“Hmm…really? Is there more I should know?” he asks, knowing my hatred for company.

“No, nothing like that. It’s happening right away, so no time for anything else.”

“Do you want me to take her to your place and get her settled?” They know the key code to my house because Cyber hooked up our houses with added or special security features.

“I won’t be out of the office until eight, so that might be a good idea.” It’s Friday, and I refuse to work weekends, so I work late.

“Okay. After I show her around behind the bar and stockroom, I’ll take her there.”

“Thanks. I owe you one.”

“I’ll put it on your tab,” he jokes. I hang up and get back to my files. Honestly, there’s not that much, but I just feel that Steeleville needs me more. I’m tempted to toss in the towel and leave the D.A.s office to venture into private practice. I handle contracts for Boomer when he needs them, but mostly I’m good at destroying the defense and winning my cases.

I might leave work earlier because a part of me is already dreading having some random woman I never met staying in my home. God knows what she’s going to be doing with my things.

I’ve got a damn headache building behind my eye. I’m extremely neat, and anything out of place bothers me a little, but when it’s in my house, I expect it to be clean and organized all the time. The guys know that, so I tend to join them out or at someone’s place, so they don’t mess up my furniture or spill beer everywhere.

My desk phone rings, and it’s the reception desk. “What’s up?”

“Sir, I’m leaving for the night in about ten minutes. Do you need me to do anything before I go?”

“No. Thank you. Have a great weekend.”

“You, too.” She ends the call, and I check the time. Shit, the night has passed by in a blink of an eye. It’s ten to five.

Chapter 2


I pack my things as quick as I can before they come looking for me. Last night the library was broken into, and the employee files in the office had been ransacked. Spencer called me this morning telling me to pack whatever I can and be ready to run. This perpetual fear of looking over my shoulder is freaking me out. I’ve already dropped ten pounds this week. Why the fuck did, I have to witness a shooting? Fuck, I’m lucky I got away before the guy shot me too, but it now feels like a foregone conclusion that he’ll get me.

A knock at my door sends the brush in my hands flying through the air. “Shit,” I whisper. They probably heard that. Ducking down, I look through the bottom edge of the window and breathe a sigh of relief. It’s just Detective Spencer.

I open the door and say, “You scared the shit out of me.”

He quickly enters and closes the door. “Sorry, I didn’t want to call you and have it traced. Are you ready to go?”

“You’ve found me a place?” I practically squeal.

“Yes, it’s about an hour away in a remote town. It’s safe, and you’ll have a place to stay and a temporary job until this all blows over.” I hug him, forgetting myself. He freezes and stiffens, so I pull away.

“Where?” I question, rocking back and forth on my heels. My inner child comes out. It’s like when a kid is told they are going on vacation or that their parents have a surprise for them. Not that I got those moments in my life.

“I’ll tell you on the way. I don’t want to stay here any longer. It’s not safe.” I pick up my hairbrush off the floor, stuffing it in my bag, and then walk into my bedroom where my other bags are ready. “Is this everything?”

“Everything important.” I leave my purse with my IDs and cards. I’ve already cleared out my bank accounts because I can’t use it anywhere they can track me. It’s scary and exciting, but mostly scary. He walks up and takes the heavier suitcase while I carry the duffle and my bookbag. Leaving my textbooks here makes me cry. They cost me a fortune in student loans that I can’t get back, but maybe when it’s all over, I can return to my old life.

We sneak into his car and pull away as inconspicuously as possible. It’s insane how an everyday action changed my world from peacefully organized to living life on the run. I can’t believe that I have to give up my life. Two and a half years of college for nothing.

“So, where are you taking me?” I ask him as he hits the dirt road a block from my apartment building.

“We’re going down southwest to Steeleville,” he states, checking his mirrors for anyone following us.

Tags: C.M. Steele Romance
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