Run, Hide(5)

By: Carol Ericson


When the car slowed down, its engine growling like a predatory animal, she broke into a run.

She heard the door fly open and a man shouted. “Jenna, stop!”

She stumbled, nearly falling to her knees. She’d know that voice anywhere. It belonged to the man responsible for her life on the run.

Cade Stark.

Her husband.





Chapter Two

The emotions that galloped across Jenna’s face in rapid succession—fear, shock, loathing—punched him in the gut.

But he had no time for explanations, no time for apologies. Two trained assassins lurked just blocks away.

“Get in the back, Jenna, and duck down.”

She hesitated for a split second, glanced at Gavin’s face, alert and curious, and started for the car.

Cade’s gaze roamed hungrily over Gavin’s small frame and regret crawled across his skin like a fungus. He had no time for remorse, either. Not now.

As soon as Jenna threw open the back door to the car, Cade ducked back into the vehicle. When the door slammed, he peeled away from the curb with a squeal and heard a thump of bodies against the seat.

Regret number two hundred and fifty-eight.

When he hit the intersection, he eased off the accelerator and stopped at the red light like a normal person. He looked in the rearview mirror, getting a glimpse of the top of Jenna’s head, disheveled blond hair gleaming in the wintry sun.

His California beach girl living in the snow. Never thought he’d live to see the day. Never thought he’d live to see a lot of days.

“Scrunch down farther.”

“Who’s the man, Mommy?” Gavin’s head popped up and Jenna tugged him down again.

“H-he’s going to give us a ride, Gavin.”

Cade gulped back the dull rage and sharp words. What did he expect? He’d take being his son’s ride...for now.

Sirens blared amid the oncoming traffic and a cadre of emergency vehicles, lights flashing, turned the corner in front of him. Had the black truck caused more trouble on the street? Even the cops couldn’t stop the men in that truck. Not the entire Lovett Peak P.D.

Gavin’s head appeared in his rearview mirror again, bouncing up like a jack-in-the-box.

“Stay down, Gavin. You’re not in your car seat, so you have to lie down, okay?” Jenna wrapped her arms around their squirrelly son and pulled him down.

Gavin’s voice squeaked from the depths of the backseat. “Fire trucks!”

“I heard them. They’re gone already.”

Cade eyed his side mirror as the last of the emergency vehicles took another turn...toward Jenna’s area of town.

Had they done something to Jenna’s little house?

He scanned the sky behind him, looking for smoke or some other sign of mayhem from that side of town. Because when those types of men appeared, mayhem followed.

Of course, his track record wasn’t much better than theirs.

Jenna asked in a muffled voice, “Where are we going?”

“Away.”

“What are you doing here, Cade?”

“Long story.”

She snorted and he could picture her rolling her baby blues. “When is it ever a short story?”

“Spy meets girl next door. Spy loses girl next door. Is that short enough for you?” Before she could respond, he whistled through his teeth. “Hello.”

“What?”

“There’s a commotion up ahead.”

“What kind of commotion?” Fear edged Jenna’s voice, and Cade clutched the steering wheel, feeling her fear like a knife to the heart.

“Looks like a car’s on fire.” Narrowing his eyes, he pumped the brakes. This four-lane road, two lanes in each direction, was the only way in and out of Lovett Peak. Now every car leaving town had to crawl past the accident, squeezing into one lane. Coincidence?

“Is there a black truck involved?”

So she’d seen the truck. Damn. They’d gotten closer to her and Gavin than he’d expected.

“Not this time.” He cranked the wheel and pulled out of the line of cars, making a sharp right turn onto a small mountain access road that led back to Lovett Peak Ski Resort.

“Oh, no.” Jenna bolted upright in the seat. “We can’t go back to town.”

He tipped his head toward the main road. “We can’t go out that way, either. Everyone going past that so-called accident is a sitting duck.”

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