EXCERPT: SECOND CHANCE
Fairview, South Carolina
He sat on a hillside and surveyed the estate below. Icy gusts of wind blasted around him, swirling up frozen dust particles from the dry earth. Undeterred by the elements, Cole Mathison maintained his focus on the target below—a modern-day fortress. The massive brick wall surrounding the Southern style mansion would stop all but the most determined. Hidden sensors covered the vast estate, designed to alert the owner to the presence of any intruder within seconds.
Keeley Fairchild and her daughters were well protected.
She’d been given instructions on how to protect her family and had taken that advice to heart. Other than its lack of armed guards, the security measures she’d taken could rival some embassies. This was a woman intent on ensuring her family’s safety.
Cole lowered his high-powered binoculars and released a harsh breath. Why was he even here? There was no indication that she was in trouble or under any kind of threat. It had been well over a year since her husband’s abduction and death. From all accounts, there’d never been a threat to anyone else in the family. So why the hell couldn’t he just forget about her and let this obsession go?
He stood and stretched his long legs. Three days of doing nothing but watching the almost nonexistent comings and goings at the estate was wearing. For a man used to a daily routine of physical activity, sitting on his ass for any amount of time exhausted him faster than a ten-mile uphill run.
None of the family had left the grounds since he’d been here. Two visitors, both young women, had come by for brief visits. That had been the only outside activity. Other than the occasional small shadow that flitted by a window, he never saw Keeley Fairchild or her children.
She was fine; the kids were fine. So why didn’t he leave?
There was no reason to believe that she or her children were in the slightest bit of danger. Despite that knowledge, he came here every month just to reassure himself. Damn stupid obsession had to end sometime. The need to protect this family was a bizarre and useless pastime. They didn’t need his help. Hell, they didn’t even know he existed. And with any luck, he could keep it that way.
His phone vibrated in his pocket. Grabbing it, he held it to his ear as he perused the perimeter once more.
“We found him.” Noah McCall’s hard voice held a tinge of triumph.
Cole’s entire body stiffened at the news. “Where?”
“Still in his home base.”
The bastard had never left Mexico. Good, that’d make it easier for everyone.
“Figured he’d head out of the country,” Cole said.
“He may have…just couldn’t.”
“He suspect anything?”
“No. Staying below radar, but he’s set up shop. Got himself a little lab in the basement of an abandoned building.”
Yeah, sounded like the freak. A fanatical need to experiment had ruined lives, caused untold death and destruction. But now the man’s sick fascination to screw with people’s minds was playing right into their hands.
“You coming?” McCall asked.
Cole took another sweeping glance at the scenic and peaceful valley below. His instincts were off, had been since his capture. There was no hint of threat, no evidence of danger. Keeley Fairchild had gotten on with her life; he needed to get on with his.
Jerking his backpack up, he swung it over his shoulder and started down the hill. “Be there tomorrow.”
back to main books page