No Place to Run(7)

By: Marion Faith Laird

“No tremble.” Oops. “Uh, no trouble.”

Matt fled. He made sure his steps were slow and steady, but in his heart, he knew the truth. It was flight.

He didn’t feel secure again until he was safely in the patrol car.

* * *

“Well, that was certainly peculiar.” Jen stood, arms akimbo, staring at the spot Deputy MacGregor had vacated.


“Matt. I’ve never seen him so bowled over. I think he likes you.”

Great. That was the last thing she needed. Lorie rearranged the neat piles of folders on her desk to avoid meeting Jen’s eyes. “Don’t be silly.”

“I’m not. I’m being practical.” Jen walked over and leaned on Lorie’s desk, making herself impossible to ignore. “You’re single. He’s single. You’re a Christian. He’s—”

“Let it go, Jen. I’m not in the market for a man.” Especially not one in law enforcement.

“But he’s cute.”

“So are puppies, but that doesn’t mean I want another one.” Giving the folders one last tweak, Lorie straightened up. “We have a library to take care of, or have you forgotten?”

Jen sighed, but gave in. “Okay. I’ll make sure nobody makes off with the teen horror books.”

“I’ll be out in a minute.”

Lorie waited until Jen was gone, and then searched the tiny room from one end to the other, looking under papers, under books, anywhere the note could have gone.

After fifteen fruitless minutes, Lorie tried to dismiss the note from her mind.

Getting some of the hobby wire she kept in her desk for the summer craft program, Lorie tied up the bathroom window the best she could. Winding the wire around the handle and the broken lock might not do much to keep anyone out, but it made her feel marginally better. Still, the door had also been unlocked. Had it been from the inside out, or was the window merely a distraction? However it had happened, the intruder also had gotten access to her locked office.

A shudder took her by surprise. She reached for the phone. Paging through the phone book, she found three listings for locksmiths, one of whom had married into her family.

Even if she had to pay for the installation herself, she was getting her office lock changed and the window repaired. Today.

* * *

Matt spent the rest of his patrol trying not to think about the new librarian. Filing his report from the car’s computer, he entered “breaking and entering, intimidation, stalking” in the reason-for-call box. He longed to go back to the office and see what leads he could scare up, but that would have to wait until after his patrol.

To think someone might actually have it in for Lorie Narramore gave Matt a stomachache. She seemed sweet. Of course, you couldn’t always tell by looking, but Matt believed she was what she seemed to be: a victim of circumstances forced into taking a life. It was obvious the experience still weighed on her, and he hated the thought that someone was deliberately making it worse.

Driving back on his normal patrol route through the lunch break traffic, he wondered where the new librarian went to church. Or whether she went to church. If she didn’t, he had one more reason not to consider seeing her socially after this case was closed.

He knew from experience that a relationship where faith wasn’t shared would only lead him astray. Back in high school, he’d been more optimistic. Lorene had been so vulnerable, so sweetly tempting that he’d ignored everything he’d ever been taught. She’d ended up breaking his heart, and he had no guarantee “Lorie” Loretta Narramore was any different from “Lorie” Lorene O’Hara.

Nope. He had to keep his head on straight and his heart under control. There was no way he was allowing another attractive Lorie to get under his skin and wreck his good judgment. The first one had nearly ruined his life.

The radio crackled. “Unit 5, there’s a fender bender on Highway 21. What’s your location?”

Matt grabbed the mike and keyed it. “Dispatch, I’m eastbound on Hackberry approaching the intersection of Van Buren.”

Another burst of static... “Paramedics are already at the scene, but we need you for crowd control.”

Also By Marion Faith Laird

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