Crossing the Line

Crossing the Line

by Catherine Stang

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593747626
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Publication date: 05/28/2007
Pages: 172
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.37(d)

About the Author

Catherine is a hopeless romantic, who has been reading and writing romances for as long as she can remember. She lives in a small town in Kansas with her husband, teenage son, and three very active papillons, who are therapy dogs. She, her husband, and the dogs enjoy their weekly visits to the nursing home.
Her website is www.catherinestang.com and the e-mail for her readers to write to her is catherinestang@cox.net

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

It looked like a freaking movie set. Detective Connor Galbraith muttered a cuss word as he tightened his grip on the frightened little girl who clung to his neck. All around them, cameras flashed. Every local channel along with all the major cable news networks lined up just behind the barricade of squad cars. Not that he was surprised to see the press here in large numbers. It wasn't every day the District Attorney's daughter is kidnapped by gunmen who held the Los Angeles Police Department at bay. It was a damn interesting story. He just wished to hell little Ashley hadn't been a witness to the bloody ending.

"It's just about over," he murmured into three-year-old Ashley Davenport's smoky blonde hair. "Don't let all the cameras scare you, princess. You're going home."

"Promise?"

Her voice was so soft that he could barely hear it.

He gave her a reassuring squeeze. "I promise."

Connor cradled her close as the S.W.A.T. team ran around him to secure the rest of the building. He hoped they caught the bastard who shot his back up, Officer Harry. That suspect managed to escape during the gunfight.

An ambulance and coroner's wagon roared up. How had things spun so far out of his control? Damn. When Connor closed his eyes, he could still see the blood darkening Harry's shirt. Why the hell didn't he wear his bulletproof vest? He just hoped Harry made it.

Connor hated making mistakes--especially ones of this magnitude--with the whole world watching. Killing suspects never sat easy with him. No matter how many candles he lit or priests he confessed to, killing stole pieces of his soul.

Just beyond the line of reporters stood thelittle girl's mother, the usually unflappable Julia Davenport from the DA's office. Morgan's underlings snatched her daughter from daycare to scare Julia into getting Morgan's case dropped. Now one of the kidnappers was dead and the other on the lam. Two more material witnesses were pulled out of a dumpster in an alley not far from here. Unless his partner, Trenton, caught the other suspect who he was chasing, Julia's case was over. Without witnesses, the rest of the state's case was based on flimsy circumstantial evidence. Which meant Judge Barnes would likely throw it out. Dammit to hell! Morgan would go free to peddle his drugs elsewhere. Two years of hard investigative work down the toilet.

He hardly recognized Julia in jeans and a loose T-shirt. She looked years younger and much more vulnerable. His gaze met her teary one for a brief moment as she mouthed: "thank you." He blinked back his own tears as amid a flash of cameras, he lowered a struggling Ashley so she could run into the arms of her sobbing mother.

Connor straightened, preparing to face an onslaught of reporters moving towards him since the extra police officers had shifted them away from the mother and child reunion. With blood still pounding in his ears, he hoped he could rein in his temper long enough to deal with the press.

"Detective Galbraith, is it true that Ashley Davenport was kidnapped in an attempt to stop the Morgan Case from going forward?" a reporter from Channel 15 shouted over the crowd.

Connor grimaced as he raised his hands to silence the flow of questions. Damn. His breath caught at the sharp pain slicing through his side. They came too damn close to getting him this time.

He cleared his throat. "The department has no official comment at this time. Chief Mitchell will have a press conference at two."

"But isn't it true one suspect and a police officer lost their lives in the rescue operation?"

He hoped to hell Harry didn't die.

"I can't confirm or deny that report." Jeez, he could hardly wait for this sound bite to be played over and over ad nauseam all day long.

"Isn't there one suspect still at large?"

"Were the two bodies found yesterday connected to this case?"

"Sorry, boys, you'll have to wait for the official press conference."

A groan came up from the crowd. As the reporters talked among themselves, Connor slipped through the crowd. He had to find Simone. Relief poured over him when he saw the delicate woman perched on the edge of a flower shop windowsill part way down the block. At least she hadn't fled, although part of him wished she would, because he had no idea what the hell to do with her.

The connection he felt to her unnerved him. She and her eccentric aunt appeared out of the blue in his women's Tae Kwon Do class. She claimed to have no previous training, yet she followed his moves perfectly. They shadow fought as though they were of one mind. She disappeared as soon as class ended. He tried in vain to find her. Then like magic, she showed up last night at the police station claiming to know where Ashley Davenport was being held.

He didn't believe in such things as visions, but his partner, Trent, and back-up, Harry, wouldn't let him dismiss her so easily. With no other good leads, he let Simone ride with him as she told him where to go. It bothered him that she knew so much about the kidnapper's plans. Now that the danger had cooled, he planned to interrogate her further.

She stood as he walked towards her, hands in the pockets of a floral dress. She had on white sandals and he tried unsuccessfully not to look at her glittery pink painted toes. Nail polish was the last thing he usually noticed, but Simone's feet were too sexy. He had never known anyone who wore a gold toe ring and ankle bracelet--especially not someone who seemed as bookish as Simone Spencer.

Enough. He forced his gaze to meet hers.

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