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On the Run with the Lawman

Written by Delores Fossen

Chapter Three

Hell.

Pete drew his gun and hoped like the devil that Cassie was lying. He knew for a fact she was very good at telling lies, but right now he preferred that to the alternative—that he might have two hit men nearby.

He took hold of Cassie's arm with his left hand in case she tried to bolt, or grab her gun, and had another look out the window. The flashlight was off now, and Pete could no longer see the two men. That didn't mean they weren't out there though. They'd been dressed all in black and could be hiding in too many places to count. Of course, this could all be a false alarm, too.

Though it didn't feel like one.

Pete slapped off the living room and porch lights using the switch by the door. He considered calling for backup but decided to wait and see how this went.

"Are those men connected to the money laundering?" he asked.

The muscles in her arm were stiff. Her breathing was way too fast. She looked up at him, and though he could no longer clearly see her face, he heard the small sound of fear that bubbled up in her throat.

"I'm so sorry," she whispered.

He hated the apology almost as much as he hated not knowing what was going on. "Answer the question. Are they involved in the money laundering with you?"

No sound of fear this time. More like anger. "There was no money laundering. Not on my part anyway. I was set up. Maybe by those men. Maybe by the person who hired them."

Too bad he didn't have her strapped to a lie detector right now. However, if she was indeed innocent, then something else was going on. But what?

"You have to leave," Cassie insisted. "They're not after you."

He tapped his badge though she clearly hadn't forgotten that situations like this were part of a lawman's job. Besides, he still had to arrest her.

"Who hired them?" Pete added.

She opened her mouth, but before she could answer, Pete saw the movement. One of the men darted behind a tree, and thanks to the milky moonlight, he saw the guy was wearing a ski mask. He was also carrying a rifle and had another weapon in a shoulder holster. And more. Pete was sure that was an infrared device he'd aimed at the house. These goons were monitoring his and Cassie's every move.

Well, there went his theory about this being a false alarm. Someone out for a late night stroll wouldn't don a ski mask and come armed to the hilt. It was time to call for help though it'd be at least ten or fifteen minutes before anyone could arrive.

Pete locked the door and took out his phone. "I'm at Cassie's place, and I need backup," he told Sheriff Cooper McKinnon when he answered. "Approach with caution. Two men are in the east side of the front yard. At least one of them is armed."

The sheriff paused, probably because like Pete this wasn't anything he'd expected. "Any idea what they want?"

"Not yet. But I'm about to find out." Pete ended the call, and without taking his attention off the spot where he'd seen the man, he put his phone back in his pocket.

"Start talking," he told Cassie. "I want answers that'll explain whatever the hell is going on here."

She didn't exactly jump into an explanation. It took her several snail-crawling moments. "I'm not the person you think I am."

Pete huffed. "Tell me something I don't know." Except he got the feeling this was about a lot more than just the money laundering and those men outside.

"I got involved with the wrong person," she said, her voice barely louder than a whisper. "And then I got involved with you. God, Pete. I'm so sorry."

He was about to press her for a whole lot more, but the man behind the tree stepped out, and he aimed something directly at the house. Not the infrared device or his rifle, either.

A launcher.

Maybe for tear gas or a smoke bomb. Maybe for a grenade.

"Move!" Pete warned Cassie, and he started running with her in tow. Not a second too soon, either.

Whatever the man fired at them came crashing through the window.

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About the author

When I was a child, I used to sneak around collecting fingerprints, ha...

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Delores Fossen

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