Thank you so much for reading Give Me Love. I had a blast with these two. It was so fun having this intense backstory and I love a heroine who can hold her own! The last book in this series is going to break my heart as I have truly loved Rose Canyon with my whole heart. So, who knows what will come …
Here is a special Bonus Scene with our amazing couple from Rose Canyon! I went a little into the future …
~Three-ish Years Later~
“I understand that Debra, but I can’t arrest someone because they didn’t like your cake.”
“It’s a crime!” She yells again. “A felony!”
I rest my head on my hand, exhausted by this conversation. “I’m not sure what part of the penal code you’re referring to, but I’ll do some research on your options to press charges.”
“I expect an answer in two days.” She hangs up the phone, and I shake my head.
I love this town, but some days I have to wonder if everyone has lost their minds. Thankfully, my shift is over, and it’s time to go home to my wife and son. I wave goodbye to Shelby as I leave and make the eleven minute drive to the house I never thought I’d be in again.
My childhood home.
I purchased it at Blakely’s insistence. Before we had Dylan, we wanted a place that wasn’t an apartment for him to grow up in. By some weird divine intervention, my house went up on the market, and she fell in love with it.
I pull up to the two-story brick home with trees around the property that Sunday has done her best to leave over two hundred various holes, making it a minefield to walk without breaking your ankle.
As soon as I open the door to the house, I regret leaving work.
It’s chaos. The dog has what I am guessing is a diaper in her mouth as she runs in circles around the dining room table and then into the living room.
“Goddamn it, Sunday!” Blake yells.
As the dog flies past me, out comes Dylan—naked, and peeing on the floor with a huge smile.
But the kicker is the robot vacuum is also running and smearing something as it goes.
Oh, this is going to be a fun night.
I grab the kid, holding him out the door so he can finish his business not on the floor as my wife comes around the corner. “Hello, honey.”
She glares at me. “You! You did this. You and your maniac child and dog.”
“I literally walked in the door just now. I can’t possibly be at fault.”
Although, it seems somehow I am.
“Yes, and look!” She points at Sunday who is now tearing the diaper apart.
“You know, if you really think about this, it’s your fault.”
That was definitely the wrong thing to say. I think there’s smoke coming from Blakely’s ears, and her face is a new shade of red. “My fault?” she asks, her voice calm despite the look in her eyes. “How is this my fault? Did I decide to get a dog that day?”
“And did I impregnate myself?” Blakely asks with ice in her voice.
“There were two of us there for that, darling love,” I remind her.
In fact, we were both very, very there for that.
She glares at me. “That is a mistake I will not make again.”
I laugh at that. Please, she can’t keep her hands off me. I’m irresistible.
Dylan squirms in my arms. “We’ll see about that tonight when I turn on my charms.”
Blakely shakes her head and then grabs Dylan from me. “Nice try, but you need a timeout for your transgressions.”
Dylan points to the puddle of piss. “Mama! I go pee pee!”
Blakely notices it, and her eyes widen. “You let him pee on the porch?”
“It was better than the floor inside.”
She enters the house, muttering under her breath. “If someone told me this would be my life, I would’ve laughed. Here I am, with a dog who eats diapers and a kid peeing on the floors.” We find Sunday in the living room, who has shredded the diaper beyond recognition. “I love you, dog, but I may have to kill you.”
Sunday was the best puppy. She was calm, obedient, the sunshine in our lives, until Dylan was born. Then she became inhabited by a demon, and we are all paying the price for it. It doesn’t help that our son is a menace as well, so we get it on every angle.
“She needs an exorcism,” I mutter.
“Since I can’t perform that, I will do something within my powers and give your son a bath. I’ll be back in a few. Please do your best to clean up down here.”
“Anything for you.” I was planning to do it anyway, but if it gets me off her shit list, then I’ll let her think it was her idea.
I throw my stuff down, put Sunday in her play pen, and start cleaning up. Once everything is back to some semblance of normal, Blake comes down with Dylan and flops on the couch.
“You did good, husband.”
I smirk. “I’m always good.”
“Want me to prove it?” I challenge.
Blakely shakes her head, adjusting a half-asleep Dylan in her arms. “I’d rather nap. Today was long, and then I came home to this insanity.”
I extend my arm behind the couch. “Come here, baby. Let me hold you.”
Some days Blakely doesn’t fight me, she allows herself to be loved and loves back, and others, she has to force herself to let love happen. It’s taken years of changing the conversation in her head, and I don’t take offense to it.
But today, it’s not even a hesitation. She melts against me, and her soft sigh goes right to my heart.
My lips press against the top of her head. “How was work?”
She snuggles deeper. “It was good. We found one of the girl’s family, and they should be coming out tomorrow to meet her.”
Run to Me has been doing fantastic things. She just partnered with a new rehabilitation program that has agreed to help some of these kids for next to nothing. On top of the other services, she’s offering education, work study programs, childcare, and medical care.
“That’s great. I’m sure they appreciate it.”
She nods. “I hope so. How was your day?”
“Another thrilling day in Rose Canyon.”
“Let me guess . . . Barbara wasn’t happy with the length the light is red on the traffic light?”
I laugh. “No, that was three days ago.”
“Okay, hmmm . . . Tina wanted you to paint the new crosswalk outside her house so she can get to Mama James faster?”
Dear God. Is that a thing? With these Six Who Knit, I never know. Every day it’s something new with them. “That’s not happening.”
“Of course not. Well, I’m sure it’s something along those lines.”
“You would be correct.”
“Have you thought any more about Jackson’s offer?” Blakely asks. “I know why you turned it down years ago, but now . . . times are different.”
We haven’t spoken about it in the last week. Mostly because I don’t know if I should even entertain it. He wants to expand Cole Security to our region. After all that went down with Ryan, the town, it was clear that he could do with a Pacific Northwest branch. He wanted to do this a while back, but I just couldn’t accept it.
This time, he wants me to spearhead the entire office, not just a team. With my training and connections, it makes sense. It would also be a very large pay increase.
However, I love my job. Yes, it’s mundane. Yes, it’s sometimes a little ridiculous, but this town sought comfort in the people after being rocked to its core. They are why we are healing, and I am not sure I want to leave that.
“I can’t seem to decide.”
She peeks up at me from the side. “You know I love you?”
“You know there’s no wrong answer?”
I nod. “I think I do.”
Blakely laughs a little and Dylan stirs. “I am not saying I want you to jump into running an elite security force, Lord knows we’ve had enough excitement in our lives, but there’s something to be said for how you felt working with them.”
Our eyes meet for a moment. “What do you mean?”
She places Dylan down on his blanket and then turns to me. “You and I aren’t normal people. We lived lives that very few people understand. You were an Army Ranger, Emmett. You were the best of the best. Everything about that life called to you, and it doesn’t to everyone. It couldn’t have been easy for you when you lost it.”
She has no idea. I was devastated. That injury took everything from me. I lost my job and her because of it. The worst part was trying to dive into something else and feel fulfilled, which was this job.
“I let that go. I also have you and Dylan now. I don’t want to risk my life because I happen to have some sick affinity for risk.”
“I have it too. It’s who we are, and Jackson is a great guy. We love that entire team, and you aren’t going to some hack of a company.”
She’s right. Joining them is a safer risk than if I went somewhere else. “You really want me to do this?”
Blake lifts her hand, brushing her fingers against my scruff. “I want you to be happy. I want you to be fulfilled. I know what that feels like. It’s the best thing in the world when you love what you do. Also, we are already working so closely with them. I heard from Natalie this morning because they were working for someone and uncovered another ring that was working under Ryan Wilkinson’s directives. They had documents, names, and some communication device that couldn’t be traced. She wanted to see if Run to Me could help the girls.”
“Which of course you can,” I say with pride.
“Hopefully. Addison is going to head down there and meet with her. I just keep waiting for this all to stop, you know? That this organization will finally be brought down, and it’s like cutting off the head of a snake and another one growing back.”
“The world will always need good guys to balance out the bad, it’s why the things we do matter so much.”
“And that’s why I think you should take this.”
The thing is, I want it. I miss that life so much, but I have worked so damn hard not to let that consume me. However, taking that job will be the challenge I have been hungry for. To lead a team again, in a way that isn’t about traffic lights or petty crime. Real investigative work and training with people who lived like me.
I lean in, pressing my forehead to hers. “You have no idea how much I love you, Blakely Maxwell.”
Her head tilts enough to press our lips together. “I think I have a good handle on it.”
“So we do this?”
“We do it together.”
While we sit here, the quietness of the moment is perfect. I have everything I want and need in this world right here. I am the luckiest man that has ever lived, and we still have so much more to go.
Also … if you loved Liam, Mark, Charlie, or Jackson, they are from the Salvation Series which is available Free in Kindle Unlimited. You can read all of those books while we wait for Holden. I’m sure they’ll make more appearances!