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Regan Matthews sat in her car in the parking lot and stared at the side of the stone building. She couldn’t sit here all day. A glance at her watch told her she’d already been here for fifteen minutes and hadn’t even been able to unbuckle her seatbelt. How ridiculous was this? She was a lawyer—and a damn good one—with a level head and a firm grip on reality. And yet here she sat, unable to complete a simple task.
Maybe the trouble was finally admitting she had a real problem she couldn’t solve by herself. Regan always took care of things herself. An only child whose parents had both passed away, she’d learned to depend on herself long ago. Never show weakness. Even now, she wanted to convince herself this entire thing was a hoax that she could make go away by ignoring it. But the hang-up calls every night unsettled her more than she wanted to admit. The emails made her nervous, wondering who would send threatening messages to her personal email address.
She’d debated with herself through the entire work day as she prepared motions to be heard in court, reviewed evidence and interviewed witnesses. She was focused enough to shut everything away when she was working, but by evening, the problem had popped up again. Just a simple message on her windshield, but it had been enough to shake her. Especially since it had been left in a secure garage.
You’re dead, bitch. You can’t run away from me now.
It had finally convinced her this was more than a prank and made her admit the unthinkable. She was scared. Damn!
Standing in the garage, looking at the message, she’d realised only a fool would ignore what was an escalating situation. Okay, so now it might be time to talk to someone. Not the police. She didn’t trust them any more than she trusted anyone else. As a high profile assistant prosecutor, she’d seen her share of bad cops and had her run-ins with them. Who was to say one of them wasn’t doing this?
She pulled out the business card that her friend, Linda Gillette, had given her at lunch after Regan had dumped the problem on her. She’d had to talk to someone, just to make sure she wasn’t crazy. When Linda had run from an abusive and very wealthy husband, she’d hired an agency to protect her, shield her, and get enough on her husband to make him go away quietly. The Sentinels, it was called.
“They’re terrific,” Linda had told her. “There are eight partners, including one woman, and they just do...incredible things.”
“What, you mean like magic tricks?” Regan snorted. “Give me a break. One agency’s the same as all the others.”
“Not them,” Linda insisted.
“Well, I’m glad they helped you, but I hardly think I’ll ever need their services. I’m not hiding from a rat like Calvin Gillette.” She laughed. “I don’t even have a relationship, for God’s sake.”
“Something you need to remedy as soon as possible, my friend. You’re going to burn yourself out.” Linda pulled a business card from her wallet and thrust it at Regan. “Take this. Someone’s waging a campaign against you. You’ve put a lot of crazies away, Regan. You never know when one of them will decide it’s time for a little payback.”
Now Regan stared at the card, and before she could change her mind, punched the numbers into her cell phone. Maybe no one would be there this late, and she could go home and forget she was being a nervous old maid.
But the man who took her call identified himself as Brian Spencer, assured her they kept late hours and it was fine for her to come right over. His voice was deep and warm like chocolate syrup, only with a slightly rough quality to it. For some reason, the sound of it reminded her of the wolf head logo on the business card, and a tiny shiver danced on her skin.
She looked at her watch again. Five more minutes had passed. Well, Regan, you won’t get anywhere just sitting in the car. Just go talk to him. If he thinks it’s nothing, all you’ve lost is an hour or so. And you’ll have reinforced your own thoughts.
A stalker. How ridiculous. Something she absolutely did not need.