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RED DAWN

Dawn Hudson: Awakening Series 2

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C.A. Michaels invites you to the second Dawn Hudson Awakening series novel. In this new exciting second novel, you'll get to explore more of Dawn's life. The life within her family and her work as she tries to recover from the horrid ordeal. that occurred in Black Dawn.

The pressure is on to find former Homicide Lieutenant, Rebecca Lang. Dawn believes she is connected to Beth Wiles’ disappearance that happened in 2010, which was Dawn’s first ever case. With one chance to find the former LT, Dawn’s team is in a race against time to not only find Beth alive, but before more violence erupts and tries to destroy her city.

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EXCERPT

CHAPTER 1

Chapter 1

Mid-March 2023

After three months of searching everywhere for Rebecca Lang, Roy Callahan, and Christine Chan, the names from the ledger Dawn found back in November, hope was beginning to fade. The three most wanted from Starling PD, just vanished into thin air. Dawn sat at her desk in her office at the station thinking hard about the case. But she and her team kept getting nothing.

“Three months! Where the hell could they have vanished to?” she asked.

She checked with her contacts. Her theory was that the Triads were linked to Beth. But having no proof, she was about to give up.

“Maybe Beth doesn’t want to be found? I’m so sorry, Beth. I’ve been trying all these years to find you and I got nothing. Every lead I’ve received has turned cold. And every time I try to prove the Triads are part of taking you, it doesn’t pan out. I’m not giving up!”

Beth Wiles was a name she never tossed around lightly. Not even at work. This was a personal search that went back to 2010. She thought back to that day her and Choo were on their way home from dinner. It was just a co-worker-to-co-worker dinner. There was an accident at Sixteen and a Half Mile Road. They were at Applebee’s there on the left corner in the parking lot across from the shopping center having their dinner.

Choo found Beth hiding in the wheel hall of the car. Dawn still wondered how a twelve-year-old survived such a fate, but her parents didn’t. She found her a nice home after six months of searching. The home of Amanda Wheeler. It was great for the first few months. Dawn and Beth were growing tight. Dawn became the first person, Beth trusted outside her parents and her older brother Ricky.

When two men came to the house asking questions, Dawn called for their IDs. She called them in to make sure they were legit. Being Beth was from London, England and no one claimed her, she couldn’t stay in the states. Dawn tried to adopt her, but she was denied. Amanda was denied also.

She could never figure out why. The men took Beth from them. Dawn made sure to keep in contact but after a few months, contact was lost. She never gave up searching as to why that happened. It was growing tiresome. But Dawn promised she’d never give up.

“I will find you, Beth.”

She never heard the knock on her door as Choo opened it, stepped in, and heard her talking to herself.

“Boss?” Choo checked. “Who is Beth?”

She sat in the black cloth office chair and stared out the window overlooking the parking lot and Dodge Park Road. She turned around and saw her partner, Sen Choo, standing in the doorway.

“What’s up?” she asked.

“I think we got a lead on Rebecca.”

“For reals?”

“Yeah.”

“Everyone in the conference room!” she ordered.

She locked her office and walked with him down the hallway. Choo called Sergeant Rohan and the two new members of the team: Detective Stephanie Taylor and Chris Reinhardt. It was tough replacing Detective Marcie Peters. If it were up to Dawn, she wouldn’t have replaced such a great detective. Marcie was gunned down on her driveway the day after Thanksgiving last year. She was framed for it by Lieutenant Rick Cane of Homicide.

They arrived at the conference room. Dawn took her seat at the head of the oval table. Choo sat next to her on her right side as Sergeant Rohan sat on her left. Before they started, Commander Peter Brown, Deputy Chief Brian Crane, and the Chief of Police, Marie Paterson entered. Dawn noticed the brass enter. She glared at Choo. He jerked a shoulder and Dawn shook her head.

“What have we got?” Peter asked.

“Well, sir, we have a lead on Rebecca Lang. She was spotted in the Dominican Republic,” Choo said. He showed him the documents he printed out.

Peter, Marie, and Brian checked out the information.

“Clean energy? How ironic when all the Triads cause is destruction.” Brian chuckled.

“Yeah. It says she is meeting Thomas Hessler. He’s a big player in that industry.”

“That’s it! They are using clean energy to cover their tracks. Or to make their operation appear legit,” Dawn said.

“Good work team.” Peter turned to Marie.

She shook her head no. “You know we have no jurisdiction there.”

“Marie, this is our case. And it can be our jurisdiction if you make a phone call,” Dawn said.

“I’ll see what I can do.”

Marie left and the team went over the news they had of Rebecca. Dawn knew not to get excited. As their other leads went cold, fast. Too fast for her liking. After overlooking what Choo had printed out, she found something else.

“Beth, Beth Wiles?” she questioned.

“Yeah. Her name kept popping up,” Choo said.

“How did you get this?” she asked.

“While you were on medical leave, Rebecca was here briefly. We had a sting operation in place. She escaped us. But we were able to get her phone and IT whiz, Mike Hawks, was able to dump her phone.”

“While I was on medical leave? You had her in your sights. And you let her through?” Dawn yelled.

“We didn’t just let her walk, boss. We did everything right. She just, she was able to get away,” Rohan said.

“I know you two better than that!”

“Boss, we were in a gun fight with her men,” Rohan said.

“How many men?”

“Like ten. They all scattered. We chased them. And because of that, she got away,” Chris said.

“But yet she conveniently left her phone?” Dawn checked.

“We found it weird also that she forgot such an important item,” Stephanie said.

“Do you think this was a plant?” Dawn asked.

“The phone?” Chris asked.

“Yes! It could have been a plant. She more than likely left this phone as a decoy to throw us off!”

“Why go through the trouble?” Stephanie asked.

“Because it’s Rebecca. She’s been a thorn in our side since Charlotte discovered she was a traitor. Damn. I wish was there,” Dawn said.

“You were on medical leave. The department doesn’t stop for anyone on medical leave,” Rohan said.

“I know that but damn,” Dawn said.

She went over the other documents and saw Beth’s name mentioned many times. She glanced right at Choo.

“You remember Beth?” Dawn asked.

“I do. I remember. I remember you calling me the day she was taken from the home you got her. Wait, you’ve been searching for her ever since?” Choo asked.

She never answered. Dawn was afraid to say that she’d been working on an old official case of the departments. If she’d been working on this while off duty, she could have gotten in trouble. But she had to take that risk.

“Hudson, have you been doing that?” Peter asked.

“Whenever I can, I did.”

“And you haven’t shared any information you gathered with us?”

“That’s just it, I never found anything concrete.”

“Huds, I can’t believe this.”

“It happened on my watch on my own time. I only gave the case to the department in hopes you all could help. But nobody was able to. The case was deemed cold.” She glared over to Brian. “By you!”

“Sorry, Huds. It got cold after nothing turned up about the girl. Or the men who took her. The description you gave of the men fits almost every male in the United States,” Brian said.

“Right.”

“Sorry. It’s the truth,” Brian said.

Dawn sighed. But now, now she could make up for all that lost time. This lead had to be it. After a thirteen-year long search, she could solve the second most puzzling case of her life. But she still couldn’t get too excited. As she thought this, Marie returned.

“Good news. I got the okay for us to go down to the DR,” Marie said.

“Awesome! When do we leave?” Dawn asked.

“I got your team on the next flight. My contact down there, Dan Montgomery, has eyes on Thomas Hessler. Seems the older man is looking for two escorts for the party he’s having tonight,” Marie said.

“Is Rebecca going to be there?” Dawn asked.

“Dan says yeah. He’s been monitoring Hessler’s phone. Rebecca is meeting him to hope that he will invest in her new clean energy idea,” Marie said.

“Sweet! Finally, a lead!” Choo said.

“I got you guys on the next flight out. It leaves in two hours. Go home, pack, and meet me and Peter at the airport.”

“Marie, I don’t think this is a good idea,” Brian protested. “If anything happens to them down there.”

“I know. But don’t worry. If that happens, we have your backs,” Marie promised.

“Great!” Dawn smiled.

“We will meet at nine am at the airport. Be there on time, so we can get through security,” Marie said.

“Got it, boss!” They all smiled.

The team parted ways and Dawn headed home. She was excited. But that little voice kept telling her not to be. After thirteen years of nothing but disappointment, she knew the little voice to be true. But damn it. She needed this. Beth needed this lead to work more for her.

 

Dawn arrived home. Trudy was in the kitchen with Austin. They were having breakfast as Dawn entered the foyer that led to the kitchen. She dropped her coat on the floor and kicked off her shoes. She walked further into the kitchen, saw her family, and smiled.

“He guys!”

“Mom!”

“Rut ro, what happened?” Trudy asked.

“We got a lead. I need to pack.”

“Where are you going?” Austin asked.

“The Dominican Republic.”

“Why there?” Trudy asked.

“We got a lead on Rebecca. Me and the team are heading down there in an hour or two depending on the airport. But I need to be there in an hour.”

“Really, but, Mom, we were going to the zoo later.”

“Maybe Trudy can take you. I’m sorry. I’ll make it up to you, I promise.”

Austin sighed. Trudy smiled at him and lifted his chin up. “I’ll take you.”

“I know but I wanted mom to go to. She never gets to do any stuff like this!” Austin pouted.

“I’m right here guys. I know it’s hard with me back at work. Please, don’t make me feel guilty about this.”

“I’m sorry. I know. Can Luke come over later then?”

“Sure, I don’t see why not. He’s always welcomed here. He was a big help with my recovery.”

“Are you two going to, you know?” Austin asked.

Dawn blushed. “I don’t know. It may be too soon for me. I need to pack.”

She left them and went to her room. Going through her clothes, she checked the weather down there. Warm, yes. She packed for a warm climate and was finished in ten minutes. She headed back to the kitchen.

“Just one suitcase?” Trudy asked.

“Yeah. It’s only a day trip. I love you guys. Thank you so much, Trudy!”

“Of course!”

Austin rose from the chair and hugged her. Trudy did the same.

“Be safe, bring our cop home!” Trudy said.

“Yeah, what she said.” Austin chuckled.

“I will!”

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