Second Chance is one of those where the hero and heroine were first in Moon Dust as secondary characters. They had so much potential and showed up eight years later in this contemporary, romantic suspense.
Judd woke out of a sound sleep, with the feeling something was wrong but no idea what. Listening, he lay still, but heard nothing. Unable to stay in bed, he padded to the window. The sky was black, the moon behind trees, but light was coming from somewhere. He stared at the animal shelters and for the first time recognized flames were shooting up from behind his lab equipment shed.
For a moment, he felt disoriented, as though someone had walked on his grave. A fire set by Milton Johnson had nearly cost Dane Connors his life. The memories flooded in. If Susan Connors hadn't yielded to an inner prodding, Dane would have died. Judd had been too late in his own efforts.
For a bitter moment he thought--there is divine justice and it is coming down on my head. He shook his head to clear his thinking. Justifiable retribution or not, he would save what he could. He punched in 911, gave them his address, pulled on jeans, boots, a coat, and ran out the back door.
By the time he opened the padlock and had wrenched open the door to the treatment and equipment shed, the fire had consumed the back wall of the building. He couldn't stop it, not with the limited water pressure at his place. He could carry out the cages. Then he concentrated on lab equipment, taking the most expensive pieces first. He tied a cloth over his nose and went back for more, carrying it all a safe distance from the burning building.
Throwing chemicals and medications into boxes, he collected all he could before the smoke was such that to stay was suicide. Coughing, Judd carried out the last load, then stumbling backward, he dropped to the ground, coughing and heaving out his guts.
In the dim recesses of his brain, he heard fire sirens. With the dry grass at this time of year, they were the only thing that would keep him from losing everything.