Romance Fiction posted April 21, 2024 Chapters:  ...12 13 -14- 15... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Noah's boss pays a visit.

A chapter in the book Willing Hearts

Willing Hearts Chapter 10 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 14 days ago.


Noah followed. "I'll help." In the kitchen, he watched Sami until she turned around holding the milk. "It felt good knowing somebody cared about my safety. Thank you for not showing it." When her eyes averted to the floor, he asked, "Did I read the signals wrong?"

She shook her head. "You read them right."

He took the gallon of milk and set it on the counter.

Sami put her arms around Noah and squeezed tight.

Noah returned the hug. "Thank you."

Jose called, "Are you done milking the cow?"

Noah came from the kitchen carrying glasses. "Sami's putting the cow back in the stall."

Sami returned and handed Bob the gallon of milk. Jasper stood beside her, and she roughed up his ears.

Standing, Noah said, "His walk got cut short. Does he need out again?"

Sami watched the dog. "I don't think so. I think he's all right. He's ready for bed."


Chapter 10 A

Sami headed toward the kitchen after Jasper had his early morning walk. Before she reached it, Jose rushed inside. "Sami, wait."

Noah's eyes widened. "What's the problem?"

"Galvin Baldwin."

"What does he have to do with breakfast?" asked Noah.

Sami's eyed darted between to the two men. "Breakfast or no breakfast?"

Bob glanced up from his computer. "I'm hungry."

Jose continued, "He'll be here between ten-thirty and eleven."

"On a Sunday? Why?" asked Noah.

"Not sure but it has something to do with last night," answered Joe. "He's expecting brunch. Sami, can you do brunch?"

"I can, but I'm not prepared for that." She hesitated, before she continued, "I'll figure it out."

Sarah walked to her. "Anything I can help with?"

"No. I know everyone's hungry. I'll fix something small for you guys. Then I'll start brunch." She continued to the kitchen.

Noah called after her, "Don't go to a lot of trouble."

It wasn't long before Sami had breakfast burritos on the table. Everybody started eating, before Sami's eyes met Noah's. "I know I said I wouldn't ask any questions, but I have two."

Noah nodded. "Ask away."

"First, I hadn't planned on groceries for an extra brunch. Would it be possible for somebody to get groceries. Maybe tomorrow?"

Bob finished the bite he'd just taken. "This is good. Thank you. If it's okay with Boss, I'll go first thing in the morning."

Noah nodded approval, before Sami asked, "Who's Galvin Baldwin?"

Sarah set down her burrito. "I'll compare it to something you know about, Noah's like a high school principal on steroids. Baldwin's the school district superintendent."

"Thank you. I got it." She stood. "I'd better get busy."

Jose tapped the table. "Sami, sit and enjoy breakfast."

"But..." Noah's eyes met hers along with a frown, as she said, "I'll sit a little longer, but I do need to get busy."

A few minutes before eleven o'clock, Jose left the cabin to greet Chief Baldwin as he stepped from the car. Jose stared down the lane.

Galvin said, "Don't worry. I took the longest possible route. Nobody followed."

"Welcome. Let's go inside."

As the two men entered the house, the others stood. Sami set the final dish on the table.

Greetings were made, before Noah said, "Galvin, I'd like to introduce Sami Martinez." Galvin offered his hand, and Sami accepted it. Noah continued, "Sami, please welcome Galvin Baldwin."

"Sir, it's a pleasure to meet you." Sami motioned to the table. "Please have a seat. I've finished setting out the food. It'll be best eaten warm."

"Everything looks good. I can't wait." Galvin sat and then helped himself to a blueberry muffin before asking, "Ms. Martinez, am I to understand you're doing the cooking?"

"Yes, Sir, I am. I volunteered. I enjoy cooking."

Everyone sat as Sami went into the kitchen to get the coffee pot. When she returned, she filled each cup.

Noah said, "Sami, have a seat. You need to join us."

They began eating before Galvin said, "Ms. Martinez, I've read Noah's after-action-report. I'd like your version of why you're here."

"Sir, I'm sure Noah's report is very thorough. I doubt I can add anything."

"I'd still like you to describe it to me."

Sami exhaled, as her eyes met Noah's. He nodded, so she began, "Monday evening, May 29th, one of my student athletes called around nine-thirty."

"Myra Rodriquez, right?"

"Yes, Sir." Sami continued with the story until she arrived at Safe House E.

Galvin asked, "How have you been treated since arriving?"

"I have no complaints. I'm not sure what you're asking."

"There are five adults and three bedrooms. I'm curious how it's divided."

"That's easy. Bob and Sarah are married and share a room. Jose stays in the cabin. I have the master bedroom. It has a private bathroom. Because of the final incident, Noah offered to stay in the cabin, hoping I'd be more comfortable. I told him since he was shot the spare room's the only choice that made sense."

"You're okay with that?"

She shrugged her shoulders. "Yes. I'm not sure where you're going with this. Noah and everybody have gone out of their way to make me comfortable."

"Just checking."

Noah said, "I don't understand your questions myself. I filled out the after-action-report in detail. I've played that scene repeatedly in my mind. I don't see any other way to have gotten Sami out of there without risking the possibility of her or innocent people getting hurt. If you know of a better way, please share it. I'd be grateful to learn from this experience."

"I don't either. I'm just making sure I didn't miss anything. It seems I didn't." Galvin sipped coffee. "We need to discuss what happened last night."

Sami stood. "I'll refresh everyone's coffee before I start on the kitchen."

Bob used his napkin to wipe his mouth. "Sami, it's my turn to clean the kitchen. I'll do it when we finish."

"It's fine, Bob. I don't need to be in this meeting. I don't mind helping."

When Sami took a load of dishes to the kitchen, Noah nodded for Sarah to follow.

Inside the kitchen, Sarah asked, "You all right?"

"Yes. I have a feeling Noah and Mr. Baldwin don't get along."

Laughing Sarah said, "They respect each other. Let's leave it at that." She hesitated. "Galvin knows Noah's next in line for his job. I'd be surprised if Noah wants it. He's an in the field type of guy. He wouldn't want to be behind a desk all day."

"I agree. He wouldn't." Sami lifted the coffee pot. "I'd better get this in there."

Sarah took it from her. "I'll do it."

The kitchen was cleaned, but the meeting continued. Sami crept into the room, grabbed a deck of playing cards, and continued to her room.

Noah followed. "Sami?"

"Do you need more coffee?" When Noah frowned, she said, "I'd prefer to be in here with Jasper. I'll play a few hands of Solitaire. I'm fine."

"It won't last much longer. Then we'll take a walk."

When Noah rejoined the group, Galvin asked, "Is everything all right with Ms. Martinez?"


Thirty minutes later, Sarah went to get Sami. "You can come out of hiding. He's left." When Sami opened the door, Sarah said, "I wish I could've hidden with you."

Sami laughed. "I would've let you."

"I know."

Noah moved from the table. "Thank you for brunch. Everything was very good. I'm sorry we can't order delivery for dinner. You deserve a break."

Bob cocked his head. "I have an idea. Are you finished with the grocery list?" When Sami nodded, he continued, "Why don't I get groceries now? I can bring back a few pizzas. Boss, is it all right?"

"Good idea." Noah released a deep breath. "After dinner we'll discuss what Baldwin said. Think about pros and cons. Everything's open for discussion." He grinned at Sami's frown. "You'll be part of the conversation. It affects you too." He glanced at Jasper. "Let's walk the dog."

The walk continued in silence before Noah asked, "How many Solitaire games did you win?"

"I lost maybe five or six before I quit keeping track. Do you think anybody ever wins at that game?"

"Not really. I've wondered if cards are capable of cheating." Noah paused. "There's a nice breeze."

Sami stopped walking. "You're doing it again."

"Doing what?"

"Conversation for the sake of conversation. What's on your mind?"

"I need to be careful around you." Noah glanced up at the sky. "I didn't like Baldwin questioning you. He knew better."

"I was surprised, but it's okay. I hope I didn't say anything to get you in trouble."

"I told the truth and so did you. There weren't any discrepancies. You did a great job."

"Thank you."

Noah watched Sami. "I have a feeling you have something to say or maybe ask."

"I'm not asking any questions, remember?"

"Just ask."

Her eyes widened. "Are you sure?" As he stared at her, she continued, "Since I'm going to be here a while, I'm wondering if there's any way I can work out? I'm used to working out."

"That's a conversation we'll need to have tonight. If I forget, bring it up."

His eyes started at her feet and ended when his met hers.


"Sorry." The tips of his ears turned slightly pink. "I was trying to figure out what exercises you do."

"I'd like to hear your guess."

"You jog."

"How far?"

"At least two miles. Probably some sit ups, pullups, and some type of weights. How'd I do?"

"You did a good job. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, while I walk Jasper, I jog three miles around my apartment complex playground. Then I do overhand and then underhand pullups on the swing set. After that I put my toes on the bottom of the slide for incline pushups. Jasper and I jog back to the apartment. Inside I do sit ups and up-downs."

"I'm impressed."

"On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I jog four miles. Every day, alternating days for upper and lower body, I lift weights at school."

He gulped. "I'm sorry about the once over. It was unprofessional. I really was wondering about your workout procedure."

She studied him for a few moments. "You are a man, but for some reason, I believe you."

"Thank you." He glanced toward the house. "We'd better get back."


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. Bob and Sarah are married.

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.

Chen - Charles Henry Edward Nichols - Human trafficker and into some really bad stuff.

Chief Galvin Baldwin - Noah's supervisor.



Thank you, Google Images, for a photograph of a blueberry muffin. I couldn't find what I wanted for this post, so I settled. Sorry.

Today's post is Chapter 10. It's a longer chapter so I broke it in to two sections. This is the first section. Next week, I'll post part two. It's a short chapter. It only has a little under 1600 words.

As I posted, I changed some sentences order. I hope it works. I appreciate all of your support and the review. THANK YOU!!!
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