Desperate Acts


Terra Cameron has the perfect life—a perfect home, and a perfect husband, and is expecting her first child.

Two masked men wielding knives break into her home and kill her husband, Sean. Devastated and grieving Terra faces an investigation into her role in her husband’s murder, an investigation led by a man she once loved with her whole heart.

Detective Derrick O’Leary has loved Terra for years, but a stupid move on his part ended his relationship with her, leaving him desolate and alone.

The murder of Sean Cameron brings them together in a struggle that sees Terra accused of murder, Derrick accused of protecting her from prosecution, and two killers about to get away with murder.

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Terra Cameron would remember this moment for the rest of her life.

The soft light of the moon spread over their naked bodies as she snuggled next to her husband, Sean. Happy didn’t begin to describe how she felt. “Honey, what are you thinking about?” she asked, trailing her fingers over his jaw, feeling the beginning of light stubble growing there.

“That the sooner you’re pregnant the better. I want a house full of kids.”

“Sean!” She pretended to be shocked. “We’ve been married all of eight months.”

“So?” he asked, his mouth caressing the soft skin between her breasts.

“So does this mean you don’t want dessert?” she asked, her body melting under his touch.

“You are dessert,” he said, his voice a husky whisper as he kissed her neck. “Not that the dinner you made wasn’t spectacular. It was.” He smoothed her hair away from her face, his eyes dark and impenetrable in the soft light of the bedroom.

She loved Sean Cameron with every fiber of her being. He was her life, her future, and now with a baby on the way, they had a whole new experience to look forward to. She’d made dinner, planned every part of it down to the last bite, all to make the night ahead the most wonderful night of their lives. She couldn’t wait to see the happiness on his face when she told him she was pregnant. “If we’re going to spend the rest of the evening in bed, I’d better close up the house.”

“I’m here, ready to make love to you, and you’re worried about locking up?” he asked, his dark blue eyes focused solely on her. “I already checked. Every door in this house is locked.”

“But did you put the alarm system on? I need to have the alarm on, you know that.”

Taking her hand in his, he kissed each finger, slowly and deliberately. “Some day I’m going to cure you of your fears…all of them,” he whispered.

She’d like to simply curl up next to him, lose herself and for just one whole night, not think about anything, including the past. “I’ll be right back,” she said, pulling her hand away from his lips and reaching for her white robe.

“Just you remember what’s waiting for you right here,” he called as she headed down the hall toward the door to the garage and the security system keypad.

She passed the living room and dining room where the high ceiling reflected the shimmering light from the back garden fountain. She imagined this space filled to overflowing with baby things, lots of baby things… In the kitchen the dishes from the evening meal were scattered over the counters, the cluttered stovetop stood quietly in the semi-darkness. “I’ll clean this in the morning,” she whispered into the silence.

Reaching the back entrance, she punched the ‘stay’ button on the pad. ‘System failure. Door ajar’ displayed on the screen.

“Shoot! One of us must have left the door to the lower deck open,” she muttered, smoothing her tangled hair off her face as she went down the stairs leading to the lower level. She was sure she’d closed the door after they came in from the deck…so sure… And Sean had said he’d locked all the doors.

Reaching the bottom of the stairs, she hit the switch and the room was bathed in soft light from the ceiling pot lights. This was Sean’s favorite room in the house, one he’d spent hours planning and designing. He called it his man cave— and it was, with its home theatre and general all round space for her husband. As she made her way around the corner, past the wall-mounted television and the wet bar she saw the French doors that led to the stone patio.

They were open. The motion detector light cast a hard blaze of light on the outdoor space. Her heart tripping wildly against her ribs, she closed the door and locked it before moving back toward the stairs.

Just then someone moved out from the shadowy space beside the bookcase next to the French doors. Gasping in surprise, she stumbled back, nearly falling.

Another man appeared beside her, his face covered in a black mask.

“Don’t move,” he said.

A scream started in her throat, extinguished immediately by a large hand covering her mouth.

Powerful arms pulled her backwards, crushing her chest. “What have we here?”

Terrified she struggled against him. His grip tightened.

“You utter one sound and I’ll kill you,” the intruder said, his voice soft and sure. “Where’s your husband?” he demanded, yanking her back against him, lifting her feet off the floor.

Panic clouded her vision, trapping her mind, her body trembling. “Bedroom,” she choked out the word, pointing toward the ceiling.

“Nice, real nice. That’s where we’re going.” He dragged her across the floor. His fingers squeezed her left breast— her yelp of pain was muffled by his hand.

“Like I said, shut up. We’re not here to hurt you. We’re looking for that bastard you married. He’s going to die for what he did.”

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