District Judge Katie McKinley takes her career very seriously. No one knows that better than her old childhood friend and first love, Graham Bishop. Her ruling cost him his family’s ranch. So it’s no surprise when an attempt is made on her life that the sheriff turns his suspicions to Graham.
Katie feels horrible knowing what her ruling cost her old friend, and knows his outburst in her courtroom gave the sheriff every right to suspect him. But the Graham Bishop she grew up with would never harm her. Even when all the evidence points to him she refuses to believe it. Could she be wrong?
Graham's smile faded. "I got a phone call this morning asking me to come to the sheriff's office to answer some questions about several nasty notes you received."
Katie was unnerved by the fact that the sheriff had moved on with the investigation in spite of her wish to drop it. But what bothered her more was that he'd shown the notes to Graham. The more she thought about it, the more it seemed unlikely that Graham Bishop had anything to do with them. Her suspicions lay more with Scott Tillman, or someone in his family. The sheriff was correct in his assumption of their hatred for her family.
"I'm sorry for any inconvenience the sheriff may have caused you. I was under the impression when I left his office this morning the matter was going to be forgotten."
"So you don't think I sent the notes?"
"Look, Mr. Bishop, I've already apologized to you, and I can assure you the sheriff won't bother you again. Now if that's all, I'm late for a luncheon appointment." She stood, grabbed her purse, and started around her desk.
"You didn't answer my question, Katie." He stepped forward so that they stood only inches apart.
She gasped in alarm, his glare prompting her to step back behind her desk. The beating of her heart echoed in her ears. "You called me an egotistical little snob in my courtroom," she reminded him. Over a year later, his words still stuck in her like a thorn.
He gave a low chuckle, and the lines beside his eyes multiplied. "You are a snob, or at least you were in high school. That doesn't mean I wish you any harm."
Leaning against her desk, he folded his arms across his chest, his brown eyes leveled on her. "Look, I was mad. Yes. And I admit that if I'd been able to reach your bench that day without getting a bullet in my back, I may have been tempted to wring that pretty little neck of yours. But I don't hold grudges, Katie. Life's too short for that. Besides, if I did hold a grudge, it'd be for you pretending not to like me in high school when I knew good and well that you did."
Her heart skipped a beat. "We're not in high school anymore."
"I'm well aware of that, Katie."
"This conversation is over, Mr. Bishop. Either leave my chambers, or I'll be forced to call security." The voice of authority she used in the courtroom sounded weak and shaky now. She knew deep down the man who stood before her would never intentionally hurt her, but since she'd received the third note yesterday, her nerves were a tattered mess.
"First you throw me out of your courtroom, and now you're throwing me out of your chambers."
His smirk prompted her anger to deepen. She wasn't sure which bothered her more, his pompous attitude or the fact that he could still draw a reaction from her after all these years.
"Listen, Katie..." He moved toward her again.
Not understanding why he wouldn't go, she backed up, almost tripping over the leg of her chair. "Please -- please leave."
"Fine, I'll go. But be careful, Katie. You may not want to admit it, but I think we both know who's responsible for those notes."
Purchase from my publisher, at Amazon.com or Omni Lit.