We are excited to share a book installment on Wednesdays and Saturdays! Hidden Danger by Jennifer Pierce is the first in the Small Town Guardians series. If you love mystery and romance, come read the next chapter below!
Chapter 1 / Chapter 2 / Chapter 3 / Chapter 4 / Chapter 5 / Chapter 6 / Chapter 7 / Chapter 8 / Chapter 9 / Chapter 10 / Chapter 11 / Chapter 12 / Chapter 13 / Chapter 14/Chapter 15/Chapter 16/Chapter 17/Chapter 18/Chapter 19/Chapter 20/Chapter 21/Chapter 22/Chapter 23/Chapter 24/Chapter 25/Chapter 26
Something warm caressed Maggie’s cheek, and a familiar deep voice called to her, willing her to come back to him. “Magpie. I love you. Please wake up,” The voice, full of agony, pleaded.
She opened her eyes and stared into stunning blue eyes hovering above her.
“Oh, Maggie, thank God.”
How had she gotten back to Cody? The last thing she remembered was trying to escape from the front door.
Helping her sit up, Cody positioned himself on the bed and wrapped his arm around her, pulling her into his broad chest. “Did he hurt you?”
“I tried to get a knife while I was in the kitchen, and he struck me again. He told me he was sorry. He said I was going to die to teach you a lesson.” His change in demeanor, the apology, and the remorse she could see in his eyes had confused her. Moments before she was afraid for her life, but sitting there with him in that living room, she’d almost felt sorry for him. He truly believed that Cody was forcing him to do these horrible things, that Cody deserved punishment and the only way to accomplish that was to kill her.
“Sorry is just a word. It doesn’t mean anything since he brought you back down here unconscious. We’ve got to get out of here before he comes back.”
“I tried to get a good look around while he had me upstairs.”
“Yes. We’re in a basement. Right outside the door is a hallway that leads to the main basement area. There are stairs that lead up into a small kitchen. Through the kitchen is the living room, and the front door is on the far side of the living room. There were curtains on all the windows, so I couldn’t see outside. The basement has windows like that one.” She gestured to the rectangular window at the top of the wall. “But unlike this one, the others didn’t let in light. They must have been covered by bushes or something.”
“That’s how we’re going to get out of here. It’s wide enough that we should be able to slip out. Can you walk?”
Her neck and head still screamed with excruciating pain, and she felt a little disoriented from what must be the result of head trauma, but nothing was going to stop her from walking out of there. She didn’t want to leave the comfort of Cody’s arms, but she knew they couldn’t stay there. Standing, she took a tentative step away from the bed. Cody was by her side, waiting to catch her if she fell. Her steps, slow at first, were steady. Her legs weren’t weak, and her body wasn’t sluggish.
“That’s good. Once we get out, we’re going to have to move fast.” He walked over to the rectangular window. “This window is big enough for us to crawl through. The best I can tell, the window is decorative and has no way to actually open. We’ll have to break the glass.”
He raised his arm to show her, and she was stunned at the sight of his wrist. She crossed the room and pulled his arm down with her still cuffed hands to get a better look. An ugly bruise wrapped itself around his wrist with cuts at the top and bottom edge of the discolored band.
“When he took you, I was afraid I’d never see you again. When he brought you back, he dumped your body on the bed, said it was my fault, and left.”
“He wants you to suffer.”
He waited for her to explain.
“While he had me upstairs, he pulled out some old family photo albums. He showed me pictures of Iris through the years. He talked about how he had to watch her suffer while she was being stalked. He blames you for her suicide.”
His eyes clouded over with sadness. She wasn’t completely sure why Deputy Grainger believed Iris’s suicide was Cody’s fault, but he did.
“We need to get out of here. We can talk about all of that later. Are you ready?”
Was she ready? She wanted to get as far away from here as possible, but she was terrified of what was beyond the window. Staring at the window, she started thinking of all the things that could go wrong. Shaking her head, she emptied her mind of those thoughts and focused on one minute at a time. “As ready as I’ll ever be.”
“Since your hands are still cuffed, I’m going to break the window and give you a boost. The sound will draw Grainger, so we have to move fast. When you’re out, I want you to run. Don’t look back, run as far and as fast as you can. I’ll be right behind you.”
He ripped strips of fabric from the mattress and wrapped them around his fist. Stepping up to the window, he punched it with his wrapped hand, sending shards of glass all over the place. Using his still covered hand, he ran it around the edges of the window, ridding the edge of jagged remnants.
Once the glass was cleared from the frame, he crouched a bit and intertwined his hands, creating a foothold to give her a boost. Maggie put her foot in his hands, and he thrust her up. She started her climb through the window, using her upper body to pull. When she was free, she stood, dusted the glass shards from her arms the best she could, and turned to help Cody.
A gunshot split the air.
“Run!” Cody yelled before he collapsed out of sight.
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About Jennifer Pierce
Jennifer Pierce currently lives in Arkansas with her husband and two children. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and River Valley Writers, where she serves as secretary.
WHERE TO FIND JENNIFER PIERCE
SMALL TOWN GUARDIANS SERIES