Killer Country Reunion  

By: Jenna Night

Her family’s being eliminated, one by one...

But he won’t let her be next

After gunmen attack Caroline Marsh, she’s stunned that she survives—and shocked that her rescuer is her ex-fiancé, Zane Coleman. With her family’s safety on the line, there’s no time for grudges over the past. The killers on her trail won’t give up easily. And although Zane already left her once, for her own protection, he’s not about to lose Caroline again.

“We need to go, Caroline. Now.”

Zane shoved her ahead of him. The headlights bearing down on them grew even brighter. The screaming of the tow truck engine grew shriller. They were just at the edge of the highway when Zane heard the crash of an impact as the heavily reinforced truck plowed into their pickup.

Something hit him behind his right knee, knocking him to the ground and sending him tumbling down an embankment. He heard other pieces of debris crashing into the trees and underbrush around him. Then the lights from the attacking truck suddenly went out and Zane was falling in darkness. Finally, he came to a stop.

“Caroline?” he called out, heart thundering in his chest and sick with fear that she’d been hurt.

She didn’t answer.

He got to his feet, relieved to find that his knee wasn’t badly injured, and called her name again. And again, he didn’t hear her respond.

Zane frantically looked around. Caroline had been beside him just a minute ago. Now she was gone...


Caroline Marsh wiped the tears from her cheeks with the back of her hand and sat down on a bench outside, taking a moment to compose herself.

She turned her gaze to the waters of nearby Lake Cobalt, trying to decide whether it would be wiser to let herself have a good hard cry and get it all out of her system, or choke back her grief again—something she’d done a lot, lately.

The attorney she’d just met with had handed over a stack of paperwork and confirmed that, as of today, Caroline was officially the legal owner of her late brother’s business. It was still hard to talk about Owen in the past tense. To acknowledge that her younger brother was really, really gone. His body had been found floating in Seattle’s Elliot Bay, 350 miles to the west, with evidence of blunt force trauma to the back of his head. In the aftermath there’d been no arrests. No suspects identified. Nothing but an open police case that seemed to be going nowhere.

She clutched the sheaf of papers, held together with a black binder clip, a little tighter. Despite the digital age, some things still required paper and actual ink signatures. So here it was, printed in black and white—the official, legal proof that her brother had left her his business and his house so that she’d be equipped to take care of the most precious thing in his life: his son, Dylan.

Pull yourself together.

A four-year-old boy waited for her back at the house with Caroline’s mom. The saddest part was that he wasn’t just waiting for her. A couple of times Caroline had seen him walk to the front window around sundown, his ever-watchful dog, Millie, at his side, to look for Owen. The boy seemed to forget, or perhaps he still didn’t understand, that his dad was never coming home. Every time the heartache over her brother, and for his son, had brought her to tears in front of the boy. She would not let that happen again.

Caroline had little experience dealing with children. She had lived in California while Dylan was growing up here in Idaho. But she was pretty certain it would be best for her nephew if she walked through the door at the house with her shoulders back and a smile on her face. Or at least the closest approximation of a smile she could muster.

A white van pulled up into the parking lot and she heard the side door slide open. It sounded like it was idling at the curb near where she was sitting.

At the same time, she realized a little late-afternoon rain was starting to sprinkle on her legal documents. The lakeside air was already pretty chilly, anyway. Time to go.

She looked up and saw a man walking toward her from the van. His black knit cap was pulled down low. The collar of his jacket was flipped up and concealed the bottom of his face. He strode purposefully, his gaze locked on her eyes.

Unease gnawed at the pit of Caroline’s stomach. The man’s behavior was odd. She thought of Owen and icy fear seeped into her chest. She slid the strap of her purse over her shoulder, took a quick look down at the bench to make sure she wasn’t leaving anything behind and glanced up.

The man lifted his right hand, calmly pointed a gun at her face and fired.

With a burst of energy born of sheer terror, Caroline lunged down and threw the right side of her body across the bench. At the same time she felt a burning sensation rip across the top of her left shoulder.

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