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On the Run with the Lawman

Written by Delores Fossen

Serving an arrest warrant to the woman who shared his bed three months ago isn't the reunion Sweetwater Springs Deputy Pete Nichols fantasized about. But when two armed thugs show up, he realizes that Cassie Jacobson isn't his quarry—but a killer's target.

With her witness protection cover blown, the only way for Cassie to clear her name and save her sister is to team up with the sexy cowboy cop. Giving into passion before was a mistake she can't afford to repeat, especially when Pete learns who she really is. But as they work together to bring a dangerous criminal to justice, can she resist the Texas lawman sworn to protect her at any cost?

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Chapter One

Arresting his ex-lover was not how Deputy Pete Nichols wanted to spend a Saturday night. Or any other night for that matter. He figured his ex, Cassie Jacobson, wouldn't be too happy about it, either.

Pete dragged in a long breath, took the arrest warrant from the glove compartment and climbed out of the Sweetwater Springs' cruiser. Despite the sun having already set, it was still Texas-hot with both the heat and humidity nearing triple digits. He felt the trickle of sweat on his temple before he even made it up the steps of the craftsman's house.

He glanced around. Old habits. But despite the sudden knot in his gut, there was nothing to catch a lawman's attention. Cassie's rental house was on the outskirts of town, located at the end of a narrow farm road. No nearby neighbors. Just trees, fields and lots of peace and quiet. Something Cassie had insisted she needed when she'd broken off things with him.

Peace and quiet were things she definitely wouldn't get tonight.

The porch light came on and the door flew open before he even lifted his hand to knock. And there she was. Seeing her sure didn't help that knot in his stomach.

"Pete." Not exactly a greeting and certainly not friendly.

Judging from the way her pale green eyes widened, then narrowed, Cassie wasn't any happier to see him than he was to see her. Though Pete did silently curse the heat that slid right through him. Not heat from the July temps this time. But rather an old attraction that wouldn't play any part in this or any of his other dealings with Cassie.

"I wasn't expecting company," she said.

Obviously. She was wearing cutoff shorts and a gray T-shirt. No shoes. More of her long brown hair was out of her ponytail than in it. However, what caught his attention was the pair of suitcases next to her sofa.

"Going somewhere?" he asked.

"I, uh, no." Cassie dodged his gaze and folded her arms over her chest. "If this is a social visit—"

"It's not," Pete interrupted. Best just to get this out there, and he handed her the warrant. "I'm here to arrest you for money laundering. I need to take you to the county jail to be processed."

Pete braced himself for whatever reaction Cassie would have. But other than a thin, shaky breath, there wasn't one. Maybe she was in shock.

She took the warrant as if it were a bomb that might explode in her hand and glanced through it. "I see," she said.

Well, he sure as heck didn't see. "Never took you for the criminal type. After all, you don't have a record. Not even a parking ticket." And Pete knew because he'd checked.

Again he waited for a reaction or at least some kind of denial. Of course, maybe she wasn't denying anything because she was indeed guilty. Part of him had hoped she would shout out she was innocent. And that he would believe her. That would make him feel a little less stupid about getting involved with a woman he obviously hadn't known well enough to land in bed with.

Her gaze skirted around the yard before it came back to his. "Sheriff McKinnon sent you to arrest me? Or did you volunteer?"

"I drew the short straw." Because the other deputies had been out of the office.

Cassie studied him a moment as if she might actually say something that would make sense of this but then shook her head. "Let me get my shoes and purse, and I'll go with you."

He nodded, stepped inside to wait. So no big dramatic reaction after all. That should have eased the knot in his stomach. It didn't. Nothing about this did.

It'd only been three months since the last time Pete had been in Cassie's house. Another Saturday night. One that had ended with them in bed. He shoved aside the memories of that and instead focused on what'd happened the following morning when Cassie had told him she never wanted to see him again, that she wasn't free to get involved with him.

A paltry explanation that still didn't set well with Pete.

Of course, nothing about Cassie set right with him, and that feeling was continuing to grow with every passing second.

He heard her footsteps, thankful that she hadn't taken too long to get her things, and he turned to see her coming out of her bedroom.

"I'm sorry," Cassie said. "But I don't have a choice."

And Cassie pointed the gun she was holding right at Pete.

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About the author

When I was a child, I used to sneak around collecting fingerprints, ha...

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Delores Fossen

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