Sheriff Jack Whitley hadn't seen Alana Davis in nearly a year. Not since he'd saved her life and helped to deliver her baby. And when she'd mysteriously disappeared, he'd raised her son as his own. So despite the way Alana's vulnerability tugged at his heart, Jack vowed he wouldn't let her claimhischild. But with a dangerous killer hot on her trail, he found himself wanting to be her protector. Keeping her safe meant he ran the risk of losing his son. And ultimately his heart.
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March 09, 2009
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Excerpt from Secret Delivery by Delores Fossen
Alana Davis checked the rearview mirror again. The dark-colored car was still following her."Oh, God," she mumbled.It couldn't be the security guard. It just couldn't be. Because if he'd managed to catch up with her, Alana figured this time he would kill her.She couldn't stop, not even to find a pay phone and call the police. Not that there'd been a pay phone anywhere along the way from the secluded house in the woods where she'd been held captive. Nor was there one along the highway that had taken her nearly an hour to find. Luckily, the car she'd stolen from the front of the house had nearly a full tank of gas.And thankfully, she'd seen the sign to the town of Willow Ridge.The guard and a nurse had force-fed her a partial dose of sedatives only hours earlier, so it'd taken Alana a while to fight through dizziness and make the connection. Willow Ridge was just one of those floating memories that she couldn't immediately link to anything or anyone. But then she remembered Jack Whitley, the town's sheriff. He'd helped her.She couldn't remember what he'd done exactly, but she instinctively knew she could trust him.Alana couldn't say that about anyone else.She certainly couldn't trust the guard or nurse. Or her brother. In fact, one of them must have been responsible for her captivity.But which one?And why?She didn't know the answer to either question, but Jack Whitley would be able to find out.Lightning rifled through the night sky. A few seconds later, thunder came, a thick rumbling groan. Shivering, she made the final turn that would take her to Willow Ridge. Even with the rain and her spotty vision, she could see the other vehicle make the turn right along behind her. He stayed close. Too close.Alana added some pressure to the accelerator and sped through deep puddles that had already collected on the road. The car's wipers slashed over the windshield, smearing the rain on the glass so it was even harder for her to see. Her pulse raced out of control.She maneuvered the car around a sharp curve. The tires squealed in protest at the excessive speed, and she checked the mirror again. The other vehicle stayed right with her, the high-beam headlights glaring into her eyes.It certainly wasn't safe to race through a raging summer storm at ten o'clock at night, but she didn't want to face that guard on this deserted road. She had no weapon, no way to defend herself. Worse, she was exhausted and wondered if she'd be able to stand, much less fight.Ahead of her, she finally saw the town lights. Welcome signs of civilization and help.Going even faster, she sped toward Main Street, flanked on both sides with shops, a diner, even a white church with a steeple. Letting some vague, fuzzy memories guide her, she drove toward the center of the tiny town and spotted the sheriff's office.Alana braked to a stop, glanced behind her and saw nothing. No car. No headlights.No one.Relief flooded through her. Maybe the guard had gotten scared and driven away. Still, she didn't just sit there. He might be lurking on a side street, waiting to grab her and take her back to that house in the woods.Rain pelted her when she got out of the car. She was already cold and shivering, and the wetness didn't help. Alana ran toward the glass-front door of the sheriff's office. Each step was an effort. Her muscles were stiff, her hands throbbed from where she'd gripped the steering wheel and the dizziness was worse than it had been during her escape.Why did everything seem out of focus? And wrong. Something was wrong. But what?She threw open the door, and the burst of air from the AC spilled over her. It was dark in the front section of the building, but there was a light on in a room at the middle of a short narrow hall."Sheriff Whitley?" Her voice was barely a whisper.She saw something move in the shadows, and a moment later, a man stepped out. Alana got just a glimpse of him before another