Rough Riders #14.5
I loved these stories, especially the last one about Keely and Jack. I love this series and these stories let you get another glimpse of the characters.
From the author:
Short Rides is an anthology compilation of two novellas and one short story in the Rough Riders world. These are NOT meant to be read as standalone stories, but are a peek into favorite character's lives after the happily ever after...
The stories included in the Short Rides anthology are:
King of Hearts* -- Deputy Cam McKay deals with a murder/suicide case on Valentine's Day.
Rough Road -- Chassie, Trevor and Edgard Glanzer spend a romantic weekend away from the ranch and kids celebrating their anniversary...only to return home to face their biggest challenge yet.
All Knocked Up -- Keely and Jack Donohue are having a baby. Given Keely's raging pregnancy hormones, will Jack need to wear a cup in the delivery room?
KING OF HEARTS EXCERPT
In Sundance, Wyoming.
It was one of the worst scenes Deputy Cam McKay had dealt with. And he’d seen a lot of horrific things over the years. He’d served several rotations in Iraq and witnessed the aftermath of suicide bombers. He’d seen animals used as vessels to hold bombs. He’d been in a caravan that’d hit a string of IEDs, resulting in death and dismemberment of his fellow soldiers. He hadn’t come away from war unscathed—he’d lost most of his left leg, part of his hand, and bore scars, both visible and invisible.
During his time as deputy in Crook County, he’d dealt with deadly car accidents, including a fatality involving his cousin, Luke McKay. He’d broken up domestic disputes where one or both of the parties were drunk, armed, angry, and bleeding. He’d stumbled across a wild horse slaughter.
But this? It was beyond sickening.
The hysterical 911 call from the neighbor who’d discovered the bodies hadn’t prepared him at all for what he’d found at the crime scene.
His stomach roiled as his brain flashed back to the carnage and he fought the urge to throw up.
But Cam hadn’t been alone in his reaction. Sheriff Shortbull had stumbled outside and heaved over the juniper hedge after his glimpse at the dead couple.
In Sundance, Wyoming.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Maybe it seemed worse because Cam knew the couple. He’d graduated from high school with Jeff Wingate. Cam couldn’t fathom how the mild-mannered insurance salesman could carry out such brutality, especially to his wife. And Angela hadn’t fought back. She’d literally lay down and died.
What a f**king waste.
What a f**king mess.
There’d been no indication of domestic issues. No 911 phone calls in the last year. No history of violence. He’d seen them eating in Dewey’s Delish Dish two weeks ago. They’d acted... happy.
Because the crime scene was beyond their small county’s investigative expertise, they’d had to call in the DCI from Cheyenne. Which meant waiting for the crew to arrive. But neither Cam nor Sheriff Shortbull could stomach waiting inside the house where the bloodbath had occurred.
So they stood outside in the frigid February weather, taking turns warming up in their patrol cars. He and the sheriff were too disturbed to slide into their usual defense mechanism, cracking jokes—which was how most law enforcement officers handled unpleasant aspects of the job—trying to find any bit of humor to escape the horror of the gruesome scene.