Emmie was barely out of the shower, thoughts of Ryker pressing her up against the living room wall still lingering, when her phone chimed

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Emmie was barely out of the shower, thoughts of Ryker pressing her up against the living room wall still lingering, when her phone chimed. She looked at the caller and swiped to answer it.

"Sam? I didn't expect you to call for another few days." She was grateful someone like Sam Jordon had been assigned to her case. He'd been kind to her during her orientation for WITSAC and had promised to be only a phone call away if she needed him. Seeing his number brought about a mixed reaction, however – comforting, as though she had a big brother looking out for her, and unsettling because she didn't want to need that big brother or the protection he offered.

"I know, but something came up in my schedule and now I'm unable to meet later this week. How about I come by tomorrow instead. Does late morning sound good to you?"

"It doesn't, actually. I'm working."

"You found a job already? That was quick. So I take it you're settling in to Moon Beach, then. Meeting new people."

She sure was. "Uh-huh."

Where's the job?"

She gave him a brief run-down of Iola's Eats and her position there. "It's mainly a breakfast and lunch place. My shift starts at 6:45, so..."

"Okay, well, I'd still like to meet up. Why don't I stop over at your apartment beforehand? I can give you a lift to work if you need it.

Emmie sighed. What she didn't need was to start her day in as frazzled a state as possible by being reminded of all the horror she was trying to forget. Still, she couldn't really say no. He was a U.S. Marshall, after all. He was just doing his job.

"Won't you have to get up really early to make it here?" Sam was stationed in Portland – nearly three hours away.

"That's for me to worry about. I'll see you at your place, say, quarter after six?"

"All right, bye, Sam."

The next morning, Emmie dragged herself out of bed a half hour earlier than she normally would have in order to make sure she was ready when Sam showed up. Her buzzer rang at 6:15 on the dot. Sam was nothing if not punctual.

This was their first official meeting after she'd been released from orientation into her new life and to be honest, she didn't really know what she was supposed to do. He followed her up the stairs after she'd let him in and offered him coffee. They sat at the cramped two-seat table off of her tiny kitchenette, steaming mugs in hand.

"Is there something specific you needed to talk about with me, Sam?"

He seemed relieved that she'd broached the topic. "This is always the difficult part. You've been here such a short amount of time but you're starting to adjust. I do my best not to intrude at this stage, to be honest. I want you to immerse yourself in your new life."

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