Filtered Through Blue - Jennifer Bramseth
FILTERED THROUGH BLUE
The Bourbon Springs Series
A Land of Bourbon and Bluegrass Book
By Jennifer Bramseth
2015 Jennifer Bramseth, all rights reserved
Happy National Bourbon Day to America’s Native Spirit
June 14, 2015
Cover design by Kim Killion
Thank you to my family; Kim and Jen at the Killion Group; to my editor, Erin; and to Mary Jo T. for again catching my goofs. Thank you all.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
So this is what it feels like to fly like a bat out of hell.
Thank God it wasn’t raining or snowing or the middle of the night because Hannah knew that at the speeds she was flying on the back roads just outside Bourbon Springs, she would’ve crashed and burned under anything other than the perfect driving conditions on that day.
But it was a perfect sunny day in the middle of the damned winter. And she’d just had to go home early that afternoon and get out of that boring bank to enjoy the rare treat of sunshine in February in Kentucky.
She wasn’t referring to the whore she’d just found her sorry excuse for a husband screwing.
In Hannah’s own bed.
No, Hannah was referring to herself.
Hannah was the stupid one.
She took a corner too quickly and the tail of her Cadillac spun out and almost went off the road as she unwillingly kept replaying the images and sounds in her brain.
She had seen Josh’s car and wondered why he was home early that week. He was supposed to be in Frankfort for at least another day. So when she saw he was there, she was initially happy. They could go out to dinner, come home and maybe even—
Then she saw the other car. A car she’d never seen. A car with a Franklin County license plate, not a Craig County tag. Not a plate from somewhere nearby like Boyle or VanWinkle or Washington County but Franklin County, home of the state capital, Frankfort. The same town where Josh Cassidy, the Craig County School Superintendent, allegedly had been working so much with the state department of education on a big project.
Hannah had walked upstairs quietly, that sense of foreboding and betrayal already stabbing at her heart and making her stomach churn with fear and despair.
When she got to the top of the stairs, she heard them.
Making that sleigh bed that she’d insisted on having creak and slam against the wall.
Noises that had never come from that bedroom when she and Josh had made love. Or whatever it was that they had done. As in the past—because she sure as hell wasn’t letting that asshole in her pants ever again.
Not that he would want to go there, she had to remind herself.
Hannah had dared to peek between the small crack between the door and frame and saw Josh underneath some woman, his fingers digging into her impossibly narrow hips and tiny ass and pumping himself into her with a frenzy. And Hannah had seen the look on his face as he came. A look she’d never seen when he’d been inside her.
Then she’d heard him say it, just as the whore came as well and screamed her husband’s name.
“Oh, God, I love you, Suzanne…”
Hannah knew she had made a kind of noise—it was a breath, a scream. Hell, she might have thrown up for all she could remember, and part of her actually hoped she’d tossed her cookies right there on the ivory carpeting in the hallway so the two lovers would have to step in it or over it to get out of that accursed bedroom.
But instead of doing the things that had almost always come so naturally to her—to fight, to confront, to scream, to get in someone’s face and poke them in the chest and say what the fuck do you think you’re doing?!—Hannah had done the most uncharacteristic thing of all.
She had fled.
When presented with irrefutable proof of her mate’s infidelity, an existential threat to ego and survival, the fight-or-flight switch in her brain had been thrown to RUN!
Her hands gripped the wheel and her knuckles bulged white and angry against the tautness of her nearly translucent skin. Every twist and turn she met on the road caused her to hit her rings against the steering wheel, and the more she drove the more frantic she became. It was like there was a mocking, snarky little devil right there in the car with her, teasing and reminding her that she could run but she was still married and she need look no further than the