FOREVER EVA by Missy Martine
Anna Doubles Down Series
Eva grew up knowing her mother came from the future. When Timothy Canders holds the family at gunpoint in an effort to make them summon the time-portal, she’s accidentally pulled in with him. But when she arrives in 2014, Timothy is nowhere to be found.
Tony and Zach investigated when two women disappeared from Hamilton two years ago. Imagine their surprise when a young woman, dressed like the old west, comes walking out of the old, broken down saloon.
Eva falls in love with her two rescuers but doesn’t realize a policewoman on the force will do anything to keep Tony for herself. When the young policewoman finds evidence tying Eva to the disappearance of the missing women she has to find a way to get back to her own time, or face a lifetime in prison. Will the portal allow the men to travel back with her, or leave them behind?
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Officer Tony Grandy slammed on the brakes of his Dodge Durango, throwing up gravel and dirt behind him. He wasn’t surprised to see the standard white pickup truck of the park rangers parked outside the crumbling old saloon in Hamilton. He knew Ranger Zachary Carlson would be somewhere near. It was two years ago today that two young women had vanished from the ghost town without a trace. Tony had been on duty when the 911 call had come in from one of the women. Miss Katarina Elizabeth Evans had reported her friend, Anna Lorraine Oakland, missing. The two women had been vacationing together when they stopped at the old town to do some research for a book Miss Evans was writing, according to friends. It had taken him twenty minutes to reach the scene after the victim disconnected her call, but by then it was too late.
There had been no sign of either woman. The only evidence they’d been there at all was the abandoned Ford Escape registered to Katarina Evans. That was also the first time he’d met Park Ranger Zach Carlson. He’d arrived on the scene just a scant two minutes behind Tony. The two men had searched all the buildings thoroughly, even hiking up the hill to search the old Silver Bell Mine and Belmont Mill. They’d found footprints that could have been a small woman, but no other clues. The women had just vanished without a trace.
The investigation had hit him hard, and Ranger Carlson even harder. He’d only been on the job about a month when he’d responded to the call. The two men had investigated together, off and on over the first year, learning a lot about the two women, but getting no closer to solving their disappearance. All that time spent together had brought the men together, not exactly friends, but closer in some ways. He’d never admit it to anyone, but he felt a strange pull to be closer to the shy ranger.
Tony threw the truck in park and cut the engine. Grabbing his hat, he unfolded his five-foot-eleven-inch frame out of the vehicle and stretched his arms over his head, rotating his neck back and forth. Slamming the door shut, he moved forward. There wasn’t much left of the old mining town. Two buildings were still standing, but he knew the local residents were petitioning to have the area razed. Nobody really considered it historical, mainly just an eyesore and danger to the children they couldn’t keep from exploring the so-called ghost town. The area had an unremarkable history as far as he was concerned. Its greatest claim to fame being the women’s disappearance. For six months after they disappeared, the news crews, psychics, and ghost chasers went over the area with a fine-tooth comb and didn’t find a thing.
“I had a feeling you’d be out here today.”
Tony turned around and smiled at Zach. “Where else would I be on our anniversary?”
Zach grimaced. “I’m not sure I wanna think of this as our anniversary, man. That’s pretty dismal.” He looked around at the mounds of wood and rock up and down the small dirt road.
“I can’t get this place out of my mind. I feel like it draws me here,” Tony said. “Like it’s waiting to give up its secrets. You just have to be here at the right time to understand everything.”
Zach’s eyes widened. “Yeah, that’s exactly how I feel. I think about those poor women and wonder whatever happened to them.” He sighed and ran his hand through his hair. “I mean, I know they’re probably dead, but it’s like I can’t rest until I know for sure.”
Tony pulled off his hat and smacked it against his leg, a cloud of dust drifting in the air around him. “You wanna get some lunch?”
“Sure, just let me…” Both men whirled around, drawing their guns, when a faint, feminine scream came from the old saloon.
“Tell me you heard that,” asked Tony.
“Oh, yeah, I heard it. It came from inside the building.” Zach motioned toward the saloon with the tip of his service revolver. “There ain’t no back door to this place, and the windows are all boarded up tight. We’ll have to go in from the front to check it out.”
“Should we call for backup?”
Zack frowned. “I’d rather not. I’m not anxious to explain what I’m doing out here if it’s all the same to you. I’d rather wait and see if there’s anything to report before I get anybody’s dander up.”
“Fine by me.” Tony moved closer to the building. “I’d just as soon not be the butt of a thousand ghost jokes. I’ll take point. Cover me best you can.” The two men moved slowly toward the open door of the old saloon. The sun was blistering hot, with hardly any breeze stirring the air. Tony could feel the sweat rolling down his back as he moved up the rickety steps. The foul stench of rotting wood was almost overwhelming as he cautiously peered inside the dark room, sweeping the interior with a quick glance. He could feel the hairs on the back of his neck stand up as he moved farther into the dismal building.
Inside was a heavy mildew smell and definite signs of critter infestation. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Zach move through the door, slowly making his way around the room in the opposite direction. A soft crash, and a muffled voice, had both men turning toward the only door in the room. Tony knew, from their past investigation, the door led to an underground basement. When he reached the opening, he glanced down.
“When I get my hands on Timothy Canders, I’m gonna slap him silly.”
The feminine voice drifted up from the basement. Tony quickly moved back when footsteps sounded on the stairs.
“Is anybody there?” the girl called out. “It that you, Timothy?”
Tony glanced at Zach and then back at the open doorway. “Come up with your hands in clear sight. I’m a police officer.”
“Okay, I’m coming. It’s awfully dark. You wouldn’t happen to have a lamp, would you?”
Tony frowned. “No, but I’ve got a flashlight. I’m gonna shine it down the steps. You come straight up and keep your hands where I can see them.” He pulled the flashlight from his belt and moved closer to the open doorway. He had to choke back a laugh when he heard the girl muttering.
“What? Does he think I’m some kind of dangerous criminal? I can’t believe anybody would be afraid of me.”
Tony nodded toward Zach where he stood against the far wall, his gun pointed toward the basement door, and then moved to shine his light down the steps.
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