Ethan Payne has drifted across the rugged American West, hungry to settle. From the wilds of the Missouri to the jungles of Panama, he left his destiny to the gods, and left Gil Stark-his best friend-turned-outlaw-to the devil. Now, acting as Abilene's fiercely respected marshal, Payne has finally found a place to stand tall. Until a woman in need of salvation triggers an impulse like a bullet to the heart.Addicted to life's sordid pleasures, Julie Cathcott has arrived, unwanted and unexpected, from Payne's past. To Payne, she's a woman worth saving. Even if it means crossing swords with the town fathers, and being cast out forever from a place he called home. But the past isn't through with Payne. In the shadow of Miss Julie's own private hell, Gil Stark is waiting. Once fate plays these kinds of games, it can turn any man into a killer.