Reckoning

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The honeymoon is over for Cody and Remy LeBeau. And Cody’s darkest secret haunts her, threatening to destroy their marriage.

The brutal murder of a former judge sets in motion a domino effect of killings that all point back to Cody and her father. She suspects her father is hiding something sinister from her and Remy. But the closer she tries to get to her husband, the more she feels Remy drifting away from her, taken by his job and his stubborn instance that she’s not trusting him enough. Then her ex-boyfriend sends her a warning note, and with her world spinning out of control, Cody turns to the only man she does trust to help her and protect Remy. Her actions produce a result she’s not prepared to handle.

Remy watches as his once happy marriage is pulled apart brick by brick. With threats closing in all sides, he’s forced to resort to his cold, secretive style that has kept him alive. If he’s to have any chance at succeeding, he must rely on the assistance of the last person on earth he wants to reach out to, even if the result continues to push Cody away.

Death will have a reckoning, and for Cody and Remy it could mean the end of everything they’ve loved.

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Publisher: Winter Austin
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Chapter One

Terminating the wife first was the easy part. Her eyes opened the moment his hand clamped down on her mouth, but she never had the chance to utter a scream before he sliced through her throat. She died instantly, while her blood sputtered everywhere.

Next, to the den and the intended target. With the wife out of the way, there would be no worry of her interrupting and calling in the cops. He wanted the high and mighty bastard to feel every blow to his body. For years he’d mulled over how he would exact his revenge. Now that he was acting on it, he planned to savor every moment of pain and suffering he inflicted. Compensation for the horrors he’d suffered.

Snoring loudly, the old judge sat in a leather recliner as an old war movie droned in the background. He was a large man, and one who wouldn’t go down easily, but he’d gone soft over the years; a real lard ass.

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He, on the other hand, was a powerhouse of lean muscle brought about first by fighting to survive, then later by a change in fortune. Gradually, he slipped around to the front of the chair. Leaning forward, he flicked on the lamp next to the recliner. The single bulb lit up the room.

The old judge’s eyes flared open. “What the—"

His gloved fist cracked across the man’s face; he felt the jaw break under his knuckles. Spittle and blood sprayed the lamp shade. Grabbing the collar of the robe, he dragged him from the chair and tossed his body on the floor. His fists pummeled the man, breaking skin and ribs with each punishing blow. The old judge tried to roll over to defend himself, but a crushing blow to his temple ceased that attempt.

With his target subdued, he straddled the judge’s back and yanked his arms behind his back. Quickly, he restrained the arms with duct tape from the elbows down.

Garbled sounds and grunts came from the man. Nice. He’d sufficiently broken the ass’s jaw, eliminating the very thing that was once his livelihood. Satisfied with the tape job, he flipped the judge onto his side. Squatting down, he braced his elbows on his knees, letting his hands dangle in the open space between his legs, and sneered at the man.

“Do you recognize me?”

Panting now, pain etched along his wrinkled face, the judge stared. Despite the obvious agony he was in, defiance gleamed in his eyes.

“You don’t, do ya? Well, how about we try this?” He whipped out the wrinkled three-by-five photo from his shirt pocket and held it in front of the man’s face. “Look familiar?”
Slowly his features relaxed, then stunned horror replaced the confusion. The bastard’s gaze darted from the photo to his face.

“Now you remember.” He stuffed the picture in the pocket and straightened. “It’ll be the last thing you ever remember.” He kicked the judge in the ribs.

Shrieking and writhing, the judge tried to get his legs under his body. His fat torso couldn’t work around his bound arms, and he only succeeded in flopping face-down on the floor, further damaging the broken jaw.
A grin rolled across his mouth. They all eventually turned into blubbering babies. Reaching down, he hauled the fat ass off the floor and threw him into the recliner. When his arms hit the chair, an audible pop echoed in the room—one of the sockets had dislocated. The chair rocked then thumped, jostling the old man and making him cry out.

How many times had he heard those pitiful sounds of hopelessness? Of those times, how many had come from him? Too many. He was no longer weak. After the hell he’d lived through he would never be weak again.

He ripped off a long strip of duct tape, then slapped it across the old man’s bloodied mouth. Removing a black permanent marker from his pants pocket, he grabbed the man’s slackened jaw, causing him more pain, and wrote across the tape strip in all capital letters: reckoned. After pocketing the marker, he removed his gun from the holster. He stepped back about six feet and faced the chair.

Behind the tape, the old judge moaned and wailed. Tears streaked down his face. Oh, how the high and mighty had fallen.

“You’re a fucking waste.”

As he aimed the gun, the bastard gave a final howl.

He shot him six times in the chest and twice in the head, emptying the clip. His job done, he removed the silencer and slipped it into a plastic bag. Sealing it shut, he pocketed the bag. The gun he tucked into another bag and placed it in his other pocket. Then, meticulously, he went about finding all the bullet casings and gathered them. Assured that he’d removed any signs—except for the bullets—he left.

Exiting the back of the house, he casually moved back to his vehicle. A smile played with his mouth. Phase one was complete.

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