Safe Harbor~Chapter One

 
   

 

~Safe Harbor~

a novel by Sherilyn Winrose

  Chapter One

Harley Miller exploded into the television screen. A smile spread across Jenna’s face as her persona took command of the stage. A gust of wind rattled the windows of her Arts and Crafts house. Let it rain. Jenna was so thrilled to be seeing her first music video even the storm couldn’t dampen her spirits. A knock on the front door brought her out of her revelry with a start.

A more aggressive knock followed. A deep male voice announced, “Lieutenant Bryan Jamison, Los Angeles Police.” 

Jamison? Jenna’s heart pounded. How did he find me? What could he want after all these years? The door shook at the power of his next knock. “Just a minute I’m coming,” she called as she turned the volume on the TV down and padded toward the door.

Goose pimples rose as she neared the heavy oak door. She tried to rub warmth into her arms as she peered through the peep hole. An intense blue gaze met hers. I could never forget those eyes. God help me.  Her heart pounded so hard she was certain Lt Jamison could hear it. Jenna carefully opened the door a crack. “May I see your badge?”

A silver shield appeared under her nose instantaneously. Jenna stepped to the side, motioning the dark haired officer to enter. She nervously peered into the dark yard. On a night like tonight chances were good none of the neighbors noticed her visitor.  Jenna shut the door and turned her attention to the well built man. Dressed in jeans, his wind breaker dripping rain on the hardwood floor, he was as commanding as she remembered. “How can I help you officer?”

He produced an envelope from his pocket. “I have a warrant for your arrest, Miss Davidson.”

Jenna’s heart drummed painfully.  “You’ve made a mistake. There must be another Miss Davidson.” Heat crept up her neck and cheeks as blood pounded loudly in her ears. This wasn’t happening. It was all a bad dream and she’d wake soon.

Turquoise eyes peered straight through her.  This was most certainly a nightmare. Her body stiffened. Memories crowded her vision. This wasn’t happening. She’d promised herself she’d to do the right thing should the opportunity arise. Resolve abandoned her. “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“Have a seat Miss Davidson.”

She ignored his out stretched arm. “Why? I’ve told you, I’m not who you’re looking for. You should leave now.”

Lt. Jamison grabbed her upper arm and moved her to the sofa. His grip was strong and steady. She was surprised at the ease with which he propelled her across the room. Jenna’s mind raced as he settled into the Mission style chair closest to her position on the dark leather couch. The glow from the television made the rain in his curly hair glisten as he ran his hand over it.

 He couldn’t know enough to make her return to Los Angeles . Very few knew the true depth of her former life, and she didn’t see any of them sharing it with the police. He had to be bluffing.

 “You’ll have to excuse my skepticism, Jenna. May I call you Jenna?” He didn’t wait for an answer. Leaning forward with his elbows on his knees, he tipped his head. “There could be more than one Jenna Davidson, I’ll grant you that.

“That you expect me to believe there are two, measuring five foot nothing with violet eyes and a figure like yours is asking too much. I’ve come a long way and spent too much time to pack it in now. I have a warrant for your arrest and you will be coming with me.”

Jenna tucked her hair behind her ear and crossed her arms protectively over her chest. She wouldn’t cry. She’d explain and he’d have to dismiss her. “Lieutenant I can assure you, I am of no use to you.”

“Yeah, you keep sayin’ that. Are you interested in the charges? Leaving the scene of a crime starts the list, should I go on?”

Tears spilled down her cheeks and she hastily wiped them away. She’d worked so hard to become a good, productive person. This couldn’t be happening. Not now. Drawing in a steadying breath Jenna said, “I was sixteen and to be honest too scared to remember much of anything. What I do remember isn’t reliable. As I said, I’m of no use to you.”

Lt. Jamison leaned over the coffee table. “I don’t want to arrest you. See that would require bringing in local authorities for a proper extradition, very messy and time consuming. The press would get involved and then he’d know where you are. You don’t want your old friend Simon to discover your whereabouts do you?”

Her heart stopped. “Simon Dilante lost interest in me a very long time ago six years to be exact. I should think a man with his connections would have found me. He isn’t interested and for good reason. I’m no threat to him.”

“I beg to differ. You witnessed the murder of a police officer. A murder he ordered. We both saw what happened; don’t lie to me.”

The calm of his voice was in direct conflict with his posture. She slid away from him as she said, “Listen to me Lieutenant. Yes I was there. I watched as my father shot my mother like she was nothing. The police filled my father full of holes, and I saw an officer fall. I wish I didn’t remember. Lord knows I’ve tried to forget.” Visions of the blood splattered scene made it difficult to continue. “Unfortunately the defense will bring up my very sordid past. I was a punk kid with a police record.  My credibility is non-existent. My testimony will do no good. You should leave now.”

             “People change. The prosecution will demonstrate you are no longer that punk kid.”

            Jenna stood up rubbing her palm over the pocket of her pants. “I’m not a fool. The people change line is only used in court. People say they believe it, but when it gets to the wire they don’t. Lieutenant Jamison. I can’t help you. My testimony would hold no weight. I really must insist you leave now.”

             “The DA can prove you’ve changed. From what I gathered you’ve been working to put yourself through the University of Washington . They accepted you at sixteen, an accomplishment on its own. You haven’t been in any sort of trouble since you left L.A. They will play off your petty nonsense for what it was, environment. Pack a bag. Write a note for your roommates if you feel you must. I’m not leaving without you.”

            “I’m sorry you lost your partner. There is nothing I can do to right that wrong.” Regret weighed heavy on Jenna’s conscience for her part in the shootings. He couldn’t possibly understand what he was asking of her.

             “We can do this the hard way if you’d like.” He pulled a cell phone from his jacket pocket. ” Bellevue is in King County correct?”

            Her nostrils flared. “You need to leave now.”

            “I can’t do that. I suggest you pack a bag, you’re going to be gone for a while.”

            He was insane. There was no other possible reason he was still seated in her living room. Jenna opened her mouth and Lt Jamison opened his cell phone.

            “It will take me a half an hour or so to pack. Make yourself at home, if you must.”

            There was more than one way to get around this cocky cop. Jenna wasn’t going to Los Angeles . It simply wasn’t going to happen. She flipped the wall switch for a corner lamp and he snapped, “Leave it off.”

            “Suit yourself,” Jenna said as she mounted the stairs to her bed room. She slid her cell phone out of her pocket and hit the key for her best friend.

“Guy Thorton.”

Drat, she’d pressed the wrong button. “Is Lauren there?”

“Jenna is that you?”

Her head dropped forward as she entered her bedroom and closed the door. “Yes it’s me. Where’s Lauren.”

“She’s out. And as it turns out she left her cell phone on my desk. What can I do for you?”

Jenna’s eyes darted to the door as she pulled her duffle bag from under the bed. “There’s a L.A. police detective here. He has a warrant for my arrest.”

“Have you seen his id?”

“It was the first thing I asked for. It’s Jamison. I recognized him instantly. He’s the one who saw me. He knows.” Jenna’s throat clenched. She grabbed clothes off of hangers to stuff in her bag and then went to the dresser.

“Hang tight. I’ll round up Vince and Al. Carmine is on his way out the door as we speak.”

Jenna heard keys jangle in the background. Knowing they were on their way made her feel some better. “There isn’t much the guardians can do Guy, he’s got a warrant. Statute isn’t up on most of the things I did. I can’t go to L.A. ” She grabbed her coat off the back of her desk chair, keeping a watchful eye on the door.

“Jenna, I’m going to call my lawyer. He couldn’t possibly have enough to get you sent down there. All he knows is you witnessed a crime. He’s got nothing. Don’t worry it will be alright, you just hang on.”

The bedroom door swung open as Jenna tucked her cell phone into the duffle. Lt. Jamison didn’t look happy. “Is there another way out of the house?”


 

 

 

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