Romance Fiction posted April 1, 2024 Chapters:  ...9 10 -11- 12... 

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Sami begins to forgive Noah.

A chapter in the book Willing Hearts

Willing Hearts Chapter 7 B

by barbara.wilkey

Can Noah rescue Myra, close down the human trafficking ring, keep Sami safe, all while protecting his heart? Or did the love of his life appear in front of him?
Noah and Sami met 11 days ago.


"Perfect." Noah glanced at Bob. "Will you give Sarah the update on Chen?" After he nodded, Noah added, "It seems Chen followed Sami around a few days hoping to take her before Friday. He probably knows who I am and may possibly know who Jose and Sarah are. We can't make any mistakes. Understood?" After everybody indicated they did, Noah walked outside.

Sami watched him leave, and then went after him. The door shut before she could get to it.

Chapter 7 B

Hearing the kick on the door, Noah returned inside. "What just happened?"

Jose pointed to Sami's closed door. "She went after you, but the door shut before she got out. When the alarm sounded, she kicked the door. She's a feisty one."

After releasing a deep breath, Noah headed toward her door. "Her feistiness gets her into trouble." He knocked. "Sami, you wanted to talk to me?"

She opened the door but avoided eye contact. "Yes."

"After kicking the door, how's your foot?"

"Fine." She continued to avoid eye contact.

"Good." Noah glanced around the room. "We'll take Jasper for a walk."

The large dog pushed his way through and stood at the door.

"He doesn't need out but likes to go for walks. If you have time, okay."

"Right now, time is all I have."

After they walked for a few silent moments, Noah said, "Jose said you had something to say. What?"

"Us taking Jasper out. Jasper goes out between five-thirty and six in the morning. Then again somewhere around four or five in the afternoon, and his final time around nine o'clock. Occasionally something won't sit well on his stomach, and he'll add extra times. Sometimes he just gets bored and wants to play." Sami pointed. "Like now."

"I don't see the problem."

"You're an important person and will be too busy to be available at all these times."

"While I'm here, I'm not busy. I'm waiting like everybody else. Occasionally something will come up like the information on Chen, but that could wait until after a walk. We can't act on it right now." He paused. "Unless you don't want me to? If that's the case, I won't."

She studied Jasper. "I enjoyed our walk this morning."

"Me too." Noah exhaled. "So, it's okay if I walk with you and Jasper?"

She whispered, "Yes."


Watching a soaking wet Jasper run towards them, Sami said, "I hope you don't mind another shower."

"I'll get used to it."

"Thank you."

After walking in silence for a while, Sami said, "I have another question." When his eyes met hers, she asked, "How do I get groceries?"

Noah cocked his head. "Good question. When we get back, we'll discuss it." He paused. "One thing's for sure, you're not doing it."

"But..." Noah's stare stopped her from continuing. "Yes, Sir."

Releasing a deep breath, Noah said, "Social graces again, right?"

Sami nodded.

"I'm working on that. What I should've said is it's not safe for you to go into town and buy the groceries."

"I hoped that's what you meant and not that I wasn't capable..."

Noah ran his hand through his short hair. "Sami, my only intent is to keep you safe." Facing the pond, he added, "I haven't forgotten the hate I saw in your eyes last Friday. I hope someday we can get past that."

"So do I," whispered Sami. "I'm starting to understand, but it still hurts."


"If Jasper wants out at five-thirty, how do I notify you?"

He grinned. "What would you do if it were Sarah?"

"Knock on her door."

"Then knock on my door."


"I'm a normal person, I don't expect or require special treatment," interrupted Noah. "Really, I don't."

"I know I've frustrated or upset you at times."

"You have, but that's past. My actions trump anything you've done."

"Your actions were to protect me. My actions were to find Myra and the girls. I didn't understand the risk."

"I feel we're making progress. How about you?"

"I agree."

She paused. "Off the subject, but how do we get the garbage picked up?"

"Another good question." Noah paused. "Bob's the only person Chen may not recognize. Everyone else he could've made a connection to you. Bob may be busy." His eyes met hers. "Any other questions?"

"In the evenings are we just going to sit around and stare at each other? Maybe we could plan a game or something."

Noah chuckled. "We'll see. That's priceless. We're Homeland Security Agents, Federal Agents. Not your normal next-door neighbors. How about we'll work on it?"

"Thank you."

During dinner Noah said, "Sarah, I'm sure you've already worked on the daily chore schedule, but can you reduce some of Bob's chores? He's the only person Chen may not associate with Sami. I don't want the garbage truck coming down the lane, so he'll have to take it to the road once a week and he'll have to buy groceries. I don't want him going into the city. I think there's a small town a few miles south."

He glanced at Sami. "Is it possible to buy groceries every other week?"

"I doubt it because the freezer's small. I don't think there'll be enough room for two weeks' worth of meat." Sami paused. "Also, how will we get groceries when you and Bob leave?"

Noah studied her for a few moments. "You keep coming up with more and more questions, don't you?"

She hung her head and moved food around her plate with her fork.

Sarah glared at Noah.

Swallowing Noah said, "Sorry. The social graces problem again. I didn't mean it as it sounded." After a prolonged silence, he continued, "You're right. We'll need to figure out how to get groceries."

After taking a few bites and chewing slowly, Noah said, "This is very good, by the way. The only thing that comes to mind is switching Bob and Jose. Bob, can you do your computer stuff from here?"

"I'm not sure. If we get hacked into, there'll be a trail to the computer which will lead straight to Sami."

"Can you force it to lead elsewhere?"

"Yes, but I'll have to see if the Internet connection out here is strong enough to allow me to do it."

"Let's table that for now. Bob, check and see what's available." Noah studied Sami still moving her dinner around her plate. "Sami came up with some after dinner ideas. Sami, care to share?"

"Are you sure you want me to? I thought you already killed that idea."

"Not really, I just mentioned agents weren't normal neighbors."

Jose chuckled. "I feel I'm normal. How about you, Bob?"

"I agree. Sami, tell us your plan and we'll vote on it."

She glanced at Noah. After he nodded for her to continue, she said, "I thought after dinner we could do activities. Maybe play dominos, or Yahtzee, a trivia game, or cards. Maybe when Bob gets groceries, he could get some games. Sitting around staring at each other didn't seem right."

Sarah nodded. "I think it's a great idea. I'm in favor of it."

Both Jose and Bob gave thumbs up.

Staring at Noah, Sarah said, "Boss, are you going to bless off on it?"

His eyes met Sami's, and he grinned. "Yes. You've successfully turned my fine-tuned team into normal civilians. It took you all of two days. I'm impressed."

"Is that good or bad?" asked Sami.

Bob chuckled. "Sami, it's great." He hesitated. "What should we do after the kitchen's cleaned?"

"I don't have anything planned for tonight."

Jose pointed at the door. "I'll be right back. I saw a kickball in the cabin. If it has air, we can play kickball." He chuckled. "I don't think hide-and-go-seek is a good choice. I can see Boss trying to fill out an after-action report. 'Even though Sami Martinez was under our protection we lost her during a hide-and-go-seek game. She went to hide, and we never found her. I guess she hid very well.' Boss, what do you think?"

Shaking his head, Noah said, "I agree. Decide on the teams. We're playing kickball."

After dinner, they went outside and the teams were decided, Sami, Sarah, and Bob on one team. Jose and Noah were on the other.

Darkness started to close in on the game. Sami was on second base and Noah was the infielder closest to her. All heads turned at a sound. She jumped, grabbed Noah's arm, and slid her hand down to interlock their fingers. "What's that?"

Jasper stood alert beside her.

Noah studied her arm around his. "Probably a coyote."

"A real one?"

"I doubt fake ones howl." Noah paused. "I think it's getting too dark to continue. Let's head inside."

Sami didn't move. Her arm remained around Noah's arm with fingers still interlocked with his.

After another howl, she squeezed tighter.

"Sami, maybe we should go inside."

She nodded but didn't move.

Noah said, "You have four highly trained Homeland Security agents guarding you. A coyote is no match."

"What if he has friends and family?"

Revealing his Sig Sauer P229, he said, "Even his extended family."

"You're being sarcastic, aren't you?"

"Maybe a little." Noah grinned as Sami stiffened at an owl hooting. "We'll take care of that owl too."

Sami untangled her arms and fingers from Noah's and headed toward the house.

Noah followed, watched her go into her room, closed the door, and said, "I think I upset her."

Sarah shook her head. "The social graces issue again?"

Putting his weapon away, he said, "Probably. She wasn't impressed when I explained we could handle all the coyotes' extended family."

Jose chuckled. "Good one, Boss."

"Jose, don't encourage him." Sarah headed for the kitchen. "Anybody want something to drink? I think Sami made brownies."

A little later, Sarah knocked on Sami's door. "The brownies are good. Would you like some?"

"No, thank you. I'm in for the night."

I hope everyone had a very blessed Easter!!!!


Sami Martinez - Twenty-five-year-old high school teacher, who's working to find a kidnapped teenage girl.

Noah Taylor. - Homeland Security team leader, who works in the Human Trafficking department. Alias - Trey Morgan

Jose, Bob, & Sarah - Agents who work under Noah. Bob and Sarah are married.

Laura Martinez - Sami's mom.

Jasper - Sami's Great Dane, a large breed dog.

Myra Rodriguez - Kidnapped teenage girl who Sami was close to.

Julia - Teenage girl, who was friends with Myra and Sami works with.

Big T - Neighborhood pimp; not a friendly person

Numerous Team Members - They will show up periodically but not really important to the story, except they're there.

Chen - Charles Henry Edward Nichols - Human trafficker and into some really bad stuff.



Thank you, Google Images, for a photograph of coyotes in the late evening.

Today's post is the second part of Chapter7. Chapter 7 is a long chapter, so I broke it into two sections. This section is a little under 1600 words.

Again, I made numerous changes as I posted. Not sure why I didn't see the errors when I edited yesterday or any of the previous days. I appreciate all of your support and the review. THANK YOU!!!
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