Read The Protector Online

Authors: Dee Henderson

Tags: #Romance, #Christian, #Suspense, #O'Malley

The Protector

THE PROTECTOR

“There are very few books that touch the soul and the heart while trying to deliver an inspiring message, but Ms. Henderson always manages to accomplish this feat.”

B
OOK
B
ROWSER


The Protector
is dynamic. The love story between its covers captured my heart with its depth. The spiritual truth hit me between the eyes with its simplicity. Only Dee could have written this powerful, can’t-wait-for-the-next-one novel.”

H
ANNAH
A
LEXANDER
, author of
Sacred Trust, Solemn Oath,
and
Silent Pledge

“A page-turner with romance, love, and finely crafted writing that will keep you read ing until the dramatic ending. Two thumbs up!”

R
OMANCECENTRAL.COM

“A riveting addition to the series!… Dee Henderson’s magical pen combines the allure of Thrillers, Romances, and Christian books to make one of the best series I have ever read!”

H
UNTRESS
B
OOK
R
EVIEWS
(
www.huntressreviews.com/thril.htm
)


The Protector
is very exciting with lots of edge of your seat fire-fighting scenes…. I couldn’t put the book down.”

T
HE
B
ELLES AND
B
EAUX OF
R
OMANCE

THE TRUTHS EEKER

“Another fantastic, page-turning mystery by Dee Henderson! Heartwarming romance and exciting drama are her trademark, and they’ll be sure to thrill you a third time!”

S
UITE
101.
COM

“Read one book by Dee Henderson, and I guarantee you are gonna be hooked for life!”

T
HE
BELLES AND BEAUX OF ROMANCE

“For a complex story and profound statement on Christianity, read
The Truth Seeker. “

T
HE
R
OMANCE
R
EADERS
C
ONNECTION
, I
NSPIRATIONAL
C
ORNER

THE GUARDIAN

“An entertaining thriller-cum-romance-cum-conversion story is what readers get in this fastpaced novel…. Christian readers will relish this intriguing tale.”

P
UBLISHERS
W
EEKLY

“More than an investigative thriller, this is a great romance dealing with complex matters of faith.”

R
OMANTIC
T
IMES
M
AGAZINE

“Another exciting new thriller from an up-and-coming talent in Christian fiction.”

L
IBRARY
J
OURNAL

THE NEGOTIATOR

“Sterling romantic suspense.”

R
OMANTIC
T
IMES
M
AGAZINE
Top Pick

“Solid storytelling, compelling characters, and the promise of more O’Malleys make Henderson a name to watch. Highly recommended, with a cross-genre appeal.”

L
IBRARY
J
OURNAL

“Topnotch writing.”

S
CRIBES
W
ORLD
R
EVIEWS

DANGER IN THE SHADOWS

“Dee Henderson had me shivering as her stalker got closer and closer to his victim. The message that we have nothing to fear as long as God is in control was skillfully han dled, but I got scared, anyway! I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes sus pense.”

T
ERRI
B
LACKSTOCK, BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF
Cape Refuge

“A masterstroke!!… Dee Henderson gives the reader not one but two irresistible heroes.”

C
OMPUSERVE
R
EVIEWS

THE HEALER

“The Healer
is a poignant love story, a five handkerchief reading experience that readers will never be able to forget because it is so beautiful…. Dee Henderson is a brilliant storyteller who constantly writes tales that the audience wants to read.”

B
OOKBROWSER

“The Healer
mesmerized me! A masterful balance of life and death, good and evil is created within these pages, and I could not walk away unchanged. At times all too real,
The Healer
had me crying, laughing, and wondering ‘what if.’”

R
OMANCE
R
EADERS
C
ONNECTION.COM

Visit Tyndale’s exciting Web site at
www.tyndale.com
.

TYNDALE
and Tyndale’s quill logo are registered trademarks of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

The Protector

Copyright © 2001 by Dee Henderson. All rights reserved.

Cover photograph of fireman copyright © by Index Stock Imagery. All rights reserved.

Cover photograph of fire copyright © by
Photos.com
. All rights reserved.

Designed by Ron Kaufmann and Dean H. Renninger

Previously published in 2001 by Multnomah Publishers, Inc. under ISBN 1-57673-846-9.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of either the author or the publisher.

ISBN 978-1-4143-1059-6

TITLES BY DEE HENDERSON

THE O’MALLEY SERIES
Danger in the Shadows
(prequel)
The Negotiator
The Guardian
The Truth Seeker
The Protector
The Healer
The Rescuer

UNCOMMON HEROES SERIES
True Devotion
True Valor
True Honor
Kidnapped
The Witness
Before I Wake

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish but
have eternal life.
For God sent the Son into the world,
not to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.

J
OHN
3:16–17

Contents

Prologue

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

Twenty-one

Twenty-two

Twenty-three

Twenty-four

Twenty-five

Twenty-six

Twenty-seven

Twenty-eight

Twenty-nine

Thirty

Thirty-one

Thirty-two

Thirty-three

Thirty-four

Thirty-five

Thirty-six

Thirty-seven

Thirty-eight

Thirty-nine

Forty

Forty-one

Forty-two

Forty-three

Forty-four

Forty-five

Prologue

T
he electricity was out. The candle nightlight on the dresser was barely bright enough to scare away the ghosts. Jack watched the dancing shadows flicker on the wall and wished his mom had brought him the torch flashlight his dad used when they went camping. Dim was worse than dark, and the shadows were laughing at him.

If only there were a full moon, not a storm. He could hear the wind picking up. He tugged on the blanket, ready to yank it over his head when the lightning struck. Sometimes lightning could herald action heroes coming to save him and sometimes it was just angry bolts. Tonight the storm was angry.

“Mom?” He didn’t shout it. He wasn’t supposed to still be awake; he wasn’t supposed to be afraid of the dark. But if she would maybe just come check on him…

Thunder cracked.

His dog raced into the room from the hall.

Overjoyed, Jack hurriedly tugged the sheets back up and buried his face against the pillow so he could pretend to be asleep. Mom had let Shep inside the house. The dresser rocked as his dog crashed into it, squeezing around to get into the fort Jack had built earlier that day with blankets over chairs. The candle toppled and disappeared.

Jack squeezed his eyes shut at the sudden blackness. This was not good. This was very bad. He heard his mom talking with his dad, the sounds echoing as they came up the stairs.

The room started to brighten. He opened one eye a little to see if Mom had come to the doorway with her light to check on him. The door stood open, empty. Jack opened both eyes. Fire peeked over the edge of his bed, licking at the G. I. Joe sheets.

Jack watched, wide eyed, fascinated. The flames grew like marching soldiers in a spreading line.

He reached to move the Matchbox car from the foot of the bed and drew back from the heat. “Mom.”

The fire alarm in the hall went off.

The noise deafened the sound of thunder outside.

“Jack!” His mom rushed into the room followed by his dad.

She pulled him from the bed and swallowed him in a hug. She smelled like lilacs. His dad yanked back the rug and the covers, attacked the flames, and stomped them out.
Wow.
They had turned to flames fast; it had been just a flicker moments before. “I’d like Superman sheets to replace mister G. I. Joe,” he told his mom, watching his dad save him.

She squeezed him. “Superman sheets,” she murmured, her voice choked. “I can do that.”

One

T
he house was a total loss. Firefighter Lieutenant Jack O’Malley shone his bright light on the dripping walls, looking for anything that would provide a source for the smoke he was still chasing. Second floor beams above him groaned as the building settled. Fire had shattered what had once been a beautiful, well-kept home. It was like walking around inside a sarcophagus. The place felt like it was dying.

The kitchen smelled of something nasty, the sharp smell of burnt cleaning supplies making Jack’s eyes water. Limp bananas were now hanging over a bowl whose apples looked like cooked mush. Coupons fluttered from the counter to the floor, turning to a sodden mass in the standing water. Pictures on the refrigerator had bled away color in the heat, leaving behind the ghosts of people barely discernible.

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