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On the Run with the Lawman

Written by Delores Fossen

Chapter Six

Cassie jolted awake, the scream wedged in her throat. She jackknifed to a sitting position and automatically snatched up her gun from the nightstand.

The images in her head were so real that it took her a moment to realize it was the nightmare. Again.

"You okay?" someone asked. Pete.

Cassie certainly hadn't forgotten that Pete was in the cabin with her, but she hadn't realized he would be so close. Too close. He was sitting on the edge of the bed next to her.

"Bad dreams," she said. A massive understatement. She was shaking. And crying. She felt the tears on her cheeks and wiped them away.

"Bad dreams about Everett?"

She nodded, took a few seconds to gather her thoughts and her breath. "I'd planned to testify against him, but when he disappeared, I figured he would come after me. Or my sister, Anna. I've had her in hiding, too, with a round-the-clock bodyguard who used to be head of our security. Frank James."

"Why didn't you keep Anna with you?" he asked.

"I thought it'd be easier for Everett to find us if we were together. I wanted to blend in, not stand out in any way. That's why I took the job at the Outlaw Bar." Though she hadn't needed the money. Her inheritance had seen to that, but an unemployed woman with no means of support would have definitely raised questions in a small town.

Pete stared at her and wiped away a tear she'd missed. "He killed my brother Danny. Everett gunned him down when Danny learned about Everett's dirty dealings."

Cassie nodded again, not trusting her voice. She knew the details. And the devil that was in those details. She was in those details.

"If you've been so careful hiding from Everett, why come to Sweetwater Springs?" he asked. That was his lawman's tone. "Everett knows I'm Danny's brother."

"Hiding in plain sight." That was almost the truth.

Almost.

His stare was all lawman, too, as if he was waiting for her to admit that almost. She didn't. "Is Cassie even your real name?" he asked.

"My middle name. I'm Elizabeth Cassandra Milford." And she braced herself in case Pete made the connection.

But he didn't seem to. If he had, she would have seen hatred in his expression. Instead, she saw something else. Concern.

And yes, the blasted heat that'd caused her to make the mistake of sleeping with him.

For the last three months since she'd broken things off with him, she'd seen only disgust in Pete's eyes whenever they ran into each other.

No disgust right now though.

"Did you sleep with me because you felt sorry for me?" he asked. "Was it pity sex?"

Cassie pulled back her shoulders and felt not only the heat but also the anger rush through her. So much anger that it clearly messed with her mind. Because she did the unthinkable.

Cassie grabbed Pete and kissed him.

She'd intended for the kiss to make a point. That pity had nothing to do with what'd happened between them. But it was a risky way to set him straight. Risky, because Pete finished what she started.

He snapped her to him. Body to body. And kissed her long, hard and deep. He tasted exactly the way he looked—hot and slightly dangerous. When he finally broke the contact, Cassie didn't have much breath left. Didn't care, either.

"I was just checking," he drawled.

Cassie was about to blast him for playing with fire, but his phone rang before she could say anything.

He glanced at the screen. "It's Cooper." And Pete put the call on speaker.

"I'm out at Cassie's place," she heard the sheriff say the moment Pete answered. "Those men who attacked you—they left a message for Cassie." Cooper paused, cursed. "What the hell kind of secrets is Cassie keeping?"

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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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