Updated: May 17, 2020
I left Cara unconscious on the floor at the end of Never Forget the Past. Curious as to how she's doing?
Chapter 1 - Cara
A soft moan escaped Cara Hunter’s mouth as she struggled to open her eyes.
“Cara, are you okay?”
Was that Bubba’s voice? What was he doing here? More importantly, why weren’t her eyes opening and why was her head pounding? Something had happened, but she couldn’t quite remember what. It was there in the fog but just out of reach.
“This is Captain Makenna Drake of the Woodville police.” A female voice she didn’t recognize broke through the foggy haze. Who was Makenna Drake? “I’m at Cara Hunter’s bed and breakfast, and she’s been injured. Please send an ambo and a local unit to 212 Whistler Avenue.”
“What happened here?” Confusion and concern collided in Bubba’s voice.
“I have no idea.”
And then like a curtain lifting before a play, the previous few minutes came back to Cara. “I think I do. Can you help me up?” Cara’s voice sounded strange in her head but at least the fog was dissipating. Unfortunately that meant the pain in her head from whatever she had been hit with was increasing.
“I don’t know if we should move her until the ambulance gets here.” There was that feminine voice again.
“Nonsense,” Cara said, opening her eyes and blinking against the light. She struggled to sit up herself. “I took a hit to the head, but I’m fine.”
Bubba’s hand gripped her arm, and he helped her to a sitting position with her back leaning against the bar. “You’re still getting looked at, Cara.”
“Fine, they can look at me, but I’ll be okay.” She touched the back of her head and grimaced at the bump she felt. She’d had worse, but this one was a good one. “I’m assuming there’s no one still in the house?”
“We didn’t see anyone,” Bubba said, glancing at the brunette next to him.
“But we didn’t clear the house either. I’ll do that now.” As the woman stood, Cara finally placed who she was. Makenna Drake, the police officer from Woodville who Bubba had called her about a few days ago.
“Do you know what happened?” Bubba asked as Makenna pulled her gun and stepped out of the kitchen.
“I know someone clocked me with something, but I didn’t see them. I was getting food prepared. They must have been quiet though because I heard nothing.” Cara bit her lip as she registered the fact that someone had gotten the jump on her. With her military background, that shouldn’t have happened which meant it had to have been someone with experience. But then why leave her alive?
Her eyes widened as she realized what they might have been after. No, please God no. She needed to go check, but she couldn’t right now. Not with Bubba and Makenna still here. None of them knew of her work, and for their protection, she needed to keep it that way.
“What’s wrong?” Bubba must have noticed the change in her expression because concern colored his normally deep, booming voice.
Cara thought quickly. She couldn’t share the truth with him, but what could she say? “I just realized I have a guest staying here. Is she okay?”
“Makenna will find out. You just need to rest and recover. Are you thinking it was a robbery?”
“Yeah, I mean I can’t imagine what else it would be. I’ll have to check the safe later and my room though to be sure.”
Makenna returned at that moment but as her gun was back in her holster, Cara knew she had found nothing. “The rest of the place is clean. Your guest in room three was taking a nap and heard nothing, so that’s a dead end too. I’m assuming the police will do a fingerprinting of the area when they arrive.”
“That we will,” Detective Jordan Graves said as he and his female partner Al stepped into the room. His eyes narrowed in concern when he caught Cara’s gaze. “Are you okay?”
Cara had known Jordan longer than the others, and she could tell his worry ran deep from the creases in his forehead and around his eyes. The last thing she needed was Jordan sticking to her like glue. That would certainly make it hard to finish her mission. “I’m fine, Jordan. Someone got the jump on me, but it’s just a little bump.”
Disbelief flickered in his eyes. He knew the most about her past though even he didn’t know everything, and he would have questions for her later. Hopefully, he would save them until after she could check on her research and come up with a credible story.
“Okay, I love you guys, but can I get a little room to examine my patient here?” Ivy’s soft feminine voice carried through the kitchen.
The group parted and Ivy squatted beside Cara. She flashed a light in her eyes and checked her pulse. Then she checked the bump on the back of her head. “Okay, there’s a little blood back here, and since you were out, I want to take you in for a head CT. It’s probably nothing, but we don’t mess around with head injuries.”
Cara wanted to object - she needed to see how much the person had gotten - but she knew it was futile. With the group surrounding her, there was no way they were going to let her skip a hospital visit. She would just have to hope the doctor would release her soon and she could come back to check on her work.
“Okay, yeah. Bubba, I put Makenna in room five. The key is in the cabinet behind my desk.”
“Don’t worry, Cara, I’ll help get her set up,” Jordan said. He knew the house almost as well as she did from all the times he had brought her someone to house and protect.
“And I’ll get the crime lab out here to dust for fingerprints,” Al said as she pulled her radio from her belt and stepped away.
“See? Everything is under control, so it’s time to get you loaded up.”
Ivy’s smile was bright and encouraging, but Cara had a hard time returning it. If they knew what might be missing and what could happen if it fell into the wrong hands, they wouldn’t be so glib. She just hoped that didn’t happen.
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