followed Maddox into the corridor. I waited for Jake to gather his briefcase, and we left the courtroom together. In the hallway outside, I slapped my hand against Jake’s in a high-five salute. “You are the man.” He grinned. “And don’t you forget it.” My relationship with Jake is more like father/son than attorney/client. He has no children, and I lost my father at a young age. Jake feels it’s his duty to keep me out of trouble. I wasn’t surprised when he placed a hand on my arm and lowered his voice. “One thing before you go, Adams. I don’t ever want to know how you pulled off that little shenanigan with the cameras.” After leaving Jake, I made a pit stop at the restroom. I stepped into the hallway and headed down the corridor to the elevators. Waiting for the next car was a red-faced Harry London, waving his arms and shouting at Walker Maddox. I backed out of sight, scanned the perimeter, went into furtive mode, and joined the group unobserved. “That was the poorest performance I’ve ever watched.” Harry’s lips curled downward. “A first-year law student could have handled it better.” “I told you going in the evidence was too flimsy to get an indictment. Judge Burns looked ready to reprimand me . My office wouldn’t have pursued this if you hadn’t insisted. I’m not a miracle worker, Harry.” London worked himself into a towering rage, his face red, breathing hard. “I know how your boss feels about me. You didn’t even try in there. You let the man who’s holding my family captive get away.” “Harry, I did the best I could with the evidence I had, whether you choose to accept that fact or not.” Maddox turned and stalked toward the stairwell. On the drive home, a wreck on the interstate delayed my arrival. Traffic jams in Hebron are rare, and motorists never know how to react. They left their cars and made a social event of the delay. I wasn’t in the mood to mingle, so I waited in my car and hid behind the steam on the windows. After a while, the traffic moved, and I pulled onto my street. In a hurry to remove the suit, I rushed inside and pulled on sweat pants and a sweater, ready to work off the tension. A brisk circuit at the gym would take the stiffness out of my tense muscles. Retrieving my car keys, I started out the door when the phone rang. I debated whether or not to answer but then gave in to curiosity. I snatched the phone off the base. A silky voice sounded in my ear. “Noah, it’s McKenna.” She didn’t have to tell me. Her voice was a melody that still played in my memory.
Hebron, Wyoming I hadn’t spoken to McKenna Thornton in more than two years. “Yes, I recognized your voice. It’s been a long time. How are you?” That sounded lame even to my own ears. “We need to talk. Meet me at the old place in twenty minutes.” Guess she was too busy for small talk. She meant the park at the lagoon in the center of Hebron. Guaranteed, there would be no one else there this time of year. Despite efforts to push it away, the old pain rushed back into my soul like a runaway train. Four years ago, right after opening Adams Investigations, the district attorney’s office hired me to do some investigative work. I arrived at their office early one morning to hand in my final report on a contractor doing business with the city. While I waited for someone to acknowledge my presence, a voice behind me called, “Noah, Noah Adams.” I turned to see McKenna Thornton walking toward me. Her cloud of dark hair stirred with the draft her athletic form created as she crossed the room. The sight made my mouth go dry just as it had in college. Her luminous gray eyes glowed with pleasure. “Can you hang around until lunch? I’d love to visit with you. We can dis all our old college chums.” “Sure,” I said with all the composure I usually had in her presence. “What are you―” “Doing here?” She ran her arm through mine.