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About the Author
B.J. DANIELS wrote her first book after a career as an award-winning newspaper journalist and author of thirty-seven published short stories. Since then she has won numerous awards, including a career achievement award for romantic suspense and many nominations and awards for best book.
Daniels lives in Montana with her husband, Parker, and two springer spaniels, Spot and Jem. When she isn’t writing, she snowboards, camps, boats and plays tennis. Daniels is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, Kiss of Death and Romance Writers of America.
To contact her, write to B.J. Daniels, PO Box 1173, Malta, MT 59538 or e-mail her at [email protected] net. Check out her webpage at www.bjdaniels.com.
This one is for E-Dub.
You are always an inspiration!
Jack hadn’t seen another person in miles when he spotted the woman beside the road. He was cruising along Highway 191, headed north through the most unpopulated part of Montana, when he saw her.
At first he blinked, convinced she had to be a mirage, since he hadn’t even seen another car in hours. But there she was, standing beside the road, hip cocked, thumb out, a mane of long, ginger hair falling past her shoulders, blue jeans snug-fitting from her perfect behind down her impossibly long legs.
Jack slowed, already having doubts before he stopped next to her in his vintage, pale yellow Cadillac convertible. Just the sight of her kicked up the heat on an already warm May day.
She had a face that would make any man look twice. He watched her take in the restored convertible first then sweep her green-eyed gaze over him. He thought of warm, tropical sea breezes.
Until he looked closer. As warm as the day was, she wore a jean jacket, the collar turned up. He caught a glimpse of a stained T-shirt underneath. Her sneakers looked wet, like her hair. Her clothes were dusty and the cuffs of her jeans wet and muddy.
He’d seen an empty campground in the cottonwoods as he passed the Missouri River, but it was still early in this part of Montana to be camping, since the nights would be cold. It was especially too early to be bathing in the river, but he had to assume that was exactly what she’d done.
“Going any place in particular?” he asked, worried what she was doing out here in the middle of nowhere all alone. Assuming that was the case. He glanced toward the silky-green pine trees lining the road, half-expecting her boyfriend to come barreling out of them at any minute. But then, that was the way his suspicious mind worked.
“Up the highway.” She leaned down to pick up the dirty backpack at her feet. It appeared as road worn as she was.
All Jack’s instincts told him he’d regret giving this woman a ride. But it was what he glimpsed in her eyes that made up his mind. A little fear was normal for a woman traveling alone in the middle of nowhere. This woman was terrified of something.
He saw her glance back down the highway toward the river, that terror glittering in all that green.
“Then I guess you’re going my way.” He smiled, wondering what the hell this woman was running from and why he was opening himself up to it. Any fool knew that a woman on the run had trouble close at her heels. “Hop in.”
She swung the backpack to her shoulder, straightened the collar of her jean jacket and shot another look back down the lonesome highway.
Jack glanced in his rearview, half-afraid of what had her so scared. Heat rose from the empty two-lane blacktop. He caught a glimpse of the river below them, the dark surface glistening in the morning sunlight. A hawk squawked as it soared on a current coming up out of the river. A cloud passed overhead, throwing the rugged ravines and gullies choked with scrub juniper and pine into shadow.
As he turned back, she was apologizing for her muddy sneakers.
“Don’t worry about that,” he said, figuring this СКАЧАТЬ