Danger, Alex, Danger, he warned. She’s vulnerable right now, he thought, while at the same time reminding himself that they were two consenting adults who knew what they were doing.
He nodded, slipped onto the bedspread beside her and shut off the light, plunging them into darkness broken only by the sliver of moonlight that peeked in through the blinds at the far side of the room.
He lay near her stiffly at first, listening to the sound of her breathing that grew slower as sleep claimed her. Matching his breath to hers, he finally let himself relax, but even as sleep snuck over him, his mind raced with all that had occurred that day and who might be behind the attacks.
Drifting off with those thoughts, he roused to the soft press of her body spooned to him, his arm tucked around her waist, holding her close. He buried his nose against the thick waves of her hair and the familiar scent of the herbal shampoo she’d used as a teen filled his senses. His body hardened at the feel and smell of her.
The slight jump of her body warned she had also woken.
She turned in bed to face him, the blue of her eyes dark. Her gaze questioning.
He cupped her cheek, warm from sleep, to distract her from the state of his body. “How are you feeling?”
She did a little wiggle and grimaced slightly. “Sore, but I’ll be okay.”
“I’m glad,” he said and stroked his thumb across her cheek and then down, over her lips, the touch as intimate as a kiss.
His gaze locked with hers, he dipped his head, needing to kiss her almost as much as he needed to breathe. He met her lips with his and she answered his kiss, straining toward him. But the sudden sharp ring of a phone jerked them apart and was followed by Lily padding up the stairs.
Miriam turned and snagged the cell phone from her nightstand. “Good morning, Dillon. You’re up early.”
“Or late depending on how you look at it,” he teased.
“I appreciate you putting in a late night for me,” she said and rubbed Lily’s head as the pittie placed its paws on the edge of the bed and licked her face.
“You’ll appreciate me more when I tell you that we have another suspect. Peter Jensen. He owns both a red Jeep and a white Ford 150 pickup,” Dillon said.
Jasper was a small town, and she knew Jensen since he volunteered with the PD’s athletic league, but then something else clicked. “Didn’t Jensen’s son overdose?”
“He was only seventeen,” Dillon advised.
Miriam glanced at Alex, who had overheard the discussion. His face had hardened, and the color of his hazel-gold eyes had grown muddied with his upset.
“We’ll head to Jensen’s to interview him,” Miriam said.
“Brady will meet you there for backup since Chief wants me off the clock,” Dillon advised and ended the call.
“Did I hear right?” Alex asked, his body stiff with tension.
She didn’t sugarcoat it. “Peter Jensen. His son was in school with us.”
Alex nodded. “Star quarterback with a college scholarship until he died of an overdose probably caused by drugs my father brought into Jasper.”
“You don’t know that—”
“But it explains why he’s trying to kill me, not you. It also means we’re no closer to determining who’s involved in the Boise drug ring.”
“Let’s not jump to conclusions,” Miriam warned, although she suspected Alex’s analysis was spot on.
“It’s time to speak to Jensen,” he said and almost vaulted from the bed to slip on his socks and shoes.
Every line of his body radiated not just tension, but pain and possibly guilt. She couldn’t let him suffer like that. She wrapped her arms around him. “You’re not responsible.”
“I’ve told myself that forever. But I still ask myself if my mother and I shouldn’t have seen what he was doing. If we couldn’t have stopped him,” he admitted and pierced her with his gaze. “If I could have been here when you needed me.”
She stroked a hand through the longish strands of his dark brown hair and smiled sadly. “You’re here now. That’s all that matters.”
He did a quick dip of his head but was clearly unconvinced. Despite that, he said, “Let’s speak to Jensen. Hopefully he’ll cooperate.”
“Hopefully,” she said, not that she expected it. But there was only one way to find out.
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