Romance Fiction posted May 12, 2024 Chapters:  ...15 16 -17- 18... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Noah learns more about Sami.

A chapter in the book Willing Hearts

Chapter 11 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 15 days ago.


Sami cracked open her door. "Noah?" He glanced in her direction, and then she motioned for him to come closer. He stood beside her, and she whispered, "The day you took me into that room, he was one of the men who wanted a prostitute. He asked for Star."

"Are you sure?"

She nodded. "Positive."

He touched her hand. "Thank you. I forgot to ask. Are you okay?"

"I'm fine. Jasper made sure he didn't get closer."

"I'm sure he did. I'll take care of this." Noah faced Brown. "These two fine gentlemen will watch you while I make some calls."

"You can't hold me. I only opened a door. That's not a crime." Ryan glanced at his ringing phone.

Jose took it. "It's a crime here."


"You can't take my phone. It's personal property. My wife just called. I need to call her back, she'll worry."

Noah cocked his head. "You're married? Is your wife aware you frequent working women while you're at work?" He slammed the door on the way out.

Ryan faced Jose and Bob. "He can't do that."

Bob studied the door. "Wanna bet? Boss is a point A to point B type of person. He doesn't have patience for people who go to C and D. You really messed up when you tried E and F."

Jose chuckled. "You don't have a chance."

"I opened a freaking door!" Ryan glanced at Sami's room. "Why's she so important? Who is she, anyway?"

"That's a question you'll never get answered." Bob's gun remained aimed on the man. "You'd better forget you ever saw her."

A little over an hour later, Noah walked in while removing the sim card from the cell phone. "How do I dispose of this?"

Sarah held out her hand. "I'll take it."

Ryan stood. "I'll leave now."

Noah posed a wide stance. "You don't get it. Sit." After Ryan sat, Noah continued, "Two agents are coming to get you. You'll be questioned and placed in a safe house until our assignment's finished. Then you're free to go and you'll need to look for another job."

"I need my phone. I have to notify my wife."

"One of our agents will visit your wife, after she questions Star. Remember her?"

"Why do you want to destroy my life?"

"We don't want to destroy your life, your desire for women did. I'm guessing you heard a female's voice in that room and thought you'd try to get some on the side." Noah faced Bob. "I need a safe house in the middle of nowhere. Maybe has a TV but nothing else." He paused. "A moat around it filled with alligators or piranhas would be nice."

Bob nodded. "Roger that, Boss."

Ryan's eyes widened. "You can't do this."

Noah grinned. "Watch me."

Just before the end of the workday, the head tech came to Noah. "We have a few more hours of work. We'll come back tomorrow morning and finish."

Noah's eyes met his. "You'll finish today. You're not coming back tomorrow. I already have one of your men in custody. I'm not taking any risks. I've cleared the overtime." He paused then said, "I explained we have sensitive material here. You do the job you're paid to do and then leave. Nothing else."

"Sir, we were. I've turned in Brown before. I don't understand why he's still working. Sorry."

Noah nodded. "He doesn't have a job any longer."

When the lead tech returned to work, Noah told Sarah, "Let Sami know dinner will be late."

Sarah came back to Noah a few minutes later and said, "Sami wants to know if she can get in the kitchen to cut up the vegetables and meat for a stir fry. It'll make dinner prep go faster."

"She likes to push the limit." He closed his eyes and ran his hand through his short hair. "Yes." He watched Sarah knock on Sami's door and then motioned it was clear for Sami to go to the kitchen.

The process was repeated when Sami returned to her room.

Jasper needed out for his early evening walk, so Sami cracked open her door and tried to get somebody's attention.

Finally, Jose walked to her. "What's the problem?"

"I'm sorry to be difficult but Jasper needs out."

He nodded. "I'll tell Boss."

"Can you take me? Noah's not in the best of moods."

"I'll see."

"Thank you." Sami shut her door.

Moments later, Noah knocked on Sami's door. "Ready?"

She nodded. "I'm sorry."

He motioned for her to walk through the kitchen.

They walked in silence, before Noah said, "I'm sorry if I've scared you."

"I'm not used to seeing you in work mode."

"I met you while working. I've always been on the clock around you."

"True." Sami hesitated. "I guess I don't know what I mean."

Noah stopped walking and faced her. "Sami?"

"Maybe now's not the right time to talk."

"We'll talk later."

The rest of the walk continued in silence.

Inside the house, Sarah walked up to Noah. "What's wrong?"

"I think the incident with Brown scared Sami. She's afraid of me."

"Want me to talk with her?"

He shook his head. "No. I can't have you running interference all the time. I need to figure out how to handle things."

"True." Sarah started to walk away.

"Do you have any suggestions?" asked Noah.

Sarah laughed. "You need to assure her that she has nothing to fear around you."

"How do I do that?"

"Talk from the heart."

"Right." Noah walked away shaking his head. How do I do that?

After a late dinner, Noah checked his watch. "Sami, want to take Jasper for a long walk? He hasn't been out much today?"

Her eyebrows rose. "Okay, but it's not like you to be concerned about Jasper. Is there a problem? Should I be worried?"

He held open the door. "No."

They walked in silence, before Noah said, "I understand today's Myra's birthday."

"It is."

"I heard you had plans for a party."

"I did."

"We'll find her."

"I have faith you will." A longer silence ensued until Sami said, "Noah, you're doing it again." When he faced her, she said, "Conversation for the sake of conversation. What's on your mind?"

He pointed to some large rocks. "Let's sit and talk." Once they sat, he continued, "I didn't mean to scare you. I don't want you afraid of me."

"I'm not." Sami paused before she asked, "Were you tougher on this man because of me? Or maybe because Jasper kept you up most of the night?"

"Both are valid questions. My immediate answer to both is no, but I'll admit both probably played a small role in my reaction. I'm used to not getting a full night's sleep. I've gotten more sleep here than usual. As for you..."

Noah released a deep breath. "My job is to keep you safe. Initially, I would've reacted the same no matter who was in that room, but when I discovered his purpose for going in there was to see if you were worth pursuing, I struggled with that."

"Thank you for looking after my honor." Sami reached over and touched his hand. "Although, I'm sure you have evidence to counter this, but I'm capable of handling my own honor."

He glanced at her hand touching his and then stared at the pond. "Just so you know none of our safe houses have moats." After a deep breath, he continued, "I'm sure under normal circumstances you'd have handled him. For some reason he thinks he's God's gift to women."

"I've met a few of them before." Sami removed her hand.

"I guess I should've already asked." Noah studied the pond. "I contacted your parents and let them know you were safe. Is there a significant other who's worried about you I should've notified?"

"No. I've dated a couple men the past few years, but nothing serious. My lifestyle isn't conducive to serious relationships. I'm busy almost every night from January through June and then if we make play-offs longer than that."

"I guess that's true. First basketball season and then softball." Noah's eyes met hers. "Was there ever anybody serious?"

Sami nodded. "Yes. When I was a junior in college I met this guy, Marc. He was a senior. We dated exclusively for almost a year-and-a-half."

"Even after he graduated?" asked Noah.

"Yes. Marc majored in architecture and got a job in the suburbs. We were only twenty miles apart. In college, I played softball. When I could, I'd spend weekends with him."

Noah swallowed. "I see." He hesitated. "Where's Marc now?"

"I don't know. A month before I graduated, Marc planned a fancy dinner at a romantic restaurant. I expected him to propose."

"He didn't?"

"No. The celebration was because he got a promotion and was moving to another city. He couldn't see me fitting into the country club lifestyle. He mentioned something about those wives didn't play softball. He broke up with me."

"I'm sorry. I bet it hurt."

"It did until we made it to the third bracket of the playoffs. That felt good."

"What position did you play? How far did your team go?"

"First base, and we lost in the sixth bracket." She put her hands on her knees and stood. "We'd better get back. Sorry, I rambled."

Noah studied her as he stood. "I'm glad you did." He exhaled. "I've never seen you dressed up, but I'm betting you clean up nice. Those wives wouldn't hold a candle to you."

"Thank you. That's sweet."

"You're not going to kiss me, are you?"

Sami giggled. "No. I've learned a person in protective custody can't kiss the head agent in charge of her safety."

"Or any of the agents assigned to her protection."

"Good to know. I'll do my best not to kiss Jose or Bob."

He chuckled. "I'm glad."

As they headed toward the house, Sami leaned her head briefly against Noah's arm. His eyes met hers. "What was that?"

"Half-a-hug. I've learned I can't do a full hug. I wanted you to know I'm glad we had this conversation."

"I'm glad we did, too."

Before they stepped onto the porch, Sami said, "I have another question." After Noah nodded, she continued, "About last night. I know you're responsible for my safety, but I was wondering if there was any other reason you showed up."

Noah avoided eye contact. "Part of it was security, but I also care. Can we leave it at that?"


As they stepped onto the porch, Sami leaned her head against his arm again. Noah pecked the top of her head. "The other half of the hug?"

She smiled. "Yes."

Noah shook his head and grinned.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO ALL THE FEMALES OUT THERE!!!! Even if you have not given birth to a child, I'm sure in some way you've touched a child's heart. All of that counts.


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.

Chief Galvin Baldwin - Noah's supervisor.

Ryan Brown - All around jerk. He thinks highly of himself.

Marc - Sami's old boyfriend.

Book of the Month contest entry



Thank you, Google Images, for artwork of a house with a moat. Noah was wishful thinking.

Today's post is the second part of Chapter 11. It's a short chapter. It only has a little under 1700 words.

Yesterday I made huge changes. I wish just once; wish I could get a post even close to perfect.
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