When I attended Thurmans’ garden party with Mitt, I saw blowtorches. He told me they would be used if an intruder carried spiders onto the estate, but they didn’t have any way of knowing if a trespasser had spiders. In case a blowtorch was their chosen weapon to handle all unwelcome visitors, I needed to be prepared for a quick escape and didn’t want to be weighted down with my backpack. I fished out my ski mask, slipped it on, and left the backpack in the car. I climbed over Thurmans’ stone wall and gazed around for surveillance cameras. Not seeing any, I cautiously moved toward the house.
A moment later, the sounds of dogs barking and rustling of leaves drifted through the foliage. I sprinted to the nearest tree and scrambled up it. Perched on a branch twelve feet above the ground, I surveyed the area and listened to the yelping dogs running. Four hounds pounded toward the stone wall I had just climbed over and began sniffing around. One broke away from the pack and sniffed its way to the tree I occupied. The animal scratched the bark at the bottom, lifted its head, and snarled as if it could see me.
My eyes darted around, looking for the closest branch in another tree. I spotted one touching a limb a few feet above me. Before the barking drew the security guards to the tree, I needed to quiet the dog. I rubbed my hands together and spun a piece of webbing. Making sure to remain hidden in the branches, I climbed down five feet and dropped the sticky web on the vigilant animal. The hound shook its head, but continued growling.
Since that didn’t work, I retreated higher into the tree, gripped the limb touching another tree and vaulted over to it, sending leaves floating through the air. To my dismay, the hound charged to the other tree. Looking at the three sniffing dogs by the stone wall, I wished my pursuer would go and join his buddies. I heard voices off in the distance and assumed guards were headed this direction to find out what had excited the hounds. I snapped off a small branch and threw it into a cluster of bushes about forty feet away. The three dogs charged toward the bushes, but the hound below me remained in place. If I wanted to reach the house, I needed to do it on foot since no other tree was within my grasp in that direction. Doubting I could reach my destination without avoiding a confrontation with the animal on the ground, I began inching down the trunk of the tree. I stopped the instant I spotted two security guards approaching, one held a blowtorch, positioned so it was ready to use.
As I scooted higher into the tree, a guard with a raspy voice yelled, “Ajax, whatcha got?”
Staring at the blowtorch, I reluctantly leapt back into the first tree, the one closer to the stone wall. When I landed in it, leaves swayed and a few twigs snapped, but the barking drowned out the noise. Feeling relieved Ajax stayed at the tree I had just left, I watched as the guards looked up and moved around the tree trunk while Ajax bounced against the bark and yelped.
The guard patted the hound. “Boy, don’t see anything. Probably a squirrel.” He gripped the animal’s collar. “Come on, back to the house.”
The other guard gathered up the three hounds near the stone wall and retreated with them in tow. When the guards and dogs were out of sight, I shimmied out of the tree and headed to the wall. Preparing to climb back over it, I ejected hair clusters on my hands and placed them on the stone structure. A soft snapping sound caught my attention. I glanced over my shoulder and saw a security guard, the same guy who had escorted the hound away from the tree, less than ten feet from me.
“Hands up,” he demanded, aiming a pistol at me.
Planning my next move, I complied with his order and raised my arms, retracting the clusters at the same time.
“Ajax only barks when there’s an intruder. I knew someone was lurking around. A woman? You the one that stabbed a fellow at Buckley’s warehouse?” He paused as if he expected an answer, but I didn’t utter a word. “Take off the mask.”
Grateful he wasn’t carrying a blowtorch, I stood still and ignored his request. Then he made a deadly mistake. Keeping his weapon pointed at me, he leaned toward me, ready to yank off my ski mask with his other hand. “I’ll do it,” I snapped, ejecting the lethal hairs and scratching his hand as I gripped the mask.
He flung the back of his hand across my covered face, sending me backwards into the stone wall. “You bitch. What have you got?”
I retracted the needles and showed him my hands, flipping them over so he could see both sides. “Sorry. My fingernails are a mess.”
The guard ran his fingers over my smooth hands and around the arms of my long-sleeve black t-shirt. “This way.” He gestured toward the house.
Waiting for the venom to take effect, I said in my normal voice, “Can I ask you a question?”
“We’ll be asking the questions,” he hissed.
“Please, just one.”
His eyes narrowed. “What?”
“Are you immune to poisonous spider venom?”
A shocked expression flashed on his face. He held his bleeding hand up in front of his eyes, and inhaled deeply. “That’s not a spider bite,” he said with a smirk, and then his body swayed. “What the…” His pistol tumbled out of his hand. He bent to retrieve it and his body toppled over. He staggered and attempted to stand, but he was no match for the venom surging through his veins.
While I watched him struggling on the ground, I lifted up my pant leg and pulled my knife out of the sheath. Then I tried to decide between shooting him with his pistol or stabbing him. Since I had stabbed Greg at the warehouse and didn’t want anyone to suspect the same assailant had been snooping around Thurman’s estate, I tucked away my knife and wrapped the bottom of my t-shirt around the pistol’s handle. I pointed the barrel at the motionless man lying by my feet and knew the gunshot would bring guards rushing toward the noise, but I’d be long gone before they could get here. Without a second thought, I pulled the trigger. Blood squirted and streamed from the wound. Some splattered on my sleeves and pants. I dropped the gun and clambered over the stone wall.
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"Tegen Justice is a wild ride into the realms of crime, romance, and the supernatural. Suspenseful and romantic, Tegen Justice will draw you into its web."
After embracing her new Tegen existence, Sara Jones is
determined to destroy her ex-lover’s organized crime empire,
one link at a time. Along with her newly acquired skills of spider-climbing agility, self-healing powers, and the ability to eject poisonous needles came the haunting need to consume blood and flesh tainted by Tegen deadly spiders.
Armed with her skills and using the alias Sally Jablon, Sara has tracked some nefarious associates of her ex-lover to Baton Rouge. But before she can fully execute her plan to wipe out that criminal element, she is faced with her former lover, an out of control Tegen, and the repercussions of disobeying Tegen rules. Death and mayhem ensue as Sara tries to outrun and outsmart an enemy she knows all too well.
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