Pirates In Paradise

Chapter One


Clutching the address in her hand, Haley looked out her windshield at the neon sign and wondered if she had the right address. Swallowing hard, she re-read the neon sign, ‘The Stardust Motel’. The ‘r’ and ‘o’ bulbs were dark and made twisted words of the signage. She shuddered. What was her twin sister, with her glamour party girl lifestyle, doing in a run down seedy side of Miami’s underbelly?

Two women in wigs, heavy makeup and mini-skirts stood under the motel sign. In the darkness, she watched one flick a cigarette onto the street and gave a casual glance in her direction.

Haley took a shallow breath and turned off the engine of her Toyota Camry. The loss of the familiar engine’s purr emphasized her isolation from safety and protection. Her fingers wrapped tight about her car keys, she stepped out of the Camry, crossed to the door of Room 23 and knocked.

“Jenna?” she said in a hushed tone as she rapped a second time. Small chips of paint fell to her feet. “Jenna, it’s me, Haley. Open the door.”

Concern gave way to frightful irritation. Had she driven from Vero Beach to Miami on another one of Jenna’s classic wild goose chases?

She knocked at the door a third time. Just as she was about to turned to leave, the door opened. “Oh my God,” Haley cried. Jenna held onto the door, as if need it to stand. Her blue eyes were wide with terror, tears tracking down her cheeks, her skin was ashen. Jenna’s expensive clothes always so carefully kept were rumbled about her small frame as though she’d slept in them for days.

Jenna reached out and pulled Haley into the room, her grasp surprisingly strong. She closed the door, taking time to slide the lock chain back into place.

“Jenna, what’s wrong?” Haley touched Jenna’s shoulder.

Jenna wiped her tear-stained face. “I can’t tell you, “she whimpered. Her delicate shoulders shook with each small sob. “But I need you to help me.”

“How?” Haley asked simply, pulling her sister into her arms. Whatever frightened Jenna, Haley knew she would help, this was her sister.

With a choking cry, Jenna tore herself away from Haley and curled onto of the bed. It creaked and sagged from age and years of abuse. Tears glistened on Jenna’s perfect, heart shaped face. “Haley, I’m in so much trouble.”

“Is it Ricky?” Haley asked between sobs. She had met Jenna’s boyfriend, Enrique Rojas only once.

“Yes. No.” Jenna’s voice cracked. She sat up and wiped face before looking at Haley her expression desperate. “Look, I need you to be me for a couple of days. Just until I can get a few things straightened out.”

Haley stared at her sister. “You can’t be serious! We aren’t kids anymore. We can’t just trade places. What’s going on? Honey, I’m sure we can figure something out.”

“It’s best you don’t know. “ Jenna sobbed. Tears blinded her yes and chocked her voice. “Look, I’ve made arrangements. You’ll be perfectly safe. Haley, please, I really need you to be me for just a few days.”

“Jenna,” Haley said loosing patience, “Come back to me to Vero. We’ll figure something out.”

“No!” Jenna cried, “And you can’t go back there either, not now! Please, please, it’s a matter of life and death. You have to help me! For both our sakes!”

A rap knock at the door startled both of them. Haley jumped. An icy fear twisted around her heart.

“Here take my cell phone. Keep it,” Jenna whispered, pressing the phone into Haley’s small palm. She backed away from Haley. “I have to go to the bathroom. I’ll be right out. Answer the door. It will be O.K.”

“Hurry,” Haley urged accepting the cell. Without giving it a second thought, she slipped it into her skirt pocket. “Whatever this is, we can work it out.”

Jenna nodded and hurried to the bathroom. Haley went to the door and opened it.

Two men in dark suits stood outside the door, the dark look in their eyes as dark as their black suite. Behind them was a SWAT Officer pointed his assault rifle at her head.

“You will be safe now, Miss Rollins,” The oldest man about forty pushed pasted her. His partner, a tall black man followed.

“Who are you?” Haley demanded.

“I’m Frank Porter of the U.S. Marshal’s office. This is my partner Reese Hamilton," the older man said. “I want you to know you are doing the right thing. We’re here to protect you.”

“You don’t understand,” Haley protested as three more members of the SWAT Team pushed into the room. “I’m not….”

A SWAT Officer brushed past her toward the bathroom. In black combat fatigues with bullet proof vest, a gun shoulder high, he used his heavy boots to kick the bathroom door open. He pointed his gun to where Jenna should have been standing. “All clear,” he shouted and dropped his rifle to his side.

The two federal agents nodded and placed their guns in their holsters.

Haley swallowed hard, fear knotting inside her. All clear? Where was Jenna? She stepped forward to look inside the bathroom. Empty. Jenna was gone. Only the half open frosted window told of her passing. Where had she gone? Why? Jenna had escaped, leaving her with two US Marshals.

“I don’t understand,” Haley stammered turning back to the men, “Why are you here?”

Porter’s brow darkened and he stared unsympathetically. “You know why we are here, Miss Rollins, we’ve come too far to play anymore games. Now, gather your things. You’re coming with us.”

Haley grabbed her purse. When Frank Porter reached for her elbow to lead her out, she pulled away. Passing the Camry, she pointed to it. “My car. You can’t just leave it here.”

“Jeff,” Frank Porter called out to the head of the SWAT Team. “Have that car impounded."

Without waiting for the police officer to answer, he shoved Haley into the back seat of a sleek sedan.

Two minutes later, they were racing out of the parking lot and away from the motel. She sat silent as the sedan raced through the dark streets of Miami.

In her entire life, she had never even received a parking ticket. Now she was surrounded by U.S. Marshals careening into the night.

Where had Jenna gone? Why had she run? Fearful images piled up in Haley’s mind as she remembered her sister’s last desperate whisper, “Be me!”

Chapter One

Haley laid in the middle of the king size bed confused and angry in a plush upscale Fort Lauderdale neighborhood. At least, that’s where she thought she was. She wasn’t sure. She wasn’t sure of anything. She hadn’t stopped shaking since the Marshals had burst into Jenna’s room. No one seemed to notice and if they had, they didn’t seem care.

Throughout the last several hours, Haley’s moods had swung between being furious at her sister’s sinister involvement in something so serious it had brought in the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service to a sense of helplessness and stark terror for her sister’s safety, giving little thought to her own. The hurried drive through the dark streets of Miami remained a blur.

Upon arriving at their destination, the Marshals informed her, she was at a safe house. She felt anything but safe.

The two story elegant mansion was palatial and the Federal Marshals had wasted no time in rushing her inside.

Frank Porter took her to the second floor. Perhaps to fill in the empty space between them, he had informed her while climbing the grand marble stairwell that the home had been seized through tax evasion. It was now used for high ranking federal officials and on occasion used as a ‘safe house’ by the Federal Government.

After directing her to an elegant bedroom, Frank had offered her a wardrobe of silky nightgowns. She had muttered thanks but rejected the lot of them opting instead to lie uncomfortable in her own clothes. Did they even imagine she would be able to sleep? She stared at the ceiling trying to understand why Jenna had left her to the Federal Agents?

Reaching into her right pocket, she clutched her sister’s Nokia cell phone. It was her lifeline to Jenna. The first moment she was alone, she had checked the cell and was relieved to find it had a full charge though Jenna had wiped the menu clean of contacts, history and the address book. She could do nothing but wait for Jenna’s call.

A warm tropical breeze gushed into the room, carrying with it a heady tropical scent of Hibiscus and exotic flowers. Unable to sleep or lie in bed another minute, she rose from the bed. The marble floor felt cool and smooth.

Restless and with nothing to do but worry, she slowly crossed the room and stepped out onto the balcony. The balcony was spacious and stretched across the back of the house. No other lights brightened the darkness and she had the distinct feeling she was alone on the second floor.

Close to her, the lush and carefully kept grounds were landscaped with majestic royal palms and stunning tropical plants and foliage. Thanks to taxpayer dollars no doubt, she thought grimly. Several hundred yards away, she noticed a boathouse but its interior obscured in dark shadows.

From where she was standing, she could clearly see the intercoastal waterway. The intercoastal waterway, which stretched from the Carolinas to Miami. Shards of moonlight danced atop the slow moving waters. In the distance, dark silhouettes of small boats listed and swayed in the current.

The tropical vista did little to soothe her frayed emotions. Her sister’s frantic plea echoed in her mind, and too many unanswered questions vied for her attention. She could trust no one.

Feeling older than her 26 years, Haley looked across the exquisite expanse of lawn for answers. About to return to the bed, she caught a shadowy figure scurry from one small tree to another. She slapped her hand over her mouth to hold the scream inside.

“It’s only the shadows,” she said in a whisper too frightened to say the words aloud. “I’m safe. No one is out there.” Icy fingers crawled up her spine. Instinctively, she stepped back into the shadows of the balcony and waited, not sure what she was waiting for. Long breathless minutes passed. Gradually, the tranquility once again transcended on the estate. Her breath caught in her throat. She couldn’t shake the sense that something was terribly wrong.

It was late, she reminded herself. I’m tired and with the moon so bright, it’s too easy to imagine shapes in the darkness. It’s my imagination she told herself silently. Then, she saw it again.

Dark figures emerge from the bushes and darted across an open space to the shadows of three stately Royal Palms. The image was unmistakable. It was a man. He was carrying something, dark, long, under his arm. He carried a gun.

Unable to move her legs, she stood frozen as the figure motioned into the darkness. Terror rose like bile to her throat, as she watched three more figures converge from the darkness. They ran toward the house.

Finding her legs beneath her, she ran through the bedroom and down the long corridor. “Help!” she cried at the top of the stairwell, “Hurry!”

Instantly Porter, Hamilton and two more agents rushed into the foyer and looked up at her. “Men are coming toward the house!” she cried, “I saw them from the window. They have guns!”

All four men pulled out their revolvers. Like a precision drill team, they turned, positioning their backs to one another. The quatrain covered each entryway into the foyer. Hamilton aimed his gun toward the front door; the two FBI Agents each pointed their weapons into either room off the foyer. Closest to her, Porter aimed his gun toward the back of the hallway.

“Quickly, Jenna,” he urged her as he reached for the ornate hall phone. He held it to his ear and immediately returned it to its cradle. “Phone lines are down,” he said evenly. His face was grim.

Hamilton pulled out his cell phone and hit several buttons. “The house is under attack. We need backup. NOW!”

Halfway down the marbled staircase, Haley felt her legs giving way. Frightened, she clutched the banister and began an antagonizing descent. The cold look in the men’s eyes told her the situation was desperate. They were armed and prepared to protect her.

Haley looked to Frank. He came toward her; his hazel eyes were dark but confident. He tried to smile but the look in his eyes eclipsed any false guarantee of safety. “Don’t worry, Jenna,” his voice cool and measured, “we’ll keep you safe.”

Haley heard the sound of glass break in a room to her left. She screams as a barrage of bullets spayed through the room. Porcelain vases, lamps, furniture shattered and fell broke in its rain of fire. The two Marshals fired directly at the intruder. The one of the agents fell, his gun slid across the foyer to the stairwell.

Frank Porter pulled him behind the wall. He looked up to Haley on the stairwell and motioned for her to crouch against the banister.

“Get her out of here!” Hamilton shouted at Frank, as he fired shots into the room.

Mesmerized by the scene and too frightened to move, Haley looked through the railing, her fingers frozen, wrapped around the bars she was holding. She saw the hesitation in Frank’s eyes but he nodded. “Come on,” he yelled pulling her down the stairs. With a hard shove, he pushed her down the back hallway.

“Run!” he screamed shoving her through the kitchen door. Fleeing the sound of gun fire, Haley ran through the ultra modern kitchen. Frank shadowed her as she raced toward the back door.

“The others!” Haley cried with a backward glance to the foyer. The sound of rapid fire caused her to flinch with each explosive discharge.

“Move,” Frank shouted without apology, “My job is to keep you safe!”

Passing by her as they rounded the island stove, and Frank grabbed her wrist and pulled her out the kitchen door. Once outside he stopped. He brought the barrel of his gun shoulder high and looked first left then right before dragging her across the lawn.

Haley stumbled trying to keep up with him. Her only hope rested in the man running in front of her; guiding her through the darkness toward the intercoastal waterway and away from the house.

Small bushes and sharp palmetto tore at Haley’s dress as she ran after him down a narrow hedged stone walkway away from the gun fire.

All through the upscale community came the frantic alert of neighborhood dogs. Abruptly, the gunfire stopped. The silence was deafening, more frightening than the rapid discharge of furious combat.

Frank turned toward the house. His expression grim. The gun battle was over. His friends, his comrades lay dead or dying and she felt responsible. She bit her lip, her stomach twisted in sickening wave after wave of terror.

“Quiet,” he cautioned her in low tones and carried with it the reality of imminent danger. “They don’t know we have left the house. They’re probably are searching for you now.”

Soft tears streamed down her face and her hands were shaking. Her body was cold with terror. “We’re almost there,” Frank told her with a voice filled with strength and cool assurance, “all I need you to do is move as quietly as you can.”

Haley nodded and blindly and followed him down the narrow path leading to the boathouse. Reaching the protective screen enclosure, Frank slowly opened the door and scanned the interior. Nodding he motioned her inside. He moved quickly through the dark interior and slammed the palm of his hand on a hydraulic lift. Immediately, stainless steel cables moaned and twisted as they lowered a 33 foot Scarab into the water. As quickly as the steel rods sang, they stopped. The boat was safely lowered into the water.

The powerful engines of the Scarab were poised, her long lines glittering metallic red and dark blue in the moonlight. Frank jumped into the center of the sleek Cigarette, and held out his hand for her to join him. Haley leaped from the dock into Frank’s arms. He firmly sat her on a side seat and began flipping switches. The Scarab roared to life.

Over the roar of the engine, Haley heard the excited sound of voices rushing toward the boat house. She grabbed the back of her seat as Frank jammed the throttle down. The powerful Cigarette jettisoned backward into the water way. With a lightning burst of speed the Scarab exploded from the channel as Frank steered the boat away from the mansion.

The powerful Mercury engines sent a spray on either side of her bow and sent a rough wake to either side bank. They passed the back of the safe house and she heard gunfire over the power boat’s engines. The sheer acceleration caused the Scarab to jump high over the water in a rapid series of bouncing jerks.

Haley clung to the seat. Her heart pounded. Her eyes transfixed with horror as a small bridge appeared. She didn’t need to have Frank tell her to duck as the Scarab slid easily through the tight passage and shot like a missile to the other side.

Frank gave her a quick glance. “You O.K.?” Haley nodded. It was all she could do to keep herself steady in the boat’s breakneck speed. Frank’s turned away from her, focusing his full attention on maintaining the Cigarette’s course in the center of the channel.

Residential homes and palaces changed to dock-front restaurants, marinas and towering hotels. Pink, blue and bright yellow lights became multicolored streamers against a black sky. Onboard desperate minutes passed as quickly as the hotels and marinas. At last, the Scarab broke free of the intercoastal; Frank took a hard left, sending the boat into the open Atlantic. The Cigarette sustained its reckless speed until the lights of Miami glittered far in the distance.

Suddenly, Frank eased off the throttle and brought the Scarab to a smooth stop. Ocean waves lapped the fiberglass hull and the 9,000 pound Cigarette bounced on the sea like a piece of drift wood. Fighting nausea, Haley looked to the glittering Miami skyline. For the moment, they were safe.

Frank fell back against the seat and gave her a sad smile. Haley had no idea the high price her safety had cost him this. He had saved her life. “Thank you,” she said softly and gently touched his arm. The light in his eyes acknowledged her gratitude.

It wasn’t until that moment did Haley noticed the single stream of blood cascading down his forearm. In his attempt to get her to safety, he had been shot!

“You’ve been injured,” she cried. She crossed the space between them and gently touched his arm to get a better look at his wound. The blood looked black in the silvery light of the moon. “Its OK” he assured her, “just a flesh wound. I’ve had worse.” Haley gasped. Frank’s eyes softened.

“Your boyfriend wants you real bad, Jenna,” Frank’s voice was uncompromising yet oddly gentle. “Hitting a safe house, assaulting federal agents and possibly killing U.S. Marshals, he wants you real bad. But I guess he has eight million reasons, doesn’t he?” Haley stared at him. Jenna’s boyfriend, Ricky?

Before she could respond, his eyes drew dark. “Someone gave you up, Jenna.”

“What do you mean someone gave me up?”

Frank half-smiled. “We didn’t even know where you were going to be taken until two hours ago. Someone gave you up.”

New fear stripped her senses raw. She stared at Frank, his words still registering but not connecting. Concern for her sister was making her numb with panic.

Glancing at his arm, he said matter-of-factly, “They’re going to be looking for you and I need to get to a hospital. I’ll to take where you’ll be safe.” Frank pulled his cell phone from his pocket and scrolled down his tiny address book until he found the number he was seeking. Two hits and he held the cell up to his ear.

“Hey Buddy,” he said seconds later. “Yeah, hell, I know what time it is, but I’m in real big trouble. I have a package I need you to keep for a few days. Frank took a long breath, the shadows cleared from his eyes. He gave Haley a weak nod as he finally said, “Good, can you meet me at the place where we hooked up last? Great, I’ll see you there.”

Frank took a long breath. He looked relieved. Turning to her he said, “I have a friend, one I can trust. Hell, at the moment, he’s probably the only one I can trust. He’ll take care of you for a few days until we get this sorted out.”

Haley stood ready with her confession that she wasn’t Jenna but the fear she had for her sister had grown tenfold. She couldn’t say anything, not just yet.

Besides, if Frank knew she was not Jenna, he might very well throw her overboard for the danger she had put them by not telling him the truth earlier. She held her silence and her secret. The truth or any version of it was not an option.

Looking toward the jeweled Miami skyline, Frank started the engine and pointed the Cigarette toward the southern shore.

“Where are we going?” Haley shouted bracing herself for the Scarab’s drive across the ocean.

“To a small marina near Biscayne Bay.” He yelled back. “My friend will meet us there.”

The deafening grind of the Scarab’s engine left little room for conversation. Fearing for his wound, Haley didn’t try to distract Frank further. She sat silently suffering the Scarab’s repetitive jolts through the Atlantic as the Cigarette took wave after jolting wave until they reached the tiny barrier islands in Biscayne Bay. Frank slowed the Scarab through the waterway, navigating the boat in almost a clean line toward his destination.

At last they reached a small marina filled with boats of varying sizes; Haley helped him dock the Cigarette. She was grateful they had at last stopped. “Now what?” Haley asked as Frank secured last rope to the marina’s mooring.

“Now we wait,” Frank replied wearily, “and hope I don’t die before my friend gets here.”

If he had meant to be funny, he had failed. Haley frowned. “We need to call an ambulance.” Frank half smiled. “No,” his voice was loosing its steely edge. With emphasis, he added, “We stay put. My first priority is keeping you safe.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Haley argued. “You’ve got to get to a doctor before you bleed to death.”

Frank chuckled. “Don’t worry about me. We’ve spent years trying penetrating the Rojas Cartel. You’re a god send. We need you alive. Now, I need you to stop arguing with me. My friend should be here shortly.”

Seeing Haley’s pretty scowl, he added. “Look, my friend should be here any moment. While I appreciate your concern, we need to sit tight.”

Haley leaned back against the seat, hoping whoever ‘he’ was would hurry. Almost on cue, a dark blue ford Bronco pulled into the marina circled the parking lot.

Using the boat’s steering wheel as a grip, Frank pulled himself upright and waved. The Bronco made a hairpin turn coming to a full stop directly in front of them.

Haley glimpsed a silhouette of a broad shouldered man dominating the driver’s side of the vehicle. The driver sat motionless. Time stopped. A frightening premonition swept over Haley; warning her with a fresh new fear, she couldn’t name. Somewhere deep inside her, she knew that from this moment forward, nothing would ever be same again.

The door opened. A tall man stepped out and headed toward them in a catlike stride. Dressed in a black T-shirt and black jeans, his skin glistened bronze in the moonlight, Haley caught her breath at the broad shoulders. He was menacing and she knew to be afraid. He made no attempt to conceal the restless energy in his muscular physique. Watching his approach, Haley said under her breath. “This is your friend?”

That’s him,” Frank answered with a hard gasp of air.

Stepping under a streetlight, the stranger’s short, dark cropped hair glistened in the yellow-white light. A light breeze ruffled one lock forward and he swept it back with a large hand. Haley noted his classically handsome face, his aquiline nose and square jaw. Darkness obscured the color of his eyes. Small drops of moisture clung to his damp forehead and she saw an inherent strength that seemed vaguely familiar.

Hardly giving Haley a glance, he jumped without being asked into the boat. With the craggy look of an unfinished sculpture, he bent his head down to take a better look at Frank’s arm. “You didn’t tell me you were shot.”

“Yeah, well, you can drop me off at the hospital then get out of town. By the way, this is Jenna Rollins. Jenna, this is the infamous Captain Jack Morgan.”

With the moonlight against Jack’s profile, he stood well over six foot, and possessed a sensuality that was almost frightening. He nodded at her. His generous lips parted to give her a dazzling display of straight white teeth.

Haley stood stupidly still, knowing she was the source of this night’s evils. She looked down and away. Men may have died because of Jenna’s lies and her silence. She could think of nothing to say that would make up for her duplicity.

When she looked back at him, he had already turned from her and was examining Frank Potter’s gun shot wound. “Let’s get you to the hospital,” Jack snapped. Without waiting for Frank’s reply, he wrapped his powerful arms about Frank and helped him steady himself off the boat. Leaving Haley to scramble from the boat on her own, the men made their way to the Bronco. Haley scooted around the men and opened the back door of the bronco.

“Try not getting blood all over my seat,” Jack said carefully easing his friend into the back seat. Frank’s laugh turned into a choking cough.

“I hope you’re worth this,” Jack growled under his breath toward Haley.

“She’s worth it,” Frank said catching his breath. “She can bring down the ‘Angel de la Morte’.”

A cold shiver raced up Haley’s arms and choked the breath in her lungs.

Jack’s expression tightened with scorn. “The Angel of Death,” he translated slowly. “So, she’s the one they are looking for?” Frank nodded and eased across the back of the seat.

“You’re one hot little potato,” Jack stared at her taking in her long dark hair, her perfectly delicate face and voluptuous body. “I can see why Ricky Rojas wants you back.”

“No one must know she is with you,” Frank said, “Jack, I need you to keep her safe.”

Jack’s glance at Haley conveyed his contempt. “Get in,” he snapped at her. Closing Frank’s door, he rounded the back of the Bronco and got in behind the driver’s seat.

“Don’t you think she’d be safer somewhere else?” Jack asked staring the engine, “Anywhere else.”

“No,” Frank said weakly as they pulled out of the parking lot, “The safe house we had her in was attacked. Someone gave her up. Until we find out who, I need her out of harm’s way. She can bring down one of the most vicious drug operations in South Florida.”

Haley gasped. Jenna! Oh God, Ricky was involved in drugs? Her mind flashed back to the one time she had met Ricky aboard his yacht. The memory of an exquisite luncheon filled with laughter returned. At the time, all she had seen was Jenna’s happiness. It seemed like a fairy tale with her beautiful sister the princess and Ricky the rich, handsome, charming prince.

Too late, she remembered the two men watching her. The men were not Hispanic, or Latino, they were Colombian! They were not friends but the bodyguards of a drug lord!

Next to her, Jack looked at Haley noting her paled expression. Served her right, he thought privately, she deserved to be afraid. Glancing back at his friend, he could see Frank was fading fast, too fast. He turned the key to the Bronco and hit the accelerator, downshifting to increase the Ford’s speed. At the moment, he had one thought, to keep Frank Potter alive.

Jack sneered as he pulled onto the main highway. He had little use for those who lived in or around the underbelly of Miami drug world. This girl, no matter how damn beautiful she was up to her neck in the mire. Sure, he thought running a red light, he could keep her for a few days. With a sadistic smile, he turned his attention back to the road. She would have little to do but watch the dark ridges of gators glide by his back door. Sand fleas and mosquitoes would bite and sting those beautiful legs. Would she be frightened of the snakes hanging like vines hanging from the mango trees? He wondered if the calls of exotic birds would frighten her in a lost world that time forgot. He wondered if she knew there were worse things than death.

Reaching the newly built hospital at the end of Florida’s Turnpike, Jack stopped the Bronco before the sliding emergency room doors. He jumped out of the SUV and hurried to the back passenger’s door. “Keep your head down, Jenna,” Frank warned his breath gasping,” I don’t want you seen.” In a softer voice, he added, “Look I know Jack looks rough around the edges but he’s a good guy. You’ll be safe. Wait until I contact you. Now lie down, don’t let anyone see you.”

Haley crouched in the seat. “Thank you,” she whispered but the metallic sounds of his door opening covered her words.

Orderlies rushed out of the ER entrance as Jack eased Frank out of the back seat and helped him into a gurney.

“Take care of the package,” Frank pleaded in a weakening voice, “I’ll contact you in a few days.” He turned his dulling gaze to the orderlies. “I’m a Federal Marshal. My badge and Identification are in my left pocket. I need you to call the U.S. Marshals office in Miami.”

Crouched in the seat, Haley heard the shuffle of feet and then the driver door slammed. Without looking up at him, she heard Jack pull away from the emergency room exit.

“You can get up now,” he said his voice angry. “you’re safe.”

“Where are you taking me?” she asked sliding into the seat.

His lips curled into a Macavelian smile and his handsome face turned into a dark mask of controlled fury. His fingers hardened on the steering wheel as he answered, “To hell.”

Linn Random,author,romance,mystery,suspense novelist,e-books