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Begin with a gangland murder in New York City—add a full-force hurricane in Florida and Olivia finds that everything safe and familiar is gone. Then stir into the plot two others who are running from their pasts and the intrigue increases. Never Look Back is a story with apoignant twist that takes readers on a soul-searching adventure of love, trust and survival.
Bullets tear through his flesh; blood stains his white shirt and splatters the wall behind him. He dies right before her eyes. She doesn't know the dead man's name, never will, but it doesn't matter—Olivia Vorhees has seen too much. For the past two of her twenty-four years she has been the lover of a the man who now stands, gun still in hand, over the body. "Get her outta here. Take her home," Frank whispers to his trusted right-hand man and she feels Paulie's fingers grasp her elbow.
Thus begins a fear-driven flight into a fierce Florida hurricane and on to adventures and intrigue that leads to a story of love, trust and survival.
Excerpt from the Prologue.
Paulie settled behind the wheel and put a finger to his lips. For several minutes they drove in silence through the almost deserted streets to her apartment. Once he made a strange detour. "You gotta disappear," he said eyeing the rearview mirror.
"You know too much. You could get hurt. Frank, he don't like people who know too much."
"Frank wouldn't hurt me." Her voice quivered.
"You don't know Frank good as you think. He…"
"But not me. He wouldn't hurt me. He loves me."
"He's loved twenty before you and there'll be twenty after you're gone. The only way you're gonna survive is to disappear. Frank don't have a heart; his feelings are all in his crotch. You're too nice a kid to end up like some of the others."
"I don't believe you," but she recognized the surity in his voice and the insecurity in hers.
The trip was a blur. When they reached the fifth floor of the building on 87th Street she waited patiently as he opened the door for her. Why did he have a key to her apartment?
Inside she looked around, confused in familiar surroundings. Dropping her silk jacket over the back of the couch, she sat on the plush cushions. Her knees felt weak. "I could use a drink," she said.
"Drink? You got no time for a drink. You gotta leave—tonight," He said, taking her arm.
"Like I said, you saw too much. You got a target on your back."
She remembered the fiery exchange between the two men that began almost the moment they'd entered the unfamiliar room—such a contrast to the elegant evening she and Frank had shared—sumptuous dinner, dancing… Her eyes filled with tears.
"Frank wouldn't hurt me," she whimpered and knew deep down in her heart she couldn't even convince herself."…
"Where am I going?
"Somewhere Frank will never find you. He won't like it you ran out."
"But I'm not running, you're making me go."
"It's to save your life, honey. I know Frank." He paused, then said, "Take every cent you can lay your hands on. You won't be able to use credit cards or checks."
She stared at him; her eyes filled with tears, then she went into the closet. In the bottom drawer of the bureau where she kept her heavier sweaters she'd hidden a silk cosmetic bag. Whenever Frank gave her money he always gave her more than she needed and she'd hidd4en it away. She hesitated, her hand hovering over the bag. Funny I didn't spend it. Did I know I'd be leaving? That this was just temprorary? she thought. She clutched the bag feeling the stack of bills hidden inside. Shaking her head she pushed the soft bag under the clothes in the suitcase.
She closed and latched the bag, shoved the wallet she took from the top drawer of her nightstand into a deep pocket and turned to face him.
"Why did Frank shoot that man?"
"Why am I running away? I'd never tell."
Paulie Allegro shook his head but didn't respond. He shrugged and the jacket of his three-piece sut parted to reveal the vest covering the snowy white shirt. He always accompanied Frank, no matter where they went. A shadow, a silent partner, just there…in case. Whenever she and Frank returned to her apartment after a night out, Paulie didn't come in but she knew he was there, just outside, alert and watching.
"Trust me, it's what you gotta do. Remember you can't come back. Ever. What happened tonight is just the beginning and if you don't get outta here right away you're gonna be in the middle. And, the middle is where the bullets go."