"Move one inch in any direction and you'll be sipping your
food through a straw."
Caleb Wilson jerked back at the sound of the outraged feminine
voice and smacked his head off the frame of the jimmied window.
He cut loose with a stream of profanity inventive enough to make
even his old Air Force buddies proud.
He had come to an empty house in the middle of nowhere Kauai,
Hawaii just after midnight looking for information about a missing
friend he now feared dead. Instead of explanations, Cal got a welcoming
committee of the angry female variety. His least favorite type of
As plans went, so far this one sucked.
Since the element of surprise no longer rested on his side, Cal
decided to try a new tact. Until he figured out who the unidentified
woman with the big mouth was and what she was doing in this small
house, he would stay right where he was.
He cleared his throat in an attempt to sound as reasonable as
a guy curled in a ball on a windowsill could sound. "Maybe
So much for the reasonable route.
He twisted his six-foot frame around in the small opening. Finding
a tolerable position grew more impossible by the second. His muscles
hardened and his patience started a countdown to zero.
"Ma'am, I'm stuck." He attempted to laugh but being
doubled over the sound came out more like a wheeze.
"What you are is trespassing."
Okay, that too. "You have me at a disadvantage here."
He moved to his next plan. Charm.
"I'm sitting in a window," he explained, throwing in
an endearing chuckle to see if he could win over the woman with
the voice so throaty it should be illegal.
"I didn’t put you there."
Also immune to charm. Check.
But she did have a point. "Admittedly I got into this position
without your help, but if you could-"
Then he heard it. An unmistakable metal clicking sound. The noise
chased away all thoughts about the long legs that might complete
the matching set to that husky voice.
The woman held a gun. He survived for thirty-six years on the
planet without having a female threaten to shoot him. Looked like
he could consider that streak broken.
With the door locked, slipping through the window seemed like
a good idea a few minutes ago. Now he was sorry he skipped his initial
plan to pick the lock and use the door like a normal person.
"I'm not a thief." He played many roles in his life.
Not that one.
"Then why are you breaking in?"
Tough talk, but he heard it. A subtle and unmistakable hitch in
her voice. One that meant she was not as in control or calm as her
words suggested. One that made that gun of hers even more dangerous.
He went with an abbreviated version of the truth. "This house
belongs to an old friend of mine. He invited me. Now I'm here."
A beat of silence filled the room as his arm fell asleep. The
whole idea of Hawaii being the perfect beachside paradise missed
him at the moment. So far, it had been an obstacle course. No sign
of Dan. A round of apologetic glances and mumbled comments about
being "sorry" when Cal asked after Dan at the private
hangar where he kept his helicopter.
Top all that with a near-black night and a tire-rutted dirt road
leading to a cabin in a wooded area in the middle of Kokee State
Park. The same cabin not being anywhere near the beach.
Yeah, not exactly what Cal expected to find when he got on the
plane that morning. Neither was the non-welcome from a female with
questionable emotional stability.
Cal toyed with the idea of launching the still-awake parts of
his body at his perfumed attacker. Without seeing her, he guessed
he outweighed her by at least fifty pounds. That made the chance
of knocking her down pretty damn good.
But the gun posed a problem. A big one. If the lady with the
deadly weapon and deep voice was a novice, he might leave Kauai
in a zipper
bag. An amateur would shoot first. Probably fire straight into
his forehead. On the other hand, a skilled markswoman definitely
hit him in the forehead. Fifty-fifty and both options ended with
his death. Not the best odds.