Every Step She Takes (Who's Watching Now Book 2)

By: Jannine Gallant

Dedication




To my daughters, Tara and Kristen. May your lives always be a journey filled with excitement, fun, accomplishment and love!





Chapter 1




Grace Hanover dropped her cell phone on the counter and happy danced around the apartment. Fists pumping in the air, she kicked an empty pizza box and let out a hoot. “Oh, yeah, oh, yeah! Pulitzer Prize, you’re mine, baby.”

Collapsing onto the old leather couch, she pictured herself wearing a killer black dress, long hair swept up in an elegant knot and diamonds the size of her thumb sparkling at her ears. She smiled graciously at the tuxedo-clad presenter.

All in a day’s work. I uncovered the story quite by chance... Who would I like to thank? Why, my family for their loving support, my long-suffering editor, and a reliable source who made this story possible.

Her brows drew together as the vision faded. Calling her source reliable was a gross exaggeration, although Tia had come through for her in the past. She prayed the girl was merely stoned and not tripping on some hallucinogen when she overheard the rumor about Casey Sutton. A sober Tia was too much to hope for, about as likely as palm trees growing in Alaska, but Grace was willing to risk a wild goose chase for the story of the decade.

Thinking about the possibilities sent a quiver of anticipation skittering down her spine. She, Grace Hanover, would have an exclusive interview with the man who had stumbled upon a billion dollar drug exchange and witnessed the murder of a government agent. For an investigative reporter, it didn’t get any better. San Francisco native Casey Sutton’s testimony was the key to bringing down Colombian drug lord Juan Estrada, and she would tell the public Sutton’s story in his own words.

Both the national and local media were panting for details, but no one had a clue where the man was sequestered. Until now. If Tia could be believed. If the woman shooting off her mouth at some party really was Sutton’s girlfriend.

Grace bounced off the couch and stared out the window through the marine layer obscuring her view of Golden Gate Park. Summer in San Francisco was nearly always foggy. Biting her lip, she wondered what the weather would be like in the wilds of Alaska. Sutton was idling away the weeks before the trial at a fishing retreat in the back of beyond, for God’s sake. She’d read the man was a nature freak, a hippy throwback, but couldn’t the feds have found someplace a little closer to home to hide him?

The things I put myself through for a story.

She flipped her hair over her shoulder and scowled at a chip in her nail polish. She’d rather have bamboo rammed under her fingernails than sleep in a tent. Thank the good Lord there was supposedly some sort of lodge at this camp. If Tia’s source wasn’t making up the whole freaking story. She’d check the place out online, pack and book a plane ticket on the next flight north. Chortling with glee, Grace headed for her computer.

Casey Sutton wouldn’t know what hit him.

* * * *

“You want me to handle it personally?” Travis Barnett ran a hand through his hair and frowned at the piles of paperwork on his desk. “I don’t have time for fieldwork anymore, Fritz, and my staff is top rate.”

The voice of his old buddy from SEAL Team Six rose in volume on the other end of the secure line. “I want you, not one of your staff. This is a hell of a lot more important than bodyguard duty for some two-bit celebrity, for Christ’s sake. The man’s location has been compromised. You’re close, and you’re the best. I don’t have time to screw around, and I’m not certain any of our men in the Anchorage office has the experience to get the job done. If Estrada’s goons get to Sutton first, we can kiss a conviction good-bye. Hell, we can kiss Sutton good-bye. I’ve spent months putting this case together, and I won’t see it flushed down the crapper because that hippy wannabe texted his girlfriend!”

“Idiot.”

“You won’t get an argument from me, but I need the man alive. I want you in Alaska yesterday! God, I was a fool to leave him up there alone, but the man I had on him was whining about the isolation. Then his wife went into early labor…” He sighed. “I was short staffed and made a bad judgment call, but let’s face it, no one would have found him at that lodge if he’d kept his mouth shut.”

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