~ Echoes of the Past ~
J. M. Dragon & E. O'Reilly
Part 9
© J.M. Dragon  &  E. O'Reilly 2007


This story primarily features stories involving women. If it is illegal in the state, province, or country in which you live; or if you are under the age of 18, please find something else to read.The events portrayed in this story are fictional and any resemblance to actual events and/or people is purely coincidental.

Language - Violence - Hurt/Comfort:  There are elements of strong language, violence,  physical and/or mental, as well as emotional hurt and discomfort in this story.

The events portrayed in this story are fictional and any resemblance to actual events and/or people is purely coincidental. 

Acknowledgments - Thank you Teresa and Alice for your invaluable help in editing this story.

Dedication: This story is dedicated to Parker who graciously let us use her name.

Author's Note:   This story the third storyline to J.M. Dragon's When Heaven Meets Hell and Fatal Hesitation. Although it is not necessary to read these two stories it might give the reader more background.

Please Note: Although we have completed the writing of this story, edits are an ongoing process. Rather than have our readers wait until the editing is complete we chose to start posting now.

This story is brought to you by:

JM Dragon author of Define Destiny and New Beginnings (to be released later this year by Intaglio Publishing).

Erin O'Reilly author of Revelations and New Beginnings to be released later this year by Intaglio Publishing.

Chapter 22

Amelia parked her vehicle in her place in the warehouse and was surprised that all the lights were low, even at the center console. Hmm, I would have thought Olivia would be there. She usually is if she’s home at this time. A quick glance at the dashboard clock showed it to be eight pm. She climbed out of the vehicle, picked up the container with the slice of carrot cake and sighed as she flexed the muscles of her back. She walked over to the consol and placed her car keys in the appropriate spot. Yes, I know Olivia; there is a place for everything.

She debated whether to make coffee, take a shower or just chill for half an hour, first. Her mind was still coming to terms with the fact that Olivia and Parker had been lovers. Her heart, on the other hand, probably never would. That fact alone had her emotions zigzagging in a pattern she’d never experienced before. I can’t decide if I’m envious, angry or just plain shocked. She automatically headed for the couch deciding on the chill factor. Upon entering the room, she flicked on the low lights and gasped as she saw Olivia. “Hi, what are you doing in the dark?”

Olivia had been thinking and when the sun went down, she hadn’t noticed enough to turn on any lights. Her eyelids fluttered at the rush of light and shot her head around to gaze at her friend. “I was thinking, just didn’t notice.”

Hmm that sounds pensive. I wonder where Parker and Sophie are, it’s a little early for bed. Amelia stepped closer so she stood beside Olivia’s armchair. “Do you want company or would you prefer to sit in the dark again?”

A debate went on in Olivia’s head at the question. Do I want company - no not really? Do I want you in the room with me - yes definitely? I guess that’s a contradiction. “I always love your company you know that. Come on, sit and tell me about your afternoon. What time is it anyway?”

With a smile, Amelia sat on the floor at the foot of Olivia’s chair and nestled into the strength of her long legs. “Eight, you know I can’t tell you about my clients. By the way, Teal wants to know when you’re going to be done with this case. Apparently, Mr. Ryan is calling every two hours for your help. I think she’s getting desperate.”

Olivia smiled. Somehow, Teal and desperate don’t mix. “I’ll call Teal the day after tomorrow. We should know then if it’s all over or if we have to take drastic measures.”

“Dare I ask what the drastic measures are?”

Olivia absently trailed her fingers in Amelia’s hair. Although neither woman would admit it, the small gesture settled them both. “New identities for them both and get them the hell away from here…the farther the better.”

“Don’t you think that’s over the top? It reminds me of Sister Marie and what you did for her.” A gentle sigh escaped. “Her baby will be almost two years old by now. I guess it’s not a baby anymore.”

“Nope not a baby.”

“Just out of interest where are our house guests?”

“They decided to turn in early. There’s a lot at stake tomorrow everyone needs a cool head.”

Amelia nodded her head. “Good idea.”

“Tomorrow might not go cleanly Amelia. The guy who’s after them is a true professional…he’s among the top five assassins.”

Amelia’s gaze settled on Olivia and her quiet retrospect. When she realized the full meaning of the words, her eyes opened wide. In horror she said, “You have a table of assassins.”

This time Olivia smiled affectionately. “Not exactly, but you need to know the enemy’s potential.”

“I’ve never asked Olivia, but these people who are helping you, how do you know them?” Amelia refused to allow Olivia to turn away. She knelt in front of her and gently pulled her friend’s face towards her – their eyes locked.

Do I lie, do I tell. How would she feel if I told her I was on one of those lists too? “After I murdered that man and the authorities had me in their custody I was given two options…prison or go to work in covert operations.” She shrugged slightly. “As you see, I’m not in prison.”

Amelia unconsciously rubbed her thumb over Olivia’s clenched jaw. “These people are old colleagues then?”

The gentle touch of her friend had Olivia’s senses hot-wired. It wouldn’t take much to bend a little and steal a kiss. “Kind of, I call on them when I need them…”

“And, they call on you when they need your skills I presume. Is this co-operation for life?” Amelia queried. She felt her breathing became shorter as Olivia’s presence drew her in.

“My life…perhaps, or until they decide I’m no longer suitable. I guess I haven’t outlived my usefulness yet.” She shrugged as a self-depreciating smile crossed her face.

A tear rolled down Amelia’s cheek at the price her friend had paid for that folly called revenge. Oh, how I wish I’d known you then Olivia. Maybe things would have been different. Although would it? You still went ahead when you were in love so how could I have saved you. Parker couldn’t hold you with the most powerful remedy of all…love.

Olivia was horrified to see the shadow of hurt in Amelia’s features. “Hey, it’s ok. I brought it all on myself by taking another man’s life. There has to be a penance Amelia or our world would be lawless. At least I get to lead a fairly normal life.” She smiled fondly. “It allowed you to enter my life, right?”

With a sob, Amelia buried her head on Olivia’s shoulder. “You’ll always have me,” she whispered. They held each other in quiet reassurance of their friendship. They both knew it could easily change if the circumstances presented themselves.

Chapter 23

Parker opened her eyes and immediately closed them. Her head was exploding. Damn, why did I drink so much? My head hurts and my mouth tastes like…her eyes flew open and she cautiously moved her head – Sophie was not there. Then her eyes rested on the woman curled up in the overstuffed chair in the room. Shit! I can hear Olivia now…never become personally involved.

Even though the room was spinning and her head felt like a bomb had just gone off, she got out of bed and made her way to the bathroom. She needed a shower to wash away the cobwebs that were clouding her thinking. I have to be at the top of my game today.

Sophie heard the shower and waited for Parker to reappear. “Hey, how are you feeling?” she said with a bright smile.

“Why are you sleeping in the chair?”

“With all the grief Olivia has given you, I thought it best not to have her see us in bed together.” She stretched. “Good thing I did because she came in twice to check on you.”

Parker creased her eyebrows. “She did?”

“Yeah, she came into the room and stood by the bed both times.”

A shrug along with a sigh was Parker’s reply. She pulled on her clothes then looked at Sophie. “After today we can leave here and Olivia will have to find someone else to be the target of her disapproving glares. You should get a shower and dress.”

Sophie looked at her watch. “It’s only four.”

“Yes and the funeral is at eleven. If we are going to make this plan work we need all the time we can get.”

With a pout, Sophie got up. “Ok, but only on one condition.”

Exasperated, Parker said, “I really am not up for this.”

A sly smile crossed Sophie’s face as she moved so she stood in front of the woman. Then she leaned in, wrapped her arms around Parker and kissed her. When she pulled back she said, “When this is all over I intend on doing more of that with you.”

Parker patted Sophie’s backside and shook her head. “You will, huh? Go and get ready so we can start the day.”

+ + +

Parker spied Olivia sitting at the control panel typing what she assumed was an email. She wasn’t sure if Olivia would want to see her, but she spoke anyway. “Good morning,” she said. “We have a big day ahead of us.”

The sound of a familiar voice in the low lighting felt ethereal almost. However, for Olivia that term and Parker just didn’t quite fit. “Yes we do. I’ve advised my associates of the plan, and although we gave them short notice they’re in the process of setting everything in motion.” Olivia answered.

“Good. I think we need to go to the church and cemetery. Who knows, this Shamus guy might be there already…probably is.” She shrugged. “That’s what I’d do.”

Olivia lifted an eyebrow, Hmm that was good. I’m surprised, especially after she tied one yesterday. She always could hold her liquor. “I agree. Amelia has found some old clothing she hasn’t taken back to the church, which she’ll pass on to Sophie. Does she know anything about the plan yet?”

“Yes, I spoke with her earlier. This is all happening so fast and that makes me uneasy.” Parker cleared her throat. “I don’t like a situation where we haven’t dotted all the i’s crossed all the t’s.

“Fast isn’t always a bad thing, especially under these circumstances. We have support and technology in the equation that O’Donnell won’t expect. I’m counting on him thinking that it is only you and you’re a hick private detective,” Olivia said. She turned her attention to the console when she heard the alert of a new message. Deftly she punched in a code and watched the message appear on the screen.

Operatives’ activated - screening in progress.

“Well, you always were the more confident one.”

Olivia scowled. “Confidence is a question of experience in my opinion. My skills, for want of a better term, have been honed in a much wider field than yours.”

You might be surprised at the skills I have Olivia. “That is why I called you O. I know I’m delinquent in lots of ways.” She shrugged. “I’d still be back at the farm thinking we were safe.”

“Delinquent is not a word I’d used to describe you Parker nor should you be so hard on yourself. You were and are a master at tactics. I respect that skill. If I didn’t, do you think I’d be putting Am…everyone in danger. My associates are in place, now all we need is for O’Donnell to show. We’ll bag him and then get him to implicate the stepmother.”

“You make it sound so easy and it isn’t. Let’s not forget that everyone there will be in danger until he is unarmed…especially Sophie. You think I don’t see through you O, but I do…all you really care about is your precious Amelia’s safety. ”

The antagonistic words washed over Olivia. Under normal circumstances, I would have punched your lights out for that Parker. Right now, we need to cooperate with each other and I can do that, personal issues have no bearing on what we need to do. “You and I will sit down and thrash out what you think your beef with me is, but now, is not the time. If you can’t keep your personal opinions in check tell me now, because I sure as hell don’t want a liability by my side.”

Parker ground her teeth and flexed her jaw. “Liability. Now that’s an interesting choice of words Olivia.” She took a deep cleansing breath. “Rest assured that as soon as O’Donnell is in custody and has implicated Sophie’s stepmother, I’ll leave. There will be no need to sit down for I already know how you feel.” She rubbed her temples. “I need a cup of coffee,” she said.

“Here, I made this up for you…I thought you might need it this morning.” Olivia threw her a small packet containing a powdery substance. “You always could hold your liquor Parker, but you were as grouchy as a bear in the mornings.”

After catching the packet, Parker cocked her head in question. “You remember that?”

With a tight smile, Olivia replied. “Sure, I remember lots of things about you…about us. You never forget the past Parker, but you have to live for the future. It’s the only thing that keeps you going, trust me on that.”

Parker nodded and held up the packet. “Thanks. You want me to bring you a cup too?”

“Yeah, do you remember how I like it?”

“Yes,” she said. “The funny thing about the past Olivia…if it is left unresolved you never get over it.” She tilted her head and pursed her lips. “Be right back with the coffee then we need to check out the sites.”

Olivia nodded. “I take it Sophie is up. I’ll need to go wake Amelia she’s not an early riser. For a nun, you’d figure she would be wouldn’t you.” An amused smile curved around her lips. She stood and headed in the opposite direction.

Chapter 24

Amelia watched as Olivia and Parker stood together going over the plan for the day. Now that she knew about their past, she watched them in a different light. Their body language told her that there was a definite connection between them - a slow dance of seduction. She saw the way they would almost touch, the looks they gave each other and their familiar, comfortable relationship and she felt like an outsider. “I thought Olivia only was that way with me…how wrong could I have been,” she whispered.

When they were finished with the final details, Olivia and Parker advanced towards the two disguised women. It was Olivia that took the lead.” Do you understand what will take place?” Olivia asked. They nodded. “Good. Do you have your bullet proof vests on?” Again, they indicated yes. “I will go ahead and make sure all my people are set up at the church and cemetery. Parker will bring you,” she pointed to Amelia and Sophie, “to the church.” She looked at them intensely. “Under no circumstances will either of you do anything that will put yourself in danger or in the line of fire.” Her eyes narrowed. “Is that clear?” When they shook their heads in agreement, she put on her helmet, mounted her bike and once the door opened, sped away.

Parker watched Olivia go. Part of her understood the need for someone else to take charge of her case, but a greater part was livid. My case and she leaves me behind to be a nursemaid. She turned to Amelia and Sophie. “You two ready?”

Amelia, said, “Yes.” Yesterday she was a protector of Sophie and today…she’s…a threat. She had never felt jealous in that way before, but now she did and didn’t know what to do with the emotion. To her, Parker was a rival and a threat to her relationship with Olivia. How can I feel this way about her? I had an instant reaction about her goodness in the grocery story where we first met. Didn’t she come to me and calm me after Sophie’s crude comment? Wasn’t she the one that told me to tell Olivia about how I feel about her?

Sophie folded her arms. “Why do I have to wear this ridiculous costume? Just look at my face with the gigantic mole on my nose…and, this vest thingy is too tight. Can’t I change into something nicer?”

With irritation clearly etched on her face, Parker put her hands on Sophie’s shoulders. “If I had my way Sophie, you wouldn’t be going at all so stop your complaining and get your butt in the car.”

Amelia took Sophie by the elbow and led her to the vehicle. “No one will know it’s you Sophie…isn’t that the point?”

“Yes,” Sophie said before she slammed the door.

Parker passed Amelia on her way to the other side of the car. She reached out and gently squeezed her arm. “Thank you,” she said with a smile. “She is a bit of a prima donna.”

Amelia continued to the other side without reaction or a comment. Once seated in the vehicle, she looked at the woman. Am I upset with Parker or with Olivia?

+ + +

The chapel looked innocuous enough - like any other Protestant church. The white wooden structure lost some of its brightness due to the dull, rainy day that greeted the mourners. Somehow, Olivia thought, the gray day reflects the general disposition of most of the people here.

She silently watched people she didn’t know file in and take their seats after they passed by the casket. Some touched, while others prayed, but most just walked solemnly by. When the door of the chapel finally closed and the minister stood at a small pulpit, everyone became silent. Olivia looked around at the pews filled with friends or family of Camille Peterson – standing room only. Her eyes traveled to Parker who had strategically positioned her body so she could protect both Amelia and Sophie. I wonder if any of us would draw this many mourners? Her eyes focused on Amelia. Most definitely, you would…you are a good hearted soul. She didn’t know enough about Sophie to speculate but she did know Parker. Probably neither of us would find one row filled. Our line of work doesn’t exactly encourage friendship. Olivia slid behind a stanchion and began her systematic search of faces. You’re here somewhere O’Donnell, the problem is where.

While the choir sang Amazing Grace, she covertly brought her hand to her face and quietly said, “Dan, have you anything on your side? Mine’s clear.”

A reply immediately vibrated in her earpiece. “No, he might be waiting for the burial.”

Olivia considered that as she scanned the people on her side again. A tiny smile gathered on her lips when she again spied Amelia and Sophie standing near a side entrance. It wasn't hard to miss them since they were the only ones there wearing a habit. I wonder if I ever told you how cute you looked in that – nope, not a good move. Even Sophie looks innocent enough in the black and white garb. The Mother Superior would be spitting feathers right now if she could see how we are using the clothing. Her eyes drifted to the stained glass window and a picture of Jesus ministering to the sick. Yeah, you’re probably not happy either.

“My gut tells me that with this weather he’ll try here first. It’s what I would do. Wouldn’t you, Dan?”

Dan whispered, “Yep, I sure would.”

“Trust me he isn’t far away…I can feel it.” She switched channels and whispered into the miniature microphone on her wrist, “Stevie anything with the facial recognition software yet?”

Immediately, a female voice answered, “Not yet, but I still have half of the faces to check. I’ll inform you when I locate him.”

Her gaze settled on Parker. I know she doesn’t like the job, but it is the most logical place for her. If anything happens, I know Parker will have Amelia within her grasp and will keep her safe. She looked at the woman who once was her lover as she stood between Amelia and Sophie and any danger. That’s my girl. Olivia’s mind somersaulted as the words echoed in her brain. After all this time Parker, you still have the ability to make me sit up and take notice. “Parker, everything is green so far. Has Sophie mentioned if anyone near the family isn’t a relative or close friend?”

Parker scowled as the earpiece echoed in her ear. She let her gaze fall on Olivia. There’s no doubt in my mind that if anything happens to Amelia, Olivia will shoot me dead and ask questions later. “No, the family is here. Parents, aunt and as far as Sophie knows the other people in the front two rows are close friends of Camille or the family. I think he’s waiting for us to take it outside…too many witnesses here.”

Amelia nudged Parker in the ribs gently. She nodded towards the minister who began speaking. She was certain that the people around them were giving Parker severe glances – they weren’t. Her religious training said to show the proper respect when in church and that included no talking. Perhaps under these circumstances, God will forgive us.

Olivia heard the young preacher begin and chose not to reply. She continuously scanned the crowd and frowned when she saw an odd movement from a figure dressed much like all the men in the room – dark suit, dark tie. She lifted her hand to her mouth and said, “Dan, move to the right a couple of feet and check out the guy…wait, wait he’s moving.” With a swift movement, she re-positioned herself to see the man clearly.

“That’s O’Donnell,” Stevie said into everyone’s ear. “It’s a one hundred percent match.”

Seconds later, Olivia and Dan moved forward. She glanced in Parker’s direction, and saw her old partner touch Amelia’s shoulder and the two nuns immediately fell to their knees. I knew I could rely on you Parker. I’ll have to tell you that when this is over. “Let’s get him.”

Parker looked to her left and spotted O’Donnell and moved to shield both the praying women. She reached inside her jacket and allowed her hand to rest on the nine millimeter in the small of her back. She saw O’Donnell move for the door near them and was tempted to take him there. After all, he’s the reason I’m here. When she saw the other agents closing in on him, she waited.

O’Donnell spotted the two figures behind the stanchions and the others heading towards him, he immediately made them out to be Feds. He opted for plan B – go to the tree line a hundred yards from the burial spot where he left a high powered rifle ready and waiting. A satisfied grin crossed his face knowing he had chosen the perfect vantage point in the church to make a getaway. With a turn and a push, he shot out of the side door. He saw pursuers following him out the door. Who the hell are they? He reached inside this jacket pocket and pulled out a cylinder. He stopped, turned in their general direction and let the powerful pepper spray lose on them. A sneer crossed his face as he watched his pursuers react to the spray.

Olivia glanced across at Parker who was urging the two nuns to stand up. “Parker, get them to a safe location now!” she shouted into her wrist. Olivia rapidly switched channels. “Dan, remember our earlier discussion?”


“Ensure that no harm comes to them. Parker’s going to want to get in on the action. Under no circumstances allow her to come to any harm or you’ll face me. Is that clear?”

“Perfectly,” Dan answered.

Parker shot Olivia a look of disgust before she whispered, “Let’s go.”

Amelia looked anxiously at Olivia and was dismayed to see that her friend was already at the exit. She has always checked on me personally…why not today.

Sophie defiantly stood still. “I will not leave until the service is over.”

“Damn it Sophie, stop arguing with me! This is the real thing and your life and all those in this chapel are in jeopardy. So get your ass out the door!” Parker whispered forcibly.

Amelia gave Parker a severe look for her language in church then gently touched her arm. “Let me.” She linked her arm with Sophie’s and began walking towards the exit. “The service is still going on and everyone is wondering what the uproar is all about.” She saw Sophie try to turn around and look. “Don’t turn around…you’ll be spotted.” Once they were outside, she let go of Sophie and looked at Parker. All thoughts of her animosity towards the woman erased as she acquiesced to their protector. “What now?”

+ + +

Both Parker and Dan Estevez eased their guns out of their holsters and rounded the corner to the side of the church where the other agents exited. When Dan saw his compatriots crouching on the ground, he wanted to go to them, but he understood the importance of the mission and stayed with the three women. When the acrid smell of pepper spray wafted in their direction, Parker led the two women to a safer location. Parker heard the squeal of tires and looked in time to see a Vet speeding away followed by a black motorcycle that left a spray of water in its wake.

She turned to Amelia and Sophie. “Now, I’ll make sure you and Sophie get back to the warehouse and that no one is waiting for you there. Once you’re inside, engage every security device and don’t…I repeat, don’t allow anyone in. The only two people you respond to are me or Olivia.”

“Does that include the phone?” Sophie asked trying to be part of the conversation.

“The only calls you answer are those that come on Amelia’s private line…and you say nothing until you hear the code.”

“I’ll do that,” Amelia said.

“Come on, I’ll take you to your car.” Parker scanned the street and thought she saw the faint remnant of the motorcycle’s taillight.

Dan touched Parker’s arm. “You’re supposed to go with me.”

Parker nodded. “After we get them situated and safe we can join the chase. The direction they’re going is towards the warehouse so we shouldn’t be too far behind.”

Dan wiped his brow. “Olivia said I shouldn’t let you do that,” he said as they followed Amelia’s car.

Parker fixed him with a look. “Now there’s a surprise. Is she your boss now?”


“Glad to here that. I am going to see this to the end and that means we catch O’Donnell and deal with him.”

Dan shook his head and picked up a mic. “Bravo two, what’s your twenty?” Either way I’m a dead man.

+ + +

The moisture on the road after a long period of dry weather meant that the surface was slippery particularly around bends. Throwing caution to the wind, Olivia, with her head down, focused on catching up to O’Donnell. She would bring him down along with anyone else involved. The chapel was about a mile from the center of town and close to a thriving suburban area. She noted, with mild surprise, how remarkably light the traffic was. Good, that reduces the potential for causing any civilian casualties. She glanced at the speedometer and saw that O’Donnell was traveling close to seventy. Olivia ground her teeth as she revved up the bike to begin the maneuvered to overtake the Vet. Once I get along side of him, I’ll steer his sorry ass into the side of the hill.

As she closed the distance, she anticipated the capture. For a few seconds she sped alongside the vehicle as the final bend before Portsmouth proper came upon them. For a split second, she turned her head and gazed through her dark visor at the man behind the wheel. “I’ve got you now you son-of-a-bitch.” She pulled forward to use her bike as a roadblock not anticipating the greasy, wet surface. As she hit the brakes, the bike skidded catastrophically across the path of the speeding vehicle. By a miracle and the odd inch or two, she crashed into the side of the hill rather than under the Vet’s wheels.

As the bike hit, Olivia felt the full force of the impact on her helmet as her body crashed against the hard rock. Then her body listlessly settled in a watery culvert.

Minutes later, several vehicles with flashing lights in pursuit of O’Donnell rushed past her limp, unmoving body. One of the cars skidded to a stop and a lone figure emerged. “I’ll take care of her. You go on,” a woman’s voice said before she raced toward Olivia.

+ + +

When Amelia took an unexpected turn, Dan said, “She’s supposed to go to the warehouse.”

“Don’t worry it is the same shortcut she used to go to the church.” Something caught Parker’s eye and she twisted her body to see what it was. “Shit that’s Olivia’s bike,” Parker said. “We’ll have to make sure someone helps her,” she said.

Dan picked up the mic. “Green team what’s the condition of the fallen one?”

A women’s voice replied, “Banged up, probably a concussion.”

Parker, feeling better about Olivia’s condition, let out a breath. Now it’s up to me to take O’Donnell down… besides, it’ll work better this way. The mission always comes first…right.

Once Parker and Dan made sure that Sophie and Amelia were safely ensconced in the warehouse, they set out to catch up with the others.

“Take a left here,” Parker ordered. “We should come up right behind them.”

Dan nodded and once he spied the other black sedans, he sped up.

As the vehicles raced through the middle of Portsmouth in hot pursuit of O’Donnell, Parker felt exhilaration.

“The suspect is turning onto Canal,” a voice said over the radio.

“Yep, got it,” Dan said as the car screeched around the slick corner. As they followed the bumpers of the other cars Dan said, “I don’t have a good feeling about this.”

“O’Donnell is one bad dude, but he hasn’t met me yet.” She thought of Olivia injured on the side of the road and sent up a silent prayer for her well being. Then her mind flashed back to ten years earlier and a similar car chase she and Olivia made down that very street. She remembered holding on as Olivia sped up saying, He’s made one big mistake…this is a dead end street. She spoke into the mic, “There’s a park in another block…with no outlet.”

“Guess O’Donnell wasn’t expecting us so he couldn’t utilize his exit plan. He should’ve known better and had a backup for his backup,” Dan said.

Parker remained quiet as she watched the familiar area fly by her. I remember how pumped we were when we got home. She shivered with the memory. God was that ever a passionate night.

The car came to an abrupt stop and she flung her door open and got out with her gun drawn.

“Olivia said I should stop you from trying to be in on the chase,” Dan said.

“While you’re telling me about Olivia’s orders there’s an assassin running towards the woods… we’re wasting time …let’s go.”

Dan’s eyes fixed on Parker. “If anything happens to you, Olivia will have my ass. Who do you think will protect me if you’re dead?”

“The suspect is getting further away. Can we just go and take care of O’Donnell and have this conversation later?”

Dan motioned to the right. “Red went left, blue straight ahead, we go right,” Dan said. The rain had picked up making visibility poor. “There.” He pointed to an area filled with dense trees and large boulders.

“Got it,” Parker said as she ran parallel to the area.

The sound of gunfire rang out and they took cover. Parker got off several rounds before crouching behind a tree. From his position, Dan signaled Parker to continue right as he moved forward.

The rain, soaked ground made her movements noiseless and she went from tree to tree. She felt endorphins rush through body and mind pumping her so high that she felt invincible. No way is this creep going to get away. Olivia will see me for who I am and not some farm girl who can't take care of herself. She'll find out what's she's been missing all these years we've been apart. She ducked as numerous shots filled the air with loud pops. After she molded her body against a large tree, she peered around and saw the flash that preceded the firing of a bullet. She lifted her wrist and whispered, “I’ve got a bead on him. He’s behind the second big boulder to the right of middle.”

She heard, “Stay put Parker let me take it from here.”

Yeah right. For Parker, the moment she realized Olivia was injured the mission took a back seat. I shouldn’t allow myself to think like that but I have no doubt that O’Donnell ran Olivia off the road. No one hurts someone I love and gets away with it. Her eyes narrowed as they scanned the area between her and O’Donnell’s position. A piece of cake. She quickly mapped out a plan of attack then carefully moved between the trees and rocks. She stopped when the man was in her line of vision. With one hand holding her weapon and the other propping it up, she held it in the direction of the suspect. “End of the line O’Donnell.”

Shamus turned his head and saw a woman standing ten feet away with a gun trained on him. “Ah, you’re the Davis woman that Mrs. Durant foolishly hired. I told her she needed a real professional and not some loser amateur.” He furrowed his brow. “You must have had help to pull this off Davis. Never mind, I’ll take care of them after I’m done with you.” He shot a few rounds towards the others before his blue eyes turned cold and dark. “I figured you betrayed Ms. Durant and took up with her daughter. It wasn’t hard to figure that out since your apartment was empty and the girl in your office didn’t know where you were,” O’Donnell said derisively. “Pity about her…if only she told me what she knew,” he taunted.

“You killed her?” Parker said.

The man shrugged one shoulder and leveled his gun at her from his crouched position. “She was most uncooperative,” he said with a sneer.

Bile filled her stomach and she resisted the urge to throw up. Instead, she tightened her grip on her Sig Sauer. “Evelyn Durant hired you I take it.”

“Someone had to do the job, you sure couldn’t.”

“You’re a hired gun not an investigator, why does she need you.”

“Are you dense or something?” Shamus spit out.

“No.” She felt ice in her veins as she thought of Camille Paterson and her office help, Reggie Bullitt. Bastard…you’re going down. “Put the gun down and raise your hands,” she said in a cold, calm voice.

With a loud laugh, Shamus stood up and said, “We both know you won’t shoot me bitch…you don’t have the stones.” He leveled her with a cold gaze. “Your style is betrayal…isn’t it Davis. You don’t discriminate…partners, clients you treat them all the same. You turned on your partner didn’t you…what kind of shit would do something like that,” he taunted.

Parker gulped at the truth of what he said and Olivia’s words rang in her ears. Never let the enemy see your weakness Parker. It can make the difference between life and death. “I won’t tell you again,” she said with a low ominous growl. “Throw the gun down, butt first!” The mission, don’t forget the mission it is paramount.

“No! You’ll have to kill me and we both know you’ll never do that,” he said with a sarcastic chuckle.

Parker’s finger began to squeeze the trigger.


To be continued

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