Inspector Thom Brady can’t understand why school teacher Mary Seeton won’t confide in him about her recent
abduction. There is no doubt that she’d been forcibly taken and somehow escaped, but she refuses to tell him anything
about her experience.
Mary made a terrible promise, one she can’t forgive herself for. In order to escape her mentally challenged
kidnapper she promised not to tell on him. The lives of the children in her class depend on her keeping that secret. Only
with super sexy Thom hounding her, soon her abductor figures she broke her promise and no one is safe. Racing against time
the couple risks their lives and their growing relationship to catch the desperate and dangerous kidnapper.
Mary replaced the phone on its cradle and then sipped at her drink. “Thank you. Hopefully, though, we
can just put this whole situation behind us.”
“Can we?” Thom watched Mary closely.
She felt her cheeks flame under his scrutiny. Why was she blushing? His strictly
professional interest in her shouldn’t send her pulse skyrocketing.
Thom rose and circled the counter to join her in the kitchen. He reached to
cover her hand with his but she drew back. Undeterred, Thom drew closer. Mary backed into the refrigerator. He penned her
into the corner between the refrigerator and the kitchen counter, placing one hand on the refrigerator and the other on the
counter. “Do you feel safe, Mary?”
“I’m… not afraid of you, if that’s what you mean.”
She raised her chin to glare up at him defiantly. The breathlessness in her response might have given away her nerves but
that had nothing to do with fear and everything to do with Thom’s closeness. The rest of the room vanished behind the
width of Thom’s shoulders so her vision found nothing but his well-muscled torso or his too handsome face to alight
upon. He planted his feet wide of her stance, well and truly trapping her.
Thom leaned even closer, only inches away from her. His sultry gaze swept over
her and lingered on her parted lips. “But you are afraid. You’d be a fool not to be.”
“Wait a minute—”
“You think it is over?” he murmured, locking those intense green
eyes on her that made her feel so exposed and vulnerable that they should be illegal. “You think this maniac won’t
come back? Won’t try again?”
“Thom—” Mary didn’t know what to say. He invaded her
space, claiming it as his own. The heady mingle of his cologne and masculine scent rippled tectonic surges pulsing in her
bones. Consciously, Mary forced herself not to touch him, not knowing if she’d push him away or pull him to her. His
body pressed close, too close, meaning to intimidate, which it did, but it also excited her until she couldn’t think
He didn’t wait for a reply. “You escaped from him once. You won’t
next time. I guarantee it.”
“But he won’t come back.”
“He won’t? Why not?”
Mary considered that. Why wouldn’t he come back? Because of her cat?
Because of her promise? What if he changed his mind?
Thom watched the play of emotion on Mary’s face. She hadn’t considered
that he’d come for her again. Mary crossed her arms protectively and gripped the insides of her elbows so tightly her
fingertips turned white. Her wide, dark eyes darted around as if an attack might come at any moment from any direction. She
was scared now and he needed her scared. He confronted her before she slipped back into her tightlipped reserve. “Did
he tell you he wouldn’t?”
“Thom, please.” Mary pressed her palms to his chest, trying to
gain room to maneuver but he wouldn’t allow it. Zinging heat radiated from her palms down his stomach and to places
He pressed closer still, so only a breath of air separated their bodies. Dropping
his voice to a dangerous whisper, he said, “He’ll come back, Mary.”
“He’ll watch you.” He bent closer, his lips nearing her ear.
Purposefully, he exhaled his hot breath on her neck, sending shivers through her. “He’ll stalk you. He’ll
wait until you are alone.”
The moan she let out stirred him to the core. His mouth watered. The plan,
to scare Mary into talking to him, had a decidedly different affect on him. As close as he pressed, he didn’t—wouldn’t—touch
her, even if he ached to do just that. Swallowing, he remembered the reason for the tactic. Either due to denial or na´vety,
Mary didn’t recognize the depths of her peril. He feared for her safety with every fiber of his being. He had to make
her understand the danger. Softly, he murmured, “Then, when your guard is down and no one is around to save you,”
he paused, letting the uncertain silence stretch, “he’ll come for you again.”
Mary slumped against him, her head pressing to his chest. “I can’t.”
Thom wrapped his arms around Mary. He rested his cheek on the smooth flow of
hair on top of her head and inhaled her delicate scent. He rubbed his palms up and down the stiff fabric of the scrub top
he’d scrounged from the hospital for her to wear. Damn, she felt good, fitting perfectly, as if designed precisely for
him. Thom’s muscles hummed with excitement wanting to press her even more tightly and much more intimately, against
him. “Trust me, Mary.”
She sobbed, “I can’t. Please, don’t ask me again.”
Thom leaned back, pushed Mary to arm’s length by her narrow shoulders
and searching her face. “Why? Why won’t you tell me?”
Mary refused to meet his gaze. “I can’t. I just can’t.”