Remember: 1 Thessalonians 5:18
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A Review Revisited by Paula Rose . . .
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With devotional tales that inspired a song, travel into your Day One!
A Review Revisited: TODAY IS DAY ONE by Matthew West
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A town is on the edge of hysterical, historical, and dangerous.
A Review Revisited: THE CACTUS CREEK CHALLENGE by Erica Vetsch
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Pain of the past is still alive, and the death of a future has just begun. A Review Revisited: RESTORED by Tanya Eavenson
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An Excerpt of Revenge:
Jerry hadn’t believed his luck. When she had walked into the office on that first day, he had vowed this time would be different. If it hadn’t been for this woman and her stupid brother, they would’ve never found out about him. They couldn’t have figured on what he’d done. Yet, she had given the evidence that had put him in the joint.
He wasn’t going back.
Now the kid thinks it’s his job to do the files, and that should keep him occupied. He laughed. All he did was dump boxes of old shipping forms for him to match up, and it worked like a charm. That heap of papers must span three years. And he had plenty more waiting for the kid. With the boy’s containment, Jerry was able to move to the next part of his plan—a two in one of sorts.
He would search outside the property for those papers first, then flush her out to check inside, but, in the meantime, he was going to make her suffer. It was only a matter of time before she would be his for the taking, and he would take her life in the most painful way possible.
She’d steadily refused his ride but did agree to his escort. Now, Phillip parked behind her at a cafe. As he approached her car, she almost pleadingly said, “Please go. I’ll stay here for a while till I steady out.”
“Won’t feel right until you’re home.”
“You are shadowing me.”
She made her distrust of him obvious, and Phillip liked that she did. However, after what she’d just been through, it was more than expected. The police came to question her, and then she was kicked to the curb—cause and effect distorted by her desire to blame someone for the massive injustice she’d just suffered.
“No. Told you when I suggested this place. Just want a cup of coffee.”
What he really wanted to do was to reassure her the police didn’t consider her a suspect. But that was not entirely true. Nothing came to light that would place her in that category, but his department wasn’t through with their investigation either. They had to delve hard into anyone connected with Bobby Havers.
Phillip wanted to get to know more about her life, but to rule her in or out on the suspect list was not his only reason. He just plain wanted to know more about her. To him, she was refreshing.
He held the door open for her and ushered Olivia to a seat at the front window. Then he ordered them both coffees. Although she denied wanting something to eat, he picked out two bran muffins anyway. He brought the muffins to the table while the barista gathered their coffees, and Olivia reached into her pocketbook. He touched her hand. “My treat.”
Gratitude showed as she nodded. But it took a few seconds for him to move his hand from hers. Whatever he felt was something he couldn’t allow. He went back, grabbed the cups, and paid the bill. He glanced over at her. She just pushed her hair out of her face. He smiled. Seemed like his plan worked.
A woman concerned with how she fared was better off than one who didn’t care. Olivia’s self-interest was a good indication her sadness was beginning to lift, sort of. Then he thought of his mother. Her depression never lifted. She began to wither the day her husband left her with four small kids, and she never did rebound. Instead, she drowned her sorrows with whiskey and left the kids to fend for themselves.
As the oldest child, Phillip still remembered those good times existing with both parents.
His father, Calvin Landers, went to work carrying a briefcase, but he came home in time for dinner and evening activities. Their family went on walks, rides for ice cream, and day trips. There was no fighting or arguing, but one day his father just didn’t return. His mother cried for days and told Phillip he was the man of the house now that Daddy was gone.
With a deep breath, he had shivered but couldn’t cry. His heart didn’t shatter until later when he and his neglected siblings had gone to live in different foster homes. Now, three of them were reunited, but Billy had wound up in juvie, and then in prison. His brother refused visits with all family, but especially Phillip.
Billy’s lawyer told him, in clear terms, he wasn’t to contact his client. However, Billy did agree to be pen pals with their sister, Debra. So far, all his talk was about how he’d been framed and how some police officers were on the take. His sister worried. However, since he was not allowed to have contact, how could he even look into the situation? Ethics and protocols prevented him from having any insider information on the case. Although, not really believing corruption played a part in his brother’s situation, due to Billy’s background, the investigator in him wanted to prove it either way. An answer for Phillip’s dilemma came in the form of a telephone call, by a former police chief.
Though collecting pension, he found he was bored with retired life. He was in the infancy stage of starting a new private investigation firm with two other retired officers and scouted for job leads. Phillip gave him cryptic background info and provided the number of the public defender attorney for his brother and his sister’s phone number.
Arriving back at their table, this detective wasn’t surprised that Olivia awaited his return.
She bowed her head and prayed over her food. Then she looked up at him. He shifted in his seat. Had Olivia Foster caught him studying her?
“Thank you for everything,” she said.
“You’re very welcome.”
“Lieutenant, I understand that I’m a suspect.”
Being careful not to confirm or deny, he just waited. She was right, somewhat. Olivia’s hesitation betrayed her measuring of how much she wanted to say.
“My brother, Brian, was a special needs adult.”
He watched a wave of pain and grief flicker through her smoldering eyes. Her shoulders slumped. “He died in a workplace due to negligence. That’s why I do my job. I couldn’t watch over him, but I’ve dedicated my life to protecting others in his situation.”
She blinked several times; however, she didn’t break eye contact. “I have nothing to do with Bobby’s disappearance. I’ll help any way I can to find him.”
“It’s only natural that we’d look into your background, but yours isn’t the only one.” He took a sip of coffee. “Olivia, don’t read too much into what occurred at work. It’s just DAYS’ protocol. It doesn’t mean you’ve moved up on the suspect list.”
“Thanks. That’s good to know,” she whispered. “Lieutenant, if he had been taken by force, Bobby is a big enough guy to fight back hard. He knows whomever he’s with; I have no doubt about that, but I guess that scares me even more. His trust got him into this situation and could get him hurt.”
Even now, she was more concerned about her client than her job loss, and that unselfishness stirred him up inside. He reached into his jacket and pulled out a business card. He wrote his cell number on the back. “Here, just in case you remember something.”
She took the card then tore off a piece of muffin. He hadn’t expected her to eat much but just figured anything would be better than nothing.
The detective followed Olivia home and waited until she closed the door. His kindness was unexpected, but it was the sensation that his touch created that surprised her. On one of her worst days, he’d somehow found a way to reconnect something she’d long ago buried.
About fourteen months ago, her longtime boyfriend hurt her with his cheating. His dishonesty announced he just didn’t love her anymore. Since that time, Olivia went through life determined to never put her heart at risk. But the man investigating her for Bobby’s disappearance hit on something inside her that she’d never felt before.
Of course, she was vulnerable right now. And that was why. She knew it. She was just glad he hadn’t seemed to notice her reaction. Though he’d been studying her, the detective was more interested in weighing her guilt or innocence not whether her heart skipped a beat. She’d just have to keep on reminding herself of that. Today, he only sat with her to assess her connection to Bobby’s disappearance.
Olivia wanted to call Bobby’s mother, but she didn’t dare bother her at this time. She couldn’t call anyone from her job, but she had to know what was going on in the search for Bobby. To get her mind off those ideas, she searched for anything that would occupy her.
With her laptop in hand she went to the sofa. What could she do? No reports were due. No meetings to schedule. No emails to send. She powered down and switched on the local news.
Her client’s story led the broadcast, and that gave her a burst of hope. “Please, God, help them find Bobby.”
The next story that followed wasn’t kind to DAYS. In addition, it brought to light other goings-on with her employer. She was shocked to find out the program director had been fined for Medicare billing inconsistencies. Even worse, the former executive director had been arrested and charged with embezzling money from client accounts. Olivia had thought he moved on to another position.
How did she not know any of this?
It only took a moment for her to know that answer. Too focused on her job was her reason. Never did she watch TV or surf the web. The only exception to work occurred while driving when she listened to her favorite verses on CD.
When the telephone rang, she picked up assuming her mother had somehow heard the news. And she didn’t relish the conversation she was about to have. “Hi, Mom.”
The line was quiet. “Hello?”
“Take me home,” Bobby cried.
“Bobby. Okay. I’ll come get you. Do you know where you are?”
Frantically, she looked for the detective’s card.
“Working on files. Watch says it’s time for dinner.”
She found his card, then realized what Bobby had just said. She had to question him in a way he’d understand and that would keep him talking. And that keep him talking part with Bobby was a tall order, but it was one his life depended on. “Did you eat cereal today?”
She fumbled in her purse for her cell phone case. “What about lunch? Did you eat lunch at your lunchtime?”
Her stomach dropped. Bobby hadn’t eaten all day. He needed food with some of his meds. Fear shot through her. He did not have his meds. She fought to keep the emotion out of her voice. She needed Bobby to latch on to a steady tone. From her brother she learned that strong emotion could shut him down, especially when he sensed another’s stress. Olivia couldn’t chance that with Bobby. “I want to come get you. Are you in the warehouse?”
She pressed the first few digits of the detective’s number. “Oh. Well, then you must be in the office. Do you see any windows?” She pressed the last digit of the cop’s cell and hit call.
“No,” Bobby replied.
She hoped her call didn’t bounce to his voicemail. Unsure if the detective would understand her situation, Olivia switched Bobby onto the speaker.