Lawman from Her Past

By: Delores Fossen

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Deputy Cameron Doran—When this tough Texas lawman learns his nephew might have been switched at birth, it puts him and the baby in the crosshairs of a killer.

Lauren Beckett—She left her family’s Texas ranch after her parents were murdered ten years ago. To protect her son, she returns home and puts his safety and hers in the hands of the lawman she left behind.

Patrick Lange—The son Lauren had with her late husband, Alden. When Alden died, Patrick became co-owner of his father’s wealthy estate, and that could be a motive for a killer.

Isaac Doran—The toddler Cameron has been raising. Cameron loves the boy as his own and has no plans to give him up, even if there has been a baby switch.

Gilly Doran—Cameron’s late sister, who died shortly after childbirth. Her dying wish was that Cameron would protect her son from the infant’s abusive father, Trace Waters, and Gilly’s domineering mother, Evelyn.

Evelyn Waters—She believes she has the right to raise her grandson and thinks Gilly switched the babies at birth to prevent her from doing that.

Julia Lange—Alden’s sister resents that his infant son inherited the bulk of his estate. But would she kill Lauren and her brother’s child to get her hands on the money?

Duane Tulley—A businessman who’s filed a lawsuit against Lauren to get control of the company he co-owned with her late husband. There’s enough bad blood between Lauren and him to be motive for murder.





CHAPTER ONE

Someone was watching him. Deputy Cameron Doran was certain of it.

He slid his hand over the gun in his waist holster and hoped he was wrong about the bad feeling that was snaking down his spine. Hoped he was wrong about the being watched part, too.

But he knew he wasn’t.

He’d worn a badge for eleven years, and paying attention to that bad feeling had saved him a time or two.

With his gun ready to draw, Cameron glanced around his backyard. Such that it was. Since his house was on the backside of the sprawling Blue River Ranch, his yard was just a smear of grass with the thick woods only about fifteen feet away. There were plenty of trees and underbrush. The edge of the river, as well. However, there were also trails that someone could use to make their way to his house.

Someone like a killer.

You’ll all die soon.

That was what the latest threatening letter had said. The one that Cameron had gotten just two days ago. Not exactly words anyone wanted to read when they opened their mail, but he’d gotten so many now that they no longer held the emotional punch of the first one he’d gotten a couple of months ago. Still, he wasn’t about to dismiss it.

Cameron had another look around, trying to pick through the thick clusters of trees, but when he didn’t see anyone, he finished off his morning coffee and went inside. Normally, he would have made a beeline to the nursery so he could say goodbye to his nephew, Isaac, before heading off to work at the Blue River Sheriff’s Office, but this morning he went to the window over the sink and kept watch.

From the other side of the house, he could hear Isaac fussing, probably because the nanny, Merilee, was changing his diaper. Isaac was only a year old, but he got up raring to go. He objected to the couple of minutes delay that the diapering caused.

Just when Cameron was about to decide that the bad feeling had been wrong after all, he saw it. Someone moving around. Since those particular trees butted right up against an old ranch trail, the movement got his complete attention.

“Merilee,” he called out to the nanny. “Keep Isaac in the nursery a little while longer. And stay away from the windows.”

Cameron knew it would alarm the woman, but there was nothing he could do about that now. If this turned out to be a false alarm, then he could smooth things over with her. But for now, Isaac’s and her safety had to come first.

He drew his gun, and as soon as he opened the door a couple of inches, Cameron spotted more movement. And the person who was doing the moving.

A woman peered out from one of the trees, and even though she was still pretty far from him, he caught a good enough glimpse of her face.

Lauren Beckett.

She stepped out in full view of him so he got an even better look. Yeah, it was Lauren, all right. She still had the same brunette hair that she’d pulled back into a ponytail. The same willowy build. The last time he’d seen her she’d been a teenager, barely eighteen, but the years hadn’t changed her much.

If he’d ventured a guess of who might have been lurking around his place, he would have never figured it would be her. Especially since he’d built his house on Beckett land. Her family’s land. Of course, Lauren hadn’t considered her siblings actually family—or him a friend—in nearly a decade.

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