#4 Protecting Lucy




Hometowns aren’t necessarily any safer than exotic shores.

After his wife was killed in a robbery-gone-wrong, Dan Wesinski left everything in New York behind to take the position of Police Chief in tiny Weaver’s Circle. Dan hoped he could do for the sleepy little town what he hadn’t been able to do for his wife.

Lucy Ferrel barely survived being kidnapped in Thailand, and knew she would never get over the PTSD from that horrific event. Weaver’s Circle and the chance to film the Summer Festival as part of her new job with a travel show, she didn’t need unwanted attraction to the equally wounded Police Chief. But Lucy recognized the pain she felt in the wounded man’s eyes…

Warning: domestic violence, frustrated police, and venial evil


The pounding on the door woke Lucy and for a minute she couldn’t figure out where she was. The bed reeked of Axe. She opened her eyes to dark brown sateen sheets. None of that made sense. She wouldn’t own sheets this color and she hated Axe.

The pounding and came again.

“I’m coming.”

Zack. This was Zack’s bed and Zack’s cologne. Lucy pushed herself upright and checked the clock. Seven fifty-nine. Wan light filtered through the window of Zack’s basement apartment. Oh shit. Seven fifty-nine. Chief Hard Ass. Lucy launched herself out of bed, her ankle tangling in the sheet and dragging it with her. She pushed her hand through her hair while grabbing for jeans. Good thing she’d laid out her clothes last night.

“Good morning, chief. What are you doing here?” Zack said.

Lucy got her arms through the holes of her shirt, but couldn’t get her head through the last remaining hole. She pulled it off. Armhole. As she tried again, she buttoned her jeans with the hand that had gone through the correct sleeve.

“I’m here for Lucy.”

“I am coming,” Lucy shouted. “Dammit Zack, did you see the note?”

“What note?”

Lucy shoved her feet into her purple Keds. “The note on the fridge that I left where you cannot possibly miss it!” There would be no breakfast this morning. Unless Chief Hard Ass was interested in a bite. A guy like that had probably been up since four working out and eating a healthy well-balanced breakfast. Lucy ran through the living room to the bathroom. “I just need to brush my teeth.”

She looked in the mirror. Brush her teeth and her hair, and, dear God, her shirt was on inside out. What a way to make an impression.

Paper rattled in the other room. “This note?” Zack asked.

She shoved the toothbrush into her mouth, and bashed herself in the gums with it. “Ow!”

“You taking Lucy on a ride along?” Zack asked.

“Yes.” Chief Hard Ass had a very nice deep voice. He would sound great on camera. If she could convince him to do an on air interview. But how many people really wanted an in-depth story on the security features of a small town festival? She needed to think about what was going to sell this as a series. Not what her personal predilections were.

Lucy spit out the toothpaste and rinsed her mouth. One last look in the mirror. Shirt now on inside right. Teeth brushed. Hair brushed. No make up, but she wasn’t going to be on camera. Lucy grabbed a black hair elastic from where she had left it on the counter the night before and pulled her hair into a ponytail as she walked into the main room. Zack had been very excited when he emailed and told her he was moving out of his parents’ basement. He had not explained that he was moving into the library basement. It was clean at least. Chief Hard Ass stood just inside the door dressed in his uniform. Medium blue shirt, black pants, sharp crease. Zack must have been doing his morning workout because he was wearing only a pair of shorts. Chief Hard Ass had his hat tucked under his arm like he was posing for a recruiting poster.

“All ready,” Lucy said.

“Don’t you want to have breakfast?” Zack asked.

Like she had time for that. “I’ll be fine.”

“Well, wait. My mother would never forgive me if I let you go out without breakfast.” Zack seem to have no idea how embarrassing this was and he was doing it in front of his own boss.

“No, thank you.” Lucy grabbed her purse.

Zack pulled open the refrigerator displaying his bottle of mustard, most of a six-pack of beer, and a wilting head of lettuce. “You should have something.”

“I’ll save the mustard and lettuce sandwich for dinner.” Lucy started for the door. “See you later.”

“Have a nice day at work,” Zack called after her as she headed out the door. “Aren’t you going to let me give you a kiss goodbye?”

She had known what she was getting in to when she agreed to stay with Zack, but she had not realized there would be an audience. She pulled the door closed as soon as the chief stepped out and before Zack could plant one on her cheek.