Resisting the Hero:An Accidentally in Love Novel(4)

By: Cindi Madsen

“Oh, never say never,” Anna said.

“I’m saying it. Never. I’m going to find a nice nerdy guy to settle down with. Whether it’s math or science or just an obsessive amount of Star Wars gear and love for role-playing games, I don’t care. I’m not even giving a second glance at law enforcement or military guys.”

Anna cracked a smile. “Then you better not look around. Being surrounded by all these ripped guys only makes me feel even more whale-like.” She put a hand on the top of her belly.

“You look great, and I can’t wait to meet the little guy.” Faith scooted forward and put her hand on her sister-in-law’s tummy, hoping to feel her nephew moving around. “I am happy about that part of living closer. And I can’t wait to see Ella.”

“She’s been talking for weeks about you coming to live with us.”

Faith pictured her little niece—chubby cheeks, strawberry blond curls, and the same green eyes Faith and Kaleb had gotten from their dad. She’d wrapped Faith around her finger from day one.

“And how are you doing with…everything?” Anna asked.

Everything. AKA, the fact that she’d dumped her savings into a down payment on a condo so she and Jeff could move in together, only to discover him cheating on her in their brand new bed, forcing her to rearrange all of her plans. “I’m just glad everything’s finally taken care of. The title’s signed over, and after the attorney fees, I should slowly get my money back, one payment from the jackass at a time.” Faith folded her arms on the table. “I appreciate you letting me stay with you while I look for a new place. It should be two months, three tops.”

“You’re welcome to stay as long as needed. It’ll be nice to have someone around to talk to. Kaleb’s gone a lot, and as much as I love Ella, she’s not the best conversationalist. Unless you want to discuss princesses or cartoons.” Anna shook her head. “I don’t know how she got to be so girly.”

Anna was a T-shirt-and-jeans type girl. Somehow Ella came out with a love for all things frilly and pink. A waitress came by and Faith ordered a burger and fries, the same thing she’d always ordered here. The same thing Dad had always ordered here. It was too packed to get a good look around, but she saw enough to know that the place was still the same. They probably even had Dad’s picture and the framed article about him hanging on the wall behind the bar. It’d hurt Faith to see it, but it’d hurt even more if it weren’t there.

She’d be tempted to go check it out, but Kaleb and that Connor guy were at the bar, and she wasn’t sure she was ready to dive into the past anyway. So she talked to Anna while she waited for her food and all through her meal. She could almost block out the reason she was in the Rusty Anchor and just focus on how nice it was to be back in Cornelius. But of course then she’d see a guy with a stupid SWAT shirt and get mad and scared all over again.

Maybe coming back was a mistake. But after everything had fallen apart in Atlanta—leaving her feeling like a crushed fool, as well as low on funds—she’d needed an escape. Doctor Schaeffer’s call asking if she wanted a spot in the pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship he was heading up was too good an offer to refuse.

After the waitress took away her empty plate, Kaleb showed up. He scooted into the booth next to his wife and leaned back, his eyes on Faith. “You still pissed?”

Faith sighed. “Not pissed so much anymore. Just…I don’t like it. I’m never going to be happy about you being a cop, and this is a whole new level of scary for me.”

“I understand, I do. When Dad died…” Kaleb glanced at the bar area and she could see the way his throat was working. It made a lump rise in her own. “I want him to be proud of me. And I want to keep people safe. My wife…” He put his hand on Anna’s stomach. “My kids. You.” He exhaled. “Just try to understand.”

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