After being wounded in combat, Army veteran Caleb Malone returns to the states and takes a job in his brother's private investigations agency. His first solo assignment is a simple 'snap a few photos of a cheating fiancé case'. But as Caleb learned in the army, nothing is ever that simple. Hired by the father of the future bride, Caleb quickly realizes someone wants the woman dead.
Single mother Abby Hughes works as a real estate agent in the family business. She has been entrusted to land one of the biggest sales the firm has ever had. The town of Keaton needs Criswell Industries to open their new factory there to boost its dwindling economy. When Abby finally gets close to landing the deal, she learns she has some deadly competition, and as she and Caleb unravels the mystery behind the mysterious rival her whole world begins to collapse.
Caleb peered through night vision binoculars at the beautiful brunette walking to the silver Lexus. Memories of recon missions in Iraq and Afghanistan flashed in his mind. The difference now was he didn't get paid nearly enough, and instead of gaining intelligence of what the insurgents were up to, he was doing surveillance for an overly protective father.
A car engine soared to life nearby. Shifting the binoculars up the deserted street, he spotted a dark green four-door sedan pull quickly from the curve without its lights. What's this joker up to? Caleb looked back at the woman. In one hand, she held a phone to her ear, the other rummaged through her purse. Come on lady pay attention.
Caleb moved from behind the tree and started towards her. The always-present ache in his right thigh began to throb. He ignored it and took off in a lop-sided run. The green sedan sped towards her.
He knew he wasn't going to make it. "Get out of the way!"
The woman sprinted to the front of the Lexus.
The black-tinted glass on the sedan slid down, revealing a flash of silver.
Caleb dove at her waist and tackled her to the ground.
Pop… Pop… then the sound of breaking glass.
Caleb glanced up at the fleeing car and caught a glimpse of the dark ski mask as the car disappeared around the corner.
The woman shook violently in his arms. He helped her up and guided her to a wooden bench a few feet from her car. "You okay?"
She nodded her head, looking at him with a blank stare. Removing his cellphone from his jeans pocket, he dialed 9-1-1.
Within minutes, two patrol cars came to a screeching halt in front of them. "Anyone hurt?" the older of the two police officers asked.
"She's shaken but unharmed."
"Did you get a good look at the car?"
"It was a dark green Camry. Four-door. I didn't get a tag number."
"I'll put a BOLO out on it."
The younger officer sat beside her. "Are you alright, Abby?"
"Yeah." She smoothed her hand over her grey slacks and looked up at Caleb. "Thanks to you."
"I was just in the right place at the right time."
2015 ACRW Reader's Choice Heart of Excellence Award Winner.