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ISBN-13: 978-0-7278-6707-0 (cased)


Except where actual historical events and characters are being described for the storyline of this novel, all situations in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to living persons is purely coincidental.



Smashwords Edition

To Liz and Alex—

May their love wildness never die

One


The shrill of the alarm clock pierced Conrad Fleming’s sleep. He slapped the snooze button and rolled over. He reached for his wife, longing for the touch of her skin, the warmth of an embrace. But there was no one there.

He sat upright, confused. He listened but heard not a sound. Worse, he didn’t smell coffee brewing. If Shari were here, the aroma would fill the house. Where was she?

She often worked late – very late. But she always came home. Maybe Monica was right. Maybe Shari was having an affair with the school district superintendent. He’d laughed at Monica yesterday when she told him that rumor. He wasn’t laughing now.

He called the direct line into Shari’s office. It rang four times and clicked to voice mail. He hung up without leaving a message. He clicked the speed-dial button for her cell. It, too, went unanswered.

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