Authors: Vanessa Devereaux
sorry, it’s just I think I might be coming down with something.”
want to go home and we can e-mail you the notes from the rest of the
that would be great, and thanks for being so understanding.”
gathered up her papers and walked into the hallway and down a few doors to her
office. What must the senior partners think of her? Not that she cared anymore.
She checked her cellphone messages, hoping and praying that Flynn had realized
what a big mistake he’d made and
three missed messages from her mother, whom she couldn’t bring herself to visit
since she’d been back and
knew what she’d done
with her baby.
needed some air,
she knew she wanted to drive.
also where she wanted to go.
minutes later she found herself with a bunch of flowers in her hand and heading
toward Jon’s grave. It looked so new, so fresh, and it was hard to believe that
not so long ago he’d asked her to find their baby.
slumped down by the headstone and ran her fingers over his name.
did it. I found her, and she’s beautiful.”
was true. The rest of the world might consider her imperfect, but to Natalie
she was the most beautiful girl in the universe. That cute smile and the way
she held her hand and squeezed it.
tear ran down both cheeks.
fell in love with her father. Oh Jon, I can’t live without either of them now.”
sobbed into her hands. “I had to live without you because my parents didn’t
think you were right for me. I had to give up our baby because they thought
she’d ruin my life. I don’t want other people making decisions for me anymore. Am
I ever going to find true love?”
do you mean she’s gone?”
ran his hands through his hair. He’d called Shane because he didn’t know who
else to contact when he’d gone into Emily’s bedroom to wake her up and found
her bed hadn’t been slept in. A phone call to Rory to see if she’d gone to his
place also yielded no daughter.
not in the house, on the ranch, or at Rory’s place.”
this have anything to do with Natalie leaving?”
knew it probably did, but he didn’t want to admit to it.
that moment to walk in the back door. He’d gone out to make another search of
the ranch just in case she was hiding in a barn or the hayloft, but his brother
shook his head.
what do we do, Shane, get a search party together or what?”
and I will start driving around town, and maybe you and Rory can do the same thing.
And whatever you do don’t tell Mom because she doesn’t need the stress in her
what if we don’t find Emily?”
meet up at your place in say an hour, and if we haven’t found her then I’ll see
what we do next.”
put the phone down. He just hoped Emily hadn’t gone far.
patted Flynn on the back. All four of them had searched the town and surrounding
area for two hours, but no sign of his daughter.
going to be okay, really it is,” said Lacey.
fault. I sent Natalie away, and I’ve
been in a bad mood for over a month, and I’ve been a bad dad.”
buddy, that’s the last thing anyone can say about you,” said Shane. “Let’s
start by calling people that Emily might run to. How about school buddies?”
it’s a possibility,” said Flynn walking over to his phone. He pulled out a list
of numbers he had for some kids Emily hung out with from time to time.
about Natalie?” asked
looked at her.
makes perfect sense. She misses her and she’s gone looking for her.”
has a point,” said Rory.
wouldn’t even know how to get to Florida,” said Flynn.
don’t think that’s ever stopped Emily from trying to do something,” said Shane.
was right. His daughter was one determined girl.
think I should call the airport just in case that’s where she’s at or is
heading,” said Shane.
slumped down on the chair. “What if she’s hitched a ride, hitched a ride from
the wrong person and…”
put his head in his hands.
patted his back. “You have to think positive, Flynn. And I think we should call
Natalie and alert her just in case Emily is heading her way.”
looked up at him. “You or Shane can do it. I’m not talking to her.”
If I hear her voice again my heart will
knew she should have switched off her cell phone while she was in conference
with her new client. The sound rang out in her purse that hung on the back of
Probably her mother again pleading her case.
Should she ignore it?
better to just get it over and done with.
you excuse me for a minute?” she told her client.
reached into her purse, dug out the phone and noticed not her mother’s number,
but one she’d never seen before.
swallowed. Secretly she’d hoped that Flynn would come to his senses and call
her, but she hadn’t expected to hear from his sister-in-law.
Lacey, how are you doing?”
good, but we have
sort of a
something wrong with Flynn… or Emily?
Emily, she’s gone missing.”
stood but then sat down again because her legs were too wobbly to hold her
Her baby was missing.
and how?” asked Natalie.
discovered her missing this morning. We searched all of Timber Creek twice,
called some of her school buddies, but no one’s seen her.”
put her hand over her mouth and wanted to throw up.
think that maybe she’s trying to get to you because Flynn checked her room and
her knitting’s also missing.”
she know how to get here?” asked Natalie.
called the airport and no one matching her description has boarded any flights,
but we thought you should be on alert just in case she found another way, maybe
by car or bus.”
baby all alone.
She wiped her eyes.
putting out an alert, but if she does make her way to you could you give us a
will, and will you let me know if she shows up?”
be the first person we call.”
take care, Lacey.”
pressed the end call button.
wrong?” asked her client.
daughter’s gone missing.”
time she’d said the words my daughter, and it felt so wonderful.
I won’t keep you. This matter can wait. Family
stood and put his hand out for Natalie to shake. As she watched him walk away
she realized he was right.
if Flynn didn’t like it, even if he got Shane to arrest her, she was heading
back to Montana to find her baby.
raised his head, not realizing that he’d slept with it resting on the kitchen
table. He sat up, every bone in his body aching from obviously suddenly falling
asleep while he’d been sitting in the kitchen. He grimaced when he tried to
stand. Today he felt every one of his forty- three years.
He’d come home beaten and defeated at not
finding Emily when the search party had set out early yesterday morning.
important we find this teenager,” he recalled Shane telling everyone as he held
up a photo of Emily beaming from ear to ear as she did in every snapshot.
He couldn’t help it any longer. He began to
cry. She’d been his whole world for the last thirteen years. She’d given him a
reason to exist when Jill had walked out on him and their marriage.
managed to stand and hobbled into the bathroom to splash his face and brush his
teeth. He took off his clothes and ran the water in the shower. He stepped into
the tub, letting the water make its way down his back.
checked all leads. She’d left her cell phone behind so they couldn’t trace her
through that. She didn’t have credit cards they could check…
had told him to get a good night’s sleep, and they’d start afresh this morning.
But it was cold and snowing, and his baby girl could be anywhere out there.
Hurt, lost, frozen…
only the phone would ring and it would be Natalie telling him that Emily was
Natalie. He missed her like crazy.
fault. He should never have sent her away. Not only for Emily’s sake but for
his own too. Rory was right. He was pissed with her because he loved her. Only
strong emotions like this surfaced when you loved someone. Only people you loved
could hurt you.
he might have lost both of them. He wouldn’t have the strength to go on. Just
thinking about how lonely his life would be made him sob again. He got out of
the shower and wrapped the towel around his waist. Coffee is what he needed.
headed to the kitchen.
car… there was a car approaching the house. Maybe it was Shane, maybe it was
his brother with good news, maybe even Emily…
rushed to the window. It was a car he hadn’t seen before. He continued to watch
and then his heart beat faster as Natalie stepped out of it. She ran toward the
door with her coat pulled over her head to protect her head from the falling
rushed to the door and opened it. They stood looking at one another, neither of
them saying a word for what seemed like forever. Then finally he couldn’t
resist it any longer, he pulled her inside, pulled her close to his body and
put her arms around his neck and tickled the nape of it as his tongue slid
across her lips. He had the mother of all hard-ons. He knew it was a terrible
time to be thinking about making love, but he couldn’t help it. It felt like
the thing to do.
still hadn’t said anything, and he simply picked her up in his arms and shut
the front door with his foot and carried her toward his bedroom. The small
distance from the car to the house had obviously made her feel so cold, but no
problem, he’d warm her up.
set her down on the bed, taking off her shoes and throwing them across the
room. He tugged at the belt of her coat until it opened.
sorry for sending you away, baby.”
ran her hand down the side of his face.
sorry I lied about who I was.”
kissed the palm of her hand.
had to come back because I know we’re going to find Emily. In my heart, I know
you and she are supposed to be in my life.”
love you,” he said.
love you too.” She pulled at the towel, loosening it and making it fall to the
floor. He got on the bed beside him as he put his hand under her sweater,
feeling her breasts and their nipples turn hard between his fingers. He leaned
over and kissed her again, growing harder as Natalie’s hand went onto his cock
and began stroking it.
only they’d get a call saying Emily was safe, his world would be damn near
one to rush
today would have to be an
exception. He needed Natalie. He needed to be inside her so they could
reconnect and be one.
up her sweater, she took the cue about his urgency and lifted it over her head.
She was wearing the pretty blue bra again. He fingered its lace edges. She
removed it, tossing it next to the towel that only minutes ago had been secured
around his waist.
jeans and panties were the only thing in the way now. He tugged at the zipper.
She lifted her butt off the bed, allowing him to pull them down her legs.
The tiny pink bow on her panties was super
cute. He fingered that too before sliding the underwear down her legs.