Romance Fiction posted May 19, 2024 Chapters:  ...16 17 -18- 19... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
A hit was made against part of Noah's team.

A chapter in the book Willing Hearts

Chapter 12 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 16 days ago.


As they headed toward the house, Sami leaned her head briefly against Noah's arm. His eyes met hers. "What was that?"

"Half-a-hug. I've learned I can't do a full hug. I wanted you to know I'm glad we had this conversation."

"I'm glad we did, too."

Before they stepped onto the porch, Sami said, "I have another question." After Noah nodded, she continued, "About last night. I know you're responsible for my safety, but I was wondering if there was any other reason you showed up."

Noah avoided eye contact. "Part of it was security, but I also care. Can we leave it at that?"


As they stepped onto the porch, Sami leaned her head against his arm again. Noah pecked the top of her head. "The other half of the hug?"

She smiled. "Yes."

Noah shook his head and grinned.


Chapter 12 A

Just before noon Tuesday, Sami started lunch, and Bob called Noah to the computer. "Boss, Wyatt Earp didn't report in."

Noah studied the computer screen over Bob's shoulder. "Did Doc Holiday?" After Bob nodded, he continued, "Ask if he's heard from his partner in twenty-four, no twelve hours."

After Bob typed the question, they waited for a response. The response was 'no'.

A long silence continued, before Noah said, "Contact Doc and see if he knows where Wyatt went last night."

The answer came back to a bar on Fortieth Street, but said he'd already checked, and it was empty.

Noah pointed. "Check his GPS and find his location. I don't have a good feeling about this." He called Sarah. "Get a hold of the extraction team. We're pulling him out. I want them on the spot in less than twenty minutes." He turned back to Bob. "Depending on what we find let Doc know we may be pulling him out, too."

Noah paced as Bob repeatedly checked the computer.

Sarah reported. "The extraction team's going in."

The silence was stifling as they waited. Finally, Noah asked, "Sarah, is EMT ready?"

"Boss, they're on site."

He nodded.

The report came. There had been a hit. Five men had been playing cards and two were watching. Five of the seven died from gunshots. The other two were barely alive.

Colorful words flowed from Noah's and Bob's mouth. Noah turned and saw Sami standing in the doorway. "Sami, you shouldn't be here."

"I wanted to let you know lunch is ready." She swallowed and glanced toward the table. "I'll hold it."

"Good idea," Jose said as he walked through the front door. "Boss, we need to talk."

They watched Sami enter her room and close the door, before Jose said, "Chen's bragging about the hit."

"Why?" Noah answered his own question, "He's angry with me."

"That's the trafficking ring who took the young girls you were buying the same night you bought Sami."

"It's all about me."

Nodding Jose said, "Do we know the status of Wyatt?"

"Not yet." Noah's eyes met Sarah's. "I don't care how you do it but get Doc out of there."

"On it, Boss."

After time passed, Sarah knocked on Sami's door. "We're ready for lunch." When Sami came from her room, Sarah said, "Sorry, it took so long."

"Not a problem. I understand you have work that needs your attention." Sami swallowed. "Were the men all right?"

Sarah shook her head. "No."

No one spoke during lunch.

Bob's computer notified him of some information. He checked it and returned to the table. "Boss, Wyatt survived surgery."

Noah nodded and then stood. "I'm going to the hospital."

Jose faced Noah. "Boss, is that wise?" He hesitated. "Which one of us do you want to come along?"

"Is it wise, no? It's something I need to do. I'm going by myself. I should only be gone a couple of hours. Sarah, give me one of those burner phones. I'll stay in touch."

After Sarah handed him the phone and reported that Doc safely got out, Noah studied Sami and then left.

She went to her room.

Jose started after her, but Sarah said, "I think she needs to be alone. She'll let me know when she's ready to talk."

Noah took the longest possible route to the city. Inside the hospital, he showed his credentials and asked to see Sean McGrady. Once given the information, he followed the instructions to the correct floor and room. He, once again, showed his credentials to the security guards outside Sean's room.

Sean was asleep, so Noah pulled a chair next to his bed and waited.

It wasn't long before Galvin Baldwin walked in. "Noah, I expected to find you here, but hoped you weren't."

"You should know if one of my team members is injured, I'd be here. He's on a secure floor and has round the clock security. As far as being undercover, they think he's one of the guys who died. Nobody knows but us he survived. Two others survived."

"Sounds like you have it covered." Galvin scanned the room. "I know you need to talk with him, but you're at risk. After today, I'm ordering you to stay away. We'll see he gets the support he needs."

"He's my responsibility."

"I'm relieving you of that. Your safety's important too. I hear you pulled out Doc Holiday."

"He's safe." Noah sighed. "Chen's hitting that ring because of me."

"I know."

"We had a teleconference meeting this morning. I've got people in the field trying to find out where and when he's going to hit next. We'll get him."

Galvin grinned. "I'm confident you will."

Both men faced Sean as he started to move.

Sean described the scene, "We were drinking beer and playing cards. Four armed men came in shooting. They used AK-47's. We weren't ready."

Noah asked, "Can you describe the men?"

"Wore masks."

"I wonder how they knew where you were," said Galvin.

Running his hand through his short hair, Noah said, "I have a feeling they followed them from a bar. I'll have Bob notify everybody to be careful around bars. That's how we got Intel on last Friday's teen dance."

Galvin tapped Noah's back. "Sean, I'm sorry, but I'm sending Noah away. The longer he's here the more danger he's in. I've ordered him not to return until we've arrested Chen."

Sean attempted to raise his hand.

Noah reached over, patted his arm, and said, "I can promise I'll still check on you."

"I'm sure you will, Boss. Stay safe." Sean grinned. "Boss, does this qualify me for a vacation?"

Chuckling Noah said, "Of course. Think about where you want to go. I'll see it happens."

Galvin's eyes met Noah's. "Noah, goodbye."

He faced the door. "I'm gone."

When Noah walked in the safe house's front door, Bob, Sarah, and Jose greeted him with questions about Wyatt Earp's status.

Before Noah could answer, Sami rushed from her room. "Noah!" She started to throw her arms around his neck but stopped. She turned, went straight to her room, and slammed the door. "Sorry."

Noah sighed. "She's an emotional female." He held up a sack. "I brought dinner. It's hard deciding what to bring for a group of people. I settled on a Mexican buffet."

Sarah smiled and studied Sami's door. "Are you going to talk with her?"

He nodded. "Yes. I'll answer your questions first, and then we'll eat. After that, Sami and I'll walk Jasper."

Noah answered all the questions, before Jose said, "Boss, it's none of my business but I need to say something. I'm speaking for myself. Bob and Sarah may feel differently."

"Go ahead." Noah headed toward the table. "Let's sit and talk. Speak freely. Bob, Sarah, do the same. What's it about?"

"Sami." When Noah's eyes widened, Jose sat and continued, "You and Sami got off to a rocky start. It appears you've worked things out. I know regulation prohibits you two from having a relationship. I'm not talking about a full-fledged relationship, but I doubt an occasional hug would hurt. It breaks my heart seeing her hurt. I know you've explained the regulation to her. She was scared for your safety and was happy you returned unharmed."

Sarah sighed. "I agree with Jose. A hug for something like today wouldn't hurt."

"I agree with you both, but we need to discuss the other side." Bob hesitated. "If we allow an occasional hug, would it gradually increase? Where do we stop it?"

Noah stood, went into the kitchen, and returned with a glass of water. After he sat and took a sip, he said, "I understand what you're saying. I know Sami was genuinely happy I returned safely. I'm the type of person who follows rules. Rules are made for a reason. What if we let a few hugs or kisses pass. Maybe down the road I do something to make her angry. I could have a sexual harassment charge thrown against me."

Shaking his head, Jose said, "Do you think Sami would do that?"

Blowing out air, Noah said, "No. But she could. I don't have the answer. I didn't stop her. The look on her face hurt when she realized she shouldn't hug me. I'll agree to think about it."

Nodding Jose said, "If you decide to allow a hug here and there, I'm not turning you in."

Both Bob and Sarah agreed they wouldn't either.

"Thank you for the support."

Sami came from her room and saw everyone sitting at the table. "I didn't know you were having a meeting. I'll start dinner when you're finished." She turned toward her room.

"Sami," called Noah. "We weren't really having a meeting. You don't need to start dinner. I brought dinner home. It might need reheating. It's been sitting here awhile." He pointed to a sack.

"Thank you. I'll check it and have dinner on the table in a few minutes."


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 whom 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.

Ryan Brown - All around jerk. He thinks highly of himself.

Marc - Sami's old boyfriend.



Thank you, Google Images, for a photo of an extraction team.

Today's post is the first part of Chapter 1. It's a short chapter. It only has a little over 1500 words.

Today I'm able to post. Everybody is worn out from all things graduation and off doing things by themselves to relax. I'm at my mom's and she'd napping. I thought I could sneak in a post before everyone gets together for dinner. LOL I made huge changes as I posted. I wish just once; wish I could get a post even close to perfect. Not sure about next Sunday. I'll be at my sons who has the two little girls.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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