- Author: Sarah Sutton
Book online «One Last Step Sarah Sutton (i read books TXT) 📖». Author Sarah Sutton
O N E
L A S T
S T E P
(A TARA MILLS MYSTERY—BOOK ONE)
S A R A H S U T T O N
Debut author Sarah Sutton is author of the TARA MILLS mystery series, which includes ONE LAST STEP (Book #1), ONE LAST BREATH (Book #2), and ONE LAST UNVEIL (Book #3).
Sarah has always been fascinated by the mystery genre and loves to write suspenseful books with complex characters. Sarah would love to hear from you, so please visit www.sarahsuttonauthor.com to email her, to join the mailing list, to hear the latest news, and to stay in touch!
Copyright © 2020 by Sarah Sutton. All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior permission of the author. This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
BOOKS BY SARAH SUTTON
TARA MILLS MYSTERY SERIES
ONE LAST STEP (Book #1)
ONE LAST BREATH (Book #2)
ONE LAST UNVEIL (Book #3)
CHAPTER TWENTY ONE
CHAPTER TWENTY TWO
CHAPTER TWENTY THREE
CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR
CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE
CHAPTER TWENTY SIX
CHAPTER TWENTY SEVEN
CHAPTER TWENTY EIGHT
CHAPTER TWENTY NINE
CHAPTER THIRTY ONE
CHAPTER THIRTY TWO
CHAPTER THIRTY THREE
CHAPTER THIRTY FOUR
She could taste it—the distinct metallic aftertaste. It was blood. She knew it well, for she had tasted it many times before. She was an athlete after all—a soccer player—and she’d had her fair share of hard falls. But that was the past, and this was different.
She looked behind her one last time, as she rested against a tree to steady her breathing. She squinted, and in the distance she could see him. On the forest floor, his body, face down. She had gotten him good, hitting him over the head with a rock when he thought she was unconscious.
It was something her father taught her once, knowing that she often ran and hiked alone. It was her father’s worst fear that something would happen to her on one of those adventures, so he took it upon himself to teach her self-defense. Grab whatever you can find and hit your attacker in the head, as hard as you can. He said the brain was the most delicate organ in the body. It was something he’d told her over and over again, and each time she would smile because she only listened to make him feel more secure. But now she understood, and the thought of her father sent a jolt of adrenaline through her body.
He’s not going to find me dead, she said to herself, as her eyes welled.
She stared at him a moment longer as she tried to find the energy to keep going, but just before taking another step, she could swear she saw movement. It was slight, and at first she couldn’t tell if it was her mind playing tricks on her, but then she watched in horror as he slowly reached his large hand toward his injured head.
Her heart began to pound as she quickly turned around, facing the edge of the woods. The sun peeked through a break in the trees; she was almost there.
Dizzy, she focused on the ground, meeting small goals of movement as she limped across the forest floor. But with each step, she felt more detached from her body. Her wound was serious; she knew it. After all, he had shot her with an arrow. It was a reality she still couldn’t quite grapple.
She pushed off of each tree, letting the forest guide her, until she reached the edge. She could see a lawn—a house—and hope began to wash over her. A car was in the driveway. Someone was home.
She stumbled across the lawn toward the porch, hope flooding her body. Just as she reached the steps she heard something. The sound of movement behind her—the slap of a bow.
Something cut the air—and suddenly, she felt it. Something in her back—another arrow.
A spasm of pain shot up her body as she struggled to find her breath. But she couldn’t dare look back, or even scream. She had little energy left and she knew she needed every bit of it as she fell to her knees and proceeded to pull herself up the porch stairs.
She wanted to cry, but no tears could fill her eyes. Her body was too dehydrated from her hike and loss of blood. She pulled herself up onto the porch and, with every ounce of energy she had left, reached her arm out in front of her and pounded her fist into the base of the door.
Seconds later she heard hurried footsteps as the door in front of her began to open.
But she knew it was too late.
She already felt cold, and as the door opened, she envisioned her father. He would check in with her soon, but her phone would only ring.
She would never hear his voice again.
The door in front of her vibrated with each thump of struggle and her mother screamed out in pain. Tara was in the closet, hiding, just as her mother would’ve told her to do.
“Please don’t!” her mother yelled.