All for Hope

All for Hope by Olivia Hardin Read Free Book Online

Book: All for Hope by Olivia Hardin Read Free Book Online
Authors: Olivia Hardin
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meant Brennan. Nervousness coiled in his stomach, and he looked over his shoulder even though he knew he was all alone in the room.
    We have been moving as much as possible, staying in moderate hotels (I am trying to save as much of the money we have as possible) but soon we’ll have to find a permanent place.
    My friend has been a lifesaver. I don't believe I could have made it this far without him. I suppose I needed more help then I once thought.
    Now I know exactly what you are thinking now, but it is not true. You have helped me. I know you, and that you probably feel guilty because you think you didn't do enough, but I couldn’t dream of a better friend than you. Just stay safe, and know that I am always thinking of you and Cindy and the kids. I love you all more than you know.
    Forever yours,
    “ I love you, too, Hope. Forever,” he whispered to himself.
    When he clicked on the name Maxine Edendale, he found that the account no longer existed. He wasn’t surprised, but he found his heart sank all the same.
    He took a deep breath and rubbed the back of his head a moment, before hitting the delete key to erase the message.

    When Hope returned to the car, she found Brennan curled up in the back seat with Michelle wrapped securely in his arms, both of them sound asleep. She set the groceries down, then knelt in her seat and watched them.
    Somehow, despite the desperation of their crazy mess, this seemed natural. She liked being close to Bren again. He made her laugh at herself when she became too serious. Their rekindled rapport reminded her why she’d missed their friendship so much.
    Bren hadn’t crossed the boundaries again after her talk with him that night a few weeks ago. That should have resolved any problem about renewing her affection for Brennan, but the idea seemed to be backfiring. The stronger their friendship grew, the greater the risk she would fall in love with him again.
    Being careful not to wake him, Hope pulled the baby from his arms and strapped her into the car seat. Michelle flailed her hands a moment, then cuddled herself further into her seat.
    Just as she was reaching to grab a soft drink from the bag, the loud wailing of a siren invaded the silence and Hope froze in terror. The police car sped past the grocery store, and Brennan jumped up in his seat.
    “ God,” she whispered. “I don’t think I’ll ever not feel like I’m going to have a heart attack when I hear a siren.” She clutched her chest in emphasis.
    “ It's okay.” Brennan took her hand. “He's gone. It wasn't us. Let me drive now. You're a nervous wreck. You can take over again in a couple of hours.”
    She moved into the back seat, leaning with her head against the headrest, and her eyes closed while he pulled onto the highway. They remained silent, both trying to absorb some bit of calm. After her breathing evened, she glanced over at the sleeping baby and smiled.
    “ She’s a little stuffy.” Brennan finally spoke, eying Hope through the rear-view mirror. “Screeched like a banshee when I wiped her nose.”
    Hope softly caressed the child's face, loving the smooth perfection of the skin. Perfect and beautiful, but warmer to the touch than it should be. She felt her stomach coil into a tight knot.
    “ Bren—”
    He must have noticed the dread in the tone of her voice because his eyes sought hers again in the mirror and the car drifted just a tad to the right.
    “ I think she has a fever. She’s hot, Brennan.”
    “ What do we do? Do we take her to the hospital?”
    If she weren’t so worried herself, Hope might have been amused by the panic in his voice. Instead, she swallowed and forced her racing heart to calm down, then shook her head.
    “ No, let’s just find a pharmacy and then get a room for the night. We shouldn’t have her out in this weather.” She turned her eyes up and looked at the dark clouds churning above them, ready to open up with a downpour at any moment.
    A few

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