Jack closed the plastic binder and tried to ignore the growing sense of unease he felt. This wasn’t just another one of her stories. This was his story. Some of the details were different, of course, but some of them hit unsettlingly close to home. The character in the book was a little bit older than Jack and Jack’s career had begun in a rural sheriff’s office instead of a municipal police department but they had both been forced to marry a pregnant girlfriend and both had surrendered a sports scholarship in college. Had Paige somehow studied him without his knowing it? No, of course not, he snorted to himself. This was just a coincidence. It had to be a coincidence.
He tossed the binder down onto the cushion beside him and rested his head back against the cool leather of Paige’s sofa. Of course it’s a coincidence, you idiot, he again scolded himself. That guy is pretty much every man who ever put on a badge and a uniform.
The faint scent of something vaguely floral reached his nose and he turned his head to sniff at the leather cushion. This was her spot, he realized. This was where she sat to watch the evening news or the morning’s weather forecast. He envisioned her curled up in a pair of old cotton pajamas, watching an old movie. Suddenly the idea of being alone in Paige’s empty house seemed like an unforgivable intrusion to him.
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