Someone plans to disrupt the 175th anniversary celebration of the Battle of the Alamo--and it's Alamo Ranger Susannah Jorgenson's job to stop the culprit. But that means partnering with Levi McDonall, who skipped town years ago with her heart. Levi's now a Texas Ranger, sworn to protect her at any cost, but Susannah knows she'll pay the price if she falls for him again. She has to stay focused on their goals--to eliminate the threat and solve the murder of Levi's captain. But an unknown killer is watching...ready to eliminate them.
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June 01, 2011
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Excerpt from Out of Time by Shirlee McCoy
Silence told its own story, and Alamo Ranger Susannah Jorgenson listened as she hurried across the bridge that led to the chapel. Darkness had fallen hours ago and the air held a hint of rain. The shadows seemed deeper than usual, the darkness just a little blacker. Or maybe it was simply her imagination that made the Alamo complex seem so forbidding.
Imagination and too many sleepless nights.
Six months since Aaron Simons had attacked her, five months since he was killed in a police standoff just outside of San Antonio, and Susannah was still jumping at shadows. People were starting to notice. Her fellow park rangers were beginning to talk. Her life, the one she'd planned so carefully, the one she'd wanted ever since she was a kid, was slowly unraveling, and she felt helpless to stop it.
She shivered. Not from the cold. Not from the chilly breeze. From the darkness, the silence, the endless echo of her fear as she made her final rounds. She'd never known terror before Aaron. Now, it was her closest friend. Not something she was proud of, but something she acknowledged as she jogged to the chapel and flashed the beam of her light along the corners of the building.
No movement, no sounds, no reason to think she wasn't alone, but she couldn't shake the feeling that she was being watched. That somewhere beyond the beam of her light, danger waited.
Her cell phone rang as she walked into the building, and she jumped, her heart pounding, her pulse racing. Everything out of proportion to the moment. That seemed to be the story of her life lately.
"Hello?" Her voice bounced off the stone walls of the chapel, and something skittered in a dark corner to her right. She turned, her flashlight revealing nothing but tile floor and emptiness.
"Susannah? It's Chad Morran."
"Just got a call from Captain Ben Fritz with the Texas Rangers."
"Let me guess. He wanted to know about our security plans for the 175th anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo celebration." A soft sound carried through the cavernous room. Rustling papers? Fabric brushing against stone? Susannah cocked her head, listening, but heard nothing but her rapid heartbeat.
"Partially. He also wanted to let me know he's sending a man out to the compound. They want to do a security sweep. See where our areas of weakness are."
"They're assuming we have them."
"Aside from Fort Knox, I doubt there's a place that doesn't. With the 175th anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo coming up, we can't afford to be too careful. The opening ceremony has to go off without a hitch."
"I know." There were more than a few high-level politicians scheduled to speak at a ceremony that would be hosted by the Alamo Planning Committee, and protecting them was the first priority of the Alamo Rangers.
"So you won't mind staying at the compound a little late tonight? You are head of the security team for the event, after all."
"You don't need to convince me, Chad. I'm happy to do it." Though staying alone at the compound after dark had become one of her least favorite things to do.
"Good. Good. Captain Fritz said his man should be there within the hour. I can come and help with the briefing if you want me to, or we can touch base tomorrow before we open."
"No need for you to come. I'll handle things."
"You're sure?" That he would ask made Susannah's cheeks heat.
"It's my job, Chad. If I can't do it, I shouldn't be working here." Something she'd reminded herself of one too many times during the past few months.
"I wasn't implying that you couldn't handle it,...