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Death and Deceit
When your life is threatened, who do you trust? Everyone looks suspicious.
At first it seems to aerobic instructor,Jessica Albright that she may have found love online, when she meets Gary Burke.But just when things are warming up,her new acquaintance turns weird.
Jessie swears off the chat line and is introduced to handsome Kent Morgan by her girlfriend, computer programmer, Elizabeth Barrow. Jessie immediately falls for Kent who appears to like her too.
Then threatening messages begin appearing on Jessie’s e mail, and Jessie has reason to suspect Kent, when Liz puts doubts in her mind. But after Jessie's mom dies Liz does an about-face.
Confused and fed up, Jessie seeks police help from good-looking Ricardo Alvarez. But too late she discovers that Ricardo has his own agenda. Liz and Kent team up to try and save Jessie from the danger she's walked into. But can they outsmart the calculating and sick mind of Ricardo Alvarez?
Jessie slept fitfully, pain shot up her arms as she dangled unmercifully from a swinging rope tied to an overhead beam. It resembled all the staging she’d ever seen in western movies of hangings, except the rope was tied around her wrists and not her neck. But she swung there none the less in mid air. Below her was the bare ground — far below. And a crowd of people surrounded her, all looking up — all dressed in pioneer clothing. All except two people, Kent and Liz. They stood in front of the gathering. Liz was crying and Kent looked horrified. The palms of his hands were pressed tightly against his cheeks, and he was pale, ghostly.
In the centre of the gathering a huge bonfire blazed, shooting out sparks that crackled loudly and rushed into the night air. Some landed on her, burning her skin. Then a man appeared. He stood on the landing just above her. He was dressed all in black and wore a mask. He carried a sword and flashed it across the night sky, then brought it closer and closer to the rope. Each swish through the air made Jessie flinch, for she knew when the sword struck the rope she would crash down into the raging fire, sending hundreds of burning sparks and cinders out into the night sky.
Suddenly the rope was severed and she was falling — but drifting peacefully — taking an eternity to hit the flames below. Two arms surrounded her and she opened her clinched eyes expecting to see the devil in black. But the arms filled her with such love and warmth she had no fear. And instead of the masked man holding her, it was Kent. They floated together above the crowd, above the flames. He held her gently to him and kissed her bruised wrists until they healed instantly before her eyes. His face was serene now with natural colour, not ghostly anymore. Then the excruciating pain returned and Kent disappeared. She fell...screaming...then sprang upward.
“What the hell...” Ricardo mumbled, jumping from his bed.
Jessie sat upright as much as she could in the handcuffs. One of her wrists was bleeding and she trembled, crying softly.
Ricardo, realizing she had been in a nightmare got to his knees before her. His thick black hair was tousled around his face. “It’s okay, Princess,” he soothed. “You were just dreaming. Oh, look at your wrists.”
“Please,” she moaned. “Take the handcuffs off. I can’t go anywhere. Can’t you see?”
“Yes, yes. I see,” he said hurriedly. “I’ll unlock them.”
After Ricardo had put a damp cloth on her wrists, Jessie calmed down. “Please, Rick, stop all this now. Drive me home and I’ll forget we ever met.”
He had been looking for food and turned from the cupboard when she spoke. “You’d like that, wouldn’t you? To forget we ever met. Well we’ve met and we’re sticking together. You’re mine now. Get it through your head, Jessica.”
Jessie turned her tear-filled eyes towards the window by the cot. She could see the sun tipping the mountains and sending rays shooting across the valley. It would be full daylight soon. It was probably four or five a.m. She ached from head to toe especially her wrists. They were raw under the cloth he’d given her, but she was thankful he’d finally removed the cuffs. Now she was free. Thinking frantically she wondered how she might plan an escape.
Ricardo slammed the cupboard door. “No damn food in there.” Then he appeared in front of her standing no more than a foot or two away. He then walked to Jessie’s bed. She swallowed dryly. His impressive frame was intimidating, frightening. When he sat, the mattress bounced, sending particles of dust dancing in a thin sun ray that crossed the cabin. He reached across Jessie and grasped the whiskey bottle from the bed stand. He gulped a mouthful then returned it to the stand. His eyes glared into hers. The same brown eyes she’d once thought were so handsome and interesting were now cunning and fierce. His jaw clenched and he wore the look of a hunter, untamed and dangerous.
“Hell, girl. I don’t need this friggin’ whiskey. What am I thinking? You look a little wild this morning but you still look mighty inviting.” He touched her face with his fingertips and traced along her jaw line past her throat and onto her breasts. His fingers made tiny circles on the material covering her nipples. His breathing grew stronger and he lunged for her, gripping her in his arms. Finding her mouth, he sealed his over hers and kissed her roughly.
Jessie fell back on the bed, Ricardo on top of her. His hands were everywhere, groping at her breasts, sliding down her front, between her thighs, pressing her legs apart. The force of him almost smothered her, and his whiskey breath was even worse. His hands pressed against her inner thighs and panic swelled inside her, like a rush from a giant ocean wave.