He winks at her. Come find me after you’ve had a couple drinks. Want something to drink?

They lifted her into the ambulance, the paramedic continuing compressions. We’re coming with her, General Donovan announced, helping his wife into the rear of the ambulance while he took the front seat. Bateman, we’re headed to South East.

He took another burning sip and started down the steps to get a late breakfast, hoping that the bacon wasn’t gone. Food was expensive. Especially bacon. But soon they’d be producing everything they needed. Maybe I should start rationing some of the meat. He’d noticed yesterday that Chip had taken as much bacon as his plate could hold.A small dust cloud billowed behind a low hill far off to his right, and he stopped to watch. The dust meant a vehicle was coming. A moment later a truck came around the bend, and Tom squinted, not recognizing the heavily built vehicle.

The truck had a light bar on top of its cab, and even though it was completely blurred, he recognized the Oregon State Police logo on the side of the vehicle. Tom glanced around, feeling exposed. Where are Al and Deke? Usually the two men weren’t far from his side, but his morning hadn’t officially started, and he insisted they leave him alone until the beginning of his workday.No doubt they’re eating all my bacon.The truck came closer, and Tom strode over to meet it. By the time he reached the flat parking area, he was panting heavily, and he knew sweat beaded his forehead. The truck was a utility vehicle with a bulky covered back end to store equipment. After the truck parked, a stocky man in his thirties wearing the navy clothes of an OSP officer hopped out. A second officer stayed in the cab, talking on a phone. Tom McDonald? asked the first man.

You found him. Tom held out his hand, and the other man gave it a firm shake. What can I do for you?Nathan Landau. OSP Arson and Explosives. I understand you’ve got some dynamite you want us to take off your hands?

Tom nearly dropped his coffee. What?

Nathan frowned. Dynamite. We got a call that you found some old dynamite and want it off your property.I don’t want you to look at me differently and suddenly see someone else…someone you couldn’t ever want. I could say the same exact thing. There are ugly parts of me, Paisley. Sins I’m still paying for.

Is that where you were this week? Paying for those sins?Two heartbeats passed while his jaw ticked. Yes, in a way.

Did you cheat on me? I asked softly, using intonation to make sure he knew I didn’t think it was possible. Did you sleep with someone else? Touch someone else?Fuck, no. How could you even… He shook his head. That’s not a possibility. You’re the only woman I want. My smile must have tipped him off, because he rolled his eyes. You’re killing me, Paisley.

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