Hell, he wouldn’t have to tell her anything. She would just know. She would look at him in that certain way, and he would know that she knew how he felt. Just like she had when he’d told her about having to shoot Dusty.
What was its name?
No you didn’t.
Without him having to put it into words, she’d known that the day he’d had to put that horse down was the worst in his memory. All the killing that came after hadn’t affected him like that had. And Honor knew it.
Thinking about her, her eyes, her mouth, her body, caused him to ache. It was a pain that went much deeper even than the one in his belly, where he’d been stitched up well enough to keep him from bleeding out, but warned against doing anything strenuous for at least six months or risk springing a leak in his gut.
He took strong medications at night so he could get past the pain long enough to fall asleep, but there was nothing he could do to get past the ache of desiring Honor, of wanting to touch her, taste her, feel her against him, sleep with her hand over his heart.
And even if she had understood what he was trying to tell her in that cryptic note, would she want to be with him? Would she want Emily around him twenty-four/seven? Would she want her little girl influenced by a man like him, who knew guerrilla tactics, knew how to kill with his bare hands, but didn’t even know who Elmo and Thomas the Tank Engine were?
In order to overlook all that, she would have to see something in him that maybe even he didn’t know was there. She would really have to want him. She would have to love him.
The PA system speakers crackled, jerking him out of his reverie. The arrival of the daily 757 from Dallas was announced. His gut was stitched up good and tight, but that didn’t prevent it from flopping. He wiped his damp palms on the legs of his jeans and stood up shakily, leaning heavily on his cane.
He called himself a masochist for putting himself through this torture day after day.
He braced himself for the disappointment of having to go home alone.
He braced himself for happiness like he’d never known in his entire life.
He watched the door they would come through.
Cell phones have made it almost impossible for people to disappear. That’s a good thing if someone is lost in the wilderness and needs to be rescued. It’s bad if you’re a fiction writer trying to keep your protagonists from being found.
That’s why I want to thank John Casbon, who provided me with information that proved invaluable. As I’m writing this, the technology in this novel reflects the state of the art. That’s not to say that it won’t be obsolete tomorrow. Advances in this industry are made daily. So, if by the time you’re reading this book, the technology is laughably out of date, please cut me some slack. I did the best I could, going so far as to buy my own “burner” just to test what I could and couldn’t do with it.
I also wish to thank my friend Finley Merry, who, on more than one occasion, has pointed me to someone to go to for help and information. Had it not been for him, I wouldn’t have met Mr. Casbon, who came to be known as “my phone guy.”
Thank you both.
Front Cover Image
Novels by Sandra Brown
NOVELS BY SANDRA BROWN
Where There’s Smoke
Breath of Scandal
Best Kept Secrets
Slow Heat in Heaven
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Copyright © 2011 by Sandra Brown Management, Ltd.
All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Grand Central Publishing
Hachette Book Group
237 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Visit our website at www.HachetteBookGroup.com.
First eBook Edition: September 2011
Grand Central Publishing is a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
The Grand Central Publishing name and logo is a trademark of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
The publisher is not responsible for websites (or their content) that are not owned by the publisher.