Deborah Ann Davis
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What happens when Mistaken Identity clashes with Secret Identity?
From orphaned foster kid to biz wiz, Jacob has come a long way. Along with a dream job and a great mentor, he has finally fallen in love. Granted, she mistook him for a stalker when they met, but every relationship has its little problems. Unfortunately, for the past few years, as the object of his affection pops in and out of his life, she has refused to share any personal info, like where she’s from…or her real name. Regardless, Jacob is ready to take their relationship to the next level. Now, if only he can locate her so he can tell her.
Casey’s family is in the witness protection program. Any hint of trouble is their cue to vanish. Their cover has been blown before, so safety must be their only priority. A shy young man with hopeful eyes cannot possibly be added to the mix. Now, if only she can stop thinking about him.
Jacob’s world stumbles into Casey’s when he inadvertently helps hide her family. If their 24/7 vigilance does not prove to be enough, she will have to disappear. Again. But, this time Casey will be stealing away with Jacob’s heart, and his hopes of finally having a family of his own.
An attractive girl blocked Jacob’s path, her shiny brown ponytail jutting out of a baseball cap that shaded irate brown eyes. Very pretty, irate brown eyes. She emanated a lot of anger, and all of it at him. Jacob recoiled from the cute face barely flush with his chin.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” she barked again.
“What?” Confused, Jacob retreated a step from her hands-on-hips belligerence. To his dismay, she followed him, jabbing her finger into his chest.
“You people think you can do anything you want!”
Hoping to defuse the attention of passersby, he raised his palms in surrender. All the same, a small, curious crowd gathered around them. She remained in his path, blocking his way. He had to do something before he lost sight of William. He made a successful grab for her jabbing hand. A jolt slammed through him, quickening his pulse and making him aware of his suddenly dry mouth. He stared at her, his heart thumping in his chest. She stared back, her mouth forming a perfect O.
Four protective hefty types materialized around them. “Having some trouble, miss?” one of them rumbled.
Uh-oh. Jacob released her hand like a hot potato.
“I...” She wet her lips. “I think he’s stalking an elderly man.”
Later, he could consider her sweet concern, but at the moment, his priority was staving off the protective menace closing in. Fight, flight, or freeze? Fighting was out of the question. Any one of these guys could deck him with one swing.
“Stalking?” Jacob raised his palms again. “I’m not stalking anybody.” Flight? He tried to back away, but bumped into a living, breathing wall standing behind him. Whoa! He froze. How had things become so bizarre so fast?
“There you are, Jacob.” The familiar, quavering voice came from behind the girl. “Having a little problem?”
Relief flooded him.
“You know him?” She shot Jacob a reddened glance while she mumbled something of an apology.
Could she be any cuter?
William drew his brow “Of course I’m safe, my dear. Why wouldn’t I be?” He caught Jacob’s eye over her head, and they both shrugged. Apparently, he was as puzzled as Jacob.
“Oh, no.” She lifted her head and waved a hand. “I’m so sorry. This was a case of mistaken identity,” she confessed to anyone listening. “Totally my mistake. I thought...Y’know what? It doesn’t matter.“
“So, everything’s in order here?” rumbled the wall behind Jacob.
“Yes, everything’s in order here,” Jacob snapped at a man four times his size, his bravado prompted by the convenient adrenalin rush provided by the encounter.
“Yes, everything’s in order here,” repeated William in a level tone. “And thank you.”
The crowd lost interest, leaving Jacob with a calm William, a red-faced girl, and an unusual thumping somewhere in the vicinity of his chest.