A Dangerous Love (Prologue, page 1 of 3)

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Officer Quint unfolded his body and wiped vomit from his lips with a handkerchief. Lightening flashed in the east and thunder rumbled a posthumous threat. In the ensuing darkness, red and blue lights flashed his shadow on the wet grass. As he turned, the lights of a silent ambulance bounced across the long stretch of pasture between the highway and the mangled car. There was no need to rush. They could do nothing for the occupants.

The night was alive with flashing lights and cameras. Rain still fell at a steady rate, but not like the earlier downpour driven by wind. The train crouched silent on the tracks in a feline pose, as if hovering over a kill. Behind it, sixteen cars were jammed together all the way back to the highway. Headlights were backed up as far as the eye could see, waiting impatiently for someone to direct them away from the gridlock. As bad as the wreck was, it could have been worse. The train didn't derail . . . and she wasn't in the car.

Officer Lathum met him half way to the car and lifted a bushy gray brow. "I'm going to jump to the conclusion that this is either your first fatality, or you know these people." His tone hung somewhere between sarcastic and annoyed. His reputation for being rough on rookies was well earned. It must have worked, because his trainees were some of the best officers.

Quint dropped his head. "I know them."

Lathum's tone lost some of the edge. "I'm sorry about that, boy. Do you want a replacement?"

"No" Quint straightened and lifted his chin. "I can handle it . . . now."

Lathum walked beside him to their patrol car and picked up a tablet. "Give me some information. What were their names and where do they live. Do they have relatives close?"

"Their last name is Anderson. The driver's name is John - he's the father, and the mother's name is Marie."

Lathum scribbled on the pad, confirming as he wrote. "Driver John Anderson, passenger side wife, Marie Anderson?"

"Yes. The girl is Angela and the boy is Nick . . . Nicholas."

"How old is the girl?"

"Thirteen, I think. The boy just turned six."

"Next of kin?"

"Their oldest daughter, Lisa."

Lathum's pale blue gaze lifted from the tablet and searched Quint's. "How old?"



"I dated her a few times, but she was way out of my league."

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