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REVENGE
by Debra Webb

Genre: General Romantic Suspense, Romantic Suspense

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At the side door, the knob turned without resistance and she was in. Thank the Lord. She roved the flashlight’s beam over the cavernous space to get her bearings. Smelled like wood shavings and vaguely of oil. Last night she hadn’t really noticed. She’d been too focused on how to get the power back on in her place. This go-round, her curiosity got the better of her.

There was just one vehicle in the garage, a classic black Cadillac Eldorado. That she had spotted last night. The car fit the man, she decided.

Along the back wall, a workbench and stack of wood in varying sizes awaited the next DIY project. Exposed stone walls were lined with shelves on the other two sides; all were neatly organized with cans of paint and tools. The brush lying across the top of a can of white paint had her remembering and wondering about her landlord’s sudden decision to freshen the door to her apartment the other evening. Not that it really mattered at this point to the homicide case she had just closed, but he needed to understand that in her line of work sometimes trouble followed her home. And if some jerk decided to leave her a personal message, it was essential that she see it— all of it, no matter how unpleasant— before it was whitewashed.

Jess padded across the rough concrete floor and settled the light on the gray metal door of the breaker box. She opened it and sure enough breaker number four from the top had jumped into the off position. She reached up and snapped the breaker into the on position. She watched for a moment to ensure it wasn’t going to repeat its unruly behavior. When the breaker remained in the proper position, she closed the door to the box and turned to go. She stubbed her toes and cringed.

“Damn, damn, damn!” She hopped on one foot while she stretched the injured toes. Aiming her flashlight at the offending object, she glared at the large wooden box. Looked like a homemade toolbox or storage container.

Something on the floor just to the left of the annoying box prompted a second look. The floor was uneven, not smooth at all. Looked as if it had been poured in sections in different decades. But the small round object that snagged her attention glittered in the light . . . silver. Jess leaned down and picked it up. A ring. Not just a ring . . . a wedding band .

She couldn’t read the inscription since her glasses were upstairs. The ring made her think of the one she had stopped wearing recently, only this one was larger, a man’s maybe, and hers had been gold—

The garage filled with flickering lights.

Her breath stalled somewhere in the vicinity of her throat and she squinted at the flood of harsh fluorescent glare.

“Is there a problem, Chief Harris?”