Flashback [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Justine Davis
eBook Category: Mystery/Crime
eBook Description: The women of Athena Academy were becoming known as a force for justice around the world. And when new clues surfaced about the decade-old murder of Athena Academy founder and U.S. senator Marion Gracelyn, FBI forensic scientist Alexandra Forsythe jumped to investigate the stone-cold case. With fellow Athena alums and special agent Justin Cohen rallying to the cause, Alex uncovered an intricate web of deceit and murder. The evidence she uncovered could send shock waves around the nation: D.C.'s corridors of power and privilege were harboring a ruthless killer. And this time, all Alex's special skills couldn't protect those she loved from the killer's wrath.
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Silhouette Bombshell
Fictionwise Release Date: April 2006
8 Reader Ratings:
The satisfaction of a tight grouping in the ten ring on her shooting qualification was fading as Alexandra Forsythe sat cleaning her new Glock on her grandfather's front porch.
Charles Bennington Forsythe was rarely jittery. That he was now acting as if he'd been mainlining double espressos for hours was a fact not lost on his granddaughter. When he resorted to pacing the farmhouse porch, she couldn't hold back any longer.
Alexandra Forsythe used the nickname with affection and concern. As a child she'd made it up for this beloved man, who was more a father to her than her real one had been, even before his untimely death. "Grandfather" had seemed too distant, and "Charles" far too lacking in respect. The fact that G.C., her shortening of Grandfather Charles, had made her mother wince was merely a side benefit.
He kept pacing as if she'd not spoken, which began to make her jittery in turn. Normally she would not push him, having learned in her years as a forensic scientist for the FBI that patience usually paid off. But this was so uncharacteristic of him that she found she couldn't just ignore his mood.
The afternoon breeze swirled her hair, and she shoved red-gold curls back from her face. Determined now, she quickly finished up on the Glock, put it back in the case, then got up from the cushioned wicker chair that sat near the porch railing. She leaned forward onto the rail, taking in the expansive view of Forsythe Farms.
This was the place she loved most, the place she considered home, and of late the only place she found peace. But peace was obviously not within her grandfather's grasp this afternoon, and neither, apparently, was patience within hers. Not when G.C. was this edgy.
"You have two choices," she said without preamble. "You can either tell me what's chewing on you or I can go saddle Twill and he can beat it out of you."
She'd finally gotten his attention. He turned to look at her, one corner of his mouth quirking.
"So, you'd like to see your old grandfather groveling in the mud, would you?"
As she knew from personal experience, the big bay hunter was a handful, by turns all heart or all contrariness as the spirit moved him on any given day. But her grandfather had been a horseman for decades, and there were few he couldn't handle.
"As if even Twill would have the nerve to toss you," she said, in exaggerated outrage.
He gave her that smile that had always made her feel as if she could conquer the world. "Only because you've taught him to trust."
"True. Now, if I could only get you to trust me with whatever it is that's bothering you," she said, looking at him steadily.
Her grandfather sighed. "I trust you," he said. "You know that I always have."
"I'm not sure that what's bothering me matters after all these years."
She studied his face for a moment, saw the troubled look in his eyes and the furrow between silver brows that matched his still-thick mane of hair.
"It matters to you," she said softly. "So it matters to me."
His expression softened. "Inside with you, then. I'll tell you over lunch."
Their weekly lunch was a tradition Alex worked hard to maintain whenever she was at home. She'd gone through thinking she was going to lose her grandfather once before, and the awareness that he wasn't getting any younger rarely left her mind. She didn't like thinking about it, but there it was.
The only thing she thought about more was Justin. And that in itself bothered her. She wasn't sure how she felt about her fellow FBI agent, wasn't sure she wanted to feel about him at all. That he'd already assumed such importance in her mind was disconcerting enough.
But she couldn't deny she was tremendously attracted to him; he was good-looking without being pretty, confident without being cocky, and smart without being a smart-ass. He also seemed determined to make their relationship exclusive, and she didn't know if she was ready for that. She wished she could get him out of her head, at least for a while.
As was his wont, G.C. flipped on the noon news for background as they ate. No new disasters had struck the world, no one they knew had died, and the stock market had held steady. Alex had hopes this would cheer him, but then a clip of a politician flinging some charges G.C. strongly disagreed with set him off on a rant.
"He's an idiot. Most of them are, anymore. Hasn't been a decent senator elected since Marion," he muttered as long-time cook and housekeeper Sylvia Barrett set bowls of her homemade sorbet in front of them.
"Speaking of Marion," her grandfather began, then stopped. Finally he reached into his pocket and pulled out an envelope. Again he hesitated, enough unlike him to make Alex's concern rise again. But finally he handed it across the table to her.
"And this is?" she asked, still focused on him rather than the envelope she'd taken from him.
"I'd like you to read it yourself and tell me what you think."
Something in his tone and manner told her he was speaking to his granddaughter the FBI agent. This relieved her; she'd been afraid what he'd handed her was some sort of medical report she wasn't going to like.
She studied the envelope for a moment. The paper was heavyweight, rich feeling. It was addressed to her grandfather here at the farm, in a bold, looping hand that looked familiar. There was no return name or address, only an Arizona postmark, which made her frown. Her forehead creased when she noticed that the letter had been postmarked ten years ago.
Copyright © 2006 by Harlequin Books S.A