Catch Him

By: S. Doyle

Chapter 1





Sinead O’Hara pulled up the driveway in her police cruiser and thought it was either a false alarm or she was staring at the world’s stupidest criminal. She’d gotten the call regarding a house alarm that had been triggered, and she’d cruised down the tree-lined street in Mill Valley, California to the address dispatch had given her.

As she drove past the smaller ranch houses spread along the quiet street she thought it crazy how much people actually paid to live here.

Everyone knew real estate around San Francisco was insane. Until someone was driving past a thousand-foot-square house listed for almost a million dollars, a person didn’t really appreciate it.

While she had her lights on, she’d left the sirens off out of respect to the neighbors. It was after midnight, and while this house was set back up off the street with a little separation from the homes on either side, she didn’t feel she needed to add to the blaring noise that was already coming from the house.

Besides, it wasn’t like she was going to have to actually chase this guy, as the potential perp was calmly sitting on the front stoop.

She approached him cautiously, as she would any suspect.

The man stood with his arms in the air. “Don’t shoot, officer. Please.”

Sinead immediately detected an accent. British, she decided, because he sounded like Darcy from her favorite Pride and Prejudice movie.

“Sir, is this your home?” she asked, thinking maybe he’d gotten drunk and tripped his own alarm—which was the case most times when this happened.

“It is not. I’m house swapping with a mate, and as you can see he obviously gave me the wrong passcode to his alarm.”

“Can you get this mate on the phone to confirm?”

“Sadly, no. He’s on holiday for the next few weeks and totally unreachable. I do, however, have various bits of proof of my innocence.”

Sinead moved closer to him. With only the moonlight and the glare of light from inside the house shining out through the door, she could see the man in front of her was spectacularly handsome. Like James Bond handsome. Like Jude Law handsome.

No, even better.

Like Charlie Hunnam handsome. Charlie who was Jax on Sons of Anarchy so no one really knew he was British, because he had such a good American accent. However, it being Sinead’s favorite show, Jax being her favorite character, she’d done her homework on the man.

In case she ever met him and he wanted to marry her.

That’s how handsome this guy was. Not that it mattered if she had to arrest him for breaking and entering, but still.

He pointed behind him and Sinead could see some pictures on a foyer table. Then he handed her a picture he’d been holding.

“What am I supposed to do with this?”

“You can see us together,” he explained. “There, that’s my mate Garrett and that’s me.”

She was looking at two handsome men in tuxedos smiling stupidly into a camera. She thought even drunk he was still hot.

In truth, Sinead was probably standing too close to him. But as she looked at the picture and he pointed out his face, she couldn’t help but smell the faintest hint of his aftershave.

Delicious.

Dangerous.

“Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to take a step back.”

He complied immediately. “Oh yes, sorry. I was just trying to prove I know the man who owns this house very well, as I was in his wedding.”

“Obviously not well enough for him to give you the correct passcode.”

“I’m certain he screwed up. Maybe forgot he changed it. Look, I have a key.” He reached for his pocket and immediately Sinead reached for her weapon.

“Goodness, we’re back to the shooting part of this,” he said as he removed the key from his pocket and held it up so she could see it for what it was. Then he carefully laid it down on the ground.

Sinead assessed the person in front of her. As a cop, even if it was the sleepy suburb of Mill Valley, she was expected to rely on her instincts. Her instincts about this guy said he was a non-threat. If he had been breaking and entering, he certainly wouldn’t have stuck around to wait for the cops. If he was telling the truth, the key and pictures were a pretty good indication he knew the person who owned the home.

Beyond that, Sinead wanted to stop the screeching of the home alarm. “Is there a land line inside?”

“I’m sorry a what?”

“A phone that’s not a cell phone.”

“Oh yes, right here in the foyer. I’ve already tried calling the security company, but they require the same code I obviously have wrong. I told them I could probably answer some security questions, but they insisted I wait for the police to arrive. Now here you are. You can hit the last number dialed to ring them.”

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