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On the Run with the Lawman

Written by Delores Fossen

Chapter Five

Pete had known that knot in his gut meant trouble, but he hadn't realized just how big this particular trouble would be.

He glanced around. No sign of those grenade launching men, but that didn't mean they wouldn't return for round two. After all, they must have known he was a cop and yet they'd had no hesitation about firing a shot into the SUV.

"Go to the sheriff's office," Pete instructed Cassie when she reached the intersection that led to town.

"I can't." And she immediately went in the opposite direction.

Pete cursed. "I have the feeling anything I say to you is just going to create more questions. So, start talking, and you'd better have a damn good reason why all of this is happening and begin with why you just disobeyed an order. Oh, and in case you missed it—it was indeed an order."

She blew out a long breath. Nodded. "We can't go to the sheriff's office because I'm pretty sure the emergency dispatcher, Bruce Cantores, is on the take. If I'm right, he'll tell those gunmen I'm there, and they'll come after me."

Pete hardly knew Cantores so he couldn't argue with the guy possibly being on the take. However, that didn't mean Cassie wouldn't be safe at the sheriff's office. Well, hopefully it wouldn't. What else wasn't she telling him?

"You're not a cocktail waitress, are you?" he asked.

Cassie shook her head. "I'm in WITSEC, and considering what just happened, I think it's safe to say my identity's been blown."

"WITSEC," he repeated. And suddenly a few things made sense. Cassie's secretive ways. The little lies he'd caught her telling. Maybe even their affair that she'd nipped in the bud. "Those men are connected to the reason you're in WITSEC?"

"Yes." And that's all she said for a long time. "They're almost certainly working for Everett Welsh."

It felt as if someone had punched him—twice. It was a name Pete knew all too well. Detective Everett Welsh. A dirty Houston cop who'd been accused of murdering a fellow officer, Danny Nichols.

Pete's brother.

Even though it'd been a year since all of that had happened, it still felt fresh and raw. Always would. Mainly because Everett hadn't been brought to justice. He'd disappeared before the cops could arrest him.

After a long look in the side and rearview mirrors, Cassie took the road that led to Mercy Creek. Then, almost immediately she took another turn, then another, working her way along the dirt roads that snaked through the area.

"How do you know Everett Welsh?" he asked.

"He worked for me." It sounded as if she were choosing her words carefully. "I own a private security company in Houston. I inherited it from my father, and Everett regularly moonlighted for me as a bodyguard and on protection details. My sister and I run the business—all remotely now, of course—since we're both in hiding."

Pete had to replay that several times in his head. Definitely not a cocktail waitress, something he should have figured out before this whole fiasco. "What exactly does Everett want from you?"

"He wants me dead so I can't testify against him." She didn't hesitate, either. "I can't put him away for murder, but I did uncover him committing some assorted felonies. Including money laundering."

She took yet another turn on a road that could barely qualify as a road and stopped the SUV in front of a fishing cabin.

"I'm renting this place under an alias." She pulled the keys from the ignition and handed them to him. In the same motion, Cassie scooped up one of the bags from the backseat, added a gun and some ammo to it.

Her gaze came to his. "Take the SUV and leave. But give me a couple of hours before you tell anyone you left me here. I know it's a lot to ask but please, just do it."

Until she added the please, Pete had been about to tell her hell no. However, the please coupled with that look of fear in her eyes was a bad combination. He'd always been a sucker for a damsel in distress, and while Cassie wasn't exactly a damsel, she was in plenty distress.

Especially with a killer like Everett after her.

"I'm staying here with you," Pete informed her. He added some profanity under his breath. Not for Cassie. He aimed it at himself, figuring this was a mistake he was going to sorely regret come morning.

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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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