The stinging pain from the flying glass eased, thanks to Sam’s tending his wounds. But the physical pain was nothing in comparison to his fear for Sam. She could have been hit when she’d rushed out of the bedroom firing. And even after calling for help, he wasn’t sure if it would arrive in time or at all. He wasn’t really sure where they were, so he hadn’t been able to give an exact location.
“We can’t just sit here, waiting for them to find us or for the shooter to come back,” Sam said, her voice sharp with frustration.
Braden understood; he felt the same way, like a sitting duck.
“But we can’t go back out there either,” she continued. “The shooter has to be waiting for us.”
“For you…” Braden amended.
She tensed. “So you do think this person is after me? That it’s something to do with my arson investigations?”
He hadn’t, but he realized now that she did. “You think it does?”
She nodded. “When I picked up the suspect, I got a strange vibe from the dad.”
He nodded. “He must have followed you.”
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I should have noticed.”
He groaned. “God, Sam, look at me. I can’t even figure out who the saboteur on my team is. Don’t be so hard on yourself.”
“But even you know he’s after me—”
“Because he must think he got me,” Braden pointed out. “He thinks I’m dead or wounded. I can get the drop on him. We just need to make sure that’s what he believes.”
“How?” she asked.
“You have to act.”
She chuckled and shook her head. “I might not be able to pull this off…”
“Think about how you get arsonists to confess,” he said. “Do what you do best.”
She nodded, and he knew they had a good chance of making this work. Moments later, when she started screaming and crying, he nearly believed it himself. And pain clutched his heart. “No!” she screamed. “Hang on, my love!” she said to the pillows they’d piled beneath a blanket on the glass-strewn living room floor.
And as she cried in front of the broken doors, Braden slipped out the bedroom window. Keeping low to the ground, he watched the woods. And soon enough he caught the glint off a gun barrel aiming toward the house.
Would he get to the shooter in time? Would he be able to stop him before the guy fired at Sam?
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