Telling Secrets

Telling Secrets
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As an experienced search-and-rescue tracker, Alex Gray had solved his share of mysteries.But beneath his cool Lakota demeanor, Alex was running from his own dark secrets…including a traumatic family history that connected him to a killer. Now someone from his past had returned to play a deadly game. And only one woman could help him…Sophie Brennan knew that Alex was the key to stopping the string of murders plaguing the Washington mountains. But as the authorities questioned her credibility, she had to resist the almost mystical connection she shared with Alex. For hiding in the shadows, someone was waiting to silence her whispered warnings…forever.

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Telling Secrets

Tracy Montoya

This one’s for Kim and Sharron, for regularly talking

me down from the writer’s ledge. It’d be lonely on my freaked-out planet without you two.

And to Gail, Eileen, Lisa, Lena and Sandy for great

critiques and even better margaritas.


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen


Chapter One

Alex Gray didn’t know the woman who was staring so intently at him from the far side of the Bagel & Bean coffee shop. All he knew was that she made him nervous, in a not-so-good kind of way.

“Sabrina,” he murmured to his longtime tracking partner and fellow member of Port Renegade’s Search and Rescue team. “You know her?” He indicated the woman with a slight tilt of his head—subtle, if he did say so himself.

Sabrina Adelante took her customary latte from the barista and turned toward the redhead seated several feet away from them. The woman swiftly jerked her head to look out the window, but not before Sabrina had seen her watching them.

“I don’t.” Sabrina took a careful sip of her latte and considered the woman over the lip of her cup. “But she seems to know you.”

Swallowing his reflexive denial, Alex pretended to be absorbed in reading the specials on the chalkboard over the woman’s head while he checked her out once again. She was pretty, in a non-knockout kind of way, her most standout feature being the brownish-red and undoubtedly natural curls that she’d piled atop her head. A few had escaped to frame her oval face, emphasizing a delicately pointed chin and a pair of large dark eyes. She may have had the looks to blend in with the crowd, but he had to admit, there was also something about her, something that made him sure he would have remembered her if they’d met before. Especially those eyes—when she’d been staring at him, it was as if she knew…everything, all of his secrets, his darkest thoughts, down to the bone.

Her head swung around, and he was caught again by her dark gaze. This time, she didn’t look away.

“Ah, crap.” Alex spun around and headed for the door. Anything to get away from that too-intense woman, because he wasn’t sure he wanted to find out why she was so fascinated with him. That definitely wasn’t a casual “hey, you’re kinda hot” stare, and anything else probably meant trouble.

Sabrina pushed out the door a few seconds later, her hands wrapped protectively around her latte, likely trying to leach warmth out of the cup as the cold air hit her. Port Renegade, Washington, never got all that much sun, but the November day was even grayer than usual, with the sharp biting feel of an impending storm in the air. “So what was that all about? Should I be on the lookout for some guy with a shotgun who wants you to make an honest woman out of his daughter?”

He raised one gloved hand, the stiff outer fabric of his waterproof parka making swishing sounds as he moved. “Swear to God, I’ve never seen her before in my life.”

Sabrina took a careful sip of her coffee while glancing back toward the shop. “Well, better start running, Casanova, because she’s coming outside.” She leaned forward, straining to see through the gray-sky glare on the shop’s front windows. “And she looks seriously unhappy.”

A smattering of snowflakes started to fall, the light, airy kind that looped and danced in the air like miniature pixies before they finally hit the ground. Alex watched them as he curled his toes into the cushioned soles of his hiking boots and quashed the urge to bolt. Whatever she wanted, he’d let her have her say, and then they could both move on. Even with his obscured view of her through the glass double doors, he could see she wasn’t much over five feet tall. He could take her.

Another Bagel & Bean customer strode past him, a little too closely, and Alex shifted his weight to avoid getting pushed over. The man yanked the door open, and there she stood, still aiming that scary-intense look right at Alex. She didn’t even seem to notice when the man jostled past her, obviously feeling an urgent need to get some caffeine into his system.

She wasn’t rail thin—probably about a size twelve or fourteen—but she had the most amazingly small waist, emphasized by a fitted green sweater, from which her generous hips flared in a way that practically invited a man to put his hands on them and hold on. As the door closed behind her, Alex could see she’d left her coat hanging on the chair she’d just vacated. But that didn’t stop her from heading his way, an expression of firm resolve on her face, acting as if the cold didn’t bother her in the least.

Once she got within a couple feet of him, however, she planted her boots on the wet cement walkway and sucked in her cheeks, her expression morphing into something less confident. In fact, it was almost a wince, as if she expected him to get angry at her mere presence. But why the hell would he be angry? He’d told Sabrina he’d never met this woman before, and up close and personal, he was still positive that was true. But the way she reacted to him threw him, all the same.

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