Feeling faint, Nancy sagged against the rack of 50% off shoes at the front of the store, sending a pair of whimsical purple and yellow stilettos tumbling to the floor. So many of the clues pointed to the man she'd thought was the love of her life.
The man who had broken her heart.
But while she'd been dreamily doodling Mrs. Brad Peters on random bits of scratch paper, imagining a distant future of wedding bells and bliss back in Georgia, he'd been seeing Tanya Wilson behind her back. And he'd been so careful, that she'd had to hear the news from his twin brother Mike.
So there could be no reason why Brad would follow her here to lurk in the shadows and send her anonymous messages and gifts. Why would he? He'd been the one to fall for someone else. A gorgeous woman from a wealthy family who had been runner-up for Miss Georgia just three years earlier. What man could walk away from someone like her?
Yet too many things were adding up.
The familiar, awkwardly romantic tone in the most recent anonymous note she'd received.
The black hair.
The penmanship on the latest note. Brad's cursive writing wobbled slightly whenever he wrote with his non-dominant hand.
Shanna grasped Nancy's upper arms and helped her regain her balance. "Are you okay?"
Nancy drew in a steadying breath and looked up at the investigator. "The thing is...well, this whole situation is making me a little nervous. Can you at least tell me the first name of the man you're looking for?"
Garth spared her a quick look and then turned back to Shanna and gently tucked a wayward strand of hair behind her ear. "It wouldn't help. The guy I'm after isn't traveling under his own name, and I'm not at liberty to say."
"Is his name Brad?"
Garth didn't even bat an eye.
"Who hired you, then?"
"Then can you tell us what this fellow did? Why are you after him?"
"Look, I'd like to help you two, really. But I've been following this guy since he left Georgia, and I have a client who wants him found. Quietly."
Georgia. Once again, the world seemed to spin around her. Could it really be Brad he was after? But Brad was a sweet guy. At least he had been, until he'd walked out of her life. He couldn't have done anything wrong.
Shanna's jaw dropped. "You're after a criminal? This is so cool!"
"I didn't say that." His voice laced with regret, Garth gave a big sigh. "Look, I just need to find him--quickly. I think I'd better leave you two to your romantic mysteries and be on my way."
Roxanne Rustand has written thirty novels for Harlequin's SuperRomance, Heartwarming, Everlasting, Love Inspired and Love Inspired Suspense lines. You can find her at www.roxannerustand.com (The All Creatures Great and Small blog) and at www.facebook.com/roxanne.rustand.author