a step back and glanced at Cash. Panic flared in her eyes. An overwhelming protective urge welled up inside Cashâa familiar feeling but not one heâd expected for a woman he barely knew. One who was a suspect in the bombing. It caught him by surprise and made him hesitate. Just a fraction, but long enough for Parsons to seize the moment and step closer.
âDid you see the bomber, Ms. Curry?â he demanded.
Krista jerked back.
Cash did the first thing he could think of. He grabbed Opaâs arm. âIâm sorry, but Ms. Curryâs grandfatherâs had a very trying night, and he isnât feeling well. We need to get him home.â
âYes,â Krista mumbled. âHe has to get home.â
âI wonât keep you,â Parsons said. âAll I want is a simple yes or no. Did you see the bomber?â
âOh.â Opa wobbled and his legs seemed to turn to rubber. He reached for Kristaâs arm. She clutched his elbow, steadying him.
Cash glanced at the older man, and he winked at Cash.
The crafty old guy was simply putting on a show for the reporter to distract him from Krista.
âAs you can see,â Cash said pointedly, âwe really need to be going. Unless, of course, you want to be responsible for an elderly man collapsing on your news program.â
âOf course not.â Parsons knew when to step down and back away.
Cash continued to hold Ottoâs elbow and hurried ahead. Otto kept up with Cash, but they nearly had to drag Krista. Despite her unspoken desire to get away from the crowd, she kept shooting looks around the area, slowing them down.
Hoping to see what she was searching for, Cash followed her gaze. He saw nothing out of the ordinary. Maybe she feared the bomber was in the crowd of looky-loos that circled the perimeter.
Cash figured the guy was long gone. Unless, of course, heâd heard the news stories by now and knew Kristaâs heroic actions had kept the bomb from detonating. If so, he would want to stop her before she had a chance to ID him. Which meant he could have come back and was out in the crowd. Watching. Waiting. Planning to follow them and take Krista out when she was away from the heavy police presence.
Cash was suddenly thankful heâd offered to escort her home. A woman with a sick, elderly man would be a sitting duck for a bomber and without Cashâs help, the consequences could be deadly.
F eeling Cashâs focus on her from the car, Krista helped Opa climb the steps to his house. She was torn between wanting Cash gone and wanting him to stay exactly where he was, watching them and making sure no harm came their way. On the ride home, she couldnât stop thinking about what the bomber would do if he knew she could identify him. It would only take one news story to alert him and make him determined to silence her.
The thought made every shadow in the secluded property seem ominous, sending a shiver over her body. She glanced at Cash, wondering if she should ask for his continued help to keep them safe.
âCash seems like a nice young man,â Opa said, oblivious to her concerns.
âHeâs a cop,â she replied as she fitted the key into the lock, reminding herself why Cash was the last person she should trust.
âNot all police officers are bad, Liebchen. If you would stop worrying about the past catching up with you, you would see this young manâs positive qualities as I do.â
Inside the foyer, she spun in disbelief. âYou want to go through all that again? To have people and reporters camping out on the doorstep of your new house? Never getting any peace? Dealing with break-ins and people destroying the place?â
âNo, of course not.â He stepped inside. âBut I doubt that will happen as a result of trusting Cash.â
âNo.â She closed the door, secured the locks, then double-checked them. âItâll happen when a reporter