Authors: Lillian Duncan
Tags: #Mystery: Cozy - Newlyweds - Ohio
|Lillian Duncan - Until Death Do Us Part|
|Lost Found Books (2014)|
|Tags:||Mystery: Cozy - Newlyweds - Ohio|
Until Death Do Us Part
Copyright © 2014 by Lillian Duncan/Lost & Found Books
Cover Design by Delia Latham
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from
the Holy Bible, New International Version(R), NIV(R), Copyright 1973,
1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All
rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com
eBook Edition License Notes
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Publisher’s Note: This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
This and all I do is for God’s Glor
Theresa Addams drove down the mountain road toward Paw Paw in her canary yellow VW Bug. She loved her car. The more color in her life the better.
She rounded a curve and slammed hard on the brake.
A car was blocking her lane. Another vehicle—a van was half on the shoulder and half in the ditch. Must have been an accident.
Nowhere on this mountain road was a good place to have an accident but this had to be the wo
rst possible place. Which is probably why it happened in that exact spot. The curve had hidden the disabled cars until the last possible moment.
slow driver, she’d stopped without a problem. But the next driver might not be quite as slow or as careful.
The two men were yelling and gesturing at each
other. Neither looked happy. In fact, they both looked as if they wanted to hit the other. She hesitated. Billy wouldn’t want her to step out into a situation with two unknown men.
ut if someone was hurt, she needed to help. After all she was a nurse.
After putting the car in park, she set the flashers to emergency.
Opening her car door, she stepped out.
The men turned toward her as she walked up to them.
“Is everything OK?”
“No, this idiot crashed
me, and my wife hit her head on the windshield.” He held up his cell phone. “And I can’t get a signal to call 911.”
Her gaze moved to the van
in the ditch. She didn’t see anyone. “Where is she?”
beyond the van. “She’s sitting on the grass. I didn’t think it was safe to stay in the van. Someone else might come along and hit us.” The man glared at the other driver.
“I’m a nurse. Let me get my medicine bag.”
“You go look at her. I can get your bag. Where is it?”
In the backseat.” She moved towards the other side of the car.
er driver crowded behind her. “I didn’t mean to hit them. I came around the curve and there they were. Just sitting there. Not moving. It wasn’t my fault. I couldn’t stop in time.”
“I’m sure it wasn’t. Accidents happen.”
She rounded the corner but no one was sitting on the grass. She turned and almost bumped into the man. “Where’s his wife?”
His arms whipped around her.
She stepped back, but he was too strong. His arm snaked around her and before she could move, the other hand smashed against her nose and mouth with a rag. E
Trying not to breath, she struggled. Couldn’t move…his…ha..n.
Billy hit some keys on the keyboard and watched the monitor.
A noise above his head
drew his attention.
Theresa must be back.
That couldn’t be right. She’d only left…he looked down at his watch. Oh, it had been more than three hours. Only seemed like a few minutes.
s how it was when he worked.
He stood and stretched his six foot four frame. He twisted to relieve the tension in his back. Old age was creeping in on him, inch by inch.
The truth couldn’t be denied, even if he refused to admit it to anyone but himself. Each year his black hair grew more speckled.
But Theresa was a good wife and a good nurse. Thanks to her prodding, the two of them
lived a healthy lifestyle—most of the time anyway. Except for when she wasn’t watching him.
Turning away from the bank of computers, he walked toward the sliding glass door that kept this area climate-controlled.
It was overkill, no doubt, but it gave him peace of mind to know that his computers were in perfect humidity and temperature.
He walked past his home theater and up the basement steps.
From the outside his home looked like a simple log cabin, but inside it had more technology and gadgets than Fort Knox. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but not by much.
He opened the basement door and walk
ed into the ultramodern kitchen he’d designed for Theresa.
Two men in masks stood in front of him.
His mind went numb but only for a split second. He charged toward the closest man.
The man aimed a gun at him. “Don’t come any closer.”
Billy kept charging.
An explosive boom and then a flash whirred out of the gun barrel toward him. He turned away but not quick enough. The impact of t
he bullet threw him backwards to the floor.
“I said to stop. Don’t make me shoot you again.”
Billy took deep breaths.
Focus on the man and the gun, not the pain in his arm.
Through clenched teeth, he said, “What do you want?”
“I want you to listen to me. I know you’re a tough guy
, but I also know you love your wife. And you wouldn’t want to do anything to hurt her.”
“Where is she?”
The other masked man inched closer to him. “Let me stop that bleeding and we’ll talk.”
Billy’s gaze flew to him and then to his bleeding arm.
“Don’t try anything or you’ll regret it.” The shooter commanded. “I know you’re going to want to fight, but remember we’ve got Theresa. My advice is to let him help you and then we can talk? Agreed?”
“I couldn’t hear you. I want you to say the words.”
“Fine. Go ahead and stop the bleeding.”
The man closest to him leaned down and pressed a towel on the side of his arm. “Keep pressing. The bleeding should stop.”
With his uninjured arm, Billy took the towel and pressed. He looked at the shooter. “Where’s Theresa? What’s going—”
“I’ll ask the questions. I’m the one in control.”
“Maybe so, but if I don’t call my friend in the next few minutes, the police will be here soon.”
“What are you talking about?”
Just what I said. I was on the phone with him when I heard the noise up here. Told him I’d call him right back. If I don’t, he’ll call the cops.”
“You want to take that chance?”
followed by a scream—his wife’s.
Dylan Monroe looked up from his computer screen. Modern farming included software, spreadsheets, and numerous apps guaranteeing better productivity, not to mention a great way to keep up with new research.
It wasn’t his grandfather’s way of farming any longer.
Smiling, he recognized her
scream as one of frustration not pain. Sounded like it came from the kitchen and that could mean anything. Who knew what she was doing in there?
decided to become
the perfect wife
Whatever that meant.
Her decision hadn’t been going well. First she planted an herb garden. It withered to nothing but weeds because she’d overwatered and over fertilized. Then came the quilting. The results were worse than the herb garden. Her fingers had looked like she’d wrestled with a porcupine for weeks. Now she was determined to do some canning.
He clicked the save button on the computer and stood. Better go see what happened.
He walked in the kitchen.
Broken jars littered the floor. Reggie knelt amid red liquid and clumps of tomatoes, picking up shards of glass. Long black hair hid her beautiful face. He reached down and caressed her thick black curls.
He couldn’t believe she’d actually married him. He’d never have thought it possible the day she crashed into him with her cute little red sports car. God had blessed him that day. “What happened, sweetie?”
She brushed the hair out of her face revealing tears. Using her hands, she moved from her knees to a standing position. “I’m worthless. That’s all there is to it. Worthless.”
He tousled her hair. “That’s a ridiculous thing to say, Reggie Meyers Monroe. You are not worthless. You’re the most precious thing in the—”
She swatted his hand away. “Don’t.” She glared at him. Her hands moved to her jean-clad hips, her eyes narrowed challenging him to disagree. “Do not patronize me. I can’t do anything right and you know it. ”
He stepped back as he dropped his arms to his sides. “What’s wrong?”
“What do you mean?” Her hands moved in a circular motion encompassing their kitchen and the tomato covered floor. “I can’t even can a few measly tomatoes correctly.”
“It looks like you did to me.” He took an appreciative sniff. The tang and saltiness of freshly canned tomatoes made his mouth water. “It smells like you did a good job, too. Got any left? You know how I love tomatoes.”
“But I dropped them.”
“Accidents happen.” He hid the smile that threatened. “It’s no big deal. So, you dropped a few jars. It happens to everyone.”
“Really? Have you ever seen your mom drop twelve jars of freshly canned tomatoes on the floor?”
Twelve of them—that was bad. No wonder she was more frustrated than a catfish in the desert. He shrugged. “Probably.”
“When?” She demanded as if he was the witness and she the prosecuting attorney.
“I don’t know. I can’t remember specifically, but what dif
ference does it make anyway?” He moved in to hug her but she backed away. “You are not in competition with my mother.”
Her hand fluttered through the air as if hailing a cab. “That’s what I thought. Of course, she’s never done anything so ridiculous. She’s perfect.”
“She’s not, and besides they’re just tomatoes.”
She ran a hand through her hair, mixing tomatoes with it. “Never min
d. I don’t understand why you love me? I can’t do anything right, not even can tomatoes.”
This conversation was getting more bizarre by the second. He needed to get her mind off the ruined tomatoes and on to something else. “Joni called. She wants you—”
“Joni would never do this.” She pointed a finger at the mess.
“Regardless of what you think, my sister and mom aren’t without their faults. I remember one Thanksgiving dinner when Joni—”
“Maybe not, but they’re a lot more perfect than me.” She threw her arms up in frustration. “You deserve a much better wife than me.”
He sighed. “I don’t want a better wife. I want you” He winked at her.
She glared at him and marched toward the paper towel rack. He reached for her shoulder but she shook him off. “We’ve been through this before, I didn’t marry you because you could can tomatoes or plant’em or grow’em. I don’t even care if you help me pick’em. I married you because I love you. You are a sweet and loving and wonderful woman.”
She swiped at the tears on her cheeks and managed to smudge more juice on them. She looked adorable, but she wouldn’t welcome the compliment at the moment. “Let me clean up here and you go take a bath and relax. Then, we’ll do something fun. Time for a road trip. What do you say
to an overnight trip?”
She stared down at her hands as if noticing the red goop for the first time. She grimaced. “My mess. My problem.”
He leaned down and scooped up a handful of squished tomatoes from the blue tiled floor, juice dripped through his fingers. “Oh, stop being so serious.” He moved his hand into a pitching position.
“Dylan Monroe, don’t even think about it.” A hint of a smile cracked her tomato-covered face.
He advanced toward her. “Too late. I’m already thinking about it. Now the question becomes will he or won’t he?” Another step. “You have a choice. Go take a bath or…” His hand moved up as if he were ready to toss the tomatoes at her.
She stepped back. “You wouldn’t dare.”
He chuckled an evil laugh. “Oh, wouldn’t I?” He lobbed it toward her.
She ducked and ran
down the hall.
A moment later his arms encircled her waist. “Gottya.”
She turned toward him. His mouth found hers. When they separated, he smiled at her. “I have a better idea and it doesn’t have anything to do with a road trip.”
“Really? What a surprise.”
She wrapped her arms around his neck.
d her up and carried her across the threshold.