Protagonist Abi Spencer is just getting into the action-packed introduction of D.S. Factor’s “Relentless”, our novel of globe-trotting suspense. Join us today as we reveal the continuing story of a woman in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Chapter Two

At first stumbling backwards through the wooded countryside, Abi slowly increased her pace, eventually turning to run the last hundred yards or so through the copse of trees at a dead run.  Reaching the edge of the thicket, she bent over, placing her hands on her knees and inhaling deeply until her breathing slowed again to a more manageable pace. 

Trees began to thin out as Abi reached the edge of the Spencer’s acreage.  Hazarding a quick glance back to the darkened path that she’d just traversed, she saw no immediate signs of those in pursuit.  

Paralleling the property’s edge was a dirt service road that led to an old and somewhat dilapidated garage.  The building was a holdover from the original owners dating back to the early thirties, and Abi thought if a strong wind began to blow, it would be reduced to a ramshackle pile of wood in short order.  Brad had always talked about tearing the thing down, but then Abi’s father began storing an old Ford pickup in the garage soon after they had moved in, and they couldn’t bring themselves to take it down and leave the truck to the mercy of the elements. 

Over the years, a barren, dirt path had been worn around the perimeter of the garage, and like so many times before, Abi silently walked the muddied path to the opposite side of the structure.  A sliver moon cast a ghostly shade of blue against the aged wood as Abi approached the side entry door.  Before pulling it open, she wiped a small swath of window clean with the sleeve of her still damp windbreaker and peered into the darkness beyond.  Sensing no danger from unseen occupants, she gradually pulled open the door and slipped inside. 

Cupping her hands to her eyes and leaning against the passenger-side window of her father’s pickup, she strained in weak, filtered moonlight to see if the keys were in the ignition.  With almost a detached realization, she detected movement at the window on the opposite side of the garage.  Concerned, yet refusing to yield to panic, Abi moved swiftly around the front of the vehicle to the driver’s side door, yanking it open, just as the window over her left shoulder shattered.  Briefly hampered by the explosive blizzard of glass, Abi nonetheless slid in behind the wheel of the Ford, gripping the steering wheel and sliding her right hand down to the ignition, returning with only air as her hand came up empty.   

Cursing under her breath, she franticly began searching the car for keys, slipping her hands beneath the mats with no success.  Where would he put them? she thought to herself, popping open the glove box and throwing its contents to the floor.  An unmistakable jingle signaled that the keys had been stored within the compartment’s contents. Snagging them from under the passenger seat, she pulled herself to a sitting position, and came face to face with the shooter, who was rounding the edge of the vehicle just as Abi was about to crank the key in the ignition to bring the Ford’s engine coughing to life.   

With unnatural swiftness, Abi felt a vise-like grip take hold of her throat as a handgun came to rest at the side of her temple.  Hastily formulating the genesis of a plan of escape, she slid down in the seat, while at the same time thrusting her left arm out, making direct contact with the outside of the gunman’s elbow with enough force to send the gun skating from his hand and into the darkness of the truck’s underbelly. 

Wrenching the driver’s side door fully open, the gunman entered the pickup’s cab, forcing Abi to search blindly for the passenger side handle, pressing her back painfully into the door itself.  Soon she could feel the cold metal as her hand encircled it, jerking up, only to find the door locked. 

“You are one huge pain in the ass, lady,” the gunman barked at Abi as a hairy-knuckled fist came flying forward, connecting solidly with her face, resulting in an explosion of excruciating pain.  Knocking her nearly unconscious, she nevertheless was able to grasp a chamois towel from the floor of the Ford and propel her arm forward with enough power to sink a six-inch shard of broken window glass into the gunman’s exposed collarbone with a gruesome slicing motion.  “I’m sure you meant ‘pain in the neck’,” she softly whispered as the man’s body fell onto her own. 

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No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. 



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