From Tunneling for Revenge by Travis Sharpe…
Monday, April 4, 2023, 6:15 a.m.
From atop the gently sloped roof of a souvenir shop, Alex watched Drake. He could tell the old man was uneasy, and the fact made him smile. Alex never grew tired of the sense of power he gained from this type of reconnaissance work. His prey could never spot him, but they generally could feel his presence. He supposed he was granted this power simply because he deserved it.
The old man had started the entire mess leading to the fall of Alex’s beloved compound. Everyone who participated in General Jack’s capture would be dealt with, and Alex would see General Jack set free. Drake’s death would be the first step, but the old man’s death must happen quietly. He didn’t need any trouble from the authorities in Belize.
Hopefully, the other bastards in the United States would learn about the old man’s murder shortly after Alex made it out of Belize. Drake would die first, and Alex hoped that would make his other targets a little nervous. By the time he killed the second one, the others would get the picture. Alex wanted each of them to suffer before they died. He didn’t have time to drag this murder out, but he still planned to make Drake’s death excruciatingly painful when the old man came home from his walk.
Alex’s preferred method of killing, shooting his victims from a meticulously prepared location, wouldn’t be sufficient for the old man.
Based on what he’d seen over the past two weeks, Drake would be home from his morning walk in about three minutes. Alex slid down to the edge of the roof, dropped the ten feet to the sidewalk, and slinked over to Drake’s house.
Alex peered through the shrubbery at Drake’s front door. He could see Drake shuffling through the house. The plan was to wait for the old man to take a nap, get in the shower, or settle down and watch television. When one of those activities had Drake occupied, Alex would enter the house and make Drake’s last few hours on earth as miserable as possible. If the old man had just minded his own business back in September, Alex’s compound would still be intact, and he would have no reason to be here now. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
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From A Woman Like Her by Anna Kristell…
Dillon Brant stared at the cell phone on his desk again. He’d looked at it at least a dozen times in the last hour. Picking it up, he looked through the contacts, found her number, and stopped himself once again. Forcing himself to focus on the contracts on his desk, he skimmed through the pages, put his signature on the last page, and placed them in the box outside his office door for his secretary to take care of.
As he sat down in the leather chair behind his large, oak desk, he sighed. Aloud he said to the empty room, “What is it about that woman? I can sit here and negotiate big deals for this construction company, but I can’t push one little button on my phone to call her?”
He attempted to concentrate on the blueprints for his next big project, but finding it to be an impossible task, he stood up. Walking past his secretary, Tina, he mumbled, “Be back later.”
“Sure, boss,” she replied without looking up from her work.
He hopped in his shiny blue Ford F-150 and drove off. He kept driving until he arrived at his favorite fishing spot at Eagle Creek Park. Getting out of the truck, he walked for a while before finding a spot to land. As he sat down on the lush, green grass, Dillon pulled his cell out of his pocket. “It’s now or never,” he told himself as he once again found her number in his list of contacts. This time he pushed the button.
As it rang, he almost chickened out and ended the call, but when her velvety sweet voice came on the line, he said, “Amy, hi, it’s Dillon.”
“Dillon?” she asked. “Is everything all right? I mean it’s not Adam and Ashley again, is it?”
He chuckled. “No, as far as I know, the two lovebirds are still basking in wedded bliss. I expect to be told I’m going to be an uncle at any time.”
“Whew, thank God. Those two have really put me through it the past few months. I haven’t heard from Ashley but once since they patched things up, so was hoping that meant they were making up for lost time.”
“Yeah, they almost blew it, that’s for sure. I’m glad they worked it out,” he replied, thinking of his brother and sister-in-law and the problems they’d faced in their marriage recently.
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From Nowhere for Christmas by Donna Steele…
Jeannie Teague looked at the steam rising from under the hood of her car with a sinking feeling. The battery on her phone was dead as well. At least it wasn’t dark or freezing. Taking a deep breath, she stepped out of the car and lifted the hood. Oh yeah, this was not good.
She wrapped the sleeve of her thin jacket around her hand and tried to loosen the cap on the radiator. Steam hit her wrist and she yanked her hand back, cursing. Then she looked up to see a sheriff’s car pulling up behind her.
Ah a whiz kid, she thought. “Yes.”
He unfolded himself from the car and she stepped back. He was well over six feet and that seemed to be the width of his shoulders. She’d never really thought of herself as small. She topped five foot seven, but wow. Maybe it was the uniform that made him so tall.
He moved closer and, using the rag she hadn’t notice in his hand, removed the cap. Steam spewed for a couple of seconds and he smiled down at her. “I think I see the problem.”
“It’s a POS.”
She wanted to bristle at that, but it was too true. “Well, that’s one of the problems.” She started to brush back the dark curly hair that had escaped the clip, but changed hands at the pain. He spotted the burn on her wrist.
“Steam got you. Come here.” He headed back toward his cruiser and with nothing else to do, she followed. He pulled a bottle of water from the door pocket and opened it. The cold wetness caused her to catch her breath, but it felt good. Small blisters had already formed.
The officer, who was R. Nelson according to the name tag on his pocket, pulled out a first aid kit. He gently smeared a blue gel over the burn.
He nodded. “I don’t need to see your license, but how about your name?”
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