Authors: Kathi S. Barton
She might not be able to see if they
were clean, but she could see that they were white. She zoomed in on who she
thought was the sleeper as he walked toward him. She had never understood why
Garrett had called them sleepers. He had told her once it was because they
could go past you as if in a dream. Bullshit. She knew every time one was near
“He has him in his sights. He said that
he doesn’t see a gun.”
Lynne snorted when she herself could see
he was armed and knew that Garrett was lying to her again.
“He’s about five yards away.”
By the time the sleeper was about ten
feet away, the man had seen him. He turned in the opposite direction and
started walking away. Lynne was no longer watching the sleeper, but the man who
had staked out her house. When he slipped around the corner and out of her
sight she waited. This was, she was sure, far from over. The car coming around
the same corner had her watch in fascination as the sleeper was gunned down.
“He said he’s got a make on the man. The
sleeper said for you to slip out the back and to a safe house.”
Lynne made no comment as she watched the
car drive by her house fast. She got a great picture of the man driving as he
looked right at the camera for her. “Which safe house?” She rewound the
recording and froze it on the face. She blew it up until she could make out
features without distorting the image and she asked Garrett again.
“The sleeper is coming back in now.”
Lynne didn’t move.
“He said to tell you that the area is
clear. That it should be safe for you to move to the safe house now.”
If Lynne didn’t know before that Garrett
was bad news, she did now. He was lying and wanted her out in the open. She
looked out the back door to her house and thought about what he had said. Out
the back. He wanted her to go out the back. He had another operative out there
or someone that he had sold her to.
Lynne printed the picture and downloaded
all the information she had on the computer until now. She needed to make a
quick escape before they got trigger happy. She reached for her backpack as she
spoke to Garrett. “I’m on crutches. I took a tumble when I was going upstairs. I
don’t suppose you can have him wait a damned minute.” Her mind was whirling as
to how to proceed as she put her Bluetooth in her ear to move while talking to
him. “Let me get dressed then I’ll meet him in the alley behind my house. Can
he do that?”
“Sure. Let me get in touch with him.” As
he spoke to someone else again, she hobbled up the stairs and gathered all her
identifications she had stashed and her guns. She might be going out into the
unknown, but she wasn’t going to go down without a fight. The sudden knock at
her door startled her.
Going down the stairs slowly, she looked
in the peep hole and nearly laughed. She doubted that Walker would understand
her insanity right now so she tried to straighten up her face and opened the
door. He looked good enough to eat.
“I was just—”
She cut him off with her mouth. She
didn’t want whoever was watching the house to know who he was. But her plan
took a nice turn until she heard the phone bark in her ear.
“Lynne, how much longer are you going to
be? Damn it, girl, you need to get your ass in gear.”
She took a reluctant step back and put
her finger to her mouth when Walker started to speak.
“I’m here. Christ, will you give me a
break? I have to get dressed and then I need to make sure I’m not being
followed.” She handed her truck keys to Walker. “And I have to make sure that I
can come back here to a house that’s not been stripped empty.”
She found a piece of paper and wrote
Walker a note.
“Go to garage. Don’t start truck until you disengage the
safety mech. It’s under the steering wheel just under the ticker. Turn it to
He looked at her oddly, but turned to
go. Before he was out the door he turned back, pulled her to his body, and
kissed her again. When he moved out this time, she stood there for several
seconds trying to get her heart to slow to a reasonable speed again.
Grabbing up the rest of her things, she
handed them to Walker when he came back inside. She looked around, trying to
think if there was anything in the house she couldn’t replace or live without. Nothing.
She went to the wall nearest the stove and flipped down the little door. Pressing
in the code, she nodded to the garage again. Walker took the last of her things
and frowned at the gun in her hand. She would have to explain a few things to
him, but right now she didn’t have time.
“Hey, Garrett. Do you suppose you could
send in the guy? I’m having problems getting my crutches under me and my
overnight bag.” He said he would. “Tell him to knock on the back door three
times and I’ll come let him in.”
“He’ll be there in about five seconds.”
She looked at the timer on the computer
pad. Close, but not too bad.
When they were in the truck, she turned
to Walker. “Don’t move until I tell you to. Once the house blows, you’ll need
to drive straight out the back. This part of the garage is safe.”
“And you’ll tell me what the hell is
She nodded even though it sounded more
like a demand than a question.
“I want to know what the hell I just—”
The house blew. She didn’t know where he
had parked, but if he parked in her driveway then his vehicle was toast too, or
soon would be. As soon as she told him to go, he gunned it out the now missing
wall in what was once the back. He moved along the debris covered yard like the
hounds of hell were after him.
“My truck in on fire.”
She glanced back and saw it was. Using
the small remote on her phone, she punched in another code and his truck
exploded in flames as it reached for the sky. As it came back down to rest on
the large hole that was once her yard, it exploded again, this time
obliterating the entire thing.
Walker didn’t say anything. Actually, he
wasn’t sure what to say. Or even to ask. She’d blown up his truck as well as
her house. He glanced over at her and could see that she was in pain. And a
great deal of it. He wanted to let her suffer, but couldn’t. Reaching into his
pocket, he pulled out the prescription that he had picked up for her when Jane
had said her pain pills had been lost. He wondered, not for the first time, if
she’d lost them on purpose.
She stared at it for several seconds
before she popped it in her mouth and swallowed it dry. He knew then she was
hurting more than he could see. He turned where she said and decided that he’d
been patient enough. “What is it you do for a living?” He thought that was the
best way to start. “I know you claim to be a school teacher, but I think that’s
“I work for the United States
government. I also work with the CIA when they need me. The house was mine and
I will pay you for the truck.” He didn’t think it could get more surreal than
it was right now. “My boss, an operative for a group of people that the CIA
doesn’t control, just tried to have me killed. As I think on it, he is probably
the reason those other men were able to get into my house so easily. He had
“The men who were chasing you.”
“And now that you have no house, where
do we go?”
go to my own version of a safe
house after I drop you off somewhere.” She laid her head back and closed her
eyes. “There’s a hotel up Route Forty that you can stay at until I make
arrangements for you to get another vehicle.”
As she listed to the side, he wondered
if she thought he was actually going to leave her after this. When her head
leaned onto his shoulder he shifted on the seat and helped her lay across his
lap. He didn’t know what the hell was going on, but he was reasonably sure that
whatever it was she wasn’t going to tell him willingly. He decided that he was
going to keep her safe even if she shot him.
Smiling, Walker pulled out his cell
phone and called his brother. Khan answered on the first ring. This was not
going to go well from his tone. At this point Walker was pretty sure he didn’t
“I’m with Caitlynne. And I won’t be
coming back there until you can be civil to her and treat her as my mate.”
When Khan started cursing, Walker simply
hung up. He was ready to toss the phone out the window when it rang again. He
answered because the caller ID said his dad.
“You pissed him off something horrible. You
tell him to fuck off or else?”
Walker laughed at his dad’s humor.
“I hope to hell so. Someone needs to put
him in a place where he needs to see reason.”
“I won’t be coming home again until he
can promise me he’ll treat her respectfully.” His dad laughed again. “Do you
think that’s even possible?”
“Yes. And as much as I hate to agree
with you, I think this is best. Keep me in the loop, son. I don’t want anything
to happen to… That girl, didn’t Jane say she lived on Blueberry Avenue?”
“Yes. And yes, it was her house. I’ll
explain to you later.” As soon as he figured it out. “I’m going to stay with
her. I don’t know where yet, but I’ll be in touch.”
He ended up at a hotel on the same route
she’d said, but not sure which one she had thought of. Walker had chosen this
one because it had doors on the ground level and he could see the highway. He
didn’t know why, but had watched a great many spy movies to know that a person
wanted to be able to get back out on the road at a moment’s notice.
Walker had told the man that it was he
and his wife taking up residency in their place. He had no idea what she would
think about that, but right now, didn’t care. After he put her on the bed and
brought in the bags she had handed him, he sat down in the room’s only chair
and looked at her.
She was beautiful. He had noticed that
before, but now that she was resting and healthy he saw that her skin was a
creamy white with a small amount of freckles spread across her nose and cheeks.
He loved her long hair, red as a blazing sun, and she had the most amazing
colored eyes. He thought he’d never think of them as simply blue again. He then
looked over at the bags.
He was reasonably sure that one of them
held guns. He skipped over it to look at the other two. One had been in the
truck already and he discovered it had clothes in it. He’d looked before
bringing it in because he wasn’t sure if he should or not.
The next one held what he thought was a
laptop. It had the shape and weight of one of the midsized ones, but he wasn’t
sure. He didn’t want to snoop, but he did want to know. The last bag was about
medium-sized and though not heavy, he was sure it held things he didn’t want to
know about. He looked back at the one that held most of his attention.
“They’re guns and ammo.”
He looked over at her and flushed. He
didn’t want her to think he was some ass who’d gone through her things.
“You can open it if you want, but after
you do I’m going to leave here. I have to get as much distance between you and
me as I can. He might have someone looking for me.”
“No.” He got up and stretched and
watched her eyes darken. “You aren’t going anywhere without me.”
She swallowed twice and his cock leapt. She
might not be as immune to him as he had thought after the fight with Khan. He
moved toward the bed as he took off his shirt. “I’m tired and a little on edge.
I’m going to lie down beside you and you’ll keep your hands off me.” He grinned
when she sputtered. “Then when we wake up, we’ll discuss this relationship. Oh
and by the way, I have the truck keys so unless you want to leave on foot, and
I’m betting you won’t get far, I suggest that you stay put.”
“You can’t talk to me like that and we
do not have anything to discuss so you’ll give me my keys and—” He took off his
shirt and sat on the edge of the bed. “You can’t do this. Sleep on the chair.”
“I’m not sleeping in that chair. Move
over and be quiet.” He lay down and pulled the covers over them both. Throwing
his arm over his eyes he waited for her to try and leave or to settle down. When
she lay down as far away as she could, he chuckled. She was not going to be one
of those stay at home and hearth kind of mates, but more the kick his ass for
not taking out the trash kind. He was going to love every minute of it.
“This isn’t funny. Those bastards play
for keeps and they will kill whoever they can and do whatever it is to get what
He was too tired to try to reason that
out and told her so.
“It means, jackass, that when they find
me, if they find me, and you’re with me, you’ll be as dead as me.”
He pulled her into his arms and held her
to him. “Then we’d better not let that happen. Go to sleep, Caitlynne. I’m
Conrad watched the video three more
times, trying to figure out what had happened. He’d been watching the house for
several months and knew that he had the right one. She’d been going in and out
of the shit hole the entire time. What he didn’t know was how her body hadn’t turned
up in the explosion.