsh breathing was the only sound on the desert air. Evidently he hadn’t kept in shape and his run had winded him. Slight noises rustled from another direction. His position had shifted. Damn, he was suspicious and approaching cautiously. She forced herself to keep her eyes closed and still.
Cold steel touched her forehead.
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