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On the Run with the Lawman

Written by Delores Fossen

Chapter Nine

Pete was still reeling from the bombshell of everything he'd just learned about Cassie and Danny. The last thing he wanted to do was face down Everett's hit men, but that's exactly what would happen if Cassie and he stayed put.

"Let's go," Pete insisted, already drawing his gun.

Though he really didn't have to say it since Cassie was already moving. After she'd showered the night before, she hadn't changed into PJs or a gown but rather jeans and a top. She slipped on the shoes right next to her bed and grabbed her bag, also next to the bed. It was obvious she'd been living in a state of readiness—and fear—for a long time.

"How did this happen?" she asked the marshal as they headed toward the front of the house. She pressed the speaker function, drew her gun, and together Pete and she looked out the front windows.

No one was out there. Or at least no one he could see. Since it was morning, it was much easier to see the yard and surroundings unlike the night before.

"I'm not sure what went wrong," the marshal answered, "but it's possible someone tampered with my phone and used it to pinpoint your location when you called earlier. It's also possible the other location has been compromised, too."

Cassie groaned. Pete cursed. Everett was an expert in security. They should have anticipated something like this would happen.

"Don't tell me where you're going and don't call me once you've moved," the marshal added. "I'll contact you once I'm sure it's safe. I'll also call in some back-up for you." And with that, he hung up.

Pete wondered if safe was even possible. Probably not as long as Everett was out there. "Could someone have tampered with the SUV, too?" he asked.

"Not without the alarm system going off. It's connected to my cell phone so I would have gotten an alert."

That was something at least. They wouldn't have to get out of there on foot.

"See anyone?" she asked.

Pete shook his head, grabbed the keys for the SUV. "Move fast. I'll drive. I know where we can go."

She didn't argue. Didn't say a word until they'd reached the SUV. Pete started the engine and got them out of there fast while both Cassie and he kept watch around them.

"I'm sorry," she said.

"Don't." And yeah, it was a warning. Pete not only didn't have time for an apology, he didn't want the distraction of having to relive all the old feelings a conversation like that would bring up.

She glanced at the farm road when he took the first turn. "Please tell me you're not taking me into town."

"No." But close. "I'm taking you to Sweetwater Ranch."

Cassie looked at him as if he'd lost his mind. Heck, maybe he had. But it was either that or the sheriff's office, and Pete didn't want to go there until he was positive Bruce Cantores couldn't somehow rat out their location.

"The ranch is the sheriff's home," she pointed out.

And his brothers and sisters lived there, too. "We're not going to the main house, but there's a hunting cabin on the back part of the property we can use." Best not to tell her it's where Pete and Cooper's younger brother, Colt, had taken their girlfriends when they were teenagers.

She was shaking her head before he even finished. "I don't want to put anyone else in danger. Especially you. You know who I am, what I've done, so just drop me off somewhere and distance yourself from me."

Pete gave her a frosty glare to let her know that wasn't going to happen. "I'm a lawman, and even if I weren't, I wouldn't bow out of this." And he damn sure didn't want to explore all the reasons why.

Nor did he have time.

He rounded the curve and had to slam on the brakes to stop the SUV from plowing right into a car that was parked sideways on the road.

Hell. What now?

But Pete didn't have to wait long for an answer. Because he recognized the man who stepped from the truck.

It was Everett Welsh.

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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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