Army Ranger Redemption

By: Carol Ericson

A war hero fights for what he lost long ago

The Timberline Trio was the cold case everyone in town was doomed to remember. Scarlett Easton may have just been a child then, but the fear it spread throughout the reservation haunts her to this day. Jim Kennedy ran off to war to escape this place, and has now returned to fight his own battle on the home front. And when that puts Scarlett in danger, both their loyalties will be tested. Finding themselves on opposite sides of a town that’s never recovered from the kidnappings decades ago, Jim and Scarlett discover that not only are their pasts forever tied together, but so are their futures...





The scream chilled his blood. It was the sound of a terrified woman—Scarlett.

Why had she stopped following him? Why had he let her?

“Scarlett?” He reversed course, staggering and tripping through the underbrush, cursing his bum leg. Cursing the men who’d caused it.

She screamed again, just as loudly but with a little less edge. His flashlight flickered on the path ahead of him as he charged back the way they’d come.

He plowed through the tree branches back onto the trail, which allowed him to move faster. “Scarlett?”

“I’m here, Jim.”

His light picked her out, crumpled on the ground at his feet, and he jerked to a halt. He grabbed onto a tree branch to stop himself from falling on top of her.

“What happened?”

She pointed into the underbrush beside her. “Call 911.”





CAST OF CHARACTERS

Scarlett Easton—A local artist and native Quileute, she’s a shaman in her tribe, but even these powers can’t help her when she discovers a dead body on her property and a damaged army vet who has secrets to spare.

Jim Kennedy—An army ranger vet who has returned home to Timberline to deal with all the ghosts in his past, but that past collides with his future when he meets a beautiful artist who has her own ghosts to face.

Dax Kennedy—Jim’s brother is an ex-con and a former member of the Lords of Chaos, a motorcycle gang that ruled the drug trade on the Washington Peninsula. Has he returned to Timberline to help his brother or drag him back into a life of crime?

Rusty Kelly—His death on Scarlett’s property is the first sign that Timberline has not shrugged off its past association with drug trafficking.

Chewy Teller—A member of the Lords of Chaos, he returns to Timberline to take care of some old business.

Danny Easton—Scarlett’s black-sheep uncle was in trouble with the law before; has he changed his ways or is he back to wreak more havoc?

Rocky Whitecotton—Expelled from the Quileute reservation for his criminal activity, his presence still casts a dark shadow over the residents of Timberline.

Evelyn Foster—Scarlett’s grandmother may know more than she’ll admit about the kidnappings from the past.

The Timberline Trio—Kayla Rush, Stevie Carson and Heather Brice were snatched from Timberline twenty-five years ago. The truth of their disappearance will rock Timberline.






Chapter One

Dread thumped against Scarlett’s temples as she stepped out onto the porch of her cabin. Clouds rolled across the waxing crescent moon, teasing her as light and shadow played across the trees crowding up to her front door. Holding her breath, she hunched forward and squinted into the darkness until her eyes and muscles ached.

Since she couldn’t see a thing beyond the tree line, she tilted her head and listened to the sounds of the forest—a rustle of dried leaves, the snap of a twig, the soft coo of a nighthawk.

Had her mind been playing tricks on her when, from inside the cabin, she’d heard the strangled cry? It could’ve been a wounded animal who’d moved on in his pain and suffering.

She hadn’t been back in Washington one week from her art show in New York and already she was on edge. She no longer had to fear Jordan Young, the man who’d been harassing her. That FBI agent, Duke Harper, had shot him dead to protect Beth St. Regis.

The Timberline Sheriff’s Department had done a clean sweep of her property to make sure Young or his cohort hadn’t planted any more traps. She had no reason to be afraid in her own cabin, on her own land. But she was.

Even before she’d heard what sounded like a muffled scream tonight, she’d been uneasy since her return to Timberline. She couldn’t put her finger on the reason for the feeling, and had dismissed it as leftover angst from going into a dream state to help Beth sort out her own visions. Any time Scarlett used the extrasensory powers she’d inherited from her Quileute granny, it left her jumpy.

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