Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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It’s Friday… Excerpt time!

Good Friday morning! Since it’s Friday and I’m beyond excited about my upcoming release of Safe, I’ll share a short excerpt from this fun new book that I’m working on the end of.

Drew couldn’t believe he let Rob talk him into this. When Rob called him an hour ago, he was furious with Hadley. He explained about the fire and her dismissal of the danger. His concern was beyond that of a sheriff for a woman in the community, there was more to it, but he didn’t have time to wrap his head around the technicalities.
The bulk of his night had been spent going over some of the people that Rob thought might be behind the man in the park. The evidence hadn’t been processed yet, so he didn’t have specifics, just suspicions. Tobias was at the top of Drew’s list.
“Drew, this is serious and she’s not taking it that way. I need for you to take her away from here until I can figure this out. This is more than just that man she saw in the park. I think whoever shot that man was there. Maybe she saw them, or they think she did. All I know is she’s stubborn and will need some coaxing in order to get her away from here. Make sure that she goes with you, no matter how you have to get her to do it.”
That made Drew smile. He’d dealt with stubborn soldiers before and she was a lot smaller than most of them so this should be a breeze. Then again, he’d seen that glint in her eyes that spoke of something deeper that could get in the way.
He’d planned on staying a couple of days, but even he knew there was something happening that directly affected Hadley. He walked up her front steps, knowing this wouldn’t be received well. But, he had a job to do and protecting her was now his job. He knocked on her door, his eyes moving to the nonexistent window to his left. He shook his head in disgust.
Robert assured him that he would call Hadley and let her in on the new plan. Although he was sure she wouldn’t go along with it. When he knocked again, his brows bunched in concern as out of habit, he reached for the gun on his side. Was she gone? Then he heard her coming toward the door. Her footsteps were light, but the gait told him she was weary.
Hadley opened the door only a couple of inches as she peered out at him. “What do you want?” Her voice was raspy as though she’d been sleeping or crying. Either way, he had to harden his heart to those beautiful, doe like eyes staring up at him.
“As Rob should have told you, pack a bag and come on. I don’t want to be driving into the middle of the night.” Drew said, his tone one of authority. Rob’s words rang in his head. ‘She won’t go willingly, but she’s in danger. They gave a distinct warning last night with the fire. The next thing will be worse, much worse.’
“I haven’t spoken with Rob since he brought me lunch. My phone went dead over an hour ago. As I told him earlier, I’m not going to the hotel.” She started to close the door, but his strong hand stopped it.
“Dead phone or not, I’ve been hired to protect you. So, go pack a bag. I don’t have a lot of time.”
Hadley turned and left him standing in the doorway. “I’m not going anywhere with you or Rob, so you can go back to where ever it is you came from.” She said over her shoulder.
Drew stood there for a minute, wondering what he was doing here. Then he thought about this tiny woman trying to fight off what he thought was coming at her. There was no way he could let that happen. “Please, just pack a bag. Don’t make me have to take matters into my own hands. You won’t like it.” He raised his brows, putting his hands in his pockets as he leaned in the doorway.
“Don’t threaten me.” Hadley grumbled, walking up the dark hallway.
“Lady, I don’t make threats. I only speak the truth and if you’re not out here with a packed bag in ten minutes, then I’ll be forced to handle it myself.” Drew’s voice was deep as he stepped into the den, his tone not wavering. He took in the burnt furniture. As he shook his head, he noticed that she’d come back into the room with him.
“Why do you want to help me? You don’t even know me.” Hadley crossed her arms across her chest as she waited on his answer.
“Rob is one of my best friends and when he’s worried, that makes me worry. The only way to keep you safe is to take you far away from here. I’ve been hired to escort you to somewhere safe until this is taken care of.” Drew said.
“What do you mean, far away from here?”
Drew took another step into the den, the scent of burnt wood making his eyes water. “I’m taking you to my ranch four hours north of here. There you will be safe and I can keep an eye on you.”
“No you’re not. I’m staying here in my house.”
“As I said, that’s not an option. The people who seem to have a problem with you are not playing games. The next attack will be worse. They tried to burn the house down around you, so what do you think will happen next?”
Hadley shrugged. She’d made up her mind earlier to just ignore all of this. Although that most likely wouldn’t make the situation go away. The fact that she was afraid of what was happening only heightened her sense of awareness that Drew was inside her house. In her own introverted way, she thought that if she kept her mind occupied, then it would all just go away. And in another thought, she knew that wasn’t going to happen.
“Would you like for me to enlighten you on how these types of people work?” Drew waited for her to respond, but she only kept her back to him. He knew she was listening. “Ok, I’ll tell you. First they gave you a broken window as a warning. Then before daylight today, they tossed a lit bottle through your window as a wake up call. The next warning will send you to the hospital if not worse. And I don’t intend for that to happen. At least not on my watch.”

I hope you enjoyed this small tidbit of Safe, the first book in my new series, ‘In Harm’s Way’.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…