the entrance to the ballroom, nametag in hand, as if he had just arrived. She stood, motionless,
staring, unaware of the murmurs of uneasiness arising from the gathering. She watched,
mesmerized, as his lips curved into that slow, Mona-Lisa smile of his and his chin lifted in
acknowledgment of her awareness of him. Although quite a distance away, Elizabeth could
easily make out the slight cleft in his chin, the sexy, firm line of his jaw—and those deep set
eyes which she knew were the most amazing shade of midnight blue…
Later that night
Elizabeth pushed the door open and stepped inside. The glow from the streetlights spilled in
through the lace curtains…It caught her eye as it danced eerily with the tree shadows upon the
ceiling. Turning her gaze to the right, down the dark hallway, she spotted a sliver of light coming
from the bathroom.
…She flicked on the light, aware of the click of the apartment door as it closed behind her…a
quick scan of the living room revealed Julie’s evening gown draped across the sofa, the plastic
dry-cleaning bag still covering it.
She glanced to the left where Allison’s door stood ajar. Sensing nothing there, she turned
toward the hallway, debating whether to continue on or call the police. Now she was really being
paranoid… Julie probably just changed her mind about attending the banquet, or—her husband
had shown up.
She set her briefcase down, took her cell phone out of her evening bag, just in case, then
started down the hallway. At the bathroom, she paused. Glancing around the partially opened
door, she discovered Julie’s makeup scattered on the counter along with her own toiletries. A
damp towel lay on the floor. She pushed the door open further, but the bathroom was clearly
She took another step toward the bedroom, then stopped as a dark spot on the beige carpet
caught her eye. Bending down, she stretched her fingers out to touch it. The familiar texture of
the moisture that wicked against her fingertips left her feeling somewhat dazed. She turned her
fingers to the light, although her mind already knew what her eyes would tell her. The sticky
substance was blood—spent blood—already drying with time.
<i>Outside the apartment—</i>
…as the officers started up the staircase, two steps at a time with Drake at their heels, Sal
shouted over his shoulder, “Thirty-two-year-old woman—multiple stab wounds.”
Drake’s steps faltered. A cold sweat iced his back and he was sure his heart stopped, if only for
a second…A muffled shout sounded from inside.
“In Here! Hurry!”
Elizabeth’s voice? Drake couldn’t tell… Leading with his weapon, he shoved through the door…
“In here!” the woman cried from around the next doorway. This time he was sure it was
He paused to peer around the corner and scan the room. He nodded to the cop who raced
passed him and checked out the closet. Finally, he allowed himself to look down toward her
His stomach turned at the ghastly sight that met his eyes.
“Elizabeth…” he breathed.
Susan grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from
Columbia College, Missouri with an emphasis in creative writing.She penned her first
melodrama in fifth grade for a Girl Scout Drama badge. Complete with hero, heroine, and
dastardly villain, it wasn’t so very different, really, than the romantic suspense she writes now.
“I love writing romantic suspense because it allows me to combine a sexy, passionate love story
with a gritty suspense tale—in my opinion, the best of both worlds.It also allows me to express
my appreciation for the outdoors in the setting that I recreate on the page.”
When she is not sketching characters, you might find Susan on the golf course working on her
handicap, or traveling around the country seeking out new settings for her novels with her
husband and empty nest puppies, Ginger and Nikute. To read more about Susan’s novels and
the writing life, please visit her website/blog at www.susanrae.com