Jackie's gaze wandered from headstones to somber faces. But not to the casket that held the body
of her only true friend Desmond Sinclair. She recognized the people standing around her. Except

Now she knew she hadn't worn the black net veil because it matched her black suit. She'd worn it
to hide her eyes. She continued to stare at the man. The handsome stranger looked familiar even
though she was positive she never met him. She searched her memory until it came to her. Andrew
Michaels. His picture appeared in her Los Angeles newspaper a lot. The last time he'd posed on
the courthouse steps, relief radiated from his eyes when he smiled for the cameras after achieving
a guilty verdict on a high profile murder case.

How dare he show up here? Thanks to her Desmond couldn't harm anyone anymore. A cold chill
rolled through her. Perhaps the district attorney had come for her.

Undecided if she should bolt or approach the man, Jackie was suddenly frozen in a time past when
Marcus DeMario stepped into view.

The sight of him took her breath away just like the first time she saw him all those years ago. She
watched him step away from the limousine and weave around headstones in her direction. As he
neared, she saw his features had changed little. What had changed was the hardness in his
composure, a coldness that sent another chill through her.

With her chin tucked into her chest, she watched him step up to the casket to pay last respects.
Once or twice his steely eyes glanced her way. But he showed no signs of recognizing her.

Of course he wouldn't recognize you, she reminded herself. You were just a piece of disposable
property to the man.

But Marcus did recognize her. Not the first time he glanced in her direction. The second time his
gaze traveled up her black nylons he knew of only one pair of legs so perfect. But what was Jackie
Bertoni doing at Desmond Sinclair's funeral? What was she doing in America?

The crowd of mourners began departing. Jackie watched them go. The district attorney lagged
behind them like he was waiting for someone. Jackie breathed easier when he ducked inside a
blue sedan and drove away. But an immense amount of heat fired through her when she met
Marcus's mesmerizing gaze.

Copyright (c) Debra Lee