Romance Fiction posted September 19, 2023 Chapters:  ...27 28 -29- 30... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Seth and Emma discuss Peggy and Mr. Elliot.

A chapter in the book Guided by Faith

Chapter 18 B

by barbara.wilkey

Depend on God in every part of your life, and He will guide, protect, and comfort you. Will God guide Emma's life? If He does, will she listen?
Seth and Emma met 18 days ago.


When Emma returned with a paint swatch, Seth had returned to the police station. She prepared a large coffee to-go and put the last two beignets in a bag along with a treat for Ace. Stapled on the outside was a note, I changed my mind. Robin egg blue was too blue. I hope you like icy blue. Is it okay? Please enjoy the treats. Emma.

Before Emma sent Ace back, she sent Seth a text: "Ace is on his way with a bag." She put the bag in Ace's mouth. "Take this to Seth. There's something for you too." Standing in the doorway, she watched Ace walk across the street and then waited at the door until Seth opened it.

Seth waved and took the bag. He answered the text: "Thank you, but you didn't need to. See you about six."


Chapter 18 B

A few minutes before six, Seth walked into the bakery/bookstore. When Emma walked up to him, he frowned. "You look dead tired." He hesitated before he continued, "Ready to go home?"

"I am. I'd better tell Dad I'm leaving."

Seth watched father and daughter kiss cheeks and hug. When she returned, he said, "Tomorrow's going to be worse. You have the summer reading group and then both youth groups. Maybe you should ask Pastor Pat if you can delay the youth groups a week."

Emma shook her head. "I can do it."

They walked to the cruiser and continued toward home.

Seth parked in front of his house, and Emma pointed toward her house. "I live another fifty yards that way." Her eyes met his. "I'm not sure what you're doing."

"You're tired. I'm going to help you inside, then go get your fur ball. After I bring her here, I'm fixing dinner. When dinner's over, I'll take you home. So, don't argue."

"You're bossy."

He ignored her comment, helped her inside, and then pointed to the couch. "Rest. I'll be right back."

"You're extremely bossy."

"You're right." Grinning, he walked out the door.

When he returned, he shook his head and covered Emma as she slept. No way, did you overdo. Not you. He motioned to the dogs and whispered, "You two come with me. Let Emma sleep."

He started the grill and made the salad. Once the potatoes were in the microwave, he set the timer. When the grill was hot, he put on the steaks.

Some minutes later the sound of the timer dinging woke Emma. Seth frowned. "I'm sorry. I didn't get to it fast enough."

Stretching caused her to flinch in pain. "How long was I asleep? I guess I was more tired than I thought."

"Almost an hour. Dinner will be ready in five or ten minutes."

"Is there anything I can do?"

Seth checked out the back porch window. "The steaks are almost done. I better get out there." As he headed toward the door, he said, "Everything else is ready."

Seth returned with the steaks, one on each plate. He set them on the table, took the salads from the refrigerator, and the potatoes from the microwave. "I think we're ready. I hope you like dinner."

After prayer, they began eating. Emma sampled everything before she said, "This is really good. Thank you, but I have plenty of food at home."

"I knew you were tired. I thought this is one way I could help."

"You've already helped in many ways. Just taking me back and forth to work is a lot. Hopefully it won't take too long to get another car. We haven't discussed what Mr. Elliot said yesterday. I'm sure Jake showed you the video."

"He did. I thought it went well. Do you have any questions?"

"Not really. But I'm surprised he's not using his insurance company."

"Since his son has had so many car accidents, if they file another claim their insurance will be cancelled."

"Makes sense. I hope he comes through with a car."

"I have a good feeling about it." Seth studied Emma for a few moments. "I know you're really tired, but I have a feeling there's something else." Emma remained quiet, so Seth continued, "You avoiding looking at me tells me I'm right."

"I heard something at the bakery today. It's gossip, so..."

"Was it gossip about one of us or something else?" When Emma didn't answer, he said, "If it's bothering you, maybe we should discuss it."

"A few women were discussing an incident that happened Sunday morning. They said Peggy ran out of Mr. Elliot's house partially dressed. Mr. Elliot only wore a robe. They were both drunk. It seems Peggy seeing you with me Friday evening at Burger Bob's caused her to behave this way."

"I need to investigate how this became public knowledge." Seth took her hand. "What you need to understand is it had nothing to do with you, or me for that matter. Ms. Barton came in Monday morning and attempted to convince me that she was so heartbroken that she acted out of character."

"So, it is my fault."

Seth cocked his head. "You didn't take her hand and lead her to Elliot's house." After watching Emma's eyes, he added, "Please keep it between us, but her relationship with Elliot was going on long before you ever returned to town."

"Why? Peggy's a pretty lady. Why would she be involved with Mr. Elliot? He's old enough to be her father."

"Good question." Seth hesitated. "I wonder..." He stood and headed toward the back porch. "I'll be right back. I need to make a phone call."

Carl answered, so Seth said, "Two things. I want a mandatory staff member meeting at seven o'clock tomorrow morning. There are no exceptions for attendance." He listened. "It seems what happened Sunday morning at Elliot's house is public knowledge. There better not be a leak from us."

Listening for a few moments, Seth said, "Secondly, find out how much Elliot's worth? I know he's from old money. Also find out how much access to financial records Ms. Barton has? I know the library has access to lots of records for genealogy and other research but check and see how deep it goes." He listened. "I have a hunch that Barton is after men with big bankrolls. We'll discuss it later."

Emma watched Seth return. "Is everything all right?"

"I think so. Sorry about the privacy, but..."

"It was a need to know situation, and I didn't need to know," interrupted Emma.

"Sorry, but true."

"I understand."

He sat at the table. "I hope so."

Emma's hand covered his. "I do. Don't worry about it."

"I probably should've waited until later to make the call, but I wanted to do it when it was still fresh on my mind."

Tilting her head, Emma said, "Now who's worrying for no reason."

Seth grinned. "That would be me, right?"

"Yes." Emma stood and picked up a plate. "Let's get these dishes done."

Taking it from Emma, Seth said, "Rest. I'll take care of it."

"When you have dinner at my house, you help with clean up."

"You were just in a car accident." He watched her pick up the butter. "Okay, you can put things in the refrigerator. Will that make you happy?"

Her smile lit up the room. "Yes."

After the dishes were finished, Emma glanced toward the door. "I need to head home." When Seth took his keys from his pocket, she pointed the direction of her house. "I live right there. I can walk. The sun hasn't completely set."

"You were on your feet most of the day. You're still healing. I'm not sure you should walk." When her eyes met his, he sighed. "I'll give in on the walking, but you won't walk alone." He grinned. "I'm not completely bossy. I can compromise."

"You can."

On the way down the lane, Seth had Ace follow Molly as she ran and played.

Inside, Seth did a quick scan. "Is there anything I can help with?"

"I think I'll just get ready for bed."

"Since tomorrow's a busy day, is six-thirty too early?"

"No. It'll be fine. Goodnight."

Seth paused at the door and then faced Emma. "I'll be by at six-forty-five."

Emma smiled. "I'll see you then."

Thank you, YouTube for : MusicMan Pick.aLotTalk.aLittleMore

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

Pastor Pat - Pastor of the Church and Emma's Godfather

Jake Baker - Seth's mentor and Winters' family friend

Ray Hudson - Works at the bakery

Peggy Barton - Emma knew her in high school and is the assistant librarian, she's making a play for Seth

Linda Holton - the town librarian

Mayor Castle - mayor of Beaverton

George Elliot - city council member, from old money, and father of Marc Elliot

Marc Elliot - troubled teenager



Thank you, Google Images, for image of a group of young women in a coffee shop possibly gossiping.

Chapter 18 is divided up into two parts. This is part 2 of Chapter 18. I do this so the posts aren't' as long. This post is a little over 1200 words.

I made major changes as I posted. I hope I don't need to correct those corrections. Thank you for all your help and suggestions. I appreciate you dropping by and leaving reviews and your support of my writing.
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