(Book 5 of the Fitzgerald Family)
E. B. Walters
Also in the series:
SLOW BURN (book 1)
MINE UNTIL DAWN (book 2)
KISS ME CRAZY (book 3)
DANGEROUS LOVE (book 4)
Reproducing this book without permission
from the author or the publisher is an infringement
of its copyright. This book is a work of fiction. The names
characters, places, and incidents are products of the
author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real.
Any resemblance to any actual events or persons,
living or dead, actual events, locale or
organizations is entirely coincidental.
P.O. Box 3444 Logan,
Copyright © 2012 E. B. Walters
All rights reserved.
Edited by Melissa Maytnz
Cover Design by Margaret McFarland. All Rights Reserved.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner
Whatsoever without permission, except in the case of brief
Quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
First Firetrail Publishing publication: October 2012
This book is dedicated to my niece, Brenda
Thank you for celebrating my successes
To my editor, Melissa Maytnz, thank you for tweaking the plot
and streamlining the manuscript. To my beta-readers, Katrina Whittaker,
Jowanna Delong Kestner, Toni Steiner and Julie Barrett, what would
I do without you guys. You are gurus at finding typos and inconsistencies,
going through the final product and giving it the stamp of approval.
I couldn’t have polished this book without your keen eyes. Thank you.
To my critique partners, Dawn Brown, Teresa Bellew,
Katherine Warwick/Jennifer Laurens, you guys are amazing at
removing the junk and being there when my muse goes missing.
We are more than writing partners.
To my husband and my wonderful children,
thank you for your unwavering love and support.
You inspire me in so many ways
Love you, guys.
Amy Kincaid gripped the steering wheel and glared at the police car pulling her over. Had her ex-husband found them?
She’d anticipated his every move, bought a used car in advance and stashed it at a public storage facility in the neighboring state. She’d also used cash since she and Raelynn left her hometown in Virginia. Even if he had found the car dealership she’d sold her car to, there was no way he could have traced their drive across the country.
Amy glanced at the back seat and sighed with relief. Raelynn was asleep, Mr. Rabbit, her favorite plush bunny, clasped against her chest. Her daughter often cringed whenever she saw a cop or even a police car. No child should grow up afraid, especially of the people who were supposed to protect them. And all because of one man—Nolan Reither—her ex and Raelynn’s stepfather. Amy would make sure her daughter healed.
The cop was still inside the squad car, probably running Amy’s plate. What if Nolan had discovered her new car and put an APB on it? The local police would contact his precinct and he’d fill them with lies. Cops had some kind of code they lived by, which made them stick together like Post-it pads. The same code had prevented them from believing her when she’d filed a spousal abuse complaint against Nolan.
Amy pulled out her fake ID from her wallet and the car’s registration from the glove compartment then studied her reflection in the rearview mirror. Everything was in place. Her light-brown hair didn’t show under the black wig and the brown contacts hid her blue eyes. She took a deep breath then pressed down the button for the window and went back to drumming her fingers on the steering wheel while watching the police car through her side view mirror.
You can do this, Amy. Be calm. Smile and act natural. You’ve been doing this for days now.
It seemed like forever before a female officer stepped out of the squad car and started slowly toward Amy’s.
“Ma’am, do you know why I pulled you over?” the officer asked as she studied Amy then the sleeping child in the back seat.
Amy forced a smile. “No, officer.”
“Your left tail light is out. May I see your I.D. please?”
Amy handed over the fake I.D., smiled right back at the officer.
“You are a long way from Virginia, Mrs. Franklin. Moving to Sandpoint or passin’ through?”
Oh, she’d seen the suitcases in the back of her station wagon. Amy was tempted to ask her what a busted tail light had to do with where she was from. She swallowed her irritation and strived for civility. Her new job was outside Sandpoint, but her path and the cop’s might cross again.
“I’ll be staying,” Amy said.
The officer smiled. “Then welcome to Idaho. I’ll let you go with a warning, but take care of the light as soon as you settle in. Jack’s Auto is only a few blocks from here, and he’s the best. Tell him Sally sent you.” She smiled.
“Thank you, officer.”
“It’s Sally. Take care of the light or I’ll cite you next time, Mrs. Franklin.”
Amy let out a breath she’d been holding and relaxed her shoulder when the cop walked away. They had made it. They were finally free.
Amy hated carrying a gun around her daughter, but how was a single mother supposed to protect herself and her child? At five-foot-six, she’d need to grow at least four more inches to knee a grown man without falling flat on her butt. That left her with a Glock 19, except guns reminded her of her not-so-distant ugly past.
Creaks came from the back patio again and a bolt of panic rippled through her, locking her knees. Each heartbeat pounding like a sledge hammer at her temple, Amy held her breath and listened. Were they gone? Or were they waiting for her to come out? Since she arrived in this quiet town by Lake Pend Oreille, six houses had been burglarized, two on this side of the lake and four across it. She refused to let the bastards add her new home to the list.
Cocking the gun, she slowly crept out of her bedroom, one hand on the