- Willing Hearts Chapter 3 Bby barbara.wilkey
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Noah shows up at Sami's apartment.
Willing Hearts
: Willing Hearts Chapter 3 B by barbara.wilkey

Can Noah rescue Myra, close down the human trafficking ring, keep Sami safe, all without falling in love? Or did the love of Sami's life will appear in front of her?

Noah and Sami met 4 days ago.


Noah yelled into his wrist communicator. "Sarah, help Sami. Take her to her car. Jose, stay back. We can't risk playing our hand with Big T. I'm following her home."

Jose said, "Boss?"

"You heard me."

Sami hobbled up the two flights of stairs to her apartment. After a few minutes inside, a knock sounded. She petted Jasper. "Who could that be?"

At the door she asked, "Who is it?"

"Sami, it's me, Noah. I need to know you're all right. Let me in."


Unlocking the door, Sami opened it and stared at him. "I guess you saw."

"I did but wasn't close enough to stop it." Noah's eyes widened as Jasper stood in front of him.

"Jasper, it's okay." Sami faced Noah. "He'll be fine once he checks you. Let him sniff your hand."

"Okay." He did for a few moments and then placed his hand on Sami's elbow. He led her to the couch. "Have a seat. I followed you home." He glanced around her apartment. "The kitchen's this way?" When she nodded, he continued, "I'll get some ice for your eye."

When he returned with a bag of mixed vegetables, wrapped in a dishtowel, he sat beside her and had her hold it in place.

"Thank you. You showed up before I had time to take care of it. You have a way of taking over, don't you?"

Noah grinned. "I guess that's true. It's an occupational hazard."

"What occupation?"

"I'm here to make sure you're all right," interrupted Noah. "Not discuss me."

"Who's Big T?"

"He's the pimp, who owns that corner and all the corners in about a three-mile radius. He's mean. Everyone around that area's afraid of him."

"He's the reason they won't talk." Sami took a moment. "Are you afraid of him?"

"I'm not afraid of him, but I do respect him." Noah studied her. "I'm sorry you had contact with him."

"He threatened me. He said he'd try me tomorrow."

"I forbid you to go back."

"You can't tell me what I can or can't do."

Noah ran his hand through his short hair. "You're right. I strongly advise you to stay away from that corner. Big T has you on his radar."

She cringed when she adjusted herself on the couch.

Noah noticed. "Where else do you hurt?"

When she avoided eye contact, Noah said, "I'm here to help. If you don't answer, I'll check myself."

"That's probably true." When his eyes widened, she rubbed her right ankle. "I twisted it when I fell."

He knelt, lifted it, and felt it. "It's bruised and scraped. It doesn't feel like it's broken and there's no swelling." He stood. "I'll be right back."

When he returned, he held a first aid kit. "I found this. I hope you don't mind."

"Would it make any difference if I did?"

"Probably not." He continued to clean the abrasions on her ankle and lower leg. He took a couch pillow, set it on the coffee table, and laid her foot on it. "This should help."

When some water from the frozen vegetables dripped down her chest, Noah took the towel they were wrapped in and started to dry the area.

Sami grabbed it from his hand. "I can do that."

"You're right." Noah exhaled. "I'm sorry Big T violated you."

She stared at Jasper and hugged his neck.

Breaking the extended silence, Sami said, "This hasn't been one of my better days. I really need to be alone."

"My intent is to make sure you're all right."

"As you can tell, I'm fine. You can leave."

"You're not fine." He covered his red flashing wrist communicator with his hand. "You're traumatized. I'm not ready to leave you alone."

"You're not spending the night."

"I have no intentions of spending the night, just a little longer."

"Do you always get your way? Don't you ever ask? Or maybe you ask and when you don't get the answer you want, you just do it anyway, so quit asking."

Noah's eyebrows rose. "That's probably the closest to the truth." He used his phone and ordered Chinese delivery. "Two Peking ducks, one with fried rice." He glanced toward Sami. "Fried or white rice?"

Shaking her head, she said, "Fried." After the order was placed and he hung up, she said, "You did it again. You ordered me dinner without asking."

"I asked about the rice."

"That you did."

"While we wait for dinner, can we talk more about your day?"


"You're upset. I don't want you to keep it bottled up. It helps to get it out."

"What do you want me to do? Start crying uncontrollably?"

"Please don't. I'm not good at handling tears."

"If I start crying, will you feel uncomfortable and leave?" Sami hesitated. "I can make that happen."

"Can you wait until after dinner?" He checked the mixed vegetables. "They're getting soft. I'll see what else you have in the freezer." He walked away.

When Noah returned, he saw Sami hugging Jasper as tears welled in her eyes. He sat beside her, placed a bag of frozen blackberries against her eye, and then put his arm around her. "I'm not making a pass." He moved her head to his chest. "You don't need to be strong around me."

Tears slowly fell. "I don't want this to happen."

"It's understandable." When she backed away, he held her tighter. "You're safe."

After moments of silence, Sami exhaled. "I'm sorry. I'm all right."

Noah moved his arm. "You're sure?" After she nodded, he added, "I'm here if you need me."

"You said you weren't comfortable with tears."

"I'm not. To be honest I had no idea what to do. I acted instinctively."

"Your instinct worked. Thank you."

"You're welcome." His head turned at a knock on the door and glanced at his watch. "It's probably dinner."

Jasper stood at the door.

"Jasper, back." When the dog responded, Sami said, "Jasper, sit."

Noah's eyes widened. "He minds."

"As large as he is, he has to, or I couldn't have him inside."


"Bring the food to the table." Sami stood and went into the kitchen. "I'll get some dishes and silverware."

"You don't want to use chopsticks?"

Sami smiled. "I'm not very good with them. You are?"

"I eat Chinese a lot. Sometimes silverware isn't available, so I've learned."

"You seem to improvise a lot."

"I do." Noah set the food containers in front of Sami. "Sorry, I didn't think to ask. I hope you like Peking duck."

"I do."

He grinned. "Good. Next time I'll remember to ask."

Her eyes widened. "You think there'll be a next time?"

"I hope the circumstances will be different, but yes."

As they finished eating, Sami set out the fortune cookies. "Choose one."

Noah shook his head. "Don't tell me you believe this nonsense." He took the one closest to him, opened it, and read, "Nothing is impossible to a willing heart." He handed her the one left. "Your turn."

Sami opened it, read silently, and closed it in her fist.

"I read mine. You need to read yours." When she shook her head, he reached over, took it from her, and read, "The love of your life will appear unexpectedly in front of you." Noah stood. "I'll help you clean up, and since you're doing all right, I'll leave."

"I can get this. You can leave."

They cleaned up in silence, and then stood at the door.

Noah studied the door, turned, and faced Sami. "I know you well enough if I tell you don't show up at the community center tomorrow, that's exactly what you'll do. So, I'm saying, Big T will honor his threat. I'll do everything in my power to protect you, but if something comes up, I may not be available when you need me." He leaned over and hugged her. "Goodnight." He walked out the door.

"Noah, wait." When he faced her, she asked, "You're a product of the system, aren't you?"

His eyes met hers, and he swallowed. "We'll talk later." He left.

Noah sat in his car and said into his wrist communicator. "I don't want to talk about it or hear any comments today or any day."

Three voices said, "Roger that, Boss."


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.

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


Author Notes
This is the second part of chapter 3. The entire chapter is over 3000 words, so I broke it up into two parts. Chapter 3 B is a little over 1200 words. I deleted a section of it this week. I decided it didn't move the story along, so it ended up shorted than I thought. I'm going to attempt 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 Great Dane. This is probably what Jasper looks like. I'm sure he'll have a role in this novel. LOL

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


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