“But I’m your wife!”

“Yes, you are,” he said, gazing into her eyes. “My beautiful, beautiful wife.” And then he kissed her.

Sheriff Troy Davis stood at his office window and watched Dave and Emily below. He smiled as he saw them hug and kiss. He was glad that, with a little help from his friend Roy McAfee, he’d been able to arrest the man responsible for the theft—and, in the process, clear Dave Flemming’s name. So far his department had been able to track down all the missing jewelry except for a couple of pieces.

Troy had already contacted Martha’s two daughters with the news and the recovered jewelry would be turned over to them. Although Troy believed that Martha had sincerely wanted Dave to have the watch, the pastor had insisted on returning it. He had nothing to prove to Martha’s children that their mother had given it to him, and Dave wasn’t comfortable with even the slightest doubt. Troy admired that.

Turning away from the window, he pinched the bridge of his nose. At least that case was satisfactorily resolved. The body discovered in the cave two days ago had yet to be identified, though. All he knew was that the skeletal remains appeared to be those of a male teenager, and that was an educated guess on the pathologist’s part. An autopsy would be conducted in the new year. It was hardly a priority, as the doctor had rather acerbically pointed out. Troy suspected the boy was a runaway.

This case had the potential to stretch the limits of his department. County records didn’t show anyone missing during the time period the pathologist had indicated. But someone must have seen him, talked to him, known him. A cold case was always difficult, but no matter how long it took, Troy was determined to find out who this young man was and what had led him to that cave.

If solving a twenty-year-old mystery wasn’t enough, it also happened to be Christmas.

Christmas without Faith.

Three hours later, Sheriff Davis left the office. His day was finally over and he was going home. 92 Pacific Boulevard was a lonely place these days. Maybe he’d put up the Christmas wreath Megan had bought him and try to imagine what his evening would be like if he was spending it with Faith.