Liam Johnson has always been the quiet one of the group. He hides behind a screen and watches as life unfolds for people all around the world. He served his country and now serves his team, but he’s never been the one people run to for help, especially not women.
Caitlyn Powers was born with the world at her beck and call. As a child model, she had everything she could have ever wanted. She never understood the word no, and she never cared to. But everything changed when her entire world came crashing down around her and the one person she always counted on disappeared.
Liam expects his trip home for his parents’ 40th anniversary party to be quick and uneventful. The curvy waitress who serves him dinner looks just like his high school crush. When she gives him her phone number and asks him to meet her after the party, Liam knows there’s no way it’s Caitlyn.
Except he’s wrong. And meeting her might be the most dangerous thing he’s ever done.
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Excerpt from Finally
Liam was more than a little curious about the stunning, curvy server who left her number and nothing else for him. She reminded him of Caitlyn Powers, but he doubted she would still be in their minuscule hometown. She was a star before any of them knew what a star really was. There was no way she stuck around.
Whoever the woman was, she piqued Liam’s curiosity enough that he made the call when the party was finally over. She answered on the first ring, and when he told her who he was, she eagerly agreed to meet him for a drink.
Which was why Liam was walking into the one and only dive bar in East Charlottesville, Vermont ten minutes before midnight.
He looked around the dark space for the woman and found himself a seat at the bar when he didn’t see her.
“What can I get you?” the bored bartender asked.
“Beer. Whatever you have on tap.”
The man nodded, giving Liam a cursory once-over and dismissing him as not a threat. Liam accepted the dismissal and passed a twenty over when the beer landed in front of him.
He sipped the beer and looked around, wondering if the woman was going to show. He wasn’t normally reckless enough to meet a woman he didn’t know out for a drink, but absolutely nothing dangerous ever happened in East Charlottesville.
His beer was half-gone when the door opened and the woman he was waiting for walked in. She locked her gaze on his and sauntered across the room toward him like she owned the place, and Liam. He couldn’t explain why he was drawn to her, but he was. Maybe it was the memories that being home brought up, or maybe it was watching all his friends and teammates pair up and settle down, but the woman in the black leggings, black sweater, and the mess of black curls piled on top of her head made his pulse race.
She slid onto the stool next to him and grabbed his beer, taking a healthy sip of it before she took a deep breath. “Thanks for calling. And for meeting me here.”
“Sure,” Liam said, wondering how he could ask her name without making it obvious he didn’t remember her.
“I need some help. And I’m sorry to hijack your weekend, but no one else believes me.”
Liam’s body went from tight with need to tight with awareness. All of a sudden, he could feel the air in the bar shifting, the focus circling around them. He could sense the men at the pool table moving closer. He noticed the bartender walk into the back room, leaving the bar unattended. Even some of the patrons seemed to have vanished in the minute or two since his not-date showed up.
“No one believes you about what?” Liam asked, unsure if he wanted the answer.
“My best friend disappeared. Something happened to her. And I think something is going to happen to me, too.”
“Why do you think that?” Liam asked. As the words left his mouth, the hair on the back of his neck stood up. His heart slammed against his chest.
In the next breath, a cue stick snapped on the bar next to him, right where his hand had been. The glass he was drinking from shattered, the shards of glass spraying everywhere like champagne at a party.
Liam leapt to cover the woman with his body as someone else reached for her.
“We told you to stop this, Caitlyn.”
“Caitlyn Powers?” he blurted.
Her gaze met his as the man yanked her ponytail.
“Believe me now?” she choked out.