Elizabeth Matthews manages to escape her cruel husband and the clutches of the law, but they're both in hot pursuit. Struggling to survive on the run, she finds herself in the last place she wants to be, the marshal's office in the town of Porter, Texas, dragged there by an overzealous shopkeeper who accuses her of theft.
Marshal Grover Huntley can see that the destitute young woman draped in rags and trembling in front of his desk needs protection, and he feels the stirrings of compassion, as well as the desire to hold the frightened young lady in his arms. The more he questions her about her predicament, however, the more she lies, and he can't do much to help if he doesn't know what she's afraid of.
A spanking over his knee proves to her that he not only demands her honesty, but also that he cares enough to do more than send her on her way or throw the book at her. She tells him of her fears, but it's what she doesn't say that changes the course of their lives.
Will the marshal be able to help when he learns of her connection to an enemy of his past, and will Missy learn to trust him as he works to save her from the mounting troubles that threaten both her freedom and her life?