Authors: Kathi S. Barton
Force of Nature Series
Kathi S. Barton
World Castle Publishing, LLC
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locations, organizations, or person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
World Castle Publishing
Copyright © Kathi S. Barton 2014
First Edition World Castle Publishing
, LLC, March 7, 2014
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles and reviews.
Cover: Karen Fuller
“I’ve made arrangements to leave him
,” Mary said. Molly looked at her sister as she continued. “I’ve found a lawyer that seems to know his shit and has sworn to me that Carter will never know what hit him until it’s too late. I have to do this now. I’m sick to death of having to lie about the bruises and his inability to be nice to me.”
Molly looked out over the yard she and Mary had been walking in.
It wasn’t all that far from the house really, but there were no cameras here and no way for Carter to walk in on them while they were talking. Molly hated her brother-in-law almost as much as Mary did. But Mary had tried this before and had ended up in the hospital for a month when he’d found out. Molly knew her sister needed this and if this guy fucked her over, Molly would rip his ass up.
I want you to do this. You have to. But what does he get out of this? Divorce? Will you have to pay him anything to support him?” Mary shook her head. “I don’t believe it. He’ll have some slick lawyer take you to the cleaners and when he does that, what will you do then?”
“Start over. You know that none of this means as much to me as it ever did to him.
I only have this house because he wanted it and back then, I wanted him to be happy.” Mary looked over the fields toward the house. “For all I care he can have it all. I’ve got what I wanted. Doing what I do is fun for me, not so much like a job. Carter was…he was something…Carter was a mistake. A huge one. And now I can see that he only stayed with me this long for the money.”
Molly knew he’d been the wrong person for her sister long before they were married. She’d even gone so far as to tell her sister that he was only after her money. But Mary had
told her she was in love. It had taken her being put in the hospital for Molly to find out the real truth. She’d married the bastard thinking he was saving her. Molly would never forgive Carter for that. She looked at Molly when she spoke again.
“Those cameras that you put in for me worked well when I went to see the lawyer.
He was able to get a clear picture of Carter doing what he does best. My lawyer is a nice guy, his name is Phil Campbell. You’d like him. There’s something about him that…I know it sounds weird, but I didn’t think he was normal.” Mary shook her head as she continued. “Anyway. The camera in our bedroom. He asked me if I had proof that Carter was seeing anyone, and I pulled out my tablet. I’m so glad you showed me how to look in on the house while away. When I showed him the one in our bedroom, Carter was fucking someone. Well, he was doing more than that, but you get the idea.”
“What did the lawyer say?”
Molly wasn’t going to trust anyone just yet. She’d had to look into several other lawyers for her sister and all of them had some connection to Carter. Even if it had been someone he’d had a drink with or even walked by at the club, he was off the list of anyone she wanted her sister to use. Molly was going to protect her sister at all costs.
“He thought it was a recording. I assured him that it was not.” Mary laughed, something Molly hadn’t heard her do in a long time.
“I had to show him that the camera was set up with the timestamp on it. He was impressed with your work as well as pissed that Carter could be so callous.”
“Carter needs to be ended.”
Mary didn’t say anything and Molly didn’t either. Sometimes, Molly knew that her sister needed to do things her own way rather than be bullied. And Molly knew that she was a great bullier.
They turned to head back when the force of something hit her so hard it pitched her forward.
Pain cascaded all over her body like she’d been drenched in it. As she fell forward into the grass, she saw her sister fall too. Molly heard the report of the gunshot echo over the hillside just as she was shot again. This time the pain was sickening and she knew that someone was trying to kill them. Pain made her sick, and she threw up twice before moving to her sister. But something warm, blood likely, was blurring her vision.
Molly made herself move to her sister when she said her name. At first she couldn’t see her, but when she did, she had to sit up a little to make sure it was her. There was so much blood that Molly was sure she’d had it dumped on her. But a third shot rang out and Molly laid back down.
I don’t know where the shots are coming from, so just lay still.” Mary didn’t answer her, and Molly was afraid. “Mary, please answer me.”
“He’s doing this.
Carter. He’s trying to kill me.” Molly didn’t answer her because her mind was racing to figure out how to get them out of this. She reached for her cell phone just as another shot hit her in the leg.
Molly was going to kill the bastard if she lived
through this. He’d fucking shot them. When the operator answered the phone, Molly gave her everything she would need to send out the troops.
Sergeant Molly Barker, badge number nine-three-seven.” She gave her the address where she was and where they were in the yard. “I need an ambulance as well as support. There is a sniper shooting at us.”
“The team in on the way.” Molly closed her eyes. The pain was making her dizzy
again, and she knew that she was losing blood too fast to survive. “Do you know who the shooter is?”
She didn’t and wouldn’t say so even if she knew it was Carter. He was hers, and she was fucking going to take him out even if she lost her badge because of it. The dispatcher asked her several more questions, none of which Molly could answer. She looked over at Mary again and saw that her eyes were closed.
No answer, and Molly felt her heart pound. Moving slowly, she reached over and nearly cried out when she felt her sister’s pulse. It was slow but help was on the way. She started talking because she wanted her sister to live, and she had to do something. When talking to Mary and getting no answers again scared her, she started talking to the dispatcher.
“The shots have stopped for now. There were five total. All coming from the West.” Molly turned slight
ly to see the house. “The house is south of where we are. My sister, Mary Ravenhall, is with me.”
“The ETA for the squad and ambulance is about three minutes.”
Molly nodded and felt the phone slip from her fingers. She was losing blood fast, she knew, and could no longer feel her legs. The shakes started almost as soon as she could hear the sirens. They’d save Mary.
Someone was talking to her. When Molly opened
her eyes, she looked at the blurry man in front of her and pulled her gun up to shoot him. Someone pressed her hand back to the ground, and he laughed.
“Good guy here.
If you promise to let go of the gun, I’ll finish patching you up.” Molly tried twice to tell him to forget her and go to Mary, but he seemed to understand. “She’s been loaded up already and on her way to life flight. She is in bad shape.”
ot.” He nodded, and she felt her gun being pulled from her fingers. “I need that back in case they come back.”
“You don’t have to worry,
I’ve got it.” She glanced at the other man standing over her and had to close her eyes. She couldn’t have made him out if her life depended on it. “It’s your captain. What the fuck are you doing out here getting shot to shit?”
I was bored to death and thought I’d pissed someone off. You know how I am.” He laughed, and she closed her eyes again against the pain. “Mary is hurting. Can you make sure she gets the best? And someone outside her door?”
“I’m going to watch over the two of you.
I’ll keep you both safe. My favorite actress is in that chopper and my…well, my best investigator is laying here shot to shit.” Captain Martin Huffman would, too. He was like a bear with his cubs when someone from his department was hurt in the line of duty. “You want to tell me what you know?”
“No.” He said he didn’t think she would.
“Hurt.” She was, too. Her entire body felt as if she’d been shot several times and was bleeding out. Molly smiled a little, knowing that was just what had happened. When someone lifted her up, she couldn’t have stopped the scream if someone had put a gun to her head. She was moving down the road when she thought of something.
She had allergies to some meds.” The man with her said he knew, that it had been on her paperwork when they’d called it in. “I’m not going to make it, am I?”
The medic looked at her for a long while before he shrugged.
“You’ve been shot four times. The one in your chest is bleeding so bad that I think whoever hit you hit something vital. And the one in your leg grazed your artery there, too. You’re bleeding faster than we can put it in you.”
“My sister. Will you tell her that I’m sorry?” He nodded. “Tell her…tell her to run and hide.” Her body started to get cold
, and she felt the tears run down her face. Breathing became harder, and she could feel herself slipping away. Death was coming, and there wasn’t a fucking thing she could do about it.
Molly closed her eyes as she started to fade out.
Memories, most of them with Mary, swirled around in her head so quickly that she was sick from the motion. But as they started to fade as well, she felt as if she was being given a great gift in seeing her sister once more before she died. Molly let death take her.
Phil woke with a start. He had no idea what had disturbed his rest, but he knew that whatever it was, it was huge. As soon as he reached for Holly, he knew that someone was coming toward the two of them. He started to let his beast go but realized at the last minute that it was Randy Atkins. The man was on a mission.
As soon as he knocked on the door, Phil got up and moved toward it. When he knocked a second
, then a third time, Phil decided that the man had to learn some manners in a vampire’s house. But as soon as he looked at the younger man, he knew that whatever had happened was worth what he was doing.
“What is it? Is it the family?
What happened?” He felt Holly rise as well and moved into the hall. Randy was shaking, he was so upset. “Take a deep breath and let it out slowly.”
“The actress, the one that was here the other day
? She’s been shot.” Phil thought of the video that he’d seen of the husband and knew that he’d shot his wife. “They’re taking her to surgery now. She and another woman were shot several times when they were out walking the estate. If he finds out about the divorce, he might pay someone to finish the job. I’ve already sent a bunch of the pack over to keep an eye on them. My friend at the hospital said they’re both in bad shape. The younger one coded twice on the way to the hospital.”
“When did this happen?”
Phil moved toward the stairs, agreeing with Randy. The man would lose a great deal when the divorce went through. And a good deal more if she died and he was guilty of the crime. He went to his office as he willed clothes on his body. The robe would not do if he had to leave soon.
“About an hour ago.
Like I said, I have a friend on the force, and he called me about ten minutes ago. I had someone watching for reports of abuse, and when her name came up, he called.” Phil knew that Randy was going to make a good lawyer. Hell, the boy knew more people than he did, and it seemed that all of them owed him a favor. He answered the phone on the first ring, then looked at him as he relayed the information. “The other woman is her sister. A Molly Barker. She’s on the police force in that area. They said she isn’t expected to make it.”
Mary had talked about her sister as much as she had her cheating husband.
She was the one that had convinced her sister to file for divorce. She had also been the one that had taught Miss Ravenhall how to fight in all those action scenes that were in her movies. Phil had watched several of them after she’d left his office and was more impressed with the young actress.
They were headed to the hospital when Phil’s phone rang.
It was the hospital. Apparently Miss Ravenhall had told someone to contact him. He told the operator that he was on his way.
“If you can get here sooner rather than later, it
’d be better. Both of the women are in bad shape.” Phil told Holly to go faster and assured the woman on the phone he would be there soon. “She’s been asking for you. And her sister. We’ve not told her yet how extensive the injuries were to her. But I think Miss Ravenhall knows. Phil…I don’t think either of them are going to last the hour.”
was standing near the door going into intensive care just as a man came down the hall. He was the husband. It wasn’t hard to tell that he had been with another woman when this had happened, but Phil would bet his last dollar that he had been a part of it. When he was near him, Carter Ravenhall looked him over like he was a bug on a wall.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing here? My wife didn’t call you in.” Phil didn’t answer but continued to stare at him.
“I asked you a question, you little bastard. What the fuck do you think you’re doing here with my wife?”
“You know, I almost didn’t recognize you with your clothes on. You’re the husband, aren’t you?” Carter sneered at him. “Yes, I remember you now. Wife beater and cheater. Did you really think you’d get away with this?”