When Bryan Donaldson sees Kierra again for the first time, he is surprised—she’s no longer the fun blonde he remembers, but rather she’s shy, prone to panic attacks, and hiding from the world. When Kierra’s stepfather starts making threats, Bryan is determined to keep her safe in his arms, and in his bed, for life.
Kierra's chest suddenly felt too tight to take a breath. She
desperately wanted to tell him to stop talking, to run away. She
wished she had never come to town, and that she was anywhere but
here listening to Bryan's calm, soothing voice.
“I can also tell you the thing that's going to be the hardest to
hear. The explosion was ruled an accident. It appears that they only
did a cursory investigation, but there was no reason to suspect foul
play. It was ruled an accidental gas leak. Most importantly, in that
investigation they didn't find a fourth body in the house. The only
victims of that explosion were your grandparents, and your mother.”
Somewhere in the distance a bird chirped and parents cheered
at the Peewee football game. Kierra heard it all as though it were a
million miles away. She couldn't breathe. She couldn't think.
Her stepfather was alive somewhere.
No one believed her ten years ago, no one was going to
believe her now, but she knew for certain that somehow he was
responsible for the explosion that killed her family.
And he was still out there somewhere.