Beyond the Shadows
by Loree Lough
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Elice Glasser is a widow with three young children to raise. Cabot Murray is an ex-cop who returns home to Freeland, Maryland, to deal with the pain of his own tragic loss: the death of his wife and daughter in a fiery explosion intended for him.
Grieving, their sorrow brings them together, and a friendship develops that leads then to explore the possibility of finding love again. But vengeful enemies and jealous rivals are determined to destroy the peace and happiness that Elice and Cabot have found in each other’s arms. Why are their rivals so intent on keeping Elice and Cabot apart? Loree Lough's latest suspenseful romance is a page-turner!
Cabot sat up with a start. Footsteps? Immediately, he turned out the light.
And there it was again. Yes. Footsteps. Definitely.
The kids were safe at the Glassers’ house, he’d told her; it’s the perfect opportunity to catch whoever is pulling these ridiculous, dangerous, stunts. It had taken nearly half an hour to convince her to let him stay. “The neighbors won’t know that you’re asleep in Danny’s bed,” she gasped. “They’ll think …” She’d blushed so deeply that he’d taken her in his arms so she couldn’t see his grin, and promised to park the Jeep behind the shed out back so the neighbors wouldn’t know he was there at all.
Now, he slipped out of the bed and stepped into his shoes. It was a good thing he hadn’t yet removed his pants and shirt. He tiptoed through the quiet hall and into the living room. Someone’s out there, all right, he told himself, and not a small someone, either. The silhouette looked strangely familiar, and then he remembered the shadow in his pines.
She’d taken his advice and changed the locks. He tried to remember where she’d put the key that unlocked the double-deadbolt. Once he’d found it, hanging on a tiny nail beside the door jamb, he cautiously stuck it into the lock and turned slowly, wincing when it clicked into the open position, shattering the silence.
His palm was sweating, and when he grabbed the brass knob, it made opening the door impossible. Cabot wiped it on the seat of his pants and tried again. He’d thought about oiling that squeak in the hinges several times. Now, as the high-pitched squeal grated in his ears, he wished he’d followed through.
Finally, the door was open far enough for him to slip onto the porch. He stood there for a long moment, studying the blackened yard for another glimpse of that shadow. In the dim light of the moon, he could see the tree swing, swaying slowly in the breeze. Beside it, a red plastic sand bucket rolled lazily left, then right. Annie’s tricycle caught a moonbeam and reflected it onto the fender of Danny’s dirt bike, leaning on the shed wall. The toys reminded him that three innocent children lived in this house. Children, and an vulnerable woman.
Something moved near the clothesline, and his eyes riveted to the spot. Crouching, he made his way into the yard and watched it move, show and steady, toward the north side of Elice’s house. And then it disappeared into the inky darkness.
There were three windows over there: one in Danny’s room, two in Elice’s. He was on the lawn now, nearly running to keep up with the quickening pace of the shadow, being careful to stay behind shrubs and tree trunks. A bead of sweat stung his eye, and Cabot swiped it away.
Black leather-gloved hands rested on the window sill. One booted foot balanced on the brick garden wall below it. One good push, Cabot realized, and the shadow would be inside. In her room. Only the screen separated her from this maniac.
He had no choice. If he didn’t grab it shadow now, he may not get another chance. Cabot darted forward and lunged.
Pain shot through his side. Looking up, he saw the gleaming, toothed blade of a hunting knife. As darkness had been his partner up until now, the moon’s glow was now his nightlight, and he saw that blood that covered the blade. His blood.
Rolling over, he managed to escape further injury. But his wound was more than superficial. He’d been hurt enough times in Chicago to know that much. He’d have to act quickly, before he passed out from loss of blood or shock or both.
It surprised him that the guy didn’t run off, that instead, he made his way to Elice’s window.
Would he stab her, too? Is that why he’d come here tonight … to kill her?
At last count, best-selling author Loree Lough had 115 award-winning books (nearly 9,000,000 copies in circulation and 7 titles that earned book-to-movie options), 68 short stories, and 2,500+ articles in print.
An oft-invited guest of writers' organizations, colleges and universities, corporate and government agencies in the U.S. and abroad, Loree loves sharing learned-the-hard-way lessons about the craft and the industry.
Once upon a time, Loree (literally) sang for her supper, performing alone and "opening" for the likes of Tom Jones, Dottie West, The Gatlin Brothers, and more. Though she refuses to share the actual year when she traded her Yamaha 6-string for a wedding ring, she IS willing to admit that, every now and then, she blows the dust off her six-string to croon a tune or two. But mostly, she just writes (and writes).
Loree and her husband split their time between a home in the Baltimore suburbs and a cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, where she continues to hone her "identify the critter tracks" skills. Her favorite pastime? Spending long, leisurely hours with her grandchildren...all seven of them!
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