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Had she unknowingly entered the cougar’s lair?

The light changed, as if a shadow passed by. Ann’s breath froze. “Is someone else here?”

Above, loft boards creaked. Dust sprinkled into the shafts of light around her. Her mind raced as a rapid pounding claimed her heart. Don’t panic. She forced a breath against the tightening of her chest.

Frantic eyes searched for an exit. The stall door held her only escape. Ann took shallow breaths as she moved toward the other side of the room. The dirt floor softened her footsteps. Once there, she paused and twirled her hair.

The open front of the barn stood partially visible. Ann strained to see or hear something…anything outside the opening. She started forward.


A startled shriek escaped her lips.

Had something heavy fallen from the loft?

She held her breath. A crash followed a blur of movement. Something large made a quick retreat.

Ann screamed.

Abandoned Hearts

The Ozark Durham Series

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