The Man with Brown Hair

A Special Agent Emily Dahill Story

She stood, silent.

Arms settled easily across her chest, not for warmth but protection. Psychological protection, as she looked out the picture window.

Darkness lent a unique beauty to the snowscape laid out before her. Tree limbs swaying cast a myriad of strange shadows over the whiteness. Clouds dancing across the moons face added a dramatic backstop.

Behind her, light from a fire illuminated the room with a soft yellow hue. Its welcoming warmth penetrated her Aran Island sweater. But not enough to keep a feared chill off her.

She lifted her head and caught the reflection of the ships clock in the window. He should have been back half an hour ago. He’s never stayed away this long.

For him to be late wasn’t the norm. Especially when it came to food. And tonight was special-roast beef, roast potatoes, pan drip gravy-everything he likes and deserves after the last case. If not for him she’d be dead or worse, so severely injured she’d never recover.

With confirmed reports that the brown haired man was back in the area, she had new cause to worry. Had the terrorist gotten her partner before he reached home and safety?

She prayed not.

She’d chased the brown man over half the country. At one point even thinking he’d disappeared to Europe. But that turned out to be an unsubstantiated rumor. A trail of dead soldiers marked his wake. Once she thought she’d had him cornered but a traitor helped the man escape. That man now is basking in the Caribbean sun at Gitmo.

Last night, the storm had done more than cover the ground in two feet of snow. Wind had knocked out power and phone lines. Only the backup generator, she’d, as an afterthought, installed last year, kept pipes from freezing and provided electricity to half the house.

If not for the guys at the base motor pool her driveway would still be almost waist deep in snow. Got to remember to send them a case of Maker 46.

She turned back to the fire. Even the cheeriness of the flames couldn’t quash the anxiety in her mind. Never in her life had she ever wanted to rely or need someone, not until he came into her life. Not even her dad, CID Special Agent Thaddeus Dahill, had affected or loved her as he did.

She wondered if her love for him was a sign of weakness on her part.


Quickly, she drove that thought from her mind. Granted, he was her life and she, no, correction, they, lived for each other. The air they breathed. The subtle looks, secreted from others, but between them. The gentle loving touch.

A thought, a feeling, a something she couldn’t describe, drew her vision back to the window.


Not far from the house. At first she thought the movement was from a branch.

She blinked. Then again.

There the movement was again.

A shadow.

Subtle. But there.

Blended with the waving branches.

Animal or human, she wasn’t sure.

A cloud uncovered the moon which helped illuminate the scene laid out before her.

As faint, white moonlight spread over the snow she saw what she feared. A glint of light on metal. A chill ran down her spine which caused her hand to slide to the small of her back. As her long graceful fingers lightly brushed against the cool metal of her pistol a comfort came over her. Slowly she let out the breath she didn’t realize she was holding.


To the side and behind the reflection she saw another movement. This one even slower. More cautious than the first.

She froze.

Was it now?

Was her, maybe his, time up?

The time when things would come to a fatal crashing conclusion.

For someone.

Hopefully not either of them.

Suddenly a blood curdling howl cut through the nights cold.

She wasn’t able to tell if the cry was animal or human.

Emily knew there was a family of wolves living nearby, but they’d never came close. Could the sound have been from them protecting their home.

Again the unmistaken howl, this time more of pain sliced through the air.

Emily looked toward the front of the house, in the direction the sound had emanated from. She caught the sight of someone running, more limping away. Even from a distance she knew the person to be only one-the brown haired man.

She retrieved her weapon from its resting place as she raced for the front door. As she flung the door open the man was still in sight. She leaned against the door jamb and calmed her breathing. The shot would be a ‘Hail Mary’ but one she needed to take. Screw a warning shot. The bastard doesn’t deserve the courtesy. Slowly, she squeezed the trigger.

Emily watched as the man stumbled but quickly regain his footing. As he rounded a shallow curve in the driveway the unmistakable sound of a car engine stopped her.


No go.

She took the first option but a tug on her sweater halted her forward motion. She smiled knowing who was preventing the chase to continue. “Okay. You win.” She turned as was met with soft dark brown eyes looking up at her. “Let’s call this in then eat before supper gets totally ruined.”

With an excited woof Dakota let her know he agreed, with the food part.

Later, after reporting the incident, they adjourned to the table, well she was at the table. Dakota had his own special place, beside her with his food on the floor in specially made dog food dishes. After all collies, especially ones that are the sons and daughters of Kebi deserve the best.

They both knew the brown haired man would be back. But not for a long time. A very long time. He’d been arrested while trying to get help for gunshot and dog bite wounds.

Now on a different note, probably a Hi-C and not the juice either, here’s the tour schedule for my dear friend, Mary Martinez. At each stop, she’ll be talking about unique and interesting topics for pubbed and unpubbed writers.

Blog tour Schedule

The tour will be set up like an interview, one blog, one question.

January 31, 2011- Kick off Day one:

Liz Lipperman – Mysteries and Margaritas

February 1, 2011 – Day Two:

Phyllis Campbell Blog

February 2, 2011 – Day three:

Regan Taylor’s World

February 3, 2011 – Day Four:

Amy Durham ~ writer and book-lover

February 4, 2011 – Day Five:

Marie-Claude Bourque – Muse Tracks

February 7, 2011 – Day Six:

Lesli Muir Lytle – Writers Block Buster

February 8, 2011 – Day Seven:

Nights of Passion Blog

February 9, 2011 – Day Eight

Coffee, Books and a blog with Mary Martinez

February 10, 2011 – Day Nine:

Lindsay Downs – Murders and Mysteries

February 11, 2011 – Day Ten:

Mary’s Garden

This entry was posted in Interview, Military, Short Story, Suspense. Bookmark the permalink.

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