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Colton's Deadly Engagement
Addison Fox

“That’s wise.” Even though he kept a straight face, there were distinct notes of humor lilting his voice. “You also know I’m right.”

“Maybe I do.”

“So, what do you say? Are you in? Are you willing to help me catch a killer?”

Darby had long known that choices made in desperation usually came out poorly. She needed Finn Colton’s help and she was hardly in a position to say no him.

She should feel trapped. Caged. And thoroughly out of options.

So why was it that she couldn’t feel anything but a clamoring sense of excitement?

“I’m in.”

* * *

Finn took his first deep breath in a month as he walked to his SUV, Lotte at his side. It had taken some convincing, but Darby had agreed with his ploy.

The idea had seemed so right at the time, but now that he considered his actions in the bright winter sunlight, they struck him as reckless and stupid. He’d always prided himself on being neither, so it was a bit of a head slap to realize he might have misstepped.

His conversation with Darby replayed in his mind. He did his level best to recall when he’d suddenly veered off into the realm of stupid romantic comedy movies and TV shows that had been on for too many seasons.

A fake relationship and engagement.

Was he insane?

Putting aside his doubts about Darby—and the bleach bottle he’d just stuffed in the back of his SUV offered up a big one—he had no business dragging a civilian into a police investigation. Yes, the Groom Killer had targeted men so far, but who knew if the perp would add brides into the mix?

Was Finn putting Darby in danger, inadvertently making her a target?

Their county profiler had indicated the targets seemed deliberately male, with the method of death cold, impersonal and somehow masculine. But that didn’t mean anything. Or it wouldn’t mean anything if something happened to Darby under his watch...

Finn squelched the thought. Nothing was going to happen to her. He’d protect her and see to it that he caught a killer in the meantime.

The drive to the precinct was quick and he detoured through the lab with the bleach before heading toward his desk. The squad room was humming, his staff all in full swing with a busy start to their week. He was pleased to see Detective Gage at his desk, focused on his computer screen.

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