Stand-in for a Memory

She went to extremes to change the horror of her childhood into a life she could understand. Jill Benton’s choice to become a policewoman brought challenges she faced by getting as much education as she could, any way she could, and helping others who needed her along the way.

Lieutenant Alex Day comes into her life to bring just one more problem.


Published: 09/2010
Length: Mid Novel
Word Count: 80,800
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: Sensual
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)



Zelma Orr


© Copyright by Zelma Orr, September 2010
© Cover Art by Alex DeShanks, September 2010
ISBN 978-1-60394-456-4
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636


This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.


She stopped at the water fountain, drank, and then straightened to watch Hawthorne’s swaggering butt until he stopped in front of Sergeant Ford’s desk. He’d be complaining again about her lack of response to his constant chattering. Jill Benton shrugged. Most of the police officers on duty knew Hawthorne’s ability to talk non-stop about nothing and everything without conveying much information. Most ignored him.

The swinging doors into the entry office squeaked open, and Jill walked through them in time to hear Hawthorne’s latest criticism.

“Put Benton with somebody else on my next watch, Sarge. I’m damned tired of talking to a brick wall. Cold as hell and can’t put together a sentence more than once a night.” Hawthorne gestured over his shoulder. “I’m lucky if I get a ‘good morning’ out of her.”

Jill, three feet in back of him, raised her eyebrows at Sergeant Ford who glanced from Jill to Hawthorne.

“Say ‘good morning,’ Officer Benton,” Ford said.

“Good morning.”

There were three officers nearby: one at the bulletin board posting regulations, one getting coffee, and Sergeant Ford sitting at the front desk. Each looked at Jill. They saw a slender blonde woman, not quite five and a half feet tall, with eyes so green you thought she wore contacts.

“Got anything else to say, Benton?” Ford said.

“No.” She placed her night’s report on the desk. She’d written it while Hawthorne grumbled the last hour of their shift.

Hawthorne turned. “Hey, a whole word. Generous this morning. A helluva lot more than you usually say.”

She gave him a toothy smile, stepped around him without speaking and proceeded down the hallway towards her locker. Her shift was over, and she was ready to get out of the station, get home and out of uniform. Hawthorne’s opinion of her didn’t matter one way or the other. He’d go on talking and she’d go on ignoring him. It wasn’t that they disliked each other. They were just different.

“Dammit, Sarge, you see what I mean? What’s that stick up her ass about that she can’t carry on a conversation to pass the damned time?” Hawthorne stared at Jill’s back. “It’s hell to be stuck eight hours with somebody who can only say things like ‘Turn left at the light on Dolan Avenue.’ Or ‘Check out the whiskey store at two o’clock.’”

“Guess she figures you talk enough for both of you, Cliff,” Ford said. “You don’t give her a chance to think of anything earthshaking to say that might interest you.”

“Yeah, well, how about giving me another partner when we come back on duty?”

“Who do you want? Etheridge or Gordon. That’s your choices.”

“I don’t care. Just get rid of Benton.”

“Get rid of Benton?” The officers turned to see Lieutenant Alexander Day leaning against the door to his office. “You plan to shove her into the river, Sarge?”

“No, Sir.” Ford couldn’t quite conceal the grin. “Uh. Officer Hawthorne would like to change partners when he comes back from his two-day break.”

“What’s the problem with Benton?” Lt. Day directed his question to Hawthorne. “Doesn’t she pull her weight on patrol?”

Hawthorne wanted to just walk away, disappear, and not have to answer the lieutenant, but he didn’t have a choice. He swallowed and straightened. By God, he had a legitimate complaint and this was the man to tell how he felt about it.