No One to Trust (Hidden Identity Book #1): A Novel
father’s bitter duplicity and the subsequent custody battle that led to themost miserable three years of her life. Her fiancé’s unfaithfulness and heartfelt lies that he was innocent. Only to have his lover come forward and let Summer know exactly how sneaky he’d really been.
    But the pain shattering through her now didn’t compare. Out on the sidewalk, she glanced around. The darkness was broken by the city lights, headlights from passing cars. She stopped and stared at the nearest vehicle. And realized she was stranded. She pulled out her cell phone and dialed Marlee’s number. Her sister answered on the first ring with, “Where have you been? I’ve been calling and calling. Are you all right?”
    “Hey. No, I’m not all right. I’m stranded and I need a ride.” Summer refused to apologize. She’d explain when Marlee pulled up in front of her.
    “You were supposed to go with me to take Sugar to the vet this morning. You totally stood me up.”
    Summer smothered a groan. She’d forgotten she’d made that promise two weeks ago before she and David had decided to take the day off together. More pain cramped her heart at the memory. “Marlee, are you listening? I need a ride.”
    “Need a ride? Where are you?”
    “Three hours away from you. In Charlotte, North Carolina.” Summer sighed and sank onto the bench at the bus stop.
    “North Carolina?” Marlee’s screech nearly deafened her.
    Cars passed her, people hurried on their way, and Summer sat. Lonely. Defeated. Weary. And scared. She looked back toward the hospital and saw David limping toward her, the marshals not far behind him. The determined expression on his face sparked her anger once again. She jumped up and started walking again. “Listen, Marlee—”
    “What are you doing in North Carolina? You’re supposed to be here. How could you stand me up? Do you know how worried I was? How could you be so selfish?”
    Summer groaned and closed her eyes. Why had she called her sister?
    Brakes squealed.
    Time moved in slow motion. Van doors swung open.
    “Summer!” David’s voice echoed around her.
    She spun on her heel, saw David shoved by the nearest marshal into the door of the closest shop.
    A hard hand grabbed her upper arm.
    Mike Thomas lifted his weapon and Summer knew she was dead if she didn’t help Mike protect her. She yanked at her attacker’s grip and swung a leg out with a powerful roundhouse kick. The grip lessened and a whoosh escaped the man.
    Satisfaction flowed at the solid connection, only to have the fear return at his retaliation. He lifted his weapon. Summer dropped like a rock to the hard concrete. Two shots sounded and she waited for the piercing pain of the bullets.
    When it didn’t happen, she opened her eyes to see Mike standing over the fallen man, kicking his weapon out of reach. The young man’s eyes latched on to hers. Venomous fury, pain from his wounds—and fear—glared at her. His breath rattled and he spat blood. She shuddered and backed away from him. Adam raced after the disappearing van. Burnt rubber assailed her nose and she choked on the fumes.
    But she was alive. And not a captive of the men who wanted her husband dead.
    The sick feeling in her gut said life as she knew it was definitely over.

10
    David’s punch landed with a solid thud against the marshal’s chin. Just hard enough to gain his freedom, but lacking the force that would break the man’s jaw. He bolted from the store with pained curses ringing in his ears.
    None of that mattered. Summer needed him.
    David pressed a hand to his screaming ribs and raced back out into the street to see Summer sitting in the middle of the sidewalk.
    He rushed to her. “Are you all right?”
    He grasped her upper arm and helped her to her feet. She snagged her phone from the concrete and stuffed it in her pocket. Her blank stare, automatic actions, and repeated shivers told him she was in shock.
    Mike yelled, “What are you doing? Are you crazy? Get

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