USA Today Best of 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bonus just for you!

On Monday I mentioned the creepy quandary Mandy was in when a strange man approached her while she was out walking alone on Thanksgiving day. He seemed nice, and was easy on the eyes, but admitted he'd been watching her walk by his house every day. She wasn't sure whether to feel flattered, or freak out.

Today I've got a special bonus, for your eyes only (it's not in Trouble Won't Wait). After their conversation ends and Mandy heads home, Adam gets a surprise visit from Rifle's finest:


Adam watched Mandy until she took a right onto the next street and he couldn’t see her anymore.

That had gone pretty well. Actually, it had gone great. Those eyes of hers…he’d almost forgotten to speak at one point when he’d been looking into them. Things felt better than they had since--in a long time. He hadn’t come across as a total dork, and Mandy had seemed to like him. She’d opened up, an unexpected bonus.

He shoved his hands into his jeans pockets and headed back home, whistling. Had almost made it back to his driveway, when a police cruiser pulled up beside him and stopped. Weird. Maybe he’d keep walking…but the cop killed the engine and opened his door.

“Stop right there.” No mistaking the command was meant for him. “Officer Tisdale, Rifle PD.”

He froze in place, and eased his hands out of his pockets.

The cop came around the car and stood in front of him, hands on his hips. “We got a call about a suspicious male, matching your description, possibly harassing a female in the area.”

“Call?” Adam looked around. “From who?”

“Don’t you worry about it. A concerned neighbor called in, said you followed the lone woman into the cemetery, and then when she came out, you were tailing her home.”

Christ. “I live next to the cemetery. Walked in there, introduced myself. Last I heard, it’s still legal for a guy to have a friendly conversation with a woman.” What a bunch of BS. He hadn’t done anything wrong. In fact, he could probably call one of the company lawyers tomorrow and have this small-time Fife reprimanded for harassment.

“Don’t get smart. What’d you want from her?”

“Look. She’s cute. Okay? I’ve…noticed her before.” He scuffed the toe of his Doc in the gravel, then looked back up at the cop. “She was having a bad day, so I went out to make sure she’s okay.”

“Bad day.” The cop narrowed his eyes. “How would you know, if you just introduced yourself?”

What a dumbass. “I could tell by the way she was walking. And her eyes were puffy. She’d been crying.” Some things a guy just knew, and had to act on. But he wasn’t about to tell Officer Bigshot that.

“Uh-huh. So what was she upset about?”

Adam looked the cop in the eye. “Not my story to tell.” She’d been pretty determined to keep it quiet until she had time to think things through.

The cop turned red and shook his head. “So. Your story is, you saw her walk by, could tell she’d been crying, and went out to check on her. At which point she confided her problems in you, then you walked her up the street.”

“Yes.”

“No chance you’ve been stalking her, since you think she’s cute?”

Stalking? Not exactly. But he’d definitely gone out of his way to make sure he could see her go by each day. And today, he’d needed to go meet her, even before he noticed she was upset. Not something he could share, though. Or he’d end up on some watch-list. He shook his head. “Nope. No stalking.”

The cop jabbed his finger toward him. “You’re new in town, arencha?”

“Been here about two months.”

“And you live alone?”

Adam nodded, the lump of misery pressing inside his chest like something he’d eaten hadn’t done down all the way. Alone. His least favorite word.
“Name?” The officer pulled notepad from his pocket. “Don’t suppose you got any ID on ya, so I’m going on your word here.”

He swallowed the lump and took a deep breath. “Adam Kraft.” Shit. He could only hope the guy didn’t go digging too deep. Some things in his past needed to stay there.

Tisdale noted his name and looked over at Adam’s house. “This your address?” At Adam’s nod, he scribbled some more, then snapped the pad shut and shoved it in his pocket. “Here’s the thing. Any women come up missing, I’m thinking of you first. Got it?”

He shrugged and nodded. What choice did he have? “Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, officer.”

His face burned as he walked up his drive. All he’d done was meet Mandy. After two months. Now this. But it wouldn’t keep him from coming out to talk to her tomorrow, or the day after. Unless she told him she didn’t want him to. And then he’d…Christ. He just hoped she wouldn’t.

Trouble Won't Wait hit Amazon yesterday!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?
Twitter: AutumnPiperAuth
autumnpiper.com


4 comments:

Calisa Rhose said...

What is this from? It's great.

Piper Denna said...

Hey Calisa, thanks. It's bonus material for Trouble Won't Wait--a scene not actually "in" the book.

maryschiller said...

Hi, Autumn. M.J., here. Just checking your links before you go live on my blog and I had to comment that I love the title of your blog and the fact that you teamed up with another Piper. And, I love the logo at the top! See ya tomorrow!

Piper Denna said...

Thanks, Mary/MJ. The logo at the top is a piece of hubby's high school artwork, believe or not. :) I've always loved it. Thanks for the fab review.