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Dangerous Secrets Book 1
BY RM ALEXANDER
When everything is taken from you, all you have left is what comes next…
The perfect career became the perfect nightmare. Now the only solution is for Colton Paine to leave his life behind to enter the Witness Security Program. Though he has many regrets, abandoning Savana Wyler, just as she’s entering remission from cancer—and before he has a chance to tell her he loves her—rips his heart out. But Colton will do whatever it takes to protect her, even leave forever.
Relocated to a tiny northern Washington tourist town, Colton fights to regain his footing in a new life constructed of lies. Haunted by thoughts of Savana, he breaks the rules and keeps track of her. When the same people who want him dead appear on Savana’s news broadcasts, it becomes clear leaving wasn’t the answer.
Convinced Savana is left unprotected, Colton abandons WitSec in a desperate attempt to save her. But did his impetuous actions endanger them both?
Tomorrow was never more uncertain.
His whole life erased with a few keystrokes and a pile of paperwork.
Colton paced the small office waiting for the US Marshal to return. Less than twenty-four hours earlier, he’d narrowly escaped death. Now Colton Paine no longer existed. He chuckled. Colton Paine no longer existed, but he still had no idea who he was. A living, breathing ghost.
Colton rubbed a finger and thumb along his brow. Twenty-four hours thrashed through his life like a hurricane, a flash blaze which wiped out everything. He shook his head, memory of the explosion constricting his chest. The home didn’t matter anymore, or the belongings, because either way, he belonged to the Witness Security Program now. But the neighbors… Agent Mueller hadn’t mentioned the nice old couple next door, or the young family across the street whose little boy owned dimples girls would go nuts over as he grew. Colton wondered if the lack of information was an oversight or something more.
It’d be hard to live with deaths like that, to be responsible for them.
The FBI agent walked through the door with a stride that would put a gazelle to shame, papers in hand. Her jet-black hair hung straight past her shoulders and shone beneath the fluorescent lights. The badge clipped to her belt glistened with gold plating, the sidearm fully visible now that the black jacket was slung over the chair positioned behind a desk. Professional, but not heartless. Colton liked that about her.
“Okay, Mr. Paine. We are all set. A transport to a safe house is being arranged and, once there, you’ll meet a U.S. Marshal who will provide a new identity that not even I will know. The Marshal will help you settle in the new location, ensure you get back on your feet. It’ll take some time, but you’ll get there.
“Any questions before leaving?”
Questions? Colton stared at the table where his signature glared on the paper. A lot of questions, but someone would answer them all along the way. Right now, exhaustion toyed with every nerve. He wanted to sleep and one last thing before he left Denver forever. “I can’t go back to the house? Or say goodbye to my parents and brother?”
Agent Muellar lowered onto the desk corner, ankles crossed, wrist over wrist on her lap. The pose resembled models he’d seen on television, all woman. But she was tough as nails and the hardness ingrained in her gaze had Colton doubting anyone wanted to wind up on the agent’s bad side.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Paine, but I explained this earlier today. Entering WitSec means Colton Paine no longer exists. That means family, friends, coworkers, the neighbor you passed every morning—to all of them, you are simply gone. I know that’s hard for you, and for them, but if you agree to the program, there is no other way. If we’re lucky enough for Red Morrison to believe you died in that explosion, it’s all for the better.”
Dead. He couldn’t imagine what that would put his family through. Or Savana. Is that the story authorities would tell everyone he cared about, or would they not tell them anything at all?
RM Alexander is a best-selling romantic suspense author. With driven characters who suffer the worst kinds of betrayals, RM’s novels promise a good read with unexpected twists and turns.
When she’s not writing, RM spends time with her husband and two children. She loves to travel, especially to Walt Disney World, and is addicted to orange juice and Ghiradelli chocolate. She is often found on Twitter and Facebook chatting with other authors and readers.
Links to RM’s website, blog, books, etc.