Romance Fiction posted February 26, 2023 Chapters: -Prologue- 1... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Seth meets his new renter, Emma.

A chapter in the book Guided by Faith

Faith Chapter 1

by barbara.wilkey

Chapter 1 Day 1

Police Chief Seth Carter and his friend and right-hand man, Carl Jones entered the Winters' Family Bakery and Bookstore. The two stood at a tall table and scanned the area. "When did this place become a dance hall?" asked Seth. "Why wasn't I notified? Who's the girl leading this? Is she new in town? I haven't seen her before."

"Chief, she's Emma Winters, Susan and Keith's daughter. Since graduating from college, she's returned back home. I've heard she's here permanently." Carl chuckled. "She's organized a line dance. Most of the patrons have joined in. Feel like dancing?"

Seth studied Emma. "What I feel like is an x-large black coffee. I've been up since one-fifteen." He checked his watch. "That's right at twenty-nine hours with only two hours of sleep and it's my day off." He drummed his fingers on the table. "So, that's who I rented my one-bedroom cabin to."

"You're right. I'd forgotten you were in Austin at your nephew's Christening the day she moved in. Keith set it up."

Chief Carter watched Emma's green eyes illuminate the bakery as she called, "Dad, play it one more time. Ms. Sadie feels like another dance."

Seth closed his eyes. "I'll never get coffee."

The music continued and Emma and the elderly lady smiled and danced with the rest of the patrons.

When the music ended, Ms. Sadie giggled and smiled. "Thank you, Emma. I haven't had so much fun since the last time you were home."

A quick check of his watch, caused Seth to snap, "I need to get back to the office. I have an interrogation in thirty minutes. I wonder since we're regulars if we can get our own and leave the money on the counter."

Giving Ms. Sadie another hug, Emma said, "I promise we'll do this whenever we're both here, but right now, I'd better get back to work." She giggled. "It's only my first day back and Dad might fire me already."

Upon hearing Emma, Seth muttered to his friend, "Maybe she'll take our order."

Emma stood in front of Seth and Carl's table with her pad and pen ready. "Hello, sorry it took so long. What can I get Beaverton's finest?"

Carl reached over and hugged her. "Welcome back. I've missed you. I'm guessing Ms. Sadie has too. You two were always trouble together." He grinned. "I see nothing's changed. I hear you're staying."

Her green eyes twinkled with an ornery glow. "I'm still me and Ms. Sadie is still Ms. Sadie. Since I've graduated, yes, I plan on living here. I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be."

He moved his head toward Seth. "I don't think you've met our police chief. This is Seth Carter. He's been here about a year and a half."

Seth offered his hand. "Nice to meet you, Ms. Winters. Your Dad's mentioned you on numerous occasions." Now can I get some coffee?

She accepted his hand. "I'm sure he has. I'm Dad's favorite daughter. Of course, I'm his only one." Her eyes glistened. "It's a pleasure meeting you, Chief Carter. What can I get you officers?"

"X-large black coffee," they both said.

"I'll be right back."

Emma returned with two x-large coffees and two cinnamon rolls. "The pastries are complimentary since you had to wait until the line dance finished. Sorry about that. Thank you for being so patient."

Carl grinned. "Emma, I know you and understand how things like that happen. I'm glad Ms. Sadie enjoyed herself."

"She did. We'll do it every time we're both here. I know you understand, but Chief Carter doesn't. We just met." Her eyes danced as she left.

Seth paused at the door and glanced back at Emma. Should be interesting.

The evening crowd died down, and Emma headed home. Before she drove down the fifty-yard lane to her cabin, she parked in front of Chief Carter's house, walked to the front door, and rang the doorbell.

Seth answered with his companion by his side. "Ms. Winters?"

Wide eyed, she stared at the large German shepherd.

Those green eyes! He roughed the dog's ears. "I'd better introduce Ace. He's a trained K-9 and works with me."

"Sorry." She exhaled. "He surprised me. I wasn't expecting a gigantic dog."

"He's harmless unless you break the law."

Her smile illuminated the doorway. "That I don't plan on doing."

"How can I help?" asked Seth.

"Dad mentioned I should ask about the garage door opener. It doesn't work. I changed the batteries on the remote, but it still didn't work. I can't open it manually. I'm not tall enough to disengage it and don't have a ladder."

"Before you moved in, I had a contractor in. It was supposed to be fixed. I'll check it tomorrow."

"Please don't. Sunday's a day of rest. It can wait until you have time." She turned to leave. "Thank you."

She's as religious as her parents. It's unusual for a college student. He exhaled. I've never met anyone with that shade of red hair before. It's almost copper. I wonder if she has the temper to go with it. Seth closed the door. "Ace, tomorrow we'll check the garage door after church."

Molly barked and stood by the front door. Emma exhaled. "Okay, but you just went out. This is the last time until the sun comes up. Got it?" She opened the door. "I'm in my nightshirt. I can't go with you. Hurry up"

Molly barked and ran.

Emma stared into the darkness and waited. "What's taking you so long?" Tilting her head, she called, "Molly, get back here!" A few moments passed, before she stood on her small front porch. "Where are you?" She stepped onto the grass. "Ouch!" Lifting her foot, she studied it. "What'd I step on?" She called, "Molly, hurry up!"

Seth's outside lights came on, and she said, "Great! We disturbed our landlord. Molly, come here."

Moments later Ace ran up and sat in front of Emma.

Seth followed behind. "Who's Molly?"

"My Pomeranian. I hope it's all right. Dad said it'd be okay if I had a dog. She had to go out and took off."

"Dogs are allowed." Seth raised his arm and pointed. "Ace, find the dog and bring her back."

"He can do that?"

"I mentioned he's trained, didn't I?"

"You did, but..." Before long she hobbled on one foot, bent, picked up her almost four-pound dog, and hugged her. "Molly, you shouldn't take off." She studied Ace as he, again, sat in front of her. "Thank you. I'll try to keep her under control."

Seth peered at Molly. "Are you sure that's a dog?"

"I'm positive. Not a well-behaved dog, but a dog. Sorry we disturbed you and thank you for helping." She turned. "I better get inside." She limped away carrying the small dog.

"You're limping. Why?"

Emma faced Seth. "While chasing Molly I stepped on something. I'm sure it's nothing."

Searching his jeans' pocket, Seth found a key ring and turned on a small, attached flashlight. "Let me see."

"It's okay."

"I'm checking it." Seth tapped his shoulder and knelt. "Put your hand here and lift your foot." He studied it. "It looks like you stepped on a piece of glass. Come with me. I'll get it out."

"It's not necessary."

He took her arm. "Lean on me. It's not that far."


"Let's go."

Inside his house, Seth pointed to a chair. "Have a seat. I'll get my first aid kit."

"Thank you, but you really don't need to do this. First, Molly and I disturbed you, now this."

"Ace alerted me there was a problem." Seth knelt in front of her, stood, grabbed a throw blanket, and then covered her legs. "We have two problems." He paused. "First, you're not dressed properly. Second, you're not wearing shoes." He used tweezers, removed a small sliver of glass, and then held it up. "I hope your tetanus shot's current."

As he cleaned the wound, Emma said, "My vaccinations are up to date. I never planned on leaving my house."

He put on the Band-Aid. "Next time make sure you're dressed appropriately. The outskirts of town aren't always safe."

"Yes, Sir. I will."

"I don't want to visit a crime scene and you're the victim."

"I understand. I don't want to be a victim."

"Glad to hear it. I'll walk you back to your place."

"You don't need to."

His jaw set. "We just discussed it not being completely safe."

"I guess that's true. Thank you, I appreciate your concern."

With a wide stance Seth with arms crossed at this chest, stared at her front door. "Did you leave your door open?"


"Ace and I'll check to make sure it's safe."

"It wouldn't do any good to say you don't have to, would it?"

Seth exhaled. A complete search ensued. "It's safe."

"Thank you. You take security seriously, don't you?"

"I'm the police chief. It's what I do."

"I guess that's true."

His hand grasped the doorknob. "Ms. Winters, make sure the door's locked."

"I will. Thank you, again."

He listened for the lock to engage before leaving her porch.

Seth with is his dog, Ace, headed toward their house, glanced over his shoulder at Emma's cabin, and shook his head. "She's definitely a young'un. This is going to be interesting."

Thank you youtube for Alan Jackson and 'Chatahoocee'

Character List:

Police Chief Seth Carter - hero and Beaverton's Police Chief

Emma Winters - heroine and waitress at her parents' bakery and bookstore, but just graduated college with a teaching degree.

Carl Jones - Seth's good friend and right-hand man

Susan and Keith Winters - Emma's parents and owners of Winters' Family Bakery and Bookstore

Molly - Emma's almost four-pound Pomeranian

Ace - Seth's German shepherd, a trained K-9



Welcome to my new novel. It's a little different from my previous novels in that it's more faith based. I hope you enjoy reading. I'm classifying this as a romance novel, although some of you feel my novels are not romance. It seems to be the best category.

Thank you FaceBook for the image of what Emma may look like.

This post is a little over 1600 words long and as usual I made changes as I posted. I know Seth shakes his head a lot, it will be addressed down the road. I also know he comes across bossy, that will also be addressed down the road. Both are character flaws that will be addressed. I promise. Again, thank you for all your help and suggestions.
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