Catching Cara:Dark Horse, Inc: Book 2

By: Amy J. Hawthorn

Three weeks ago…

* * *

Boyd Campbell finished wiping down the sparse motel room, erasing his prints. He threw his laptop and charger on top of his clothes and zipped the duffle closed. Slinging the bag over his shoulder, he grabbed his weapons case. A quick onceover assured him the room was empty.

Travel light, move fast, and leave no footprints behind.

The simple lesson served him well over the past few years, so he’d be a fool to ignore it now. He’d laid Preston Hayes’ murder on his crazy uncle’s head. There’d been more than enough evidence to put the good senator away for the rest of his years, but when you added the Senator’s drama at Walker Farms, no one in their right mind would believe his uncle’s raving protests of innocence.

Still, Boyd had a burning need to get the hell out of Riley Creek and Potter County. It was too close to his home, Bourbon County, and those Dark Horse assholes. If he lingered any longer, he’d feel the heat of Rick Evans breathing down his neck. While he’d like to go head-to-head with the prick, it wouldn’t be smart. He couldn’t afford the attention a confrontation would bring.

He opened the door with hem of his shirt and walked into the evening humidity.

Fuck. Me.

He stopped dead in his tracks.

Marcus Sutton leaned against the driver’s side door of Boyd’s SUV. He inhaled a long pull of his cigarette before he flicked the butt at Boyd’s feet. “Campbell.”

He met Sutton’s dark, menacing gaze and silently held his ground. What could he say when a ghost from the past appeared on his doorstep?

Only this ghost was no Casper.

“Fine. I see how well you appreciate my favor. We’ll skip the small talk and get down to business. You owe me.” Sutton pinned him in place with eyes so dark, they might as well have been coal.

Ages ago, Boyd had needed safe passage and not many people had the resources or the balls to provide him with the kind of assistance he’d needed in BFE, Afghanistan. He’d known eventually the day would come when the price he paid would be a steep one. Then again, expecting it didn’t make swallowing the pill any less difficult.

Boyd remained silent, waiting.

Cold, dead eyes, bored into him. “Let’s go somewhere and have a chat.”

Chapter One

She flinched as a flash of white light split the sky in two. Gripping the wheel tighter in one hand, she used the other to increase the speed of her windshield wipers before gripping the wheel again. Water roared down from the sky even faster, making the blades nearly worthless, even though they swiped back and forth at warp speed.

Thunder boomed, and she choked back a cry of terror. Her palms grew slick and her heart fluttered against her sternum. Dark spots swam in her vision.

She drew in a deep, stuttered breath and told herself it would be okay. There was nothing to be afraid of. Crazy intense summer storms boiled up in Kentucky all the time. As a perfect example of their fury, this one was wild, dramatic, and violent. She knew that, nine times out of ten, they blew themselves out just as quickly as they appeared.

But it wasn’t the storm itself that scared her so badly. The thunder that came with it turned her normally confident and in control self into a whimpering mess. She hated that more than anything else. After all she’d been through, something as simple as a summer storm shouldn’t still contain the power to cripple her.

Her shoulders ached from the tension of holding the steering wheel in a white-knuckled death grip. She focused on slowing her breathing. In through her nose. Out through her mouth.

The cascade of water slamming against her car slowed to an almost manageable rainfall.

She drew in another deep breath. Exhaled. She was fine.

Until gunfire hit her car.

Bang! Bang! Bang bang bang!

No. She was fine. It was hail beating her car to death, not bullets. She was in Kentucky and headed home. She saw the blur of rolling green fields out the window to her left and a forest of madly waving trees out the right. This was not Afghanistan.

She slowed her already crawling car even more and prayed that no one came up too quickly behind her on the country road. I can do this. I’ll be okay. The winding road straightened out in about another mile and a half. She could make it that far then pull over in the little church parking lot.

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