Spend a happy vacation or die trying.
Blurb: While Matthew and Jason investigate a series of murders in
Washington, DC, Jacklyn and Nicolas start a long-awaited vacation with her parents. Famous reporter David Callahan sets out with his girlfriend to have a good time and research the doings of a kidnapper prowling the woods of western Maine. For all of them, the events turn out differently from their expectations.
Excerpt Trapped in a hole in the ground, Nicolas and Jacklyn try to find a way out. I wanted to take some days off from work with you, and now we’re in deep shit. We sit in a hole six feet under—” “Don’t say that, Jacky, please, it’s got a bad ring to it.” “Okay.” She slipped from under his arms and searched for a handkerchief to blow her nose. He made eye contact. “We’re not dead yet, and we aren’t buried alive. Whatever this goon wants, he needs us to be alive to do it. We have to fulfill a task—something his crazy mind came up with. He wants to put us— me—to a test. He’ll—” “—put me in a precarious situation and make you try to save me. Yeah, that’s what I thought.” “I will save you, Jacky, right away.” He lifted his chin to look at the grating. “I don’t know what’s on his mind, but we won’t wait to find out. He’s gone for now,” he concluded when the van took off, spilling gravel. “Is that FBI profiler talk or my lover who wants to soothe me and restore hope?” “There is still hope. We can get out of here. Here—I kicked some stones into the cell when we walked here. One of them must be sharp enough to—wait. I’ve got something even better.” Jacklyn bent to find a sharp stone. “Better than this?” “Yes. Do you remember that I told you the inner pocket of my jacket is torn?” “The usual.” She straightened with the stone in her hand. He was relieved that she was concentrating on the task and not on the misery they were in. The less she thought about the crazy goon’s intentions the better. “You stuff your coins and other things into them and wonder why they tear apart.” “Right, but my Swiss Army knife slipped through. It’s in the bottom hem. He didn’t find it.” “You carry a knife in your long jacket?” “Don’t you?” he asked with a smile. “Women carry purses. And mine is still in the SUV.” She groped for the knife. “Do you think the police have found our car by now?” Nicolas hated to burst the bubble of hope. “We took a detour, didn’t encounter much traffic, and stopped somewhere along the road. No one is searching for us. No one knows where we are, or how far he drove with us.” He frowned. “For how long was I out cold?” “Two hours, give or take.” “That was a heavy dosage.” “You scared me, Nick.” “I’m sorry.” “We’re on our own.” She ripped the lining and retrieved the knife. With a smile that should convey strength but was obscured by worry, she showed him the small blade. “But not lost.” He lifted his hands so she could cut the plastic. “No, my love, we aren’t lost.” He kissed her chastely. “And we won’t get lost.” He freed her, too, and opened another tool in the knife set. “Here we go.” “A screwdriver. What do you want to do with it?” “I can’t do it. But when I put you on my shoulders, you can reach the screws.” “And why not push the bolt?” “It’s in the center of the iron plate. You can’t reach that far. That’s why you have to unscrew the plate and pull it together with the bolt.” “You just made this up, right?” Jacklyn shook her head, obviously amused in spite of their situation. “You can’t know that.” “I looked at the construction when we stopped at the rim. It’s rather simple—but effective if you can’t reach up.” “I bet he didn’t think of that when he overwhelmed us.” She crouched to open her shoelaces and take off the shoes. “What did he do with you that you were out for so long? I was really worried.” “He shot me with an arrow. He’s an excellent marksman.” Nicolas bent to lift Jacklyn onto his shoulders. “If this doesn’t work, you have to stand on my shoulders, okay?” She looked up to the grating. “I don’t see this happening, Nick. Who knows how long these screws have been exposed to the weather?” “We don’t have another choice. If we can’t get away before he returns—” “All right. Don’t frighten me. I’m frightened for both of us.” Nicolas chuckled as he put his hands against the wall to have a more stable stand. “Can you reach the screws?” “No.” Jacklyn let the screwdriver slip into her coat pocket to have her hands free. “Remind me that I need to do more workouts. I don’t know—” She sighed. “Did I mention that I’m scared of heights? That I’d never climb anywhere higher than a ladder?” With his support, she knelt on his shoulders. It was a precarious position, but the only one from which she could reach around the iron plate and not hit her head at the grating. “Catch me if I fall.” “A music quote in the wilderness. I’m impressed.” “I’m scared shitless,” she replied breathlessly.
About the Author:
Ann Raina lives and works in Germany with cats and a horse (which has its own home). Riding and writing are her favorite hobbies without putting one above the other. Her latest series, starting with Twisted Mind, deals with FBI Agent Nicolas Hayes, his cases of capital crimes, and his demanding and
commanding lover, Jacklyn Hollander. In all her books she combines romance, suspense, and humorous elements, for no thrilling story can stand without a comic relief.
As in every book she writes, you will find a Star Wars quote hidden somewhere in this one…
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