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Forgotten Promises Sneak Peek

Chapter 1

Joe and Anna

 

“We are so going to get in trouble for this.”

Joe peered around the edge of the building he and Anna stood with their backs against and gazed at the small house tucked against a serene cliff side.

“Well, when we do,” Anna whispered back at him. “I will tell them this was all your idea.”

Joe turned to glare at her, and she suppressed a laugh with her hand. Shaking his head at her while smiling, Joe began to take a step around the building when a gruff voice caused them both to flinch.

“What do you two think you’re doing? This is government property, and you are trespassing.”

Anna and Joe froze in place at the sound of the gruff voice. Before Joe had time to react, Anna slipped her hand into his, interlaced their fingers, and wrapped her free arm around him before addressing the man.

She allowed her voice to take on a surprised, yet sweet tone. “Oh, sir! My boyfriend and I are house hunting. We must have gotten turned around!”

The man sighed. “What address are you looking for?”

“Uh, 2601 Wordsworth Terrace?”

“Wordsworth Terrace is two miles to the south. This is Wordsworth North,” came the reply.

“Well, that would explain our confusion, then!” Anna said and put a huge smile on her face. “I’m so sorry we disturbed you, sir.”

Joe tugged on Anna’s hand and began leading her away from the building. “We’ll get out of your hair, then.”

Anna held her breath and let Joe lead her a few steps away from the building and the man but sighed when he called out to them.

“How did you get past the gate?”

“I’m sorry?” Anna asked, turning back to face him.

“The gate,” he said and put his hands on his hips. “How did you get past it?”

Anna didn’t miss noticing the gun strapped to his belt.

“Uh, I think it was open, wasn’t it?” Joe turned to look at Anna.

“Definitely,” Anna agreed. “Definitely opened.”

Joe pulled Anna a few more steps away before the man stopped them again.

“Where’s your car?”

“Shit.”

“If we chose to live here, then we wanted to check out the full property,” she said, talking over Joe’s grumble. “What better way to do that than a leisurely walk up the driveway?”

“You have an answer for everything?” The man cocked his head at her. “How about we go inside, and you answer a few more?”

“Well, I don’t know what you want us to answer,” Anna said. “Like I said, we were lost.”

“I’m not buying that. Let’s go.”

Joe gave Anna a sharp look, stepped in front of her, and began following the man. When they got closer to the building, Anna peered around him at the man.

“You have a lovely home,” she said. “I hope the place we are looking to rent has the same charm as yours.”

He glared back at her and stomped the final few feet to the front door. He swung it open and motioned for them to enter, glaring at them as they passed by. Joe caught Anna’s eye again and gave her a look that she hoped meant he had a plan.

Once they had passed through the door, Anna paused and looked around for a moment. Behind her, the man sighed and gave her a little nudge in the back, spurring her to continue walking. Anna’s eyes slipped from one side of the house to the other as they walked through the rooms. The man encouraged them through the entire home and into a small kitchen that acted as a command station.

The man pointed at a pair of chairs at the kitchen table, and both she and Joe sat. Anna couldn’t hide her curiosity at the surrounding devices. Phones and computers sat on counters, servers rested along the wall on the floor, and camera monitors plastered the walls. Anna allowed her eyes to sweep over the devices before turning to the man with a surprised look on her face.

“My goodness! You have some interesting decorating tastes!”

Ignoring her, the man turned to Joe. “What the hell are you two doing here? I’ve been watching you for 20 minutes. You’ve been sneaking around this property like you’re hunting something.”

“Like she said,” Joe said, leaning forward in his chair, his hands in his lap. “We were checking out the property. Our realtor is walking us through in about 30 minutes, but we got here early so we could check things out. Didn’t want to bother whoever might be home while we were looking things over, so we were trying to stay quiet.”

“I’m afraid it was my fault,” Anna said, causing the man’s eyes to shift to her. “I love spending time outdoors and I wanted to see what type of space we were dealing with.”

“Can we cut the bullshit, please? We all know there isn’t such a place as Wordsworth Terrace, and this ain’t no Wordsworth North. What the HELL do you want?”

Anna and Joe looked at each other before both turning their eyes back to the man, neither willing to say anything more.

“Fine,” the man said. “My team should be back in about five minutes. I’m going to search you two and secure you until they can get some answers out of you.”

“You, stay there,” he said, pointing at Joe. “And, you, get over here and let me make sure you don’t have any weapons.”

Anna felt Joe stiffen a bit at the order, but Anna gave him a look and complied with the man. She held her breath again and flinched when the man’s hands found their way to her hips. But before he could conduct his search, Joe jerked him backward and to the floor.

“Go, Anna,” Joe grunted as he subdued the man and made sure he was unconscious.

Anna didn’t wait for him to follow her and instead took off running through the house and back to the front door. She burst into the sunlight just as three large SUVs were pulling up outside of the house. Several confused men poured from the vehicle and spotted her, which caused her to backpedal to a stop.

Before she could change directions, Joe sped through the door behind her and grabbed her hand, pulling her with him toward the cliffs. The men soon broke their startled trance and took chase. Anna could hear their combat boots rustling the grass behind her as they ran.

“Did you at least get the device in place?” she panted as Joe pulled her along.

“You would think you’d stop doubting me at some point,” he said, not looking back at her.

He kept them on a straight path to the cliff, and Anna did her best to keep up with him. When he stopped at the edge of the cliff and looked down, Anna’s eyes widened, and she froze in place.

“I’m sorry,” Joe said. “This won’t be pleasant.”

Anna had just enough time to look down at the steadily flowing water below her in fear before Joe jerked her into his arms and pulled her over the cliff with him. Before she had time to scream, they hit the water, and it pulled them under.

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