Growing up in a mob family had scarred Mary Graham. She'd thought running away would ensure her son didn't face the same horrors. But after three years on the lam, the single mom couldn't live that way anymore. So she'd come back home to Broken Bones, Arizona--and found herself at the center of a baby brokering scandal. To prove her innocence and help a grieving mother, Mary had to turn to her family's nemesis--a cop. And not just any cop...a cop named Mitch Williams. He'd been after her family for years, so could she trust him to have her best interests at heart?
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March 10, 2008
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Excerpt from Broken Lullaby by Pamela Tracy
Four days, eight hours, twenty-two minutes.
That's how long it had been since Mitch Williams pulled the trigger and killed a man.
Two days, five hours, twelve minutes.
That's how long Mitch had been holed up in the isolated cabin he'd purchased on a whim almost six months ago. Thanks to the locale, he hadn't had any visitors.
He didn't want any visitors.
But he had one now.
The whrrr of an engine and the crunch of tires had left the road and headed up Mitch's drive. He did what he always did when he heard an unexpected noise. He checked to make sure his gun was nearby. Then, he got mad at himself.
He couldn't remember the last time he hadn't treated his gun the way he treated his wallet and watch--as items to always have either on his person or nearby. His watch was on his wrist. His wallet was on the nightstand by the bed. His gun? His gun was in Phoenix, tagged as evidence in an officer-involved shooting.
He was the officer. He'd done the shooting.
And now he was on administrative leave that the attorney general, Melody Griffin-Smith, kept referring to as a much needed vacation. Unfortunately, Mitch kept hearing the unspoken word permanent before the spoken word vacation.
He slowly stood, leaving the safety of the all-terrain vehicle he'd been tinkering with. Climbing from an old blue truck was one of the few people who just might be able to cajole him out of his funk. If anyone knew about injustice, it was Eric Santellis. Eric had been born into a major crime family, yet managed to turn into one of the most self-assured, content Christian men Mitch had ever encountered--even after serving years in a penitentiary for a crime he hadn't committed.
Mitch set down his wrench, wiped grease from his fingers and grinned for the first time in days--four days, eight hours and thirty-six minutes.
"I wondered if you'd be here. I still can't believe you bought this place!" Eric yelled out.
"And I can't believe you didn't stop me."
"Stop you? I think it's great. A place in the wild is what you need. Especially now. I heard what happened. Man, I--"
Mitch held up a hand. "I'm not at liberty to talk about it."
Eric nodded and studied the cabin once again. "So, what have you done to the place so far?"
"Not a thing. I think the old sheriff hired a dump truck to come load everything up and cart it off. There's nothing left."
"Good thing. My sister used to complain about what a mess this place was." Eric checked his watch. "She's due to arrive any time."
Mitch raised an eyebrow. "You found Mary?"
Eric nodded. "The private detective called last week. He found her in Florida. I've spoken to her twice now."
"What did you say to her?"
"I told her I'd help her, told her that things were different now, told her both God and I loved her."
It must have been quite a phone call. Mitch didn't know Mary Graham personally, but if she were a typical career criminal's wife, not to mention the typical daughter of a local crime lord, she'd be a woman who didn't trust anybody easily.