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Valley of Shadows by Shirlee McCoy

Valley of Shadows by Shirlee McCoy

Author:Shirlee McCoy [McCoy, Shirlee]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Religious
ISBN: 9781426844065
Google: 38ipwph-mV4C
Amazon: 1410404439
Publisher: Harlequin
Published: 2008-02-20T00:00:00+00:00


Chapter Twelve

Early morning light washed the world in dull color as Miranda moved across the front yard, the flowers, trees and buildings taking on a sepia tone. Sodden grass squished beneath her feet, the scent of wet earth pungent and full. The community lay silent and sleeping, doors closed, shades drawn, unsuspecting, unaware. All Miranda had to do was get the house number and get back to Hawke’s side. Easy.

Except she couldn’t see a house number. Not on the door. Not on the mailbox. Not anywhere obvious.

“It’s got to be somewhere.” She muttered the words, her heart pumping so fast and so loud, she was sure it would wake the entire neighborhood.

“Can I help you, miss?” a deep voice called from somewhere behind her, and Miranda spun to face the speaker, hoping she didn’t look as terrified as she felt.

The man was tall, skinny and wearing a crisp brown uniform, a hat and a belt with a radio and some kind of club hanging from it. A guard. Miranda’s blood froze in her veins, her mind blank. Every word, every thought jumbled in her head, refusing to coalesce into coherent words.

“Miss?” He stepped closer, his smile turning to a frown, his hand dropping to the radio he carried. “Is everything okay?”

“Everything is fine. I’m just out for a walk. It’s such a beautiful morning.” If her smile looked as forced as it felt the dark-eyed, clean-shaven young man would know in an instant that something was wrong. She needed to relax, pretend she belonged.

But she didn’t belong and she couldn’t relax and she still didn’t know what to say.

“You are a friend of Koon Miller?” He motioned toward the house, the sharp edge to his gaze a warning that things might be about to go very badly.

Miranda scrambled for an answer. Yes was what her head insisted she say. No was what her gut wanted her to respond. “No. I’m a friend of…” What had Hawke said his boss’s name was? “Mr. McKenzie. I couldn’t sleep, so I thought I’d go for a walk, but now I’m turned around and can’t seem to find his house. They all look the same.” And they did—white stucco, orange shutters, wide driveways and manicured lawns.

The guard seemed to relax at her words and he smiled. “Ah. I see. You came last night in the van?”

“No, yesterday afternoon. I’m in from the States.” Please let that be the right answer.

The young man nodded. “It’s easy to get confused when you first arrive. Koon McKenzie’s house is just five houses up on this side of the street.” He gestured to the left. “You will be staying a while?”

“Yes.”

“Good. There’s much to see here. You’ve been to Thailand before?”

“No, this is my first trip.” Miranda wanted desperately to make an excuse and hurry away, but didn’t dare.

“Go see the elephants then. All visitors like the elephants.”

“I will.” Pretend you have all day.



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