Shauna Morgan gasped, then gripped the armrests, grateful no one sat in the seat next to her. The plane shook as the ground appeared to rise up from nowhere and greet the spinning wheels. The ones she prayed had been deployed, released, or whatever.
She hated flying, but had to look out the window. It seemed everyone who feared flying had to fixate their stare on the approaching ground. Like watching yourself plummet to your death would somehow make your trip better.
The plane bounced on the pavement, came to a roaring halt, and jerked forward toward the gate. She tried to swallow, but the lump in her throat wouldn’t allow her muscles to work properly. Her heart beat so fast she could no longer feel one pulse after the other. It had been years since she had been anywhere near her hometown. Although Saratoga Springs was about forty minutes north, Albany was close enough.
And Albany was where it all began.
She shook her hands, trying to get rid of her nerves before adjusting her brown hair. She wondered if she should have pulled it into a ponytail. Making a good first impression was more than important. Working at the Albany Field Office had been a dream come true, but to be working with Travis had been almost too much to handle all at once. She’d spent the majority of her adult life making sure she dealt with her past so she could use it to make sure the man who changed her life forever would pay. And pay big.
Travis would know some of what Shauna had suffered since the same man who had raped Shauna and almost stole her very essence had murdered his sister. Lucky for her, she’d been born a fighter and took advantage of every free and confidential counseling session she could find within the system of public and private education. It had taken every ounce of courage she could muster to push past all the pain and despair, but somehow, she managed to come out on top. She planned on staying there.
She squeezed her blue eyes shut tight. Her therapist once told her that her eyes gave away every thought. It was game on now and she had to make sure her past didn’t bite her in the ass. There was always the chance Travis believed the police had captured, and the law had convicted, the right man, but Shauna didn’t believe Matt Williams had killed Marie Brown. Shauna may not have been able to identify her attacker’s face, but she did remember his voice. She’d never forget that voice. It still echoed in her ears.
The plane bucked to a stop and Shauna opened her eyes. She pushed her hair back in hopes it would fall over the front of her shoulders again. She didn’t wear much makeup, so she didn’t bother checking it. She knew she looked put together, but wouldn’t stand out, which was exactly what she wanted. No attention. Just another woman in a sea of people moving from one place to the next.
Lights flickered and the other passengers scurried to their feet. She stood, grabbed her purse and overnight bag, and headed down the tight path toward the door. The flight attendant smiled politely and Shauna couldn’t help but wonder why anyone in their right mind would fly for the fun of it.
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