Home > No Place to Run (KGI #2)(7)

No Place to Run (KGI #2)(7)
Author: Maya Banks

She glanced back to see the spotlight from the boat dancing across the water.

She inhaled quickly and ducked beneath the water again. Ignoring the agonizing pain in her arm, she swam deep and hard. Eventually, her body grew numb from the cold, and the pain receded. She gave a quick murmur of thanks and pushed herself onward.

For how long she repeated the endless cycle of surfacing, taking a breath and going back below, she didn’t know. It felt like hours. She wasn’t cognizant of anything but the need to survive.

When her strength finally gave out and the adrenaline fled her system, she broke the surface and looked back. To her immense relief, she didn’t see the boat. No lights, just murky darkness.

The lake lapped gently at her chin as she treaded water. And suddenly the pain came rushing back with the force of a car crash.

Barely conscious, she feebly struck out for shore, but it seemed a mile away. The current tugged at her legs, sucking her back and down the river channel instead of allowing her to move toward the bank.

Exhausted, she stopped fighting and turned on her back to float the best she could. She had to get out of the water. He’d be looking for her.

Her head cracked against something hard, and she let out a startled cry. She briefly fell underneath the water in panic. When she surfaced, she jerked around to see a large log bobbing in front of her.

Grateful for something to hold on to, she hauled her body up and draped herself over the trunk. The wet bark abraded her cheek, but she was too exhausted to give a damn.

She reached with her good arm and placed her hand over her belly. Her baby had to be okay. She had to be. She closed her eyes as she waited for some response from within. Just a tiny kick. Even a bump just to let Sophie know her baby was safe.


She ran her hand up her arm, feeling for how bad the bullet wound was. In the water, it was impossible to tell. She whispered a fervent prayer that the night’s events hadn’t harmed her baby.

Again she lowered her palm, feeling for movement.

She fought back the panic. It was common for a baby to be still after Mama suffered a shock. She’d read that somewhere in one of those pregnancy books.

She’d become an expert at self-treatment because she hadn’t dared seek medical help. Tomas would have found her instantly. So she devoured every book she could lay her hands on. She took over-the-counter vitamins, drank her milk and exercised so she’d remain on alert. For just such an occasion as when her father’s men caught up to her.

There was one star overhead. Just one, but it looked blurry and distant. It bobbed up and down, and she didn’t know if it was because she shook so violently or if the lake was rough.

Her arm wrapped tighter around the log, and she pressed her cheek against the wet bark. She could ride it for a while, and maybe it would drift out of the faster current toward the calmer waters of the lake.

Her eyelids fluttered even as she fought to stay conscious. Something warm and wet ran down her arm. Blood. It smelled like blood.


His image rose vividly to mind. Her last coherent thought was that she had to get to Sam.


THE morning sun shone bright on the back deck of Sam Kelly’s Kentucky Lake home. The wood was warm underneath his bare feet, and the rays chased the chill of the morning away. It had the makings of a truly spectacular day.

The only way it would have been more perfect is if he was on the lake, fishing pole in one hand, a beer in the other. At least he had the beer covered.

He drained the remainder from his can, then crumpled it and tossed it across the deck into the garbage can.

“Nice shot,” Donovan drawled from his indelicate sprawl over one of the lounge chairs.

A brief cool breeze blew over Sam’s face, reminding him that spring hadn’t fully sprung yet.

He glanced over at his younger brother and motioned for him to toss him another beer.

Donovan tossed him a can and then looked in Garrett’s direction. Sam’s other younger brother—not that Garrett acted like anyone’s younger brother—held up his hand for one and Donovan aimed a beer in his direction also.

Garrett cracked it open and then turned his attention back to the barbeque, where he flipped the burgers.

Only the sizzle of the grill could be heard. That and the hiss of the can as Sam tabbed his open.

“Ethan and Rachel get out okay this morning?” Donovan asked, finally breaking the silence.

Sam looked in Garrett’s direction since he’d know better than anyone else.

Garrett nodded. “Yeah, they left for the airport at the ass crack of dawn. Rachel was understandably nervous but very excited to be off to Hawaii for two weeks. She and Ethan both need the break.”

Of all the brothers, and they all loved Rachel dearly—she was the only sister-in-law in the family—Garrett was closest to her, and the most protective. But then he had a protective streak a mile wide when it came to the people he loved.

Sam leaned back and stared over the lake. He tuned out Garrett’s and Van’s discussion about Rachel’s recovery. They got on the subject of Christmas, and Sam tensed, withdrawing even more. Christmas was a touchy subject. Not that it hadn’t been wonderful this year. Rachel’s first holiday back in the Kelly fold.

Watching her smile and her eyes light up like a child’s had been worth every minute.

But Christmas had been just after he’d come back from Mexico. Right after Sophie had disappeared. It was stupid to dwell on her, but inevitably his thoughts drifted to her. Her smile. Her eyes. How good they were in bed. How she responded to his touch. How she felt when he was buried to the balls in her sweet, receptive body.

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