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Authors: Geri Foster

Out Of The Past

BOOK: Out Of The Past
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OUT OF THE PAST

By

Geri Foster

Table of Contents

Title Page

Out Of The Past (Falcon Securities, #4)

Out Of The Past

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINETEEN

CHAPTER TWENTY

Also by Geri Foster

The Falcon Securities Series

Out of the Dark

Out of the Shadows

Out of the Night

Out of the Past

Accidental Pleasures Series

Wrong Room

Wrong Guy

Wrong Plan

Out Of The Past

By Geri Foster

First Edition

Copyright 2014 by Geri Foster

Editor

Andrea Grimm

Cover Graphics by Lilburn Smith

Girl’s photo by Carlosphoto via iStock Photos

A
ll rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

Author contact information: [email protected]

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, businesses, events, or locales is purely coincidental.

Out of the Past is affectionately dedicated to all the wonderful ladies on my Street Team. You inspire and humble me with your encouragement and hard work. Thank you so much for all that you are and all you make me want to be.

CHAPTER ONE

Z
oe Ross, secretary for Falcon Securities, walked out of her office then stepped into the elevator to the underground garage. Striding toward her car, she replayed the grueling day that had kept her working an hour overtime. She loved her job, but today, finishing the work week couldn’t come fast enough.

As always, she’d drop by Second Chance, the shelter she’d founded. She’d put in a few hours there before going home. Exhausted, she hoped the evening wouldn’t be too long. Several things at Second Chance, the home aimed at getting women off the streets, required her attention daily. Thank God for Fridays. Tomorrow morning she’d sleep late.

Key fob in hand, she clicked to unlock her Lexus. The two beeps echoed off concrete walls of the nearly vacant garage. She’d forgotten how eerie the place became after hours on Friday.

Regretting she’d declined A.J.’s escort offer, she made her way to her designated parking area and opened the door. She tossed her purse onto the passenger seat and turned, startled when a tall, well-dressed man approached from behind.

“Good evening, Ms. Ross.”

Swallowing the knot of fear in her throat, she tried to put distance between her and the stranger. He had her pinned between his body and the car. “What can I do for you?”

She tried to sound more confident than she felt and realized immediately it wasn’t working. Fisting her keys into a makeshift weapon, she wondered if she could gouge his eyes out if necessary. The pepper spray in her purse couldn’t help now.

“Are you here to see Frank Hamilton?”

“No,” he said, his hands in the pocket of his slacks. “I am the last person Hamilton wants to see.” The strong accent made her suspect he originated from the Soviet area.

A quick glance around confirmed they were alone. Everyone else had probably left on time for the weekend. Fear grew from a thought to an actual alert, causing her muscles to tighten for action.

Gripping the top of the door, she hoped to get into her car before anything could happen. From the predatory look in the man’s green eyes, Zoe didn’t put a lot of stake in that outcome.

As she ducked her head, the stranger’s hand came up and electricity shot through her body. Muscles jerked and her vision blurred. In a matter of seconds, she slumped to the hard concrete pad.

Looking up at the person standing over her, Zoe struggled to think what to do. But she was lucid enough to regret telling A.J. not to bother escorting her out of the building today.

That had been a mistake.

The ruthless bastard knelt next to her, the stun gun still in his hand. “Ms. Ross, we’re going to be enjoying your company for a few days.”

As the weapon bit into her shoulder again, she wondered who he meant by “we” just before the light went out.

***

F
alcon Agent A.J. Roddio had a bad feeling about breaking protocol and not escorting Zoe to her car. He was the only agent in town at the moment, which meant he had Zoe duty. And his boss, Frank Hamilton, took very seriously the safety of the company’s secretary, his right hand person, the heart of Falcon Securities.

Frustration mounted as he tried to call her, but went immediately to voicemail. That wasn’t like her at all. Someone as diligent and meticulous as Zoe never ignored anything.

An hour and a half past her normal workday, he pulled into the garage to find Zoe’s car still in the regular space. The sedan’s door was open, but she was nowhere in sight. The scenario kicked up his heart rate.

A.J. carefully scanned the area and called her name as he jumped from his vehicle and moved to the white Lexus. Slowly, he removed the gun from his underarm holster, before checking the interior then the perimeter.

Her handbag lay on the passenger seat. Cautiously, he opened the door and noticed her wallet hadn’t been taken. That eliminated robbery from the equation.

Circling the car again, he saw no signs of a struggle. No blood, no torn material, and no one had been taken after putting up any kind of a fight.

Looking toward the exit, his heart squeezed tight, making breathing difficult. The thought of something happening to her sent his mind to places he didn’t want it to go. She’d come to mean so much to Falcon, but even more to him.

They’d been dating for about two months, and he’d been thinking about putting a ring on her finger. He’d known the minute he’d laid eyes on her two years ago during her first day at Falcon that she was the only woman who could make him happy.

Now she’d gone missing. Taken without a hint of how to find her or who had her. Turning slightly, he spotted the security cameras then made a dash for the building manager.

As he raced up the stairs, A.J. fought down the fear that something horrible had happened to Zoe. Who had her and why? What had she done?

Or was someone settling a grudge with Falcon? Only God knew how many enemies they’d all racked up. The actual number would be staggering.

Dennis Goodman sat on a stool at the front counter of the building, where Falcon had their offices. Other companies utilized the building, but Falcon had the entire fourth floor.

“Dennis, where’s the security cam?”

Eyes wide with surprise, the security guard stood. “For today?”

“Yeah, a couple of hours ago.”

Dennis sat down and began rewinding the cameras. He stopped at the screen stamped 4:45 p.m. “We can start here.” Slowly, the security guard went frame by frame until he captured Zoe walking to her car.

“There she is. Slow it down.”

Leaning toward the screen, Dennis studied every picture. They watched as Zoe arrived at her car and opened the door. Then a tall man took out a stun gun and hit Zoe with it twice. Depending on the voltage, he could have killed her.

Dennis went over the scene until A.J. memorized every aspect. When the stranger picked Zoe up like a rag doll, he took her to a nearby car. They couldn’t get the license plate number until the black Cadillac exited the parking garage.

A.J.’s anger turned on Dennis. “Weren’t you watching the cameras? What are you sitting here for if you’re not paying attention to what’s going on?

Still staring at the computer screen, Dennis looked up. “Look, if I run the stream, the incident doesn’t show up. The only way I saw it was to go section by section manually.”

With a troubled sigh, A.J. ran his fingers through his hair. “Okay, sorry. Go back as far as you need to and find out who messed with the security system. We’re a fucking security company. Who the hell can hack us?”

Dreading the next task, A.J. left to head up to the empty Falcon office. Frank wasn’t going to be happy, and A.J. didn’t look forward to being the bearer of bad news. Taking his phone out, he dialed Frank. He’d be wise to quickly rehearse what to say, but his numb mind couldn’t react properly.

When his boss answered, A.J. blurted, “Zoe’s been kidnapped.”

“What?”

A.J. slumped into Frank’s chair. “She was taken in the parking garage. A lone man, tall, dressed in a suit, driving a black Cadillac. I’m running the plates now.”

“Why didn’t you pick her up after work?”

“I called her earlier and we had lunch. She mentioned the possibility she’d be running late, and I wasn’t to bother escorting her out of the building.”

“Since when does Zoe give you orders?” Sarcasm and anger tinged Frank’s voice. The already tense muscles in A.J.’s shoulders tightened. Frank’s voice turned icily calm. “I always have someone see her safely off the property. I’ve never taken any chances when it came to her.”

“I know, and I should’ve been there.” After finger combing his hair, A.J. picked up the pen on Frank’s desk. “I have this feeling that if I’d been there, they would’ve killed me outright.”

“Why do you think that?”

“They know our routine. That means they know you or an agent always walks Zoe to her car. I suspect there was a guy waiting for me should I show up. It may be a break that I wasn’t there.”

“How?”

“Now I can hunt down the bastard.”

CHAPTER TWO

Z
oe woke up and wanted to go back to the blessed darkness. Someone had tied her wrists together around a small overhead PVC pipe. Her toes poised on a wooden grate barely relieved the pain throbbing in her shoulders, back, and all the joints in her arms.

She blinked rapidly, her breath hitching in fear. From the look of the place, they’d brought her to a large, dreary basement in a multi-storied building. Steadily dripping water echoed in the distance. Dark corners and concrete surrounded her.

She squinted hoping to make out more than the immediate setting. Cold and damp, she arched her back, trying to relieve her pain and discomfort. A chill ran down her spine. How long could she stand like this? Not long. Already muscle cramps contorted her toes, feet, and legs.

From a window high above her, the sounds of cars passing, brakes squealing, and horns honking drifted into the lonely room. The shuffle of feet told Zoe they were in the downtown area. Was she in Dallas or perhaps Fort Worth? Weak light filtered through the dingy square opening.

Security or street lights? Hard to tell, but she knew it was dark outside. Inside the basement, only a single bare bulb hanging from an exposed beam chased away some of the darkness.

Blood trickled down her right arm, and she looked up at the wound near her wrist. They’d removed her tracking device. Frank demanded everyone have a GPS chip, so they could be tracked globally. Hers was probably miles from here. A.J. would be sent on a wild chase to find her, and in the meantime suck up valuable time.

The man who’d captured her in the parking garage stepped into her line of vision. Not wearing a mask confirmed her worst fears. If she could identify her abductors, that indicated she’d never have the opportunity.

“I’m glad you are awake, Ms. Ross.”

“Where am I? Why have you taken me?” Her voice trembled, and she swayed trying to remain on her tiptoes. “I haven’t done anything to you.”

A hard chuckle emanated from his thin lips. “It isn’t really about you. But having you in our possession makes you very valuable.”

“Are you Russian?”

“Croatian.”

Zoe stared into the face of evil. The man holding her prisoner didn’t need to say another word. She understood perfectly. Soon she would die.

***

A
fter making preliminary plans with Frank over the phone, A.J. moved to a computer, hoping to locate Zoe’s tracker. If the map was correct, it was in the Greenville area. Not far from where Zoe lived.

With a promise to keep his boss updated, A.J. left in his Avalanche, impatiently weaving through Friday evening traffic. If his guess was right, Zoe would already be held two and a half hours. A lot could transpire in that amount of time, and he shuddered to think of her in danger.

In his line of business, time was always the defining factor. If you got there in time, you saved lives. If you weren’t fast and careful, people died.

BOOK: Out Of The Past
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