Romance Fiction posted February 28, 2024 Chapters:  ...4 5 -6- 7... 

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Will Sami believe Noah?

A chapter in the book Willing Hearts

Willing Hearts Chapter 5 A

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 6 days ago.


After Sami was medically cleared, and before Noah returned, Holly walked into the room and introduced herself. "I'll travel with you to a safe house. My partner, Matt, is waiting outside. Ready?"

Staring at her, Sami asked, "Do I have a choice?"

"Sorry, but no." She paused. "We're the good guys."

As they prepared to leave, Noah walked up. "Sami, something's come up. I'm needed. We will talk." He called Matt and Holly over. "There's a lot of chatter about what went down tonight. This guy, Chen's angry about losing Sami."

"We're taking her to Safe House C, right?" asked Matt.

Noah set his jaw. "No, I'm moving her to E. It's farther from the city."


"You heard me." Noah started walking away but hesitated. "Make sure you're not followed. I don't care if you go to Philadelphia and back."

"Roger that."


It was after midnight Saturday morning when Matt parked at Safe House E. Holly opened the car's backdoor for Sami. "We're here. This will be your home for a while." She led Sami inside and toward the master bedroom. "This is your room. It has a private bath."

Sami nodded.

Almost an hour later a knock sounded on the front door. Holly opened it and welcomed Sarah and Jose.

Sami glared at Sarah. "You were part of this conspiracy?" She noticed Jose carrying suitcases. "You, too?"

Jose offered his hand. "We haven't officially met. I'm Jose..."

Before he could finish, Sami had refused his hand and turned her back.

"I have your dog in the van. I'll get him." Jose set down the suitcases and left.

Turning around Sami watched the door. When Jasper staggered in, she hugged him. "What's wrong with him?"

"Our vet gave him a sedative so we could get inside your apartment, get him, and your clothes."

"You broke into my apartment and drugged my dog? The nerve of you guys."

Sarah pointed. "Jose, put her suitcases in the bedroom. Later I'll help her unpack. Sami, I'll be staying with you. Noah felt you'd more comfortable with someone you've already met."

After the suitcases were in the room, Jose headed for the door. "Sami, if you need me, I'll be in the outside cabin, ensuring your safety." He left.

Sami went into the bedroom and lay on the bed. Jasper cuddled beside her.

Saturday afternoon, Noah used his wrist communicator. "Sarah, how's Sami?"

"Like we expected. She despises all of us. She's not talking or eating. She took a long shower and she's now on the bed with her dog and muttering something about feeling dirty."

"Has she said anything else?"


"I'm on my way. I should arrive in about thirty minutes."

Jose added, "She might have that dog attack you. Be ready. She trusted you. I'm pretty sure she feels you took advantage."

Noah gulped. "I know."

Close to an hour later, Noah knocked on the door.

Sarah welcomed him and then knocked on Sami's door. "Noah's here to explain the situation."

Sami walked to him, slapped his face as hard as she could. She slammed the door, and then crawled into bed.

Noah knuckle tapped on her door, before he opened it. "I deserved that." He exhaled. "We need to talk."

She rolled over and put her pillow over her head, so she wouldn't hear or see him.

"I know you can still hear. If you need to slap me a few more times before we talk, you can, but we're going to talk." He took a few steps into the bedroom. "I'd rather not talk in your room. Can you come to the living room?"

"What difference does it make? All you'll do is lie. You paid 500 dollars for me. You can do whatever you want." She hesitated. "I'd like to know who appointed you god."

He closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths. "I've never lied to you and never will. As for owning you, I don't. Buying you was the safest and quickest way to get you out of that situation. Chen planned on using you for a sex slave or kill you. That's what I want to discuss. I'll wait for you in the living room."

It wasn't long before alarms sounded. Noah sighed before he entered Sami's bedroom. "All the windows and doors have alarms. Matter-a-fact, down the lane about a half-a-mile, there's a strip that notifies Jose someone's approaching or leaving."

"I'm a prisoner."

"Noah, I'm going for a walk," interrupted Sarah.

"Probably a good idea. Jose, did you catch that?"

"Roger that, Boss."

Noah continued with Sami, "You're not a prisoner. We're trying to keep you safe."

She crept into the living room. "I don't have a choice, do I?"

Noah pointed. "Sit on the couch." When her eyebrows rose, he added, "Jasper can curl-up beside you." He sat in a chair across from her. "I'll sit over here."

After a long silence, Noah said, "Before we start, I had lunch with your parents."

Sami stood and glared at him. "How did my parents get involved? How did you know about them?" She tilted her head. "You did a background check. You have me bugged, don't you?"

He avoided eye contact but nodded.


"We felt you had information we needed."

"I'm a high school P.E. teacher. I don't know anything."

"We'll get to that. Can I finish with your parents?"

She returned to the couch.

"Good. I informed your parents you're safe and once Chen and his human trafficking ring are arrested your life will resume as normal. I'm working on you being able to occasionally contact them." Once Sami nodded, Noah continued, "Sarah put a bug on your Fitbit."

She took it off and handed it to him. "Remove it."

"I don't want to, yet. After we complete this discussion, I hope you'll agree. If not, I'll remove it."

Sami's glare continued.

"First, I have never lied to you and never will. If I can't answer your questions, I'll say that, but won't lie."

"You've lied to me numerous times. I don't even know your real name. Is it Noah Taylor or Trey Morgan, or maybe something completely different?"

"My name is Noah Joshua Taylor. My team and I work for Homeland Security. We investigate human trafficking of young girls."

"That's a lie. I heard you bought girls before you bought me."

"I did. I was undercover as Trey Morgan. Team members arrested the men who kidnapped those girls. I bought them and they went immediately to the hospital. The same one you went to. After we made sure they were unharmed, their parents were notified. All, except one, were returned to their parents."

"Why wasn't that one returned?"

"We do background checks on the parents before releasing the children. Her stepdad came up hot. We think he may have been the contact for the girls being kidnapped. She's safe with grandparents while everything's investigated."

"Why didn't you arrest the person holding them? Why didn't you arrest the men who kidnapped me?"

"We will. I couldn't arrest the men who kidnapped you, right now, because I couldn't blow my cover." He watched for a response but got none so continued, "Right now, LeRoy's needed. He's sort of the clearinghouse for dispersing the girls. He's my contact. I'm the handler for numerous undercover agents working inside the different human trafficking rings."

He paused. "That brings me to you. None of the trafficking rings knew about the hit on the community center. That one was random. LeRoy knew nothing about it. The girls didn't go through him. You had the only information."

"So, you used me."

"That's harsh, but true." Noah swallowed. "We were hoping you had information you didn't know you had. That's why we bugged your conversations." He hesitated. "Some of your plans put you in danger. We needed to know what you were doing next." He closed his eyes. "More accurately, I needed to know what you had planned."


"One of my jobs is to ensure everybody's safety." Noah studied the ceiling. "I told you I wouldn't lie. I've become fond of you and wanted to make sure you were safe." He gulped. "I knew you wanted to make an impression on the pros, so I purposely made sure they saw me give you money. I knew better than to flash money but did it anyway, and it caused you to be hurt. I'm sorry."

"That's what attracted Big T, right?" Noah nodded, so Sami continued, "I sort of understood your actions when you came to my aide with the john. I don't see how disgracing and humiliating me was protecting me. You were..."

"I had no choice," interrupted Noah. "I was undercover. I didn't have a plan. I knew I had to get you out of there and remain in character. I was a purchaser of young girls for the sole purpose of selling them as sex slaves. You weren't for sale. I had to convince those guys my need for you was strong."

Tears welled in her eyes. "But..."

"I'm sorry," interrupted Noah. "I've played that scene over and over in my head." He hesitated. "I understand I humiliated you. I doubt you'll ever forgive me. I saw hate in your eyes. It's still there."

After a long pause, Noah added, "The only other way I could think of to have gotten you to safety was allow Chen or his men to move you. We could've rescued you on the street. There might have been gun fire. Innocent people could have gotten hurt.

Sami stood. "If that's all you have to say, you can leave."


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.

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.


Chapter 5 originally was going to be posted its entirety, but as I was posting today, I decided it was too long, almost 2700 words. So, today's post is a little over 1400 words. I'm attempting to post this novel every Wednesday until Seth and Emma's story is completed. I'm not sure I can keep that pace, but we'll see. If I can't then I'll post every other week.

Thank you google images for a photo of a possible safe house.

I appreciate all of your support and the review. THANK YOU!!!
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