Twice A Target (Task Force Eagle)

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Authors: Susan Vaughan
seemed
to need time to accept. “Will’s busy with the first guests of the season. Maybe
later this week. There’s some other ranches to visit first.” He pointed to his
map. “I’ve gone over the scene of the crime and made lists of everyone Rob knew
and everyone around who uses that road regularly.”
    “Could it be someone you know?”
    “No telling. It occurred to me the killer might have
shot the wrong person.”
    An idea straightened her shoulders. “What if someone
else has a truck like Rob’s? What if that was the reason? Someone else could
still be in danger.”
    The baby produced a loud belch.
    “Good boy.” Maddy cuddled him and rocked. “Now maybe
he’ll go back to sleep.”
    “I don’t think the sheriff’s thought of it being the
wrong vehicle.” Holt scribbled the word truck . He circled it. “Thanks.
It’s worth checking out.”
    Her eyes stung again and her chest ached. Feeling the drowsing
little one in her lap only served to heighten the tragedy. She had to help if
Holt would let her. “Do you have photographs of the accident scene?”
    “Sheriff does. Won’t give them to me. Says it’s police
business, not DEA. I should keep out of the case. Butt out, in other words.”
    “Do the photos show where the shooter was in relation
to the truck? Or what view the shooter had?”
    He looked up from his notes. “They don’t show much.
Reckon I’ve been so overwrought about the whole damn affair I haven’t been much
of a detective. What are you getting at?”
    “I’m not sure exactly. I could take more pictures if
you like. Of course I have no equipment other than my cameras and my laptop.”
    “You’re talking about digital pictures?”
    She nodded. “I generally use digital. My Nikon has
twenty-four mega pixels. That would give us sharp enough resolution. I can
format the images on my laptop but I have no printing equipment. We’d need
cutting edge, not a drugstore printer.”
    “I know a place in the county seat, a lab that might
do the printing.”
    There, a conversation between old friends working
together. Warmth wrapped comforting arms around her. Then the topic of the
conversation folded the shutter on her pleasure. Photographing the place where
Rob and Sara were killed.
    “Okay. Let me put Bobby in his crib.” She padded to
the nursery. The infant didn’t wake as she laid him on his back. “Don’t worry,
pumpkin. You’re safe and loved.” She whispered it as a prayer and wiped her
eyes.
    When she returned to sit at the table, she felt Holt’s
scrutinizing gaze as a physical touch. His eyes, hooded and brooding, held her.
Intense alertness and edgy violence in every taut muscle.
    “Some son of a bitch took the last members of our
family from me and Bobby. I aim to make him pay. I appreciate any help you want
to give.” He shot to his feet and turned away from her. “Bobby could have been
with them. He could have ended up at the bottom of that steep slope.”
    His gruff words branded her brain. Grisly images of
what such a crash could do to a tender little body razored pain through her.
“Holt, don’t play what if. It gets you nowhere. I should know. Rob and Sara
are...gone, but their son is alive.”
    “Do you sit by his grave every day for Bobby’s sake?
Or to ease your conscience?”
    The comment made her wince. She had to say it now,
while he wasn’t looking at her. “I did love Rob. I—”
    “Not enough, I reckon.”
    “He was my best friend. I wasn’t in love with
him and I couldn’t marry him. I handled things the worst possible way, I admit.
I panicked and ran. I never intended to hurt him.”
    “You know what they say about good intentions.”
    His harsh tone rasped like a file over her raw nerves.
She forced herself to continue. “As the wedding came closer and closer, I knew
what we had wasn’t magical, romantic, or the thrilling rush it should be. I
worried it wasn’t a lifetime thing.”
    “He loved you that way.” His wide shoulders

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