Secrets We Keep

By: Barbara Freethy



The Callaway Cousins #6



Secrets We Keep



From #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy comes the next book in her popular family series: The Callaways. SECRETS WE KEEP is filled with Barbara’s unique blend of romance, mystery, suspense and family drama! Each book stands completely on its own, but if you love one Callaway, you’ll love them all.



When firefighter Hunter Callaway makes a grisly discovery during a scorching fire at the house of his former high school sweetheart, everything he thought he knew about his past is now in question. The girl he'd loved, the one who'd broken his heart when she'd run away with another guy, might not have been who he thought she was.



The last thing Cassidy Ellison ever wanted to do was revisit her past. But she's suddenly a suspect in a terrible crime, and while she might be able to put off the police, there's no running away from Hunter Callaway—not again. The boy of her dreams is now a man—an impatient, angry, demanding man who wants answers, some of which she has vowed never to speak.



Staying silent has kept her alive, but now her secrets might not only take her life, but also Hunter's. As determined as Hunter is to make her talk, someone else is just as determined to keep her quiet…







One


Being back in the firehouse after eight months of travel should have made Hunter Callaway feel good—normal. This was his life, the life he'd led since he'd entered the family firefighting business when he was twenty-three years old. That had been seven years ago. Sometimes, it felt like yesterday. Sometimes, it felt like a lifetime.

But he didn't feel content, not quite sure he was happy to be back, or that he was making the right choice in returning. He still felt restless, a feeling he hadn't been able to shake no matter how many miles he'd put on his motorcycle, no matter how many cities or countries he'd driven through.

Maybe he just didn't want to be a firefighter anymore.

It was a thought that had gone around in his head for months, but he didn't know if it was just the job or if it was more than that. There was something missing inside of himself—a big hole he didn't know how to fill, and it had been there before he'd almost lost his life.

"Well, look who's here—as if we didn't have enough Callaways already," Gary Parker said, slapping him on the back as he gave him a teasing smile. A stocky man with graying black hair and friendly eyes, Gary was a forty-year-old firefighter, who'd mentored more than a few Callaways over the years. "You filling in for MacKinney?"

"Yes, and it's nice to see you, too, Gary," he drawled.

"So, where have you been, Hunter? You come back with a bride, a treasure, a new tattoo?"

"None of the above."

"Well, that's disappointing. Surely, you've got a story or two?"

"A few."

Gary gave him a speculative look. "Dylan said you were looking for something. Did you find it?"

He shrugged. "I had a good time. I needed a break."

"That high-rise fire last year took it out of you, didn't it?"

"It wasn't just that." He knew that most of his fellow firefighters thought that falling three stories down an elevator shaft, breaking his foot, and cracking a few ribs had been the trigger for his sudden hiatus, that he hadn't just needed to heal his wounds but also to get his nerve back.

He didn't think it was about nerve. He wasn't afraid to fight fire; he just wasn't sure he wanted to.

Luckily, he didn't have to comment further as his brother, Dylan, entered the breakroom. Four years older than him, Dylan had dark-brown hair and blue eyes, very much like his own, and most of the Callaway clan, for that matter. As the oldest in the family, Dylan could be a know-it-all but also a protector. Right now, he was in watchful big brother mode.

Out of his five siblings, he and Dylan had always had the most in common, probably because they'd both chosen to become firefighters, following in his father's footsteps as well as his uncle and grandfather and a few cousins.

"How are you doing?" Dylan asked as Gary left them alone to grab breakfast.

"Fine," he said, sensing another interrogation coming his way.

"No first day jitters?"

"I've done this job for seven years. I can barely remember my first day."