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SO SENSITIVE
by Anne Rainey

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense, Erotic Romance

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Seconds later, Wade strode through the door, his expression set in hard lines. When he looked at her, he stopped and cursed.

“Do I look that bad?”

He grunted then closed the distance. “You look like hell.”

Gee, what a charmer. “Thanks, really.” She tried to smile, but it hurt too much.

“The airbag,” he explained when she touched her cheek. “You have bruises all over your face from the impact. It looks like you went a few rounds with a heavyweight.”

“That’s about how I feel.” She looked over at the cast on her wrist and groaned. “What a mess. I really didn’t need this right now.”

He pushed the hair out of her face and tucked it behind one ear. His touch was so gentle; it surprised her that a man so large and intimidating could be so tender. 

“What happened? All I got was that it was a hit-and-run accident at a curve near your apartment. How’d you end up in some damn ravine?”

As she stared at him, a memory started to break through the fog blanketing her mind. “It wasn’t an accident.”

Wade frowned down at her. “Tell me what you remember.”

Her heartbeat sped up as fragments of memories surfaced. “I just…I think someone forced me off the road on purpose.”

“What makes you think that, Gracie?” he asked, his gentle tone drifting over her body in a soothing caress.

“Someone hit me from behind.”

“We know that much, and it bites that he took off, but how was it a deliberate attempt to force you off the road?”

“Not once, Wade. He slammed into my car three times. I think he was trying to...” The e-mail from her stalker popped into her mind. His warning that she needed to learn obedience. It’s for your own good;, remember that. No, she was reading too much into it. This had been an accident. 

A drunk driver maybe. That had to be it, right?

Wade stroked her hair. “Gracie, is there something going on that you’re not telling me? Talk to me, honey. Let me help you.”

“I don’t even know where to start.” Her voice broke when she admitted, “H-He’s…I’m just so tired, Wade.” 

Wade’s hand stopped moving. “Wait, he? Is this about an ex-boyfriend or something?”

“I wish it were so simple. No, he’s not an ex-boyfriend. It’s about…I have a stalker.” It sounded so insane when she said it aloud.

Wade was quiet a moment, as if assessing whether she’d lost her mind when her car had gone into that spin. “Since when?” he finally asked, his voice matter-of-fact enough to calm her anxiety.

“He’s been e-mailing me for about two months.” She let out a breath and plucked at the bed sheet. She hadn’t realized how good it would feel to confide in someone. She’d kept it to herself for so long.