New York City writer, Jaime Wilson wants the Assistant Editor job at Real Mystery Magazine. In order to get it, she has to write a kick-ass story, and what could be better than a 30-year old unsolved murder in a small town.
When Jaime visits Royal, Indiana to investigate, she soon finds that someone in the town doesn't want the mystery solved and she becomes a target. After an arrest for trespassing and an attempt on her life, Sheriff Ben Hunter lets her stay at his place where he can keep an eye on her while she continues to work on her story.
She didn't count on falling in love with the sheriff and he didn't think he would have to work so hard to keep her safe. Finally, when she finishes her story, she has to make her choice whether to stay with Ben or go back to New York.
"From here on, you need to be quiet. We are close to the Cook's home and we don't want them to know we're here," Bobby whispered.
They walked down the trail for a few more yards and then she saw an old, run down house. "Is that it?" she whispered.
"Yeah. We can walk around the front if you want a picture."
"I definitely want a picture."
Reaching the front of the house seemed like a walk through time. A swing on one side of the porch swayed in the breeze while a wooden rocking chair sat still on the other side. The chopping block had an axe buried in the top of it with split wood on the ground around it.
"Has someone been living here?" she asked Bobby.
"I've hiked out here since I was a kid and it's always been this way. Nothing ever changes."
She snapped a few pictures with her camera flash going off with each shot she took. "I want to look inside through the windows."
"Okay, but be quick. I don't like being out here in the open so long. With the leaves off of the trees, the Cook's might see that flash of yours going off."
Jaime carefully walked up to the old house that stood near a newer home with a barn between the two. She took a few pictures through the windows. The inside of the house looked like no one had been there in years. Perhaps left just the way it was when the Murdock's had last been there. She stood at the front door and couldn't resist trying the knob. The door opened.
"I don't think that's a good idea," he warned.
"I'll just take one picture of the inside and then we'll go." She took one step into the house.
"I don't think that's a good idea," he related again.
"You should listen to the boy," a deep voice echoed from behind them.
She knew that voice.
"Come on out."
Jaime turned to see Ben standing at the corner of the old house, handcuffing Bobby behind his back. "What are you doing?" she asked, walking over to them.
"Arresting him for trespassing. You're next."
"Didn't you see the No Trespassing sign?" Ben asked.
"Then you should have turned back. Now, turn around."
Jaime put her camera on the porch and turned around for Ben to handcuff her. "This isn't exactly what I in mind when I thought of you handcuffing me," she mumbled to him.
He didn't answer, but instead picked up her camera and led them through the trees to his police car that was parked in front of the other house. She assumed it belonged to the Cook family. A woman in a housedress stood on the front porch.
"They won't be back out here again, Mrs. Cook," Ben called to the lady.
He opened the back door of his car and Bobby got in. Before Jaime got in, she looked up at Ben. "I'm sorry."
He didn't answer, but put his hand on top of her head so she wouldn't bump it as he guided her into the car.
"Where's your truck, Bobby?" Ben asked.
"Over on Jackson Road."
"I'm sorry about this, Bobby," Jaime said.
"Don't worry about it. It's not like I haven't seen the inside of that jail before."
Ben picked the microphone to his radio. "Dispatch, Six-Oh-One."
"Go ahead Six-Oh-One."
"Call Wrecker One and have him tow in a red Chevy pickup that's parked on Jackson Road."
"Roger," the dispatcher answered.
No one spoke during the rest of the ride to the Sheriff's Department.
Once inside the sally port, Jaime and Bobby were separated. The female deputy took Jaime to the female side of the jail for booking. Her handcuffs were removed and she emptied her pockets of the small wallet, cell phone, and car keys and then the deputy search her.
After being fingerprinted, the deputy gave her some clothes. "You need to put these on and hand your shirt and jeans out to me. I'll put them in a bag for you to change back in to when you bond out."
Jaime had to undress in front of the deputy, putting her clothes into a large clear plastic bag she held open. "When do I get to call someone?" she asked.
"As soon as you get dressed, I'm to take you to the Sheriff. You can call someone at that time."
Jaime put on the bright orange jumpsuit with the word “prisoner” printed on the back, and followed the deputy to the sheriff's office. She knocked on the door. "Come in."
The deputy opened the door. "I have Miss Wilson here, sir."
"Have her come in. I'll see that she gets to a cell when I'm finished speaking with her. Thank you."
The deputy opened the door wider for Jaime to enter the office. Ben got up. "Sit down," he motioned to a chair in front of his desk and walked around and closed the door. "What were you doing out there?" He sat back down behind his desk.
"I needed pictures for my story."
"Why didn't you ask permission first?"
"I was told the family that owned the property didn't want anyone out there?"
"Who told you that? Bobby James? And, how the hell did you get mixed up with him anyway? For all you know, he could have been the person that vandalized your tire or wrecked the cabin!"
"None of that is any of your business. When do I get to call someone to bail me out?"
"Right now." He picked up his phone and slammed it down on the desk in front of her.
She jumped when the phone hit the desk. "Could I have some privacy please?" she asked.
"No. You're a prisoner and I can't leave you alone in here. Push nine and then dial your number."