Premeditated Excerpts

Excerpt One

Grant Finds Anne Rummaging in the Dumpster

As Grant stood in the driveway watching the ambulance drive away, his cell phone chirped, reminding him he had a voice mail. He released it from its holster and saw he had a voicemail from Anne. 
Grant tapped the screen to listen. “Grant, it’s Anne. I can’t stand it any longer. I’m calling like you wanted me to. This is harder than I thought it would be. I need relief. I know I’ll regret it later, but I can’t help it. I hate this feeling. Hopefully you get this in time to stop me.” 
Grant continued to hold the phone to his ear after the message finished playing. What does she mean? Suicide? With a sinking feeling he realized he knew exactly what she meant. She’s going to shoot-up! 
The drugs had been thrown in her garbage, and there was a dumpster outside her house which hadn’t been emptied since they had been thrown away.
Running to his truck, he hit Anne’s number, hoping to stop or stall her. His call went to voicemail. “Anne, if you get this message, don’t do it!” his voice trembled from him running to his truck. “I’m on my way!” 
He pushed the speed limit all the way to Anne’s house. Hoping he was in time, Grant threw the truck in park and cut the engine as he flung the door open. 
Grant raced to the house and banged on the door. “Anne!” 
When there wasn’t an answer, he tried the knob. It turned but his relief was short-lived when he realized the dead bolt was locked in place. 
Grant pounded a fist on the door. “Come on, Anne, open up!” 
Still no answer. He hated to think what it could mean. This situation could turn life-threatening in an instant.  
He ran around the house looking for an open window. He neared the side when he heard a grunt. Not giving himself time to think, Grant charged for the backyard. 
Turning the corner, Grant stopped in his tracks. The sight would have been laughable if the circumstances weren’t so serious. 
Anne – prim and proper Anne – had her body draped across the edge of the dumpster frantically rummaging through bags of trash. 
Anne was desperately searching for the bag containing syringes and a bottle of kronilan. The edge of the dumpster cutting into her stomach was painful but she had to find that prescription bottle!
A squeal escaped her lips when she felt hands with an iron grip grab her around the waist and start to pull her out of the dumpster. 
“Let me go!” Anne grasped the edge of the dumpster and kicked her legs, not caring where they landed their blows. 
“Stop it, Anne!” The man grunted, his hold loosening. “It’s me. Rourke.” 
She kicked again, giving him no choice but to either hang on in spite of the pain or release her if he didn’t want to receive the blow. “Leave me alone!” 
When she brought her legs back preparing for another go at him, Grant took the opportunity to wrap his arms around her stomach. Her body was pinned against the side of the dumpster, so she was forced to comply. 
Unfortunately, Anne wasn’t ready to give up and Grant didn’t see what was happening until he felt pain from his jaw radiate through his head. She’d head-butted him! Determined, Grant set his jaw; she was not going to win this skirmish. 
Gritting his teeth, he moved his head beside Anne’s, and pinned her tighter between himself and the dumpster. “Anne, stop!” he demanded. “I know you don’t want to do this. You’re so crazed for those drugs you’re not thinking straight.” 
She stiffened before he felt the fight flow out of her as she slumped against the metal container. Her shoulders shook. He let her slowly slip down to the ground to stand.
Taking her shoulders in his hands, he turned Anne around and saw tears streaming down her face. “Thank God you got here before I found them.” 
Grant stepped away, giving Anne her space. “I’m sorry I missed your call. I was in the middle of an – of something.” She didn’t need to hear any bad news right now.
“I’m sorry I pulled you away. It sounds important.” She ran a finger under her eyes, trying to stop crying. 
“This is important too,” he told her. “Come on, let’s get you inside. You don’t need your neighbors’ seeing you like this.” 
Anne gave an unladylike snort as she allowed him to lead her to the house. “As if they didn’t see our struggle a moment ago.” A painful expression crossed her face. “I understand now why druggies do what they do, Grant. They get so desperate. I got desperate,” she said softly. 
“Hey,” he stopped to meet her gaze, “we’re going to get you through this. And the first thing we’re going to do is give Greg a call.” 

Excerpt Two

Anne Discovers an Intruder in Her Room

Anne fought to control her emotions. “They called to say that my grandma didn’t die of natural causes.” 
He pinched his lips together.
“You knew,” she said softly. 
“I suspected,” Greg replied. 
He scratched his head. “Well, when I found out that your grandmother’s death was unexpected and she didn’t have any serious health problems, I guessed that’s the way the pieces fell.” 
“Why didn’t you say anything?” Anne wanted to know. 
“Because,” he brushed a lock of hair behind her shoulder, “if I was wrong, I would have worried you unnecessarily.” 
“I had-” Anne was cut off by the sound of blaring sirens and whistles. The security alarm had been tripped. They sounded for a couple of seconds, then abruptly cut off.
That was enough to set Greg on guard. He took Anne gently by the elbow and guided her out of the room, not stopping when they got out into the hall. “Go to your room. I want to make sure everything is alright.” 
Anne grasped his arm tightly. “What’s going on?” 
He flexed his jaw. “Hopefully nothing. Go to your room while I find out.” 

Greg waited until Anne closed the bedroom door behind herself, then sprinted down the hall. He hadn’t gotten far when he heard a blood curdling scream fill the house and penetrate his bones from Anne’s bedroom. 
Anne was in trouble! 
Without stopping to think, Greg stormed into her room to find a black-hooded person standing by the window, holding a gun on Anne, who lay crumpled on the floor. A silencer was attached to the end of the gun barrel. He could tell she was breathing heavily, pain etched on her face. Had the hooded person shot her?
Seeing the intruder’s intention to shoot her, possibly for the second time, Greg yelled, “No!” diving over Anne’s small form. His own body jerked when the bullet hit him. Burning pain seared his side as he swung his gaze back to the black form only to find it gone. 
He fought the blackness engulfing him, but it was in vain. The next moment he knew nothing, having fallen into oblivion.