Embattled Hearts 1

Embattled Hearts 1 by J.M. Madden Read Free Book Online

Book: Embattled Hearts 1 by J.M. Madden Read Free Book Online
Authors: J.M. Madden
Tags: Contemporary, Adult, romantic suspense
wish him gone. If he is responsible, I promise you, he won’t hurt you again. Not with me watching.”
    Shannon smiled sadly. “Thank you, John. I appreciate that.”
    She watched as he slipped on the jacket he had discarded on the back of the couch, covering the shoulder holster. “Did you carry a Beretta in the Marines?”
    John’s sat back in his chair, surprised. “Yes.”
    Shannon nodded her head. “It’s a very good gun.”
    She laughed at the look on his face. “I have the same gun in my bedroom safe. Though I prefer my little Beretta Bobcat, . 25 caliber. Dad made sure I could protect myself if I ever got into that situation again.”
    John smiled slightly as he turned away. “Remind me never to piss you off.”
    She laughed and watched as he rolled down the ramp to his black truck. He pulled a remote from his pocket and pressed a button, and the whole side of the truck seemed to move! He rolled into the contraption and it lifted him up, then slid him inside behind the wheel. Fascinating. She watched until he’d pulled away, then shut and double-locked the door.
    As she wandered back through the house, Shannon felt decidedly better since John had gone through it. The violation she had felt was eased, replaced by a warm spot in her heart that he had created. She appreciated that he had come to her house, though he hadn’t stayed nearly long enough.
    John cursed as he clutched his jacket around himself and rubbed his hands together. If he’d known he was going to stake out her house, he’d have prepared better. Warmer jacket, thermos of coffee. NoDoz pills, maybe. Since he’d been out of the military, he’d gotten used to comfort. And regular schedules. It was 3 a. m. and sleep dragged him down, bad.
    Hell, he may be out here for no reason. Shannon could have drunk the Pepsi herself, and just didn’t remember doing it. Though he’d only ever seen her drink Diet at work. He sighed as he remembered the call. No, she was positive she hadn’t. And he believed her. She couldn’t have known he was going to call, and the fear was evident in her voice on the phone. That kind of fear was difficult to duplicate on the spur of the moment. He knew, intimately, the sound of fear.
    The pop can had definitely been placed to grab attention. As soon as was decent tomorrow, he would take it over and see what Ralph Jamison could find on it. The ex-FBI forensic criminologist was a boon to the Denver area. Definitely worth his weight in gold. But he wouldn’t like being woken on a Saturday.
    John thought about the picture he had seen in her living room. It explained so much. From her easy acceptance when he first met Shannon, to her familiarity with the wheelchair, it all made sense now. Her brother had lived with her not too long ago while he was between jobs. She’d told him that during one of their lunches. They were close, obviously. Shannon glowed when she spoke about her little brother. He had a feeling if he spoke with Chris, the feeling would be mutual.
    For a long moment, John wondered what it would feel like to be that connected to another person. To have a somebody. His mother had dropped him off at the orphanage when he was five years old. He remembered the day perfectly. It had been bright and sunny, and she had been unusually nice to him that day. Letting him ride in the front seat, getting him a hamburger from McDonald’s. And she had been sober. He’d been so surprised and it stuck out in his memory as one of the best times he’d ever had with her.
    When she had pulled up to the curb of the big, beautiful church, he hadn’t thought anything was out of the ordinary. They often when to church rummage sales and food lines. But when she handed him a paper sack with his clothes in it, he knew something was wrong. There were tears in her eyes as she told him things had changed, and that if he was a good little boy, he would be able to find a family that would love him and be better able to take care

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