After She's Gone (West Coast 3) - Page 153

The dog was whining and growling, claws clicking against the hardwood as he paced in front of the door.

Cassie threw off the covers. “I’m coming with you.”

“Nope. You stay here. I’ll be right back.”

“Trent. Hold on. People have been murdered.”

“Lucky for me I didn’t have a bit part in Dead Heat,” he teased, then more seriously, “This is my place, Cass, I know it like the back of my hand. No worries.”

“Many worries.”

“I’ll be right back. It’s probably nothing.”

The rumble in Hud’s throat was growing louder, the hairs on the back of his neck raised.

“I don’t like this.”

“I’ll be fine.” His grin flashed white. “I’ll take my old Winchester. Should do the trick.”

“And the dog?”

“Right.” He pulled on his boots and threw a shirt over his shoulders. “Don’t think he’d have it any other way.”

She started to climb from the bed and he said, “Look, Cass. I’m serious. Stay in. With your phone.”

“I’m getting dressed. Just in case.”

“In case what?”

“I don’t know. In case you need help.”

“If I need help, call nine-one-one.” He paused, walked to a desk pushed against the window, withdrew a ring of keys, then dropped the entire set into her hand. “The small ones open two boxes in my closet. One holds a pistol. The second ammo.”

“What? For the love of God, Trent, that’s not going to help. I don’t even know how to load a gun.”

He stopped and in the darkness stared at her.

“Never even held one,” she said.

“I guess you’d better learn. Fast.” Another quick smile, an irreverent slash of white in the semidark room. Then he whistled to the dog. Hud bolted out of the door with Trent right behind, his footsteps fading down the hallway and stairs. “Lock the door behind me.”

“So the coyote doesn’t get in?” she yelled.

“You got it.”

“Yeah, right,” she said under her breath. Sometimes he could be so bullheaded, so damned frustrating.

She heard the front door open and close.


His keys still clutched in the fingers of one hand, she held the blankets to her chest with the other, then walked, dragging the coverlet on the floor as she made her way to the window. The night was cast in a thin blue light from the fixture mounted near the silo that was attached to the barn. She watched him cross the gravel lot, passing in front of the shed, the dog galloping ahead, beelining to the door of the barn.

A frisson of fear spiderwebbed at the back of her neck and she nervously licked her lips as he stepped inside.

For God’s sake, the outbuildings were only twenty yards or so from the house, not attached, but not far.

So why did she feel so alone? So fearful? Why did she think that whatever was in the barn was far more deadly than a coyote?

Tags: Lisa Jackson West Coast Mystery
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