Last month you met Claire Hastings, from Sheila Connolly's ebook Once She Knew. It seems only fair to let Jonathan Daulton, Claire's sort-of partner in crime-solving, tell his side of the story.
I never meant
for any of this to happen. Seriously.
Look, I was
invited to give a speech at a women's college in Maine—that sounds innocent
enough, doesn't it?Okay, it was for all
the wrong reasons—mainly because of that book I wrote in an angry (and, I'll
admit, drunken) funk, because the woman I had been seeing dumped me.Well, in hindsight I have to say she was
right to dump me, because I was never around, and when I was, I wasn't paying a
lot of attention to her.But it hurt,
and I poured all that out in a crappy book.Which sold really, really well.In
case you haven't noticed, the universe is not fair.
Since then I've
been trying to re-establish myself as a credible journalist, which isn't easy
with that stupid book hanging over me. But the college talk paid well—heck,
they even called me something silly like Artist-in-Residence—and I needed the
money, so I said I'd do it.It was handy
because one of the professors at the college was an old pal, and she let me
stay at her place, except she wasn't around, but this cute young housesitter
I know what
you're thinking.No, I didn't hit on the
housesitter, but I did watch her shoot an FBI agent who showed up at the front
door, and then I did the manly thing—I ran like a scared rabbit.But it was dark, and I kind of fell into a
lake, and that's how I ended up stumbling into Claire Hastings' cottage in the
middle of the night.
I have a history, sort of, but neither of us wanted to talk about it.She was all set to send me on my way, and she
was even okay with it when I told her that I had reasons not to get involved in
an FBI investigation at that particular moment in time—no, I can't tell you
about it, because… Never mind.Anyway,
that didn't quite work out, so I had to kind of kidnap Claire and drag her
across several states to take care of that thing that I can't tell you about.
was great.I mean, really great.Once we were in the middle of the
Thing-I-Can't-Talk-About (for the details, you'll have to read my book when it comes out next
year, with the blessing of the FBI), she was a real trouper, and I have to
admit she bailed me out of some sticky situations. I guess I should be
thankful, and I really have to admire her, even if she is kind of an aggressive
And I think
she's hiding a romantic streak under all that feminist rhetoric.I plan to find out, just as soon as I finish
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