Romance Fiction posted November 19, 2023 Chapters:  ...36 37 -38- 39... 

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Emma and Seth begin talking.

A chapter in the book Guided by Faith

Chapter 25 A

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 25 days ago.


Jake stepped closer. "That's impossible. It's a crime scene. I'll repair your back door in the morning."

"What about Molly and Ace? Molly needs medicine."

"Go home with your parents. I'll bring the dogs."

Pastor Pat stood in the distance. "Emma, I'll take you to your parents'. Jake will get the dogs and the medicine. I'll drive slowly and give you time to think."

Scanning the area as she thought, Emma asked, "Are you going to give me one of your talks?"

"I don't think I have one for this situation."


As Emma got into Pastor Pat's car, he said, "When your house is cleared, I'll have the women's organization come in and clean. You should be home by the afternoon."

"Thank you, but I can clean it."

"I don't want you to."

She nodded.

After driving around town in silence and taking the long route to Emma's parents, Pastor Pat parked in their driveway. "The only advice I'm sharing is to listen to your heart."

When Emma opened the front door, she hugged her parents.


Chapter 25 A

Mid-afternoon Tuesday Jake drove Emma home, and on the way, she asked, "Have you seen Seth?"

"Yes, I saw him before I picked you up. He should be released later today." When her eyes widened, he teased, "I think they're anxious to get rid of him. He's not a good patient."

"Probably true. He doesn't like following orders. He'd rather give them."

Jake chuckled. "You know him too well." He paused. "The ladies have finished cleaning. I fixed the backdoor and put on a new handle. Ace can open this one. There won't be a need for him knocking it down."

"Hopefully, he'll never have another reason to."

"True. It might be hard for you to be there for a while. I'll stay with you."

"You don't need to."

"We'll see." Jake parked in her driveway and got out. He opened her door and then carried Molly and her pillow. "Ace, come on."

Emma stared at the front door before she inserted the key.

Jake watched. "Pumpkin, you don't have to do this. You don't have to prove how strong you are. I already know."

She exhaled and continued, "I need to prove it to myself."

Ace leaned his head into her arm.

Emma petted the large dog. "I know you're here for me, too." She swallowed and turned the key and doorknob, but held it shut.

As she glanced at Jake, he said, "I'm right beside you."

She nodded and opened the door. Hesitantly she stepped inside and searched the area. "It looks normal."

"It does." He held up Molly. "Where do you want this little one?"

She walked over by the TV and pointed. "We put her pillow here. I think it's as good a place as any." She studied the little dog. "She's looking better every day, don't you think?"

"Before long, she'll be getting into things."

"That's true." Emma walked toward the kitchen. "Would you like something to drink?"

"A glass of tea would be nice." Jake answered his ringing phone and walked to the front porch.

When he returned, Emma handed him the tea. "If you need to leave, I'll be all right."

Jake glanced at his watch. "Seth should be home in about an hour." He picked up her new guitar. "I haven't heard you play for a while. Why don't you play something?"

"If it's a trick to make me feel better, it's not necessary."

He chuckled. "I honestly enjoy listening to you play."

She sat and tuned the guitar. "Any requests?" She played and hummed, 'Grandpa, Tell me about the Good Old Days'.

"You know that's one of my favorites, don't you?"

"You've requested it a few times."

"I like the idea of simpler times."

"Me too." Emma continued singing.

This continued, until Jake glanced out the front window. "It looks like Seth's home. I want to check on him myself." He went and picked up Molly.

Emma studied her guitar. "I'm not going. You can give me a report."

"Seth has asked about you. He wants to see you."

"I doubt it."

"I'll leave Ace. You two can figure out how he gets home."

After they hugged and said goodbye, she closed and locked the door.

Carl opened the door for Jake and said, "He's home, but not in the best of moods."

"Imagine that." Jake chuckled. "Anything in particular set him off?"

Seth growled. "I'm right here." He glanced around Jake. "Where's Emma?"

"She said you didn't want to see her."

"What?" He shook his head. "I need to talk with her." He eyed Carl. "Get her and both dogs."

"Yes, Chief."

Once Carl left, Seth asked, "How's she doing?"

"Outwardly, fine. She's attempting to hide the inner turmoil. When you speak with her, you need to be careful." He paused. "In your present frame of mind, I'm not sure it's a good idea."

"In less than twenty-four hours, she was almost raped, killed a man, verbally attacked, and discovered she's adopted. A few days before that she almost lost her dog."

"Remember all of that when you speak with her." Jake's eyes met Seth's. "A while ago, I got a call. I'm needed in Cedarville. I didn't leave because I didn't want Emma to be alone." He slapped his buddy's back. "I'll keep in touch."

Expecting Carl and Emma, Seth answered the door and there stood Peggy Barton. "What do you want?"

She held a casserole dish and a suitcase. "I brought dinner. I knew you'd need help for a few days. It's okay if you don't have a spare room." She winked. "I don't mind sharing." She attempted to walk by.

Seth blocked her entrance. "You're not welcome. Turn around and leave."

Both heads turned as Carl parked and opened the passenger door for Emma.

Peggy said, "I'll get rid of that slut."

Emma viewed the situation. "Carl, I told you he didn't want me here. I'll walk back." She closed the vehicle door and headed home, carrying Molly.

Seth yelled out the door, "Emma, we need to talk." He turned to Peggy. "You need to leave."

Peggy stomped. "No! She's trash and almost got you killed. You need to stay away from her. Tomorrow, I'll list that cabin for rent."


"I'm not leaving."

Exhaling, Seth said, "Carl, I want Ms. Barton arrested." When Carl's eyes widened, Seth continued, "Right now, we have criminal trespassing, breaking and entering, both of my office. Also, defamation of character, disorderly conduct, and disturbing the peace. We'll start with those. I'm sure others will follow. Carl, handcuff her and put her in lock up. Make sure her arraignment's late tomorrow afternoon. I'll need to be there."

Carl put the suitcase and casserole in the cruiser before he placed handcuffs around Peggy's wrists. As he led her to his cruiser, he checked Seth over his shoulder.

Without emotion Seth said, "This time she's gone too far."

Seth used his body to hold the door open for Emma. "I'm sorry you had to witness that." When Carl came to the door, Seth took him aside. "I know what I'm doing. She needs to be stopped. I want her treated as any criminal. She had to find out the details about Emma's mom from the file on my desk. Her actions have consequences. I'll call later tonight for you to escort Emma home."

"Understood." Carl whispered, "Seth, you've scared the daylights out of Emma."

He nodded. "I'll deal with that."

Emma stood just inside the door. Seth used his good hand and pointed to the couch. "Please have a seat."

She sat.

"I'm sorry about what happened. When I sent Carl for you, I didn't know Ms. Barton would show up." Seth sat beside her and pointed to a sack on the counter. "I had Carl stop and get us dinner on the way home."

"That wasn't necessary."

He held up his arm. "I'm out of commission for a few days."

"I'm sorry."

"It's not your fault Mickey Casey broke into your home."

"Is that his name?" Seth nodded, and she continued, "Is he the person who siphoned my gas, grabbed me at the hardware store, and cut my dog porch screen?"

"We think so. We're still connecting the dots but feel confident we will." Seth touched her hand. "I know you have questions." When she remained quiet and stared at Molly, he asked, "Emma, why didn't you visit me in the hospital? I expected you."

She remained silent, but eventually said, "I didn't think you wanted me there."

"Why? Does it have anything to do with Ms. Barton?"

Emma remained silent.

"What about our friendship?"

She avoided eye contact.

"I wasn't aware anything changed."

Emma dried her eyes with her hand. "Discovering my life is a lie is bad but having somebody break into my house and me taking his life is worse." Her tear-filled eyes met his. "All this happened within a few hours. I know you don't want to be friends with somebody like me. I don't blame you."

Seth drew her close. "I'm here for you. As far as I'm concerned, our friendship has never been stronger."


"But nothing." Seth took her hand. "Let's start with you being adopted. I agree it would've been helpful if you knew, but that doesn't change Keith and Susan's love for you or your love for them. If I'm not mistaken, you told me Keith was your first love and remains the only man in your life. Has that changed?"

"No, I'll always be Daddy's little girl."

Almost grinning, Seth said, "I figured as much. You being adopted has no bearing on my feelings for you." Seth briefly closed his eyes. "I'll tell you everything I know. Keith told me the day of the fish fry while we were shooting hoops."

"He just blurted out Emma's adopted?"

"I asked if he had any idea who could've siphoned your gas. He told me a few months back he received a letter from your birth mom's pimp wanting 5000 dollars to keep quiet about the adoption." When her hand flew over her mouth, he said, "He didn't pay. He went to a lawyer who handled it."

"Why didn't you tell me then?"

"Keith had me promise not to. I told him I couldn't guarantee I'd be able to keep the secret if he had anything to do with the siphoning. I did give my word I'd try."

Emma was silent as she thought for a few moments. "The woman you and Jake talked with and who died in rehab was my mother, wasn't she?"

Seth nodded. "Yes."

"You've met her. What can you tell me about her?"

"Emma, are you sure?"


"Your mom was fifteen when she had you. She was living on the streets, struggling to take care of herself. There was no way she could support a baby. Her love for you is why she put you up for adoption."

"Why was she on the streets?"


A reviewer mentioned that a baby born to a cracked addicted mother would have issues. I understand that many babies born addicted to crack do have problems. I've worked with them in the classroom as well as babies suffering from alcohol syndrome. I, also, know of children born under those conditions who don't have any problems and grew up to be wonderful adults. Some believe the difference depends on if the baby remained in that environment or were able to get out, example. Emma was adopted. In case you don't believe me, here's the latest research on it.

Does using cocaine increase the chance of birth defects?
Every pregnancy starts out with a 3-5% chance of having a birth defect. This is called the background risk. Based on the studies reviewed, it is not known if cocaine can increase the chance of birth defects above the background risk. Birth defects that have been reported with cocaine use in pregnancy include abnormalities of the brain, skull, face, eyes, heart, limbs, intestines, genitals, and urinary tract. HOWEVER, MOST BABIES EXPOSED TO COCAINE DURING PREGNANCY DO NOT HAVE BIRTH DEFECTS.
SOMETIMES, prenatal cocaine exposure has long-term effects on a child's health. Specifically, the child may face a HIGHER RISK of developmental problems like:
difficulty paying attention,
trouble with self-regulation (the ability to manage emotions and behaviors appropriately),
mild problems with memory and language


Thank you YouTube for - The Judds 'Grandpa, Tell me 'Bout the Good Old Days'

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.

Winters - the bakery/bookstore Emma's parents own.

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

Ronald Calhoun - dated Emma her senior year of high school

Dr. Mason - veterinarian who took care of Molly



Please have a wonderful THANSGIVING. It's my prayer your Thanksgiving is filled with blessings, family, and friends. Don't forget to be safe!! HUGS!!!!

Thank you google images for the photo of a True Love Quote.

I really wanted to post Chapter 25 in its entirety, but unfortunately its close to 3500 words. I just couldn't do it to you, so I'll post it in two posts. I feel it actually flows best together, but this is FanStory and people want the FanStory money. This is the first part of Chapter 25 and a under 1700 words.

Thank you for dropping by and reading. I appreciate your help and the time you took to read it.
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