Identity, p.20

Identity, page 20

 

Identity
 


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  A breeze snuck in and lifted a tendril of her unbound ruddy hair. The teasing caress lingered, then ceased abruptly. Peaches, panting lightly, pressed against Shay’s leg and she bent absently to caress the long, fuzzy ears.

  The three stood together at the northern edge of Dooley’s Folly. The peaceful water showed none of the trauma from yesterday’s events, except in its disturbed, murky undertones. The salvage crew had come earlier that morning and removed the truck wreckage. The only evidence that something tragic had occurred here could be found in the flattened, muddy foliage and skid marks embedded in the dirt banks.

  Pepper’s body had been recovered after the accident, and both women felt an enormous sense of guilty relief that the threat of her had been taken from their lives. It was sad that Pepper had chosen death to future incarceration, but Shay, who had known her best, was not surprised.

  Liza shifted her weight from one foot to the other, eyes never leaving the water. She was groggy from the pain medication the hospital had given her. “It’s no excuse. There is no excuse for what she did to you.”

  Shay sighed heavily. “I know. And she was Chris, from the shelter, the homeless woman who lived at the mission?”

  “Yes. I had no clue. I feel like such a fool… She had this all planned out, even traveling with a man.”

  Liza had been relieved that Shay understood her earlier apology about unknowingly leading Pepper to her, but guilt lingered.

  “There’s no way you could have known, honey. No way. I didn’t even recognize her.”

  Liza stirred impatiently. “But still, she was new to the area. That should have set off alarm bells, but here I was, working right alongside the enemy, for Pete’s sake.”

  Shay laid a calming hand on Liza’s shoulder. “It happened and it’s over. Let it go. I’m not sorry she’s gone. I have to say that.”

  Liza studied Shay, eyes fixing on the bright white bandages that peppered her lover’s face and arms. “Me too, honey. No matter what, we would have always had that fear in the back of our minds. That she was out there somewhere and could harm us. Yet again.”

  Shay smiled hesitantly, catching and connecting Liza’s gaze. “Us? Have we become an us, you and me?”

  Liza pulled Shay close with her good arm, her gaze holding Shay captive. “You know I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

  Peaches insinuated her body between the two, tail wagging and slamming against their legs. She appeared to have recovered completely from the trauma of the day before, having been left with only a small gash on one flank. Both women laughed at her intrusion. Shay took Liza’s hand.

  “Come to the house?” The request was coy and unbearably enticing to Liza. “I’ll put an ice pack on your cast.”

  “I bet you will,” Liza said pointedly.

  Shay laughed lightly and her voice grew soft. “You know I’ll always take care of you, don’t you?”

  “Yes, and you know I’ll always take care of you, right?”

  Shay nodded and leaned up for a quick kiss. Their eyes met, gazes lingering.

  “Lead the way, sweetheart, and I’ll follow,” Liza said, her voice low and full of promise.

  Women.Books. Even Better Together.

  www.bellabooks.com

  Table of Contents

  Other Bella Books by Nat Burns

  About the Author

  CHAPTER ONE

  CHAPTER TWO

  CHAPTER THREE

  CHAPTER FOUR

  CHAPTER FIVE

  CHAPTER SIX

  CHAPTER SEVEN

  CHAPTER EIGHT

  CHAPTER NINE

  CHAPTER TEN

  CHAPTER ELEVEN

  CHAPTER TWELVE

  CHAPTER THIRTEEN

  CHAPTER FOURTEEN

  CHAPTER FIFTEEN

  CHAPTER SIXTEEN

  CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

  CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

  CHAPTER NINETEEN

  CHAPTER TWENTY

  CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

  CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

  CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

  CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

  CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

  CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

  CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

  CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

  CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

  CHAPTER THIRTY

  CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

  CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO

  CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE

  CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR

  CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE

  CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX

  CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN

  CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT

  CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE

  CHAPTER FORTY

  CHAPTER FORTY-ONE

  CHAPTER FORTY-TWO

  CHAPTER FORTY-THREE

  CHAPTER FORTY-FOUR

  CHAPTER FORTY-FIVE

  CHAPTER FORTY-SIX

  CHAPTER FORTY-SEVEN

  CHAPTER FORTY-EIGHT

  CHAPTER FORTY-NINE

  CHAPTER FIFTY

  Table of Contents

  Other Bella Books by Nat Burns

  About the Author

  CHAPTER ONE

  CHAPTER TWO

  CHAPTER THREE

  CHAPTER FOUR

  CHAPTER FIVE

  CHAPTER SIX

  CHAPTER SEVEN

  CHAPTER EIGHT

  CHAPTER NINE

  CHAPTER TEN

  CHAPTER ELEVEN

  CHAPTER TWELVE

  CHAPTER THIRTEEN

  CHAPTER FOURTEEN

  CHAPTER FIFTEEN

  CHAPTER SIXTEEN

  CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

  CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

  CHAPTER NINETEEN

  CHAPTER TWENTY

  CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

  CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

  CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

  CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

  CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

  CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

  CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

  CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

  CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

  CHAPTER THIRTY

  CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

  CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO

  CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE

  CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR

  CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE

  CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX

  CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN

  CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT

  CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE

  CHAPTER FORTY

  CHAPTER FORTY-ONE

  CHAPTER FORTY-TWO

  CHAPTER FORTY-THREE

  CHAPTER FORTY-FOUR

  CHAPTER FORTY-FIVE

  CHAPTER FORTY-SIX

  CHAPTER FORTY-SEVEN

  CHAPTER FORTY-EIGHT

  CHAPTER FORTY-NINE

  CHAPTER FIFTY

 


 

  Nat Burns, Identity

 


 

 
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