Danger Signals. Kathleen Creighton

Danger Signals - Kathleen Creighton

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She was looking up at him with swimming eyes when he bent down and kissed her.

      Not a long kiss. Just a short, sweet one. Very sweet, although her lips tasted of salt and tears. He felt a peculiar little contraction around his heart as he pushed back from her and gently closed the car door.

      He looked over at Tierney, who was sitting exactly as he’d left her after the kiss. “Hey,” he said, and she swivelled her head towards him, looking dazed. His heart gave another of those funny kicks as he wondered for a moment whether he’d gone too far, crossed some kind of line with her. He sure hoped not. Because he suddenly knew that he’d be losing something of real importance if he had.

      Then she smiled. Just that. And he knew he had crossed a line – and that there was no going back now.


      Kathleen Creighton has roots deep in the California soil but has relocated to South Carolina. As a child, she enjoyed listening to old-timers’ tales, and her fascination with the past only deepened as she grew older. Today she says she is interested in everything – art, music, gardening, zoology, anthropology and history, but people are at the top of her list. She also has a lifelong passion for writing, and now combines her two loves in romance novels. Check her out at www.kathleencreighton.com.

      Danger Signals


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      This book is for the brothers and sisters

      I’ve never met

      And who don’t know I exist.


      If the Fates allow,

      I will find you…



      In a house on the shores of a small lake, somewhere in South Carolina

      “Pounding…that’s always the first thing. Someone—my father—is banging on the door. Banging…pounding…with his fists, feet, I don’t know. Trying to break it down.”

      “And…where are you?

      “I’m in a bedroom, I think. I don’t remember which one. I have the little ones with me. It’s my job to look after them when my father is having one of his…spells. I have to keep them out of his way. Keep them safe. I’ve taken them into the bedroom and I’ve locked the door, except…I don’t trust the lock, so I’ve wedged a chair under the handle, like my mom showed me. Only now I’m afraid, terrified even that won’t be enough. I can hear the wood splintering… breaking. I know it will only take a few more blows and he’ll be through. My mother is screaming…crying. I hold on to the little ones—I have my arms around them, and they’re all trembling. The twins, the little girls, are sobbing and crying, ‘Mama, Mama…’ but the boys just cry quietly.

      “I hear sirens…more sirens, getting louder and louder until it seems they’re coming right into the room, and there are lots of people shouting, and all of a sudden the pounding stops. There’s a moment—several minutes— when all I hear is the little ones whimpering…and then, there’s a loud bang, so loud we—the children and I—all jump. We hold each other tighter, and there’s another bang, and we flinch again, and then there’s just confusion…voices shouting…footsteps running…glass breaking…the little ones crying…and I think I might be crying, too…”

      “Oh, God…I’m sorry, Cory. It’s all right…it’s all right…I love you…I’ve got you…”

      He discovered he was crying, but he also knew it was all right. He was all right. Sam, his wife, was holding him tightly, cradling his head against her breasts, and her hands were gentle as they wiped the tears from his face.

      “I’m going to find them, Sam. My brothers and sisters. I have to find them.”

      Samantha felt warm moisture seep between her lashes. “Of course you do.” She lifted her head and took his face between her hands and smiled fiercely at him through her tears. “We’ll find them together, Pearse,” she whispered. “We’ll find them. I promise you we will.”

      Chapter 1

       Portland, Oregon

      Detective Wade Callahan had nothing against mind readers, or fortune-tellers, or whatever they were calling themselves nowadays. So long as they stuck to their tarot cards and beaded curtains and refrained from activities that might conceivably engage the interests of the bunko squad. As far as he was concerned, those so-called psychics had no business in a police squad room unless it was as a victim or perpetrator of a crime.

      And, given the nature of their business, he figured one scenario was about as likely as the other.

      They sure as hell had no business wandering around a crime scene. Particularly his crime scene.

      For some reason the fact that this one happened to be a particularly attractive woman only made matters worse. What in the hell was the captain thinking? And who’d ever heard of a psychic with tousled sunshine hair and big, innocent blue eyes, freckles scattered across her rosy cheeks and pert little…

      Ah, hell.

      “You’re growling again,” Ed Francks said, giving him an elbow nudge in the ribs.

      “Wasn’t growling,” Wade growled. “Muttering. That was muttering. There’s a difference.”

      “Uh-huh.” His former partner looked him over, eyebrows raised in mild rebuke. “Best get used to it, man. You heard what the captain said. She’s part of the task force from now on.” He shrugged. “Anyways, from what I hear this one could be the real deal.”

      Ed Francks was a Vietnam vet who’d seen too many young lives wasted in the jungles and rice paddies of the Mekong Delta and was spending his life making up for that by teaching young police recruits how to stay alive in the urban jungles of Portland, Oregon. He was a gentle bear of a man and a tough task master of a police sergeant and one hell of a fine police officer who, in Wade’s opinion, should have been made detective long ago. And no doubt would have, if he’d wanted any part of it.

      It had been a long time since Wade had been partnered with Francks, but he’d requested him for this task force because he had a fine analytical mind and more common sense than anybody else he knew, and was the person he most wanted watching his back when push came to shove. Which didn’t mean he always agreed with him.

      “Yeah, well, she looks more like a damn high school cheerleader than somebody that talks to dead people,” Wade muttered. Muttered, not growled.

      “That’s not what she does.” Francks had shifted unconsciously into his drill sergeant’s pose—feet planted apart, arms folded on his chest. Now he tilted his shaved head toward the woman wandering—apparently aimlessly—around the section of park playground

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