Coming in May 2024!
Desert, Death, and Diaper Cream: You can only run so far before the past catches you…
Viper, Concrete Angels’ Surveillance Expert
So much for being the club’s surveillance expert. I failed to notice when my first boyfriend joined the club right under my nose. Granted, he’s 30 years older, has silver in his scruff, and is hotter than a Texas summer. But he’s also a past I left behind and I’m supposed to be dead. So, I ran off to New Mexico to find solutions, but instead I find a baby and her murdered parents. Not exactly the safe haven I thought it would be. Especially when the man I’m avoiding comes after me.
Trigger, Concrete Angels’ most discreet Investor
I never expected to see Aeryn Stratton nee Dreyfuss ever again. Not since I was told she’d been killed some twenty years ago. When she showed up at the club’s New Year’s Eve party as a raven-haired badass biker chick, I damn near swallowed my tongue. But now she’s disappeared again and not even Loki will tell me where she’s gone. The problem is, she’s the only woman I’ve ever loved and I want the chance I didn’t take with her all those decades ago. But I’m not the only one looking for her, and if her past finds her before I do, she might end up dead for real.
I was free of my old life, my history, and my fears. I was the new, better me.
Yet, here I am, running from that old life again.
I shook my head. The view was pretty spectacular up here and I needed a few moments of silence to appreciate it. I still hadn’t figured out what I was going to do about the past showing back up with Paul. I took a deep breath and let all my tension out.
Until a baby’s wail cut through the early morning air.
My head came up and I searched the surrounding woods with surprise. It’s probably just the ravens. Ravens had been mistaken for babies in the past. The Pacific Northwest nations had named Raven the trickster god of their pantheon because the birds often were mistaken for lost babies in the woods. But the cry came again, and all my buried maternal instincts screamed it was a child alone in the wilderness.
I took off down the trail toward the sound, half-convinced the Great Spirit the First Peoples of North America was having me on. I hadn’t passed any people on my way up the mountain so there couldn’t be a baby out there. But the cries kept coming and they sounded like the little one was hungry and uncomfortable.
What the fuck is a baby doing all the way out here?
There weren’t any good answers to my question as I closed in on the cries. They came from off my original path by a good fifty yards, around the base of a large promontory of rock in a clearing in the trees.
I saw the trailer first, the vaguely humped shape hidden amongst the trees and scrub. The door stood ajar, and the wailing came from inside. Probably not a raven then. I wandered closer and found a dark blue SUV with Colorado plates hooked up to the trailer. The doors were open, and the car dinged from the keys left in the ignition.
I frowned. Who’d leave their baby in the trailer while they drove?
Then I found the bodies.
The man lay slumped face down against the driver’s door as if he’d tried to get in to escape. I found the woman in the front seat leaning over the console to reach the steering wheel. Both bodies had three shots center mass. It was an execution.
I swallowed hard against the fear. Who the fuck would come all the way out here just to kill people?
Because they were running from someone, just like you.
I didn’t know that for sure, but it was what my gut said. This was a crime scene and I needed to make myself scarce before the cops stumbled upon it. I turned to go when the baby inside the trailer wailed again.
“Oh my glory, the baby.” I stood for just a moment, uncertain what to do.
I didn’t want anyone to find me, and I definitely didn’t want to talk to the cops. But I couldn’t leave a baby out here with no one to take care of them, and I wouldn’t let the kid fall into the “system.” It was rough out there with no family.
And you don’t know if this kid doesn’t have other family. Shit, what could I do?