While running errands with her eight-year-old son, Garrett, Deputy Sheriff Krysta Jamison lets him out of her sight for no more than a moment. In that moment, her little boy is kidnapped. She gives chase, but quickly loses them in traffic. Krysta initiates a desperate, relentless search—only to find him too late: her little boy has been murdered.
The suspected killer is the son of a powerful congressman who won’t let his kid go to prison. The congressman pulls some strings, and soon the man is back on the streets. Enraged not only at the death of her son but also at the fact that his killer has evaded punishment, when the killer smiles at Krysta she impulsively attacks the killer and beats him into a coma, now Krysta is the criminal.
What was once a happy, fulfilling life has been broken into shards of torment. Special Agent Jeremy Wolfe wants to protect Krysta, but the killer’s congressman father is out for revenge. Krysta is kidnapped by four men who mean her nothing but harm. Only time will tell whether she will survive—or if she even wants to do so.
“Can I go look at the comics?”
“Garrett, we don’t have time today. I want to get what we need and get out of here.”
“But mom I think the new Batman’s in.”
“Garrett not today,” Krysta said distracted as they walked towards the pet food aisle.
“But mom,” Garrett persisted pulling on her sleeve. “Joey has the new one and I saw it and it’s really cool. Can I get one too?”
She looked down at him. “Again, Garrett, not today. Now stop! I had a rough day, I’m tired, and I still have to make mud pies. All I want to do is get out of here.”
“But mom,” He pleaded giving her the same puppy dog look he flashed not ten minutes ago.
“Garrett, I said no. You we don’t like you out of our sight, now com’on.” She pulled him towards the cat food.
“I’ll just be right there,” he persisted pointing at the aisle next to the pet food section. “I just want to see if it’s in.”
She let out an irritated breathe. Still. . . she thought as she looked around. This is Roseville, not Sacramento. And he was getting older pulling away as all children eventually do. And she was just going to be on the next aisle for a second or two.
She let loose of his hand. “Okay.” He was already running towards the comics. “Garrett.” He stopped and looked back at her. “Stay there. Don’t go anywhere else and I’ll be right there. Okay?”
He nodded and left her standing there shaking her head thinking that kids grow up way too fast.
O’Connor had seen the whole exchange and smiled. Stressed out moms were so easily manipulated by their children. He did it to his own mother all the time before she up and died on him leaving him alone with his asshole of a father. Shaking that from his wasted mind he ran his hands through his hair excitedly then down the legs of his jeans formulating a plan. This was going to be easier than he thought. He looked around then walked quickly towards the comics pulling a small brown bottle and a cloth from his pocket.
Krysta found the only brand of cat food their finicky cat would eat. It was expensive but it kept the little beast happy. That was all that was important when you owned spoiled pets, right? She laughed quietly to herself and placed the bag in her cart.
Krysta’s ran for the aisle.
“Mom. . .”
She came around the far corner in time to see a stranger with her son in his arms running for the doors.
“Hey!” Krysta yelled sprinting after them. “Stop! Stop now!”
The guy didn’t look back or slow down. Krysta picked up speed almost knocking down a lady with two kids. She saw the rusty red Nova stop at the curb. The guy hit the door full steam and tossed Garrett into the backseat. Krysta reached the car just as the little girl driving burned rubber away from the curb and a panicked Krysta.
In disbelief Krysta momentarily stared at the car.
This cannot be happening.
Someone yelled something about a kidnapping. She heard something about a license. Then someone grabbed her arm.
She jerked her arm and yelled running for her truck, “Call the police. Now!”
Within seconds Krysta had the truck in motion hitting Foothills Boulevard way too fast causing other cars swerve away from her. She spotted the car a block and half ahead. Stomping on the gas she just made it through the first light but she had to hit the brakes for traffic ahead. She honked her horn and tried to get around the other cars at the same time she was watching the red car.
God, she needed a patrol car with lights and siren and a radio for back-up right the hell now she thought as she pulled into the left turn lane maneuvering around several cars blowing through a red light. She flew back into the second lane knowing it would go down to one soon. The red car was still too far ahead for her to stop it. But there was only two ways to go; east down two more streets to the freeway, or southwest onto Roseville Road towards another major intersection and more traffic. The freeway must be where they were going. Once they hit the Highway 80 she would lose them.
She shouted for God to help her as she swerved around cars using all the lanes available. At one point certain she was gaining a car pulled onto the road in front of her. She had to slam on the brakes then veer left trapping her behind three other cars at a red light and no way to get around.
She raised herself up in the seat to see the red car make it through two lights before hers changed. Once the left turn lane was clear she gunned her truck and flew passed the cars only to get caught at another light.
“Damn it!” she shouted pounding the steering wheel.
She watched helplessly as the red car took Roseville Road and disappeared around a curve.
When the light changed Krysta hit the gas and pulled in front of two cars causing tires to squeal and horns to blast. She hit the dirt shoulder flying by the cars throwing dirt and trash into the air as she made it through the last two lights.
Roseville Road ran parallel with the Roseville Rail yard on the right. This is the only way to the freeway. Frantic Krysta raced ahead passing cars until she could see the road leading to the freeway. The light was red. Several cars were stopped but she couldn’t see the red car. She slowed for the traffic and the light thinking they weren’t this far ahead of her. So where in the hell were they?
She swiveled in her seat and realized there was a housing development to the left with five or six streets coming off of Roseville Road. Confused she repeatedly scanned ahead then behind. What if they pulled off? What if they didn’t and they were on the freeway headed east towards Reno or west towards Sacramento?
Holy God, now what?
Deanna stopped at the garage door. O’Connor got out, opened it then waited for her to pull forward. When she shut down the engine he closed the door. He then flipped up the front seat and grabbed the still unconscious kid from the floorboards.
“What are you going to do with him?”
“None of your fucking business,” O’Connor screamed at her. “Just stay the fuck away from me. I’m so pissed at you right now Dee. You almost screwed this up. I could kill you right now but I’ll deal with you later.”
He gave her an angry, vicious glare before kicking the car door closed, carrying the kid into the house. Dee stared at the closed door wondering what she should do. She truly believed he would kill her if she messed up again. And messing up would include if she called the cops. But what about the kid? Shouldn’t she do something to help him?
Terror gripped her as she slowly made her way into the house. The door to the third bedroom was closed and loud metal rock music was blasting from behind the door. She stared at it her hands trembling, her insides crawling. Damn, she needed a hit. She thought about what Damion said. She didn’t want to die. She didn’t want the kid to get hurt either but what was she supposed to do? What could she do? It was too late anyway. He had the kid. No one knew where they were and no one would find them here. There was nothing she could do.
Not a Goddamn thing unless she wanted to die right along with the kid.
She went into the bedroom she shared with Damion. Some crank was on the dresser along with a few hundred bucks from the stuff he sold earlier. She snorted a couple hits of the crank feeling the burning rush. She collapsed on the bed and crawled into a fetal position letting the drug work its way through her body...