No Breaking My Heart

No Breaking My Heart by Kate Angell Read Free Book Online

Book: No Breaking My Heart by Kate Angell Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kate Angell
Monkey bars were not my friend.”
    â€œI’m eight.” Danny then held up his cast. “Seg-seg—”
    â€œSegmental fracture,” came from his mother.
    â€œBroken wrist and forearm. My cast comes off in five weeks. I’m healing a lot faster than Quigs.” His voice broke. “He may never be the same.”
    Never be the same didn’t sound good. Halo was about to question Danny further when a commotion in the living room drew his attention. He raised an eyebrow as a black pug in a rear support dog wheelchair made his way around the corner of the couch. He carried a spiky-toed foot in his mouth. A foot stolen from the chicken costume. He struggled slightly around the end of a coffee table, moving as fast as his front legs would carry him. He wore a diaper. His back legs were supported in stirrups.
    Feminine laughter flowed with the words, “I’m going to get you, little sneak.” The pug was being chased by a woman on all fours. Long brown hair hid her face. Her shoulders scrunched beneath a white T-shirt. Her jeans were white seamed and ladder-ripped on one thigh. Her feet bare.
    She crawled slowly, yet steadily, calling to the dog. Careening in his escape, the pug bumped into the base of a grandfather clock and tipped himself over. The chicken foot went flying. He lay on his side, panting, his front legs pawing the air.
    Halo had a soft spot for animals. He wasn’t certain what to do. His initial reaction was to go to the dog. To see if he was hurt. Instead, he took his cue from Danny and his mother. They stood still. Didn’t interfere. They let the woman handle the situation.
    Halo watched as she approached the pug. Reaching him, she shifted position, leaning back on her heels. “Thought you could outrun me, did you, Quigs?” she teased him. She next patted her thighs, directing him, “Up, Quigley. Rock the cart.”
    The dog’s ears flickered. He did as she asked. He awkwardly rolled his shoulders, gathering momentum. His first two attempts failed. He barked, sounding annoyed. Then whined, pitifully.
    The brunette bent forward, flattening her palms on the hardwood floor near his head. “You can do this, Quiggie,” she assured him. “You did it for your therapist yesterday, you can do it for me today. Up, boy.”
    Tough love? Halo’s chest tightened. This was a scene he would never forget. The pug calmed, nuzzled her palm. “I’m here with you. Always,” she encouraged.
    Giving a deep, determined growl, Quigley threw his body into rising. He struggled, fought and, by determination alone, somehow managed to get his front paws under him, to roll and push up. To turn one short tire just enough that the wheelchair wobbled, yet righted itself. He was on solid ground once again.
    The woman pulled the dog close; tucked him against her side. “You are brave and amazing,” she praised, her voice watery. “So strong. I believe in you.” The pug licked her face.
    In the silence that followed, Halo heard Danny swallow hard, along with Martha’s sniff as she wiped away a tear. He released a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. He wasn’t an overly sensitive guy, yet the moment got to him. He’d never been around a disabled dog. The woman was patient, kind, and gave Quigley the encouragement to stand on his own. Definitely a survivor skill.
    The brunette brushed back her hair and turned toward the door. That’s when she realized she wasn’t alone. Her gaze glanced off her brother and mother, and met Halo’s own. She stared, and he stared back, recognizing her light green eyes.
    She was his chicken.
    In that moment, she knew that he knew who she was. She appeared confused, and not the least bit glad to see him. He was the last person she’d expected to darken her doorway.
    She gave Quigley a final pat, and slowly rose. Halo took her in, and liked what he saw. Fresh-faced,

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