Freefall by Joann Ross Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Freefall by Joann Ross Read Free Book Online
Authors: Joann Ross
Tags: Contemporary, Military, ROMANCE - - SUSPENSE, Mystery Romantic Suspense
hadn't raised a dummy, and since Madison had told him right off the bat, that first night when they'd shared a pepperoni pizza and a marathon of hot sex, that she wasn't looking for happily-ever-afters, he'd wisely kept those thoughts to himself.
    Still, they were about to graduate. Go off into the big wide world. And selfish as he knew it would be, he would like to get some sort of commitment before she took off to New York City, or Paris, or London, or wherever the hell her yellow brick road to fame and fortune took her.
    He hoped she would let him tag alone. Nice thing about coming from money was he didn't need to work for wages. Which allowed him to indulge his interests. Which, for the past four years, had been architectural history. Fortunately, all those famous fashion centers she'd starred on that world map tacked up over her desk had lots of both architecture and history.
    The twisting narrow road followed a bend in the pond. Moonlight shimmered on the tobacco-dark water, turning it a burnished copper. The air, thick with the scent of salt, rotting wood, and decaying spartina grass, dripped with moisture. Across the pond, a stand of tupelo, draped with ghostly moss, created an impenetrable black wall.
    A chorus of deep jug-uh-room, jug-uh-room bellowed from somewhere in the dark. A lone barred owl hooted questions.
    As he scanned the weed mats, lily pads, and fallen trees with the flashlight, looking for the shimmering yellow eyes of a bullfrog, Randy could understand how a Northern city girl might not be able to appreciate being twelve years old and getting to go out on the jonboat with his dad.
    But given time, Randy figured, she might come to appreciate the almost primeval beauty of the Lowcountry. Maybe even learn to love it as much as he always had.
    He was indulging in a fantasy of someday bringing his own son out here in the swamp to initiate him into the rites of Southern manhood when a bloodcurdling shriek shattered the night.



Chapter Eleven

    Nate Spencer had come face-to-face with death before. During his years in the Marines, the enemy had done their best to kill him, just as he'd killed some of them. He would have preferred not to take those lives, but that's the way it was in war, and until all the world leaders stood hand in hand on some mountaintop and sang "Kumbaya" and the Coca-Cola song, Nate figured things wouldn't be changing anytime soon.
    But, damn, the civilian world was supposed to be different. Especially this little hidden corner of it. The last murder on Swann Island had been sixteen years ago, back when he was still in high school, and even that hadn't been premeditated.
    As well as he could remember, Kenny Bonner and Pete Sullivan had gotten liquored up down at The Stewed Clam and gotten into an argument over which was the best Vietnam war movie ever made.
    When Kenny had insisted it was, hands down, Apocalypse Now , Pete had reluctantly allowed that it could have been a fair enough movie if Coppola hadn't cast Martin Sheen in the part of Willard. Like anyone could buy a pansy Hollywood liberal as a Special Forces officer?
    Hell, no. According to witnesses who'd been in the waterfront bar at the time, he'd banged his bottle of Bud on the bar to emphasize his point.
    The best flick, hands fuckin' down, was The Deer Hunter . Because it depicted real life. And De Niro was more of a real man than Sheen could be in his faggiest wet dreams.
    As if to make his point, Pete had pulled out a Colt revolver and dared Kenny to prove he wasn't as limp-wristed as his movie star hero by reenacting The Deer Hunter's Russian roulette scene.
    Kenny, who may have been drunk, but not as stupid as Pete, declined to play.
    Which was when Pete spun the cylinder, dumped out the bullets, and before the bartender could grab the gun from his hand, placed the barrel against his best friend's temple and pulled the trigger.
    At his sentencing, Peter Stonewall Sullivan was still insisting he'd honestly

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