Randy may have his cop partner, but Sarah is his new life partner, and she's aware that any new relationship has its little hiccups. But what works with a fellow cop isn't going to cut it with Sarah. Determined to dismantle his fortress, brick by brick if she has to, she confronts him after a difficult case has him retreating. Follow these newlyweds as their relationship moves onto the next level.
Sarah smiled at the sound of the front door opening. She centered the last slice of cheese on a water cracker, wiped her hands on a dish towel, and gave a quick finger-comb to her new hairdo. Would he notice the gold highlights scattered though the otherwise dull brown? After all, he was a detective.
His night shifts had ended, and they could finally share a dinner followed by… Her grin widened as she thought of the night ahead. It had been awhile since both were awake enough to enjoy each other’s company. Kind of tough on newlyweds, but the special meal she’d planned should start making up for lost time.
Her smile faded as she saw Randy’s expression. She hurried toward him. “My God, what’s wrong?”
He pushed past her to the liquor cabinet and poured himself a Jameson. He downed half in one gulp and stared at some distant point. His lips were clenched, his brow furrowed like a freshly plowed field. Being a cop was a high-stress job, but it wasn’t like Randy to turn to whiskey. Her disapproval must have shown on her face. He glowered, and she felt the heat of rising tears behind her eyes.
“Not yet,” he growled. He pivoted and stalked to the spare room. Sarah heard the door close behind him. Sounds of Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu burst from the piano. Sarah knew Randy played Chopin when he was upset, because he had to concentrate. She also knew there was no point in disturbing him. He’d appear when he worked through whatever had him so tormented.
Sarah crossed to the kitchen. Hands on hips, she took stock of dinner. The salad was ready. She added milk and butter to the boiled potatoes, gave them a quick mash and stored them in the refrigerator. Lamb chops, Randy’s favorite, sat on a platter, ready to broil. Dinner would wait. Listening to Chopin wasn’t what she’d had in mind for an appetizer, but she’d give Randy his space.
She went to the living room and clicked on the television. Maybe the news would explain Randy’s distress.
She flipped through the local channels and found only commercials. As she waited, she mulled over Randy’s behavior. Given his job, there were lots of things he couldn’t share with her. But didn’t she mean as much as his piano, his punching bag in the basement, or the high school track where he ran countless laps? True, their schedules had barely overlapped the last few weeks, but that didn’t take away the hurt that he couldn’t accept her as one of his coping mechanisms.
The news theme song brought her attention back to the television. “And, our lead story,” the announcer was saying, “is the apparent abduction of eight-year-old Amanda Brooks. Could this be related to similar disappearances in Portland? We’ll be right back with that story and more.”
Sarah gasped. A missing child. Oh God, no wonder Randy was upset. Sarah hit the mute button and listened for the piano. Still Chopin. Something in a minor key. Louder now. More frenzied. The announcer’s face returned to the television screen, and Sarah turned up the volume.
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