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.He had the rifle up at his shoulder as they moved with care.Reaching the top, he checked out the hall before nodding to her and leading on.All the bedrooms were in perfect condition except for hers.Alison was right on his heels when he stopped at her bedroom door.She looked into the room and gasped.“Oh God,” she whispered, and felt her stomach drop.“Please, Lord, tell me that’s not what I think?” Her panties and bras were strewn over her bed, and she noticed that they were the dirty ones from the hamper because she had worn the neon yellow ones the day before.There was also, well, semen, she was assuming, on her bed.At least there was something white and flaky against her dark blue silk comforter.Joshua put a hand out to stop her from going in further.“This we need to call the sheriff on, honey.There’s DNA here that could be used to find him.It’s either that or we call Rhys and show him this.This is outside of my sphere of knowledge.I’ll do whatever you want, but that’s my two nickels.”“I think we should call both,” she whispered in horror.“Rhys will be seriously pissed at me as it is, so maybe having the sheriff here will help alleviate some of that.I also need to call the Federal Officer that was assigned to my case since I filed the initial charges in Bali and then in San Fran.” She felt sick.“Why now? What in heaven’s name is this person thinking?”“I don’t know,” he said softly.Turning, he ushered her out of the room and pulled her into a one-armed hug.“Why don’t you call Rhys while I call the sheriff? Once we have them coming, you can give the other officer a shout and get him up to date on this.I’ll be right here with you, Alison.I’m not going anywhere, honey.”“Thank you, I don’t know what I did to have you in my corner, but I’m very happy to have you here with me now.” She pulled her cell phone out of her back pocket.Turning it on, she was shocked by the number of messages, and then jumped when it rang from an unknown caller.“Joshua?” She looked at the phone as if it were a snake come to life.He pulled it from her fingers and answered.“Hello?” he said, and frowned.“Hello?” Tipping his head, he shrugged and hung up.“Call him now.Tell Rhys about that last call.I could hear heavy breathing, so it was likely your stalker looking to get something more.”“Wonderful.” Alison quickly dialed Rhys’s number and thankfully, he answered her.Quickly, she told him what was happening, and after he yelled at her for five minutes, she knew he was on his way back home.She was shaking when she ended the call with her brother and looked to Josh.“Is the sheriff on his way?”“Yup, he’s apparently rushing right out.So is his deputy, who is, from the sounds of things, ready to comfort you however he needs to.” She saw him roll his eyes as he walked to her.“He did say we should wait outside.Apparently, he wants to do a sweep of the house.I figured that was okay and didn’t tell him we’d already been in here.He sort of missed all the pertinent points I was giving him information wise.So, let’s go outside.”“Okay, sounds good.” She slipped her hand back into his and looked up at him.“Please don’t let me be alone with his deputy.Markus Busby has been hitting on me since elementary school and I seriously am tired of telling him no.I don’t think that he understands that word, honestly.He doesn’t push it, but he is relentless.”“I’ll break his fucking face if he touches you,” Joshua muttered as they exited the house.He led her away from the house and to one of the picnic tables in the main yard.Sitting with a leg on each side of the seat, he tugged her down to sit in front of him.Tugging his hat from her head, he tossed it onto the table before wrapping his arms around her waist.“While we wait, shall we chat?”“Yes, we should.” She moved in closer to him and wrapped her arms around his waist after turning slightly to the side.“So what do you want to talk about?” She kept her cheek against his chest, listening to his heart and enjoying the heat of the man that she had always had a serious, heart-beating thing for.“How about the fact that I’ve been in love with you since the first time I saw you? Or maybe the fact that I’m pretty damn sure that you have similar feelings for me? Perhaps the fact that we have these feelings, and yet every time I’ve gotten close, you dance out of range.What the fuck is with that, Alison?”Alison looked up at Joshua in shock.“I didn’t know that you had felt that way about me.I honest to goodness didn’t.” She watched him.“I do share your feelings.I always have.Since the moment I was three years old and you took that daisy necklace that I made for you.I just, God, I was just so afraid that you would push me away.I always believed you just thought I was another one of your sisters.”He gave a snort that sounded disbelieving.“Hardly, Alison.Trust me, I have never once thought of you as a sister.You’ve always fascinated me.Then came the first day you appeared in a swimsuit.I couldn’t get out of the water while you were around for fear you’d see what you did to me.It’s also why I tried to never swim with you after that,” he admitted, wrinkling his nose up.“That’s why.” She had never even thought of that.At all.“I hear sirens, but I really think that you should kiss me, Josh.If only for a second in time, I need that.With my world falling apart around me, you are the only person I am able to turn and cling to.So kiss me?”“Yes, ma’am,” he said softly.Lowering his head, he brushed his lips to hers gently.Slowly, oh so slowly, he deepened the kiss until the sound of her heart racing drowned out the approaching sirens.He held her face with a gentle hand as he devoured her mouth.She knew that the sheriff and deputy had arrived from the sound of car doors, but he continued to kiss her and she kissed him right back.When they pulled back, she licked her lips.“No more running, Joshua.No more hiding either.I do.Love you, that is.I have for forever and now that we have that out on the table, we will work everything else out, right?”“Absolutely,” he said quietly.“I think that your brother may kick my ass, though.Given the look he’s shooting my way, you may want to kiss me again since I will either be in traction, or dead very shortly.”“He wouldn’t dare,” Alison whispered, and leaned in, kissing him very lightly and without the tongue.She pulled back and looked up at him.“More later? For now ,we have to deal with my messed up life [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]