Resisting the Hero:An Accidentally in Love Novel(10)

By: Cindi Madsen

“This tortellini is amazing, Anna,” Connor said after they’d all dug in. “And the marinara sauce tastes as authentic as the kind my mama makes.”

Anna waved her hand at his comment, but her entire face lit up.

How was everyone blind to how full of crap Connor was? He was one of those guys who said whatever it took to get his way, then burned you without a second thought—she’d know. She’d been fooled by several before, though Jeff definitely took the cake. Or condo and the future she’d planned, as it were.

Faith swallowed her bite of cheese-filled pasta—okay, it was pretty amazing—and turned to Kaleb. “By the way, I saw Paul and Brynn today. You never told me they were running the bait shop now.”

Kaleb bit into a breadstick. “They run the bait shop now.”

Faith nudged his leg with the toe of her shoe. “So helpful.”

He smiled, his cheek puffed up on one side because of the bread. “Not like I’m ever free to go fishing anymore. Maybe with training over, I’ll have some extra time.”

Anna raised her eyebrows. “Oh really?”

“I mean, after I take my beautiful wife out. Who wants to go fishing when that’s an option?”

Anna gave him a gentle shove and he winked at her.

“I’m sure your job will only get busier now,” Faith said. “How’s the whole”—she took a deep breath and forced it out—“SWAT thing work, anyway?”

Connor’s cup clinked against the table as he set it down. “It means we do our usual job at the police station most days, but if there’s ever an emergency, we’re on call.”

Faith kept her attention on Kaleb. “Will they call you for an emergency in Charlotte?”

“Depends on how big the emergency,” Connor answered. “A few years ago, three other departments in Mecklenberg County formed a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team—Pineville, Matthews, and Mint Hill. I’ve been on Captain to do the same thing for North Meck.”

Finally, Faith couldn’t not look at him anymore.

He rested his knee against hers, and she doubted it was unintentional. Connor continued. “It’s about making the most of our resources. We didn’t have enough guys to make a full SWAT team, but all together, we’re able to increase response time and have a bigger pool to choose from. If something happened in Huntersville, Mooresville, or here in Cornelius, we’d be called to the site, instead of having to wait for guys from Charlotte. Now, the Lake Norman area is protected.” He flashed her a toothpaste commercial grin. “Don’t you feel safer?”

Faith refused to admit that it did make her feel safer, knowing trained men were nearby. Because it didn’t change the fact that her brother was the opposite of safer.

“There’s really not much chance of us going to the bigger cities, but if we’re needed, we’ll go.” Kaleb glanced at Anna before looking back at Faith. “We trained for extreme circumstances. But we’ll mostly be doing the same thing. Just think, if Dad were trained like I am n—”

“Please,” Faith said, holding up her hand. “Don’t go there.” She’d spent years going over the what ifs, and it only made her feel worse. “You’ll never convince me that this is the safest option for you, because it’s simply not true.”

“But if—” Connor started.

She pointed her fork at him. “You don’t get a say in this at all. You have no idea what it’s like, and this is a family matter.”

“Faith,” Kaleb said in the scolding tone he’d used when he was in charge of her in high school. But she was old enough to make her own decisions now.

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