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When she was sixteen, she was too young;now she’s older and he intends to claim her once and for always. Donovan Chase is a lieutenant in the little California town called The Cove. When his best friend’s little sister, whom he’s been in love with since she was too young to be loved by a man like him returned home, he made up his mind that this time he was going to have her no matter what.
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Shania Spalding was coming home. If someone had posted that little tidbit on the humongous billboard at the entrance to town, the news couldn’t have spread faster. It seemed like everyone within five counties knew of the small town girl made goods’ return.
It was a time of jubilation for most, after all she had been a good friend, as well as a loyal, loving and devoted daughter and sister. Everyone remembered the little spitfire with the heart of gold, and a smile that could’ve put Helen of troy to shame.
She had been popular in high school, one of the few who had straddled the fence between beauty and brains. A fiery combination of sass and kindheartedness, who had even at an early age, the ability to get others to open up.
She had gone on to make a name for herself, at the tender age of twenty-five, in the dangerous world of investigative reporting. Ever the inquisitive one in the crowd, she had taken that natural inquisitiveness and the need to know, and turned it into her life’s work.
She’d traveled the globe, residing at times in some of the worst hotspots, just to get the story straight. She was lauded for her tenaciousness, her bull doggedness if you will, when it came to ferreting out the truth.
Some were more than a little surprised that she was leaving big city life to return to the nest. There was speculation that she was seeking the solitude of the familiar, to write her next big novel. Only those closest to her knew the real truth behind her return, and they weren’t talking. That was a testament to the kind of loyalty and respect she commanded.
She has never turned on a friend, never revealed secrets, and could be trusted with anything. Her open and kindhearted dealings with others had followed her around the globe. To the point that she could’ve chosen to relocate to any number of regions and have help at her fingertips, if she so chose, but she chose to come home.
Home, where the welcome mat was already hanging out, and the fatted calf had already been prepared. There was much buzz and excitement among those who had long wished for this day, but for one individual at least, it was like a death knell.
She couldn’t possibly know what I’ve done. How could she? She hadn’t been anywhere near the Cove on that fateful night. But no matter how I try to convince myself of that fact, there was no escaping the coincidence of one of the nation’s top investigative reporters, returning to small town U.S.A, weeks after the deed was done.
Maybe someone had grown suspicious, but I haven’t heard any murmurings around town. Maybe I’ll go down to the local bar and see if I get wind of any stirrings. There was just no way that she would be coming home at this particular time, unless it had something to do with what I ‘d done.
If that was the case, she’d soon find out what it took to lay down a son of a bitching bloodhound of a reporter. That’s what one of those highfalutin, big city newspapers had dubbed her. ‘America’s Bloodhound’!
She’d toppled more governments, and destroyed more political careers than a whore at a democratic convention. Why no one had seen fit to put her out of her misery as yet was anyone’s guess. As far as I’m concerned, there wasn’t anything great about a nosy ass woman who didn’t know her place.
If she came sniffing around in what didn’t concern her, she’d soon find out. Things were finally falling into place after years of hard work, bowing and scraping to the haves, and ever being one of the have-nots.
That golden ring was almost within reach, and nothing and no one was going to get in the way of that. I put out my cigarette on my boot heel and pocketed it. After years of diligently watching those true crime shows on TV, every idiot knows that the cops and other law enforcement agencies were always finding new ways and means of catching criminals, and DNA was the leading culprit.
I’m lieutenant Donovan Chase and today I’m feeling no pain. I’d just tightened the lid on a case that had crossed county lines to end up in my backyard, after months of dogged determination and pure cussedness.
I hated losing one to the cold case files and made it a priority never to go that route. If I can’t get an angle on something, I don’t think twice of letting one or two of my guys have a go at it. More often than not, all it takes is a fresh pair of eyes.
I’m batting a thousand when it comes to closing whatever comes across my desk, to the annoyance of some of my peers. There were still a lot of murmurings of cronyism, because of my family’s money, and their standing in the community. Never mind the fact that I had studied my ass off in college, or the years I put in on the force before making lieutenant.