Running through the moonlit woods, Fran giggled. “You’ll never catch me.”
“But I will,” shouted her pursuer while he darted between the trees.
She maneuvered through the heavy foliage and ducked behind an overgrown brush. Breathless and eager for the game to last longer, she covered her mouth to muffle her heavy breathing and listened intently for his footsteps.
Not hearing any noise for several minutes, she wondered where he was and leaned around the bush.
“Gotcha!” He grabbed her hand and pulled her closer.
“How long have you been there?”
“A while.” He lowered her to the ground and kissed her perfect lips. “Now will you give back my keys?”
“Well…” She planted soft kisses on his neck. “What will you give me for them?”
“A night you won’t forget.”
She laughed. “I think you’ve already given me one of those—several times. But never in this spot.”
He grinned and started to unbutton her blouse. “That can be arranged.”
She gave him a sensuous smile. “Wait a minute. Let me get out of these pants.” She stood and unhooked her belt.
He rested his elbow on the ground and gazed at the pretty blonde.
She sprinted away between the trees as she shouted, “You didn’t expect me to be that easy did you?”
“Oh, come on, Fran.” He leapt to his feet.
She hid behind a tree and waited.
Moving after her, his foot landed in a trap. “What the heck?” In an instant, the rope tightened around his ankle and yanked him into the air, leaving him hanging upside down.
Giggling, Fran stepped out of her hiding place. “I made it just like you taught us yesterday. I did a good job, don’t you think?”
“Fran, let me down.”
“You look pretty cute swinging like that. I think I’ll leave you there for a while.”
“I can get out of this.”
“Okay, if you can do it in less than ten minutes, you can have your way with me.” She giggled again.
“And if I do it in five minutes?”
“Then I’ll have my way with you.” Fran laughed and dashed away.
Ever since she joined the religious group, she had been curious about the old barn that no one was allowed to enter. She ran to it and stopped to catch her breath. Pulling his keys out of her pocket, Fran succeeded in opening the padlock with the fourth one. She edged the door open and peeked inside. The deserted barn held hay bales stacked along one side. An unusual grouping in one corner attracted her attention. She stepped closer to get a better look.
Brushing some strands of straw from the stack, she felt a cobweb and drew her hand away. A pile of bodies was covered with spider webs. A crush of confusion and fear swept through her. She covered her mouth to prevent a scream from escaping.
“What are you doing in here?” Her pursuer, now free, stood by the door.
She ran to him, threw her arms around his waist, and buried her face in his chest. With trembling lips, she pointed to the stack . “Look…look…bodies…dead people.”
“I sure wish you hadn’t come in here.” He removed her arms from around him.
Horror gripped her features. “You know about this?”
He went to the door, shut it, and lowered a piece of wood into the brackets, locking it. “Yes.”
She sucked in a ragged breath. “But…but…why? Did you murder them?”
“No.” He moved closer to her.
Her eyes darted around the space, searching for another way to get out. Nothing. She was trapped. “Then…who are you protecting?”
Wearing a crooked smile, he tilted his head. “Let me show you.” He strode to the end of the bales of hay, pulled out a box, and carried it to her.
Her mouth became bone dry. Her blouse, now soaked with perspiration, clung to her.
He raised the lid on the box and took out a mesh-like container. “The killers are in here.”
Staring at the spiders crawling inside, terror closed her throat, and she couldn’t utter a word.
Looking at her, he undid the latch that secured the spiders and lifted out two. “You should have given back my keys when I asked for them.” He dropped the spiders on her chest.
She opened her mouth to scream, but no sound escaped.
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For over two years a treacherous Tegen has evaded capture by enforcers, executing anyone who crosses his path.
Newly requisitioned to assist a Tegen enforcer, Sara Jones is on a desperate hunt to stop the renegade who has no regard for human, or spider, life. To penetrate the religious compound he uses as his hideout, she must conceal her true identity. But finding the elusive Tegen is more difficult than she may have imagined, and the compound is far more dangerous than anyone could have known.
When a notorious crime boss shows up in town, Sara enlists his help, but he has his own agenda – one that may advance his criminal enterprise.
As mayhem erupts, she must outwit unsavory zealots and find the killer before her cover is blown. The clock is ticking. Can she bring the fugitive to justice before it’s too late?