Second Shooter – Excerpt #1

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To move past the memories, I opened the bakery bag and passed Lainey a cupcake. “Here, eat this to feel better.”

“I feel fine,” Lainey said but accepted the dessert.

I nodded, unwrapping mine. “Eat it for me so I feel better.”

She looked at the item, turning it in her hand. “I feel guilty if I eat this before lunch.”

Lainey had a lot to learn about living in Pelican Bay. “Don’t. It’s basically a muffin.”

Her nose crinkled as she sniffed it. “It doesn’t smell like a muffin.”

“Seriously, look at the ingredient list. It’s an afternoon muffin.” I bit into the delicious cake and moaned. Anessa had to be putting drugs into her chocolate recipe.

“It has frosting,” Lainey said, lifting an eyebrow.

“Enhanced toppings.” If she argued too much more, I’d have to eat the afternoon muffin for her. We couldn’t let it go to waste.

“Okay, I’ll eat it while you tell me what’s wrong with Detective Anderson. Is he really that bad?” She unwrapped one side and used the bottom of the cupcake to wipe some of the top frosting off before plopping it into her mouth. Her eyes closed in pleasure.

I polished mine off, wishing I’d grabbed four. “I’m going to be real with you.”

She nodded in acceptance and trust. I hated to do it. The words went against everything I’d said about Anderson for years. Telling the truth to Lainey would be like ripping my brain out and spitting on it. But I owed it to her. Everyone deserved their chance at a happily ever after.

“Anderson is uptight. Like real uptight. A huge rule follower.”

Lainey swallowed her second bite. “He’s a cop.”

“Exactly,” I said. Maybe she understood it a little. “But all the uptight rule following cop-ness aside, he’s a decent guy. You could do worse.”

I couldn’t think of anyone worse off the top of my head, but I’m sure they were out there. The prisons were full of criminals who probably sucked at relationships.

“Really?” she asked with a smile.

Ugh, of course she heard the “you could do worse” part and not the “rule following” part.

“Yeah, he’s had many chances to arrest me but usually doesn’t.” He’d taken me in a few times but never booked me.

Lainey twisted her head around and furrowed her brow at me.

“It’s not all my fault,” I said with a hand on my chest. “The last time, he left the evidence unattended. It was basically entrapment, and entrapment doesn’t count. Right?”

I hadn’t researched it fully yet, but I was pretty sure he couldn’t bring an entrapment case before a judge and win.

Lainey shook her head. “No.”

“Right,” I said and gave a shrug of fake indifference. “So it’s not my fault. Make sure and tell him I said all these nice things about him.” It might help me out the next time he has a choice about fingerprinting me.

Lainey’s cheeks turned a deep shade of red.

They’d so kissed.

“I’m not.. well… who knows when I’ll see him again,” she stuttered. Lainey didn’t usually stutter.

“Uh, huh? I’m sure you don’t.” They’d definitely kissed.

Or possibly more.