Today's excerpt is from my upcoming December release, In The Shadow of The Shield...
Another Saturday night, and there she sat, alone. Again. She loaded the rest of the dinner plates into the dishwasher and cleaned up the skillet. That killed about ten minutes. It was seven thirty, and Jackson wouldn't be home until one. Ugh.It’s Saturday night, Di. There is one thing you could do.
She hadn’t picked up her work phone since the night Donnie died. Months of guilt had kept her away from her office. The dust had to be at least an inch thick.
She missed her job, even if it haunted her. Maybe she should try going back? A year was a long time to punish herself, and it wouldn’t take but an hour to clean things up in there. Her shift used to start at nine, and Rick had said she could come back whenever she wanted. Was she ready to work the phone again?
Donnie was gone, and she was lonely. She wasn’t ready to move on as her son suggested, but she did need to start getting back to her life again. A year of mourning was a long time. At least she could make a little money. Jackson would be heading off to college soon, and her widow’s pension from the police department wouldn’t make a dent in the tuition. Diana’s heart raced as tiny beads of perspiration formed on her forehead. Her hand shook as she reached for the doorknob to her office.
“Come on, Di, you can do this.” Her little pep talk didn't stop the shaking, but she did manage to turn the knob and push the door open. The room looked exactly the way it did the day Donnie had died there. She walked over to her desk and ran a finger over it, leaving a trail in the dust. Not too bad. It could have been worse. That would clean up pretty quickly. The hole Donnie had punched in the wall the day he died was still there, a little pile of sheetrock on the floor below it. She walked over and placed her hand over the damage.
"I miss you, Donnie,” she whispered, running a finger along the edge of the broken wall.
Turning away, she wiped the dampness from her eyes and returned to her desk. The phone sat in the same place she had dropped it when Donnie overheard her last call. She knew Rick’s number by heart.
After three rings, a man answered. “'lo?”
“Misty Dawn! How are you, girl?”
“I'm, well, I guess I’m fine as can be expected.”
“How long’s it been, baby?”
“A year, Rick. A long, hard year.”
“You've been missed around here. Leo called in every Saturday night for months looking for your extension. He’d punch it in, and then complain to the girl who got his call that he wanted you.”
“Leo. I forgot about him.” She actually chuckled. The poor guy probably hadn’t gotten off in twelve months.
“Yeah. I’m pretty sure he misses you. A lot of people miss you. Any chance of you coming back?”
“Well, that's actually why I was calling. Today’s Saturday.”
“I think I’m ready to give it a go again.”
“I'm not sure how it will go, but I want to give it a try.”
“No problem, babe! I will get your extension back up and active. You will probably have to start with new clients, but I’m sure you'll get plenty. That sexy southern drawl of yours pulls them in like flies to honey.”
This time she did laugh. It felt good to be talking to Rick again. Finally some semblance of her old life had returned. “All right then, Rick, set me up for nine. I’ll be here and ready to go.”
“You got it, Misty.” He turned serious. “It’s good to hear your voice again. I’m glad to have you back, and I'm real sorry ‘bout your hubby.”
“Thanks, Rick. It’s been a tough year, but my son has insisted I start living again so here I am, giving it a go.”
“Welcome home, Misty.”
Pre-order your copy here!