"I'M ADDING DEE DAVIS TO MY MUST-READ LIST."
Author of Touching Evil
For undercover FBI agent Katie Cavanaugh this was supposed to be a routine job-go in, get the evidence, catch a killer. But from the moment she lays eyes on John Brighton the intense charge in the air between them tells her that the stakes will be higher this time around. Posing as his physical therapist allows Katie firsthand access to him but she can't let the intimacy of living together cloud her judgment. She will need her instincts sharp if she is going to find him guilty . . . or prove his innocence.
Left for dead along a deserted highway, John awakes to find himself the lead suspect in a murder investigation. The only bright point in his life is Katie. Warm and beautiful, she is the one person he thinks he can trust. But as a net of suspicion closes in, John and Katie must work to unravel the maze of secrets and lies that threaten to keep them apart forever. . . .
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November 25, 2002
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Excerpt from Midnight Rain by Dee Davis
Austin, Texas--Six months later
All he had to do was lift the goddamned pen.
John Brighton concentrated on the writing implement, willing his right hand to move. He was halfway there. He'd managed to get his fingers to close around the thing. Now all he had to do was lift it up.
His hand quivered and for a moment rose off the table. He closed his eyes, trying to visualize the action. How could something so seemingly inconsequential be so difficult? Six months of rehab and he was no better than a newborn. Weak and untried.
He swallowed, concentrating on the pen. This might be the biggest challenge he'd ever faced, but he wasn't about to go down for the count. A couple of low-life Mexican thugs were not going to get the best of him.
The pen lifted, his fingers shaking with the effort.
"Hey, bro. Ready to blow this pop stand?"
The pen dropped to the bed, then rolled to the floor. "Danny." John looked up, trying to conceal his annoyance. Maybe he was jealous of the fact that his brother had full use of his faculties, or maybe he was just in a generally crappy mood. Either way, there was no point in taking it out on Danny.
His brother hung a garment bag on a hook, and dropped into a chair by the hospital bed. "Having a little trouble signing out?" He bent down to retrieve the pen.
"I could have done it." John sounded petulant and he knew it. "You surprised me. That's all."
"Look, Jonathan, there's no need to push yourself like this. Your recovery is nothing short of miraculous as it is. What you need is a little downtime. Let your body come back at its own pace."
"I've had six months of downtime, and believe me when I tell you it isn't what it's cracked up to be." He wasn't surprised to hear bitterness in his voice. So much had been lost. Things he might never recover. Gaping holes in his memory. A darkness that sometimes threatened to swallow him whole.
Danny held up a hand in apology. "I didn't mean to ruffle your feathers. I just want you to take a breath. Maybe move a little slower. The mind's a funny thing. You shouldn't push it."
"There's nothing to push, Danny. What's gone is gone. My memories aren't coming back. The only thing I can do now is try and pick through what's left. Get on with my life."
"So let me help you. It's about time I got the chance to be the big brother." His expression belied the lightness in his voice.
"And how exactly do you propose to do that?" John swung his legs carefully out of the bed, using his left leg to propel his right.
"Well, to start with I can sign these." Danny reached for the dismissal papers. "I doubt anyone will look too closely." His grin was contagious and John felt his mood lightening. Maybe things would feel more normal once he was home.
"Whatever it takes to get me out of here." He watched as his brother signed the release papers, envying the ease with which he wielded the pen. "So what'd you bring me to wear?"
"Armani." Danny smiled. "What else? I made a special trip to get it." He unzipped the bag and pulled out the beautifully tailored suit.
John swallowed back a wave of frustration. The suit had enough closures to keep him occupied for a century. All hundred years. He forced a smile. "Thanks. But I think I might have preferred something a little simpler."
Danny frowned. "Yeah, right. This coming from a guy whose friends wager about whether he wears a tie to bed at night."
John winced at the reference. It wasn't the first time he'd heard it. But repetition didn't make it seem any more real. He remembered the need for things like Armani, but the idea just didn't fit anymore. It was as though that part of him had been damaged, twisted--the mirror image of what he'd once been. And no one seemed to understand.
He was Jonathan Brighton. And he wasn't.
All at the same time.
Hell, he didn't really understand it himself. He only knew he no longer wanted to wear Armani, even if he did have an entire closet full of it.
He looked up at his brother, striving for levity he simply didn't feel. "I hope I'm not an odds-on favorite, because I don't think I'll be tying ties anytime soon." He fought to close his hand, frustration combining with anger. Even the simple act of making a fist eluded him.
"Which brings me back to my original point. You're pushing yourself too fast." Danny reached for the suit coat, sliding it off of the hanger. "Flo said you were even thinking of coming back to work."
"It's time. I've been out of commission too long as it is." With his good hand he levered himself up, careful to center his weight, slightly favoring his good leg.
"You were shot in the head, Jonathan. It's going to take more than a few months to recover."
He frowned at his brother, fighting to keep his irritation from showing. "I've asked you to call me John."
"I know that, but after thirty-three years of calling you Jonathan, you can't expect me to just instantly switch."