Emily Rawson had loved John Cutter as a friend for years. Her best friend. She'd dated a lot of other guys, but never Cutter. Lately, however, she's seen him in a different light, but now they work together and he's off limits.
John Cutter is in love with Emily Rawson. He's tired of her dating other men and dabbling in relationships that mean nothing. He's been by her side for years, but so far she hasn't picked up on his feelings. Or if she has, she hasn't acted on it.
Emily just broke up with another guy in her long string of men, a history professor Cutter could tell she didn't give a flip about, and he's decided the time has come for him to take his shot. Will Emily say yes and let him love her, or push him away and break his heart?
Fear pummeled Emily. She gripped the Glock and ducked into the enclosed stairwell. The faint odors of oil and gasoline rode the stale air. Time stood still. A bead of moisture rolled down her cheek. She wiped it away and peeked out the door.
Her assailant fired.
White-hot pain speared Emily's shoulder. She screamed, the sound echoing as she lost her footing and tumbled backward down the cold concrete steps. She landed hard on her back, sticky, ruby red blood coating her thighs. Her head pounded. Fear took her breath.
Inky darkness spilled over her like rising water.
Emily bolted up in bed, cold sweat streaming down her back. The same awful dream. So painful and so real. Every night for the past six months. Ever since John Cutter, her former partner, best friend, and lover, had ridiculed her choices and turned his back on her.
That wasn't the worst of it, however. Their breakup had come first.
I want a houseful of kids, he'd said. A big family.
His hopeful words had gouged a hole in Emily's heart, because she didn't want kids -- despite the incident tonight with the rescued baby. Her own childhood had been a living hell, thanks to her father's bitterness and her great-uncle's roaming hands, and even though her mother had tried, Emily didn't want to follow in her footsteps. The very idea scared her to death. Better to just forget having a family and focus on catching criminals. She was a damned good cop and well-deserving of her spot in her division.
During their last fight before she'd left burglary, Cutter had mocked her for making the change and had even bashed poor Mike Jamison, the high school history teacher she had dated for a time the year before while she and Cutter were on the outs. His animosity had made absolutely no sense -- and neither did this recurring dream.
"What's wrong with me?" Emily murmured, shuddering at the thought that she might not ever get a handle on her nightmares.
She raked the ends of her short hair off her neck to dry the perspiration coating her fevered skin. Tonight -- she glanced at the clock and groaned; five in the morning, so make that last night -- she'd gone to Bullets and spotted Cutter sitting at the bar, and she'd ducked out without him seeing her. No need to stir the hornet's next. The last time she'd bumped into him there, he'd been way too abrasive. Not mean, exactly. Just belligerent.
She drew the covers up to her chin. She and Cutter had been partners in the burglary division for three long years. She'd thought he was her best buddy and more. And now--