Mindy McLaurin thinks its the end of the world when shes incarcerated on trumped up embezzlement charges. Shes crushed when no one will bail her, including her detective boyfriend who wants her to remain inside and investigate the recent death of an inmate. When a second death occurs, she finds herself drawn to Officer Drew Stone, whos also seeking answers for reasons of his own.
Officer Stone finds himself falling for Mindy even though its forbidden for jail employees to date inmates. Hes not had such strong feeling for a woman since losing his wife to cancer.
Mindy faces many challenges, including constant interrogation by the Major and emotional abuse from other inmates. Upon release, a reign of terror begins when she is stalked, tormented, and framed for murder.
Can Mindy prove shes innocent before losing Officer Stone forever?
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Desert Breeze Publishing, Incorporated
July 31, 2010
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Excerpt from Killing Time by K. Dawn Byrd
Mitch was waiting for her in the visitation area. Mr. Blair, his attorney, at his side. Delacy ushered her to a glass-front cubicle. Mindy longed to touch Mitch, to draw strength from someone stronger than herself, but the glass made this impossible.
Mr. Blair smiled and nodded toward the phone. Mindy picked it up, anxiety making her a little light headed. She shivered as the cold hard plastic of the receiver came into contact with her ear.
"Hello, Mindy," the elderly attorney said. "It's good to see you again. I wish it were under better circumstances."
"Me, too." They'd come to get her. She was going home.
"I can't represent you. I'm semi-retired and handle mostly real estate transactions. This is out of my league, so I'm going to call a good friend of mine, Bill Sands, and ask him to get in touch with you. He's a good attorney."
"Thank you." Tears threatened to overflow.
"I need to ask you some questions though. Okay?"
"What led up to your arrest?"
"A few days ago, I realized that someone had gone through my desk at work. The signature stamp I use to endorse payroll checks was missing."
Mr. Blair touched his mouth with the top of his pen. "Whose name was on the stamp?"
"My boss. His name is Mr. Warner. I kept a few personal items in my desk, like deposit slips for my own bank account. Someone used the stamp to endorse checks and then deposited them into my personal account." Embezzlement. What an ugly word.
"Any idea who did this?"
"I believe it was my boss' son, Rick. I've had a bad feeling about him from the time I met him. I don't trust him. When he moved back from out west, Mr. Warner gave him an executive position in the company and check cashing privileges."
"Why would he frame you?"
"He started writing big checks. Thousands of dollars. He was so afraid I'd tell on him that he threatened to have me fired."
Mr. Blair scribbled furiously on a yellow legal pad. "What'd he need all that money for?"
"I heard a rumor that he has a gambling problem and owes a lot of money to dangerous people."
"Anything else?" he asked.
"Do you have the money yet from selling Grandpa's house and land?"
"Any day now."
Mr. Blair had represented Mindy in the closing. She'd held back selling as long as she could, but the house was too large for her to maintain. The new roof and plumbing problems had almost drained her bank account.
Mr. Blair's eyes met hers. "I'll call Bill today with this information. He'll be in touch. Good-bye, Mindy. Take care." The sympathy therein spoke volumes. He handed the phone to Mitch.
"Hey, Baby," he said in a voice as smooth as milk chocolate.
Mindy's heart tugged when Mitch smiled. His good looks weren't lost on her. He could turn on enough charisma and charm to benefit him in any situation. "Mindy, honey. I'm sorry that you're in here, but I need your help. Do you remember the new case I told you about? The one where that young girl died of overdose."
Mindy's overloaded brain scrambled to keep up. She nodded.
Mitch ran his fingers through raven black hair. "Keep your eyes open, love. That client is paying me a lot of money for information about her daughter."
"I'll ask around when I go back to the pod. What time am I leaving?"
"Not today," Mitch said. "I need you. I need that information."
"You're not getting me out of here?" Mindy's voice rose to hysteria.
Mitch couldn't have slapped her in the face and hurt her more. Reality washed over her in a chilling wave. She wasn't going home. He was leaving her to work undercover.
Hot tears of anger blazed a trail down Mindy's cheeks, but she didn't care. "You're not going to leave me here," she spat, as if the demand itself had the power to force him to change his mind.
"Not for long, baby. You'll be okay. You're a strong woman. That's one of the things I love about you."
"Please don't leave me here, Mitch." Mindy's voice trembled. "You don't know what it's like back there. Please take me home. I just found my sister."
"Your sister? What are you talking about?"
"Remember? I told you I have a twin? I've got to get out of here so I can help her." Mindy placed her hand on the glass, the tears on her palm smearing her reflection. "Please, Mitch."
"It's not for long, baby. You'll be okay." His expression faltered for an instant and she thought he was about to change his mind. Just as quickly, his eyes hardened. "I've got to go now, baby. Take care of yourself."
Before Mindy had the chance to reply, Mitch replaced the receiver. She looked at Mr. Blair. Her face must have conveyed the terror and sense of abandonment she felt. His expression was one of sorrow and helplessness.
Mindy watched Mitch exit the room, his head high and step light. He never looked back.