"Don't Thank Me Yet"

Amber felt light-headed from the anticipation. The pan began to weigh heavily in her hands. She needed to call for help. She immediately thought of Detective Sharpe.

No. Austen said no police.

Amber sighed in resignation. The detective would as likely arrest her for this foray then the short, blonde man who roamed her house. He already thought her capable of murder.

There would be no escaping this if she didn’t do something quick. She would have to make a run for it. She glanced at the narrow kitchen window and wondered at the possibility of fitting through it.

But the soft padding of footsteps grew louder and Amber held her breathe. She raised the heavy grill pan above her head just as a dark figure appeared alongside the pantry closet. With heavy force, she brought down the pan.

Her strike was wild and uncoordinated yet in her frenzy she heard the man grunt and fall to the ground. Blood mingled in his blonde curls and his glasses lay smashed beside his face. Her heart pounded in her ear and she dropped the pan with a heavy crash.

It became eerily silent in the house. Only the pounding of her heart broke the silence. She needed to leave. Now.

She noticed her purse lying on the kitchen floor and made a dive for it. Terror and adrenaline propelled her forward. She wasn’t sure if she killed the man – and didn’t want to find out. She just wanted to get out of there. Grabbing her purse, Amber ran out of the kitchen. And right into something solid.

Hard hands wrapped around her arms. She panicked and instantly began struggling, hitting and scratching her captor. Until she realized who held her.

Detective Marc Sharpe.

He easily subdued her, looking as angry and annoyed like the last time she saw him. Now she wasn’t sure if she was happy to see him or not.

“What the hell’s the matter with you,” he snapped.

She decided she wasn’t. “I have to get out of here.”

“Clearly,” he said derisively, glancing at her bags at the front of the door. She realized then the door stood wide open. “I thought it was made clear that you weren’t to leave town.”

Amber’s heart sank. This could not be happening now. He would never believe her. He hadn’t before. She began to back away from him but he stayed her movement with his tight grip. His eyes held a hostile gleam.

“Thanks for making this easy for me.” Then he grabbed her hand and looped cold, steel handcuffs around her hand.