Focus by Holly Bargo
Professional photographer Dana Secrest has a secret and doesn’t even know it. When she storms from her best friend’s home on Christmas Eve—not the wisest decision she’s ever made—security contractor Sam Galdicar follows her to save her from her own hot temper and impulsive action. Upon arriving home, Dana discovers her apartment has been ransacked. Then an attempt is made on her life. She doesn’t know who’s trying to kill her or why, but Sam is determined to protect the woman whose eyes don’t need a camera to see the truth.
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The cops finally arrived. They took down my name, snapped pictures, asked a bunch of questions, and somehow managed to insinuate that the wreckage had been my fault. When they left, I buried my face in Sly’s soft fur and cried some more. The overwhelming task of cleaning the disaster defeated me.
“You’re coming home with me,” Sam said, settling a hand over my shoulder. “You can’t stay here.”
I sniffled. “What about Sly?”
“Walmart’s open today. We’ll stop there, pick up some clean clothes for you and some stuff for him. I expect you’ll be my guests for at least a week.”
I didn’t want to accept, but didn’t see any better alternative. With a shaky exhale, I accepted his generous offer, followed up by, “I’ve got to call Dad.”
He nodded. I transferred Sly to his arms, which surprised them both. However, Sly endured it without grumbling, although I couldn’t say as much for Sam. I called my stepfather.
“What is it, pumpkin?” The concern in his voice indicated to me that he knew right away something was wrong. My stepfather was a good man. “What’s wrong?”
“My … uh … my apartment was burglarized.” I took a deep breath and lost the fragile hold on my composure. “It’s ruined. Everything’s ruined!”
“Calm down, pumpkin,” he urged and gave me a moment to get myself back under control. “Are you alone?”
“Then let me talk to whoever’s there with you.”
Wordlessly, I handed the phone to Sam, exchanging the device for Sly.
“Sir,” Sam said and identified himself. They conducted a conversation in low tones and clipped syllables. It ended with Sam saying, “I’ll take care of her, sir.”
“Just … just a couple of days,” I mumbled, reluctant to impose upon his generosity more than I already had.
He focused his blue eyes on me and nodded. I didn’t make the mistake of thinking he agreed with me; I knew he merely acknowledged that I’d spoken. Arrogant man.
Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny side up: eggs are the musings of Holly Bargo, the pseudonym for the author.
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