Following a tragic shooting, police psychic Becca Brandywine retreats from everyone to try to recover, both physically and emotionally. But it’s the loss of her gift, her psychic abilities, that has her the most concerned.
Meeting Mitch Byers, her mechanic and new friend, is scary without the insight she had always had, but his protective concern is charming. She wants to believe his attraction to her is real.
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Mitch was late, that wasn’t like him, but maybe an emergency had come up. They had no specific plans, but it didn’t matter. Any time with the man was fun. Did that kind of thing continue in long-term relationships? She obviously had no experience with that, but then a lot of people didn’t.
That unease stung her again and she looked back at the clock. He would have called, unless he was in the middle of changing someone’s tire or something. At least she was confident he hadn’t stood her up. But where was he?
Finally, the sound of tires on gravel caught her attention and she breathed a sigh of relief. Ever since she’d started getting that feeling of being watched, she’d been less comfortable about being alone. She hurried to the door to let him in. Her hand was on the knob when she realized that his familiar red truck was not the vehicle outside.
As she watched, Suzanne emerged from the passenger’s side as Detective White got out from the driver’s side. What the hell? She threw the door open and ran outside.
“Suzanne? What’s wrong?”
Instead of answering, Suzanne threw her arms around her friend and held her. “Are you doing okay?”
“I’m fine. Why are you here?” Had that sounded rude? It wasn’t a question she’d ever had to ask Suzanne before and from the look on Suzanne’s face she had caught it too. “Come inside.” That had to include Detective White, but he had saved her life. She forced a smile and led them both inside.
“I’m sorry to interrupt your convalescent time here, but we need to talk. We need your help.”
Becca looked over at Detective White, who nodded, his face serious.
“I wouldn’t think I’d be your first choice.” Her voice was dusty dry with sarcasm at that. Okay, he’d saved her life, but he’d also been partly responsible for her being in danger in the first place.
“Becca, do you remember Francis Wannamaker?” Suzanne had obviously picked up that this was not a good time to waste.
“The little sicko that ate his victim’s brains? Of course I do. Why?”
“He’s escaped from the mental facility where he was being held.”
Becca looked between the two in disbelief. “They didn’t have him in five-point restraints?” She motioned them to have a seat but still didn’t become the gracious hostess by offering drinks.
“His doctors felt that he was doing much better with the medication. They were allowing him more freedom within the facility. Don’t look at me like that, Becca. I know it was a damn fool thing to do, but I wasn’t consulted. Anyway, he apparently made friends with one of the orderlies and . . . Anyway, he’s gone. We’re assuming the orderly is dead—”
“Why don’t we speed this up and just let her get this her way,” Detective White spoke. “I believe in what you can do now, okay? Don’t put on a show for me.”
Becca’s eyes narrowed and Suzanne shot him a glare as well, but then she turned back to Becca. “He has a point. We have to assume Wannamaker knows where you are and may be headed this way.” She held out her hand, but Becca made no move to take it.
“How would he know where I am?”
“It appears he may have been in my apartment. There’s no real evidence, but someone picked the lock on my place and the information was out. I had looked at it earlier in the day to find you myself.”
“He couldn’t know I was involved. No one ever knew I was on our cases.”
“Remember his diagnosis? Narcissistic sociopath. He couldn’t believe anything less than a psychic could find him. There have been rumors about you, people that couldn’t keep their mouths shut,” that last was obviously aimed at White, but he didn’t respond.
“Did you call the police here?”
Suzanne looked over at White. “Not yet. I’ve been trying to protect your privacy, but I think we may need to. It’s why we came in person. I have been trying to call you.”
Becca looked over at her phone with a frisson of guilt. She’d blocked Suzanne’s calls. Hell, she’d blocked everyone except her dad and Mitch. This was her healing time and those two men were the only ones that could help her with it.
The thought hit her like an arrow and she jerked, pale and shaking in an instant.
“Becca? What?” Suzanne’s worried voice came to her through the haze.
“Who?” Suzanne leaned closer but didn’t take her hand.
“Mitch, my. . . friend. He was supposed to be here,” she glanced at the clock, “nearly an hour ago. He’s never late and he hasn’t called.”