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After spending five years rebuilding her life when her husband Ryan was killed in action, Beckett McKenzie found success in business while raising her two kids alongside Ryan’s caring family. But one knock on the door changes everything.
Beckett now faces the reality that Ryan was not the loving husband and father she once thought. When threats from the drug cartel turn her world upside down, she turns to the one person who’s been there all along, her brother-in-law Murphy. As they navigate their desire for one another, and the danger brought into their lives, they are forced to fight for themselves, their family, and one another.
With everything she's ever known and loved in danger, Beckett must find a strength within herself she never dreamed she had. As Ryan's past catches up to her, Beckett must discover who she is and whether she can ever be anything other than the soldier's wife.
Page Count: 338
Word Count: 88290
Three hours of meeting with disgruntled employees later, Beckett laid her head on her desk and took a deep breath, trying to calm the headache brewing behind her eyes. When someone knocked on her door, she groaned and forced herself to lift her head.
Halle poked her head in. “I’m sorry to bother you, but there’s a woman here to see you. She says it’s urgent.”
“Who is it?”
Beckett’s brows furrowed as she tried to figure out if she knew Savannah Montgomery. “I don’t know the name. Is she a client?”
“No, ma’am. She’s never been here before. I’d remember. She’s drop dead gorgeous and wearing the best pair of shoes I’ve ever seen in my life.”
“Did she say what it was about?”
“No. Only that she needs to speak to you.”
Sighing, Beckett tugged on her hair in frustration and then pushed it back, trying to smooth it away from her face. “Send her in.”
When the chic woman with pitch black hair and ice blue eyes entered the room, Beckett felt plain and unremarkable. As she stood to offer her hand, Beckett noticed Halle’s assessment had been correct. They were the best pair of shoes she’d ever seen.
Savannah Montgomery was tall, thin, and as close to perfect as Beckett thought she’d ever seen. She had dramatically arched brows, a lush mouth, dramatic cheekbones, and a chin just pointed enough to give her some interest along with the traditional beauty. She had a nipped in waist and gently flaring hips that swung slightly as she walked. The killer shoes were attached to long muscled legs that disappeared into a professionally tailored skirt.
“Ms. Montgomery. I’m Beckett McKenzie. Please, have a seat. What can I do for you?”
Savannah gracefully lowered herself into a chair and crossed her legs, placing her handbag neatly on the floor next to her before folding her hands in her lap. “I apologize for the intrusion at your work, but I thought this would be better than coming to see you at home.” She took a deep breath and expelled it slowly. “I’m here to talk to you about your late husband, Ryan McKenzie.”
Curiosity and dread melding in her gut, Beckett tucked her hair behind her ears. “My husband has been dead for more than five years.”
“I’m aware of that. I know what I’m about to say is going to be difficult, so I’ll say it quickly and leave you to process.” Savannah took a deep breath. “My sister passed away a year ago. When she died, I was left custody of her daughter Lyla, who is six. My sister never disclosed who Lyla’s father was, but after her death I found correspondence between her and your husband. From the photos and letters I’ve found, it is evident Ryan McKenzie is the father of my niece.”
Beckett’s heart stopped beating. Her whole body went cold as the room did a slow, sick spin. “I’m sorry.” Her voice sounded choked and desperate even to her own ears. “You’ve made a mistake. My husband was in the Army.”
Savannah nodded and continued speaking, her expression filled with sympathy, though her voice was determined. “Captain Ryan McKenzie. He was stationed in Germany, then in Georgia. My sister worked as a bartender just outside the base. They met during her shift and had an affair. She became pregnant soon after and delivered Lyla just before he was deployed to Colombia.”
Savannah shifted in the chair, uncrossing and re-crossing her legs. She paused for several seconds, giving Beckett time to catch her breath and control her breathing. When Beckett was reasonably sure she could continue to listen without passing out, she waved her arm at Savannah.
“I’m sorry. Go on.”
“I’m truly sorry to do this to you. I knew coming here there was a good chance you weren’t aware. I don’t want anything from you. I’m not here for money. What I do want is for my niece to know her brother and sister, for you to know her and to give her some semblance of family.” She stood and lifted her bag, removing a sheet of stationary. “I’m at the Wiltshire Inn in Bar Harbor. My cell number is on there. I have proof of everything I’m telling you, and I’ll gladly show you all I have.” Her eyes were sympathetic and sharp. “But I will be back in touch. These children deserve to know one another. I don’t want to deprive my niece of her siblings, and I’m hoping you don’t want to deprive your children of their sister, either.”
Her voice barely a whisper, Beckett managed to force the question out. “What was her name?”
Savannah turned at the door. “My sister? Elaina Montgomery.”
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