In the Arms of the Enemy

By: Carol Ericson




CAST OF CHARACTERS

Caroline Johnson—A woman with no memory, no ID and a dead body in her motel room, “Caroline” finds herself at the center of drug trafficking and a twenty-five-year-old kidnapping.

Cole Pierson—A DEA agent whose longtime quarry winds up dead at the hands of a mysterious female. His quest for the suspect leads him to Caroline, but he can’t determine if she’s a killer or an innocent woman caught up in events beyond her control.

Johnny Diamond—This drug dealer’s death by poisoning sets off a chain of events that will result in the culmination of an explosive case of kidnapping and drug trafficking.

Linda Gunderson—Her loyalty to Caroline is based on a lie, but she stands beside her new friend in the face of increasing danger.

Dr. Jules Shipman—This therapist wants to help her new patient, Caroline, regain her memories, but someone doesn’t want Dr. Shipman to do her job.

Rocky Whitecotton—A member of the Quileute tribe, this rebel bucked the traditions of his people twenty-five years ago when he turned to drug dealing for a nefarious purpose and now he needs Caroline to keep her mouth shut—or he’ll shut it for her.

Jason Foster—A Quileute whose uncle ran with Rocky in the old days, he’s going to have to decide where his loyalties lie or pay the price.

James Brice—The brother of Heather Brice, one of the Timberline Trio, returns to Timberline to settle some family business.

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

Her head throbbed as she stared at the dead guy. He had to be dead. She zeroed in on his chest, watching for the rise and fall of his breathing. Nothing.

Dried foam clung to his parted lips and chin in silvery trails, clinging to his beard like gossamer spiderwebs. His open, bloodshot eyes bugged out from their sockets like those of a surprised cartoon character.

She checked the carpet around his body—no blood, no weapon, just a plastic water bottle on its side with a quarter of its contents still inside.

She sat back on her heels and massaged her temples, which now throbbed as much as the back of her head. What had happened in this cheap motel room? Who was he?

Who was she?

A sob bubbled in her throat. That terror had slammed into her head-on before she even saw the body on the floor, when she’d come to, lying diagonally across the bed, fully clothed. She’d put that problem on the back burner when she noticed the dead guy, but a complete memory loss couldn’t be ignored forever.

There had to be a clue to her identity somewhere. She rose to her feet, her gaze sweeping the room, with its upended lamp, disheveled double bed and cracked picture frame above that bed.

The dead man hadn’t gone down without a fight. With her? Had she killed this man in a fight?

She took in his large frame sprawled on the threadbare carpet and shook her head. Hard to believe. But then maybe—she glanced at her toes, painted with pale pink polish—she was some ninja amazon woman.

A hysterical laugh crackled through the room and she clapped a hand over her mouth. She didn’t like the sound of that laugh. Wrapping her arms around her midsection, she tiptoed toward the open door of the bathroom. She held her breath and flicked the light switch with her knuckle.

At least no more dead bodies greeted her. She shuffled toward the chipped vanity and slowly raised her head to face the mirror.

She gasped. Leaning forward, she traced the outline of a red spot forming high on her cheekbone, beneath her right eye. Then she rubbed the painful area on the back of her head, her fingers circling a huge lump. Had she and the man gotten into a brawl?

She stepped back, studying the fine-boned face in the mirror, a slim column of a neck and a pair of narrow shoulders encased in a flimsy T-shirt. That slip of a thing that stared back at her with wide eyes couldn’t have taken down a kitten, never mind a full-grown man.

She bit her bottom lip and winced. She hunched forward and dabbed at the lip she now saw was swollen. The dead guy had done a number on her before...succumbing. But what had he succumbed from?

Maybe someone had attacked them both and left her for dead. Maybe that someone would return. She backed away from the mirror and stumbled out of the small bathroom.

The walls of the dumpy motel room closed in on her all at once and she listed to the side like a drunken sailor on the deck of a ship. Reaching out a hand to clutch the faded bedspread, she sank to the edge of the bed. She should call the police, 911.

Her gaze traveled to the inert form on the floor and she shivered. Unless she’d killed him.

She crept to the window, where she hooked a finger between two slats of the blinds and peeked outside. She squinted into the gray light. The green numbers on the digital clock by the bed had already told her it was just after six thirty in the morning.

Top Books