A Place in Her Heart

A Place in Her Heart by Trish Milburn Read Free Book Online

Book: A Place in Her Heart by Trish Milburn Read Free Book Online
Authors: Trish Milburn
he had to respect her decision. After what she’d been through, he wasn’t about to force her to do anything. But it didn’t mean he had to stop doing things that would help her, guarantee her safety.
    The front door opened to admit Tyler Strong, who was wearing the dark uniform of the Boston Police Department.
    “Hey, Navy boy,” Tyler said as he approached.
    Cal stood and they shook hands. After sitting and getting the small-talk pleasantries out of the way, Cal met his old friend’s gaze. “I need a favor.”
    * * *
    Katy served meals to a young woman and her two children. She noticed the bruise still ringing the woman’s eye and remembered all too well the physical pain of a man’s fist. She’d come to the shelter to occupy herself with helping others, hoping it would help her forget how much she missed Cal. But nothing worked. He’d carved out a permanent place in her heart despite her best efforts to prevent it.
    “Is there anything else I can get you?” Katy asked.
    The woman offered a small smile. “No, thank you. Everyone has been so kind ever since the Guardian Angels showed up this morning.”
    “Guardian Angels?”
    “The safety escort.”
    When Katy walked down the hall a few minutes later, she met April, one of the newer staff members, in the hallway. “Hey, do you know anything about the Guardian Angels?”
    “You don’t know?”
    Katy shook her head. “Your friend Cal started it,” April said. “They’re putting two-person teams together, one woman and one man, to escort women out of abusive situations they might otherwise be too afraid to leave.”
    Tears pooled in Katy’s eyes. Even after she’d rejected him, he was still doing this.
    “They’ve only brought in two women so far, but they were both so grateful.”
    “But he’s leaving soon to go back to the Navy.”
    April nodded. “Yeah, but he’s vetted several people along with a cop friend of his to keep the program going while he’s gone.”
    As April continued on down the hall, Katy leaned against the wall, stunned. She had to see Cal now. She’d been a fool to not accept what she’d wanted for so long, and she prayed she wasn’t too late.
    She tried calling him but got no answer. When she drove by his house, she didn’t see his car. It wasn’t at his brother’s garage either. Had he gone back to Virginia early? Had she missed her chance at true love?
    Running out of places to look for him, she drove back to the bakery. When she rounded the corner onto her street, she saw him getting out of his car. Joy filled her that, not only had he not left, but he’d also come back to see her. She raced to her parking space and jumped out of her car. She nearly face-planted on the sidewalk in her urgency to reach him.
    “Cal,” she called out when he gripped the handle on the front door.
    He turned toward her, looking like every woman’s dream come true. Hers, anyway.
    “I know you told me to stay away,” he said as she walked toward him. “But I wanted to let you know that I had a friend, Tyler Strong, check on Terry’s whereabouts. You don’t have to worry about him because he’s living in Oregon.”
    She stopped walking and just stared at him.
    “I’m sorry if that was butting in where my nose didn’t belong, but I had to make sure you were safe before I left.” He shifted from one foot to the other and ran his fingers through his hair. “And damn it, Katy, I couldn’t leave without trying one more time. I don’t want to push you, but I love you.”
    She closed the rest of the distance between them and pulled him down for a kiss, one that felt like it might scorch their lips. Cal wrapped his arms around her and drew her closer, deepening the kiss. Katy had no idea how long they stood there like that, but when Cal leaned back to look at her he wore a mischievous grin.
    “That didn’t feel like a just-friends kiss.”
    “It wasn’t.” She lifted her hand and let her fingertips travel along the curve of his

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