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Authors: K.D. Jones

Rising Bounty

BOOK: Rising Bounty
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Rising Bounty

Inter-Galactic Bounty Hunter Book 3

 

KD Jones

 

 

Copyright 2016 KD Jones

 

 

 

 

 

This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

 

 

BLURB

 

Abe Connor hates liars. In his line of work as a bounty hunter, he’s met a lot of them. He’s been lied to by some of the best, but the bartender working at his friend’s new club has to be one of the worst liars he’s ever met. He knows that she is lying about her life. He should move on and find someone else, but he can’t get the woman off his mind. She’s a mystery that needs solving and he’s just the man with the skills to do it — and he’s up for the task.

 

Roxanne Stone has been on the run with her daughter for a really long time, moving place to place to escape a violent past. When her friend offers her a job with great pay and benefits at her new nightclub, she couldn’t afford to turn it down. She is used to the riffraff at the shady bars where she had worked in the past, but what she isn’t prepared for is the attraction to one hot bounty hunter who continually asks her personal questions that she can’t answer.

 

As Abe grows closer to finding out the truth surrounding Roxanne, he inadvertently places her in danger from her past. Will he be able to protect her? Will she make a run for it and leave everything she worked so hard for behind? Will these two stubborn and suspicious people be able to overcome their distrust and allow their feelings for one another to grow into something more? Abe and Roxanne will find out that there is always a price to pay for Rising Bounty.

Chapter 1

 

Roxanne came home from working most of the evening at the nightclub. She was grateful for the job her friend, Lexi, had given her. What made it even better was the fact that she was paid under the table so she didn’t have to file taxes.

Being on the run meant that she couldn’t leave a paper trail, or risk opening a checking account or using credit cards. Her nightmare of an ex-husband was searching for her and her daughter, Cici, so it was crucial for her to remain as untraceable as possible.

After years on the run, going from place to place, she was glad to have found somewhere that she, her elderly mother, and her daughter could rent without drawing suspicion. It wasn’t much but a small apartment and her furnishings were things she found at goodwill, but it was more of a home than any of them had had in years.

The job as manager of the new nightclub came with some perks, like her work schedule. She could work eleven am to seven pm, only filling in at night if someone was out sick. The job also came with an apartment above the nightclub. She had a short commute just walking around the building to get home.

Tonight, she had filled in for a bartender who had called in sick. They didn’t have a full staff hired yet, so she was the backup. It was a busy night for the club. Roxanne was tired and wanted nothing more than to take a long hot bath and hit the sack. First, she had to check on her mother and her daughter.

“Mom, I’m back! How was everything?” she called out. There was no answer. “Mom?”

She felt tightness in her chest, and chill bumps formed on her arms. Desperate, she ran from room to room in her three-bedroom apartment. When she got to her daughter’s room, she tripped over the top of something and fell to the floor. It was dark and she couldn’t see anything. She got to her hands and knees, feeling something sticky on her hands. What was that?

Once she was back on her feet, she turned on the lights and blinked from feeling momentarily blinded. She lifted her hands and saw they were coated in blood. She looked down to see what she tripped over and could hardly breathe.

“Mom?” She fell to her knees and crawled to her mother’s body. Her mother was lying on her side, facing away from her. Roxanne rolled her onto her back and checked, with shaking hands, for a pulse. There was nothing and her mother’s skin was cold.

“No…no…no!” she cried, leaning over her mother’s body. Then a new panic filled her. “Cici! Baby, where are you?” She felt sluggish, like her body was going into shock and she couldn’t move fast. She check the rooms again for her daughter. In her daughter’s room she checked under the bed then walked to the closet. Her legs felt numb. She opened the door but didn’t see Cici anywhere. Where was she?

Her phone started to vibrate. She pulled it out of her back pocket. There was a text message from a number she didn’t recognize. She opened it up and saw a picture of her daughter looking at the camera with scared eyes. The caption read, “I’ve got her now and you’ll never see her again.”

“No!” She screamed and screamed. Darryl had found them and taken her daughter.

*****

Roxanne woke up from her nightmare her heart racing and drenched in sweat. She kicked the covers off and rushed from her room down the hallway to her daughter’s bedroom. It was more like a storage room, too small for an adult but just big enough for a child’s room. She opened the door and turned on the lights. Her daughter was sleeping soundly in her bed. She walked over and pulled the blanket up, tucking her in. She leaned down and kissed her forehead. “I won’t let anything hurt you, baby.”

She stood back up and walked to the door and turned off the light. Out in the hallway, her mother was standing in her robe. “Are you okay, honey? I heard you call out.”

“I’m fine. It was just a nightmare. I’m going to check the locks again and go back to bed.” She hugged her mother, inhaling the sweet scent of lavender, her mother’s favorite fragrance.

“I love you, honey.”

“I love you too, Mom. Good night.”

Roxanne walked to the door of the apartment, checked all the locks, and made sure the chain was in place. She really needed to get a security system set up. Feeling restless, she went to the kitchen to get a glass of water.

It wasn’t the first time she had a nightmare about her ex-husband finding them. This one seemed more real than the others. She was also having them more frequently. She looked at her hands, still feeling the stickiness of her mother’s blood. Was it a mistake to take her mother out of her retirement home? She had made many mistakes in her life and the biggest one was marrying that dirt bag of a husband Darryl Hadley.

She thought back to the first time she met Darryl. He had come with a friend to her family’s church to visit. They were introduced and he had showered her with a lot of attention. Back then, she was known as Sarah Roseanne Wall. She had just graduated from high school and was about to start college. She was innocent and extremely shy with no experience with boys at all. Having an attractive man pay attention to her had gotten to her head. She spent every free moment she had that summer with him before she left for college.

Her first six months in college had given her distance between her and Darryl. Then he began to come by the campus to visit her. He was her first boyfriend, her first kiss, her first everything, and he was persistent. It didn't take long for her to believe she was in love with him. By her second year of college, they were engaged, and by her senior year, she was a married woman.

She graduated from college and went into the workforce immediately as a teacher. It was her dream job. Darryl had other ideas; he was into politics. He wanted her to be a stay-at-home wife and mother and go with him to all his political speeches. His ultimate goal was to one day, rule the quadrant they lived in.

His demands led to a lot of fights between them. He lost his first run for office and came home furious. That was the first time she really got to see his temper get out of control. She was late getting dinner ready that night, and he yelled then threw the chair across the room. She was so shocked and scared she didn’t know what to do. It had been the first violent episode but it wasn’t the last.

Slowly, he became more demanding and particular. She had to wear what he deemed appropriate for the wife of a political figure. He called the school she worked at and told them that because of medical reasons she was quitting. She argued with him about it, which led to the first time he actually struck her across the face.

When he became governor and she found out she was pregnant, things seemed to quiet down some. Of course, he was disappointed when she had a little girl instead of a boy. He didn’t even hold Cecelia and only showed her affection when others were present or they did photo shoots.

Roxanne entered her bedroom of the small apartment and glanced at the closet door. Fresh memories of that fateful night, the night she left him, rushed back to her.

*****

The babysitter was not available so she had to leave their daughter with Darryl while she went to a doctor’s appointment. He wasn’t happy about having to take responsibility and wanted her to take Cecelia with her. She reminded him that the doctor’s appointment was his idea. He was pushing her to have another baby but she was having problems conceiving.

Returning home from the appointment, she had walked into the house and heard crying from her daughter’s bedroom. “Cecelia!” She rushed into the room. The sound was coming from the closet.

“Mama!” The little voice called out from the closet.

She ran to the door and found that it was locked. She had never noticed a lock on the closet door before and she needed a key to open it.

“Don’t bother — I have the key.”

She turned to glare at her husband. “What are you doing? Let her out!”

“She is being punished right now. When she learns her lesson, I’ll let her out. How was your doctor’s appointment? When can we try for another baby?”

Was he serious?
“Let her out right now, Darryl. There won’t be any more babies if this is how you treat them.”

He stormed toward her and raised his hand. “You don’t tell me what to do!”

She didn’t back down even though her whole body shivered in fear. “Let her out.”

He was about to hit her but his phone went off, interrupting him. “Hello? Yes, I’m in. When do you need me to be there? Of course, I just need to change my suit and I’ll be there shortly.” He hung up and glanced at her. “Get dressed. We have a press conference dinner we need to be at. Two people cancelled and the spots opened up.”

She had to think fast. “I can’t go. The doctor put me on bed rest so that I can get my body ready for the next pregnancy.”

“Damn it, fine. Stay here in bed. Do not let her out or I’ll put both of you in there next time.” He walked out of the room.

She sat on the floor leaning against the closet door. She slid her fingers under the door.

“I’m here with you, baby. I’ll get you out of this as soon as I can,” she whispered. It broke her heart to listen to her daughter’s sniffles. She got up and walked to her bedroom and lay down on the bed watching, as Darryl got dressed for his dinner. She faked sleep when he came by the bed to say goodbye.

“See you later, wife—we’ll work on making that baby tonight.” He kissed her lips, then left.

She waited until she heard his car turn on. She wiped her mouth with disgust. This was the last straw. Roxanne ran to the kitchen and checked all the drawers for the key to the door, but he must have taken it with him. She went out to the garage, opened the trunk of her car, and grabbed the crowbar.

Running back to her daughter’s bedroom, she was panting heavily.

“Hold on, baby, I’m coming!” She couldn’t hear any noise from inside at all. Her heart was beating so fast she thought it would jump out of her body.

Her grip slipped and the crowbar cut her hand. She didn’t care that it was bleeding. All that mattered was getting to her daughter. She bent and picked the crowbar up again, determined to get into the closet this time. She used all her strength to wedge space between the door frame and the lock.

“I’ve almost got it!” Finally, the door popped open. She looked but didn’t see anyone in the dark closet. She flipped the light switch but no light came on. The son of a bitch had taken the light bulb out.

“Baby, where are you?” She walked in and noticed a lump of clothes in the corner. She knelt down and pulled the clothes off her daughter’s head. “Come here, sweetie.” She opened her arms and Cecelia threw herself into her arms.

“I’m sorry mommy. I’ll be good, I promise.”

“Shh, honey. You have nothing to apologize for.” She stood up and carried Cecelia out of the closet. She sat down on her twin-size bed and rocked her back and forth. “It’s okay now. I won’t let anything happen to you.”

“Why does Daddy not like me?”

It had broken her. There were no words she could use to excuse Darryl’s behavior. “Daddy is confused, he needs help to work out his issues. We’re going to leave for a while. Just you and me.”

“Daddy’s not coming?”

“No, honey.”

“Won’t he be mad?”

“Let me worry about that. I need your help to pack. Get your backpack and pick your absolute favorite toys to take with us. I’ll get a suitcase for our clothes.”

“Can my Molly doll come with us?”

“If she can fit in your backpack, yes. This will be fun, an adventure.” She tried to make it sound fun and exciting.

“Where will we go?”

“Anywhere we want.”

“Okay.”

*****

They had moved in with her mother at the retirement home, temporarily while she filed for custody and separation. Unfortunately, she hadn’t taken into account that Darryl had political pull. She was granted the divorce but ordered to hand over custody of Cecelia to be given to Darryl.

Her mother wasn’t able to testify on her behalf because she was sick. Her friends and co-workers, even those she went to church with were suddenly not there to step up for her. When she tried to claim that he put a lock on the closet to lock Cecelia in, he showed pictures of the closet without a lock on it making her look like a liar. He made it sound like she was a paranoid and unstable person.

When the judge ordered her to pack Cecelia’s things and return her to her father’s home, she refused to let her daughter go back. She convinced her mother to help her leave in the middle of the night. Her mother cashed out her retirement account and booked them a flight off the planet. The three of them left New Earth and had been running ever since. She didn’t care that she was wanted for kidnapping. All that mattered was that Cici was safe.

They moved around place to place for years but Darryl always seemed to find them and they would have to leave again. Months ago they were living on Bazin, which is where she was working for Lexi. Lexi’s club blew up and she decided to move to the planet, Fin-Dieskau, to be with her boyfriend Vic. Lexi asked Roxanne to come help her manage the new club. Roxanne didn’t have many options left so she was grateful to her friend for offering her help.

 

 

BOOK: Rising Bounty
2.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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