When Night Falls

When Night Falls by Jenna Mills Read Free Book Online

Book: When Night Falls by Jenna Mills Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jenna Mills
Tags: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
don’t have a choice this time. You have to trust me to do my job. I’m good at it. I won’t let you down.”
    His eyes took on a heated glitter. “And if I hold you to that?”
    “Then you’re as smart as my father said you were.” Because there was nothing else to say, she slid her notebook into her satchel. “Now, if we’re done playing cat and mouse, I’d like to head over to the high school.”
    He nodded. “You do that.”
    “Call me if you think of anything else.” She hesitated, fascinated by his oddly seeking gaze. It was almost as though he didn’t want her to go.
    But that was crazy, and she knew it, so with a tight smile she turned and headed out the door.
    Liam watched her go. The weight room seemed ominously quiet without her, as though she’d taken his energy with her. For the few minutes she’d been there, her huskily spoken words and courageous amber eyes had kicked his adrenaline into high gear. Damn, but she made him feel alive.
    That reality stung worse than an army of hornets.
    He had every reason in the world to distrust the statuesque detective—not just a cop, but Wallace Clark’s daughter—but Liam couldn’t squelch the uncanny notion that if anyone could find his daughter, it would be Detective Jessica Clark.
    “You should head on out, too, Marlena.”
    His former lover frowned. “You never learn, do you, Liam? I just hope this time the price isn’t too high.” That said, eyes glittering, she made her typical overdone exit.
    Hours passed before Liam realized his mistake. That afternoon, he looked up from the report Vega had faxed him and felt a bitter disappointment churning in his gut. “Son of a bitch,” he swore.
    He’d let an attractive, gutsy facade blind him to a truth he should have realized all along. Counting on Wallace Clark’s daughter to find Emily was like a fugitive turning to a bounty hunter for sanctuary.
    The beauty with a badge harbored a past as questionable as his own.
    * * *
    Jess dragged a hand through her hair. Her body ached. Her stomach growled. Too many hours had passed since she’d slept or eaten, but she couldn’t pull herself away from the kitchen table. She sat in the darkness, only a single lamp burning, trying to make sense of all she’d learned.
    A young girl was missing. Emily Armstrong could have left of her own will, but instinct warned something else was at play. Something sinister. The possibilities chilled Jess, increasing her resolve to crack the case before time ran out.
    Thoughts of the girl’s father crept into her mind. The isolated man was dangerous to Jess in ways that extended far beyond his haunted eyes and curt words. She knew his type too well. Driven and domineering, singularly focused, men like him wreaked havoc on the lives of anyone who crossed their paths. Her father had taught her that.
    No matter how deeply William Armstrong intrigued her, affected her, she absolutely could not let herself think of him as a man, or even a bereaved father. That made him too human.
    She could only think of him as a case.
    Across the room, the lamp in her aquarium revealed a small school of angelfish flitting through the greenery she’d added a few days before. The sight normally relaxed her, but tonight even the graceful fish didn’t work.
    Jess pushed the hair from her face and picked up her tape recorder. She’d managed to talk to three of Emily’s friends today, and from them, she’d learned a wealth of information. To their young, impressionable minds, Armstrong ranked right up there with Tom Cruise and George Clooney.
    Pencil in hand, Jess began reviewing the interviews. Close to an hour passed before the telephone jarred her from her introspection. She stood, finding her foot asleep, and hobbled to the phone. “Detective Clark.”
    “Did you find him?” barked a gruff masculine voice.
    “Who is this?”
    “You have to ask?”
    No, she didn’t. The commanding tone struck a chord of familiarity, even though she’d

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