Her Last Chance – Excerpt – Toni Anderson

“SAC Marshall Hayes? To what do we owe the pleasure, sir?”

Marsh glanced up from his cell phone. A tall wiry Supervisory Special Agent from the Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico reached over the local detective’s shoulder to shake Marsh’s hand. Lifting his gaze further, Marsh connected with the cobalt eyes of the woman who haunted his dreams.

Josephine.

His world spun. He gripped the doorjamb tighter, fingernails cracking the smooth black lacquer paintwork. His breath rasped in his throat as the world leveled and relief burst loose inside his chest.

Alive. She was alive.

Beautiful.

Dressed in black jeans and a black sweater with a drab army jacket thrown over her shoulders, her skin appeared almost translucent under the fluorescent light. Fear and vulnerability tightened her expression, but she hid it by narrowing her gaze. Her lips curled in their usual scathing manner.

He didn’t care. She was alive—and apart from looking a little shaken up, she seemed as pissed as the last time he’d seen her. She’d pulled her silver-blonde hair back into a ponytail. Her deceptively delicate features were set in a heart-shaped face that disguised a vicious tongue and a mean temper. For the last six months he hadn’t been able to get her out of his mind.

Why her? It didn’t matter why. He’d thought she was dead and it had reduced his life to meaningless ashes.

Marsh wiped the sweat out of his eyes and remembered the SSA’s name. Agent Nicholl. He was a damn good agent.

His heart settled back into a normal sinus rhythm and he took a deep breath absorbing the fact that she was not dead, not bleeding, not hurt. A huge rush of relief swamped him and suddenly it didn’t matter that they didn’t even like one another. Because, despite all the differences between them, despite their complicated unconventional dealings, she was alive and he wasn’t ever letting her go again.

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