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Authors: Mitzi Pool Bridges

Find My Baby (28 page)

BOOK: Find My Baby
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Kayla chuckled. “That’s as close to a bribe as I’ve ever heard.”

“Whatever works,” he whispered.

Rosie and Aunt Nester looked at each other. “What do you think?” Rosie asked. “I can put a baby bed in the spare bedroom for when Sam comes over.”

“So can I,” Nester said.

Their heads together, they walked through each side of the duplex, admired the new carpet, the new stove and sink. “I like it,” Aunt Nester said. “I can sell my place and pay you for this one,” she told Luke.

“Same here,” Rosie said. “And like you said, we do need to be close to the baby.”

“This is my deal. No pay needed.”

“Oh yes, young man,” Aunt Nester argued. “I’ll pay you.”

“So will I,” Rosie said.

“I give up. I can tell I won’t win this one.”

He walked over to the workmen. “When will you be finished?”

Luke nodded, came back with a grin on his face. “You can move in anytime after this weekend.”

“So soon?” Rosie asked.

“The sooner the better. I’m moving Kayla and Sam to my house tomorrow. That will give you both time to pack and be ready for the move any time you’re ready.”

“Everything is happening so fast,” Rosie said.

“Sure is,” Aunt Nester agreed. “When do we plan the wedding?”

Kayla’s head whirled. Aunt Nester and Rosie moving, her move to Luke’s, a wedding in the works. Was she up to this?

When Luke took her hand, picked up Sam’s carrier and herded them out the door, she knew.

She was more than ready.

Chapter Twenty-Four

When Luke suggested Jackie baby-sit while he and Kayla move her things into his house, she hesitated only a second. Knowing Sam was safe was a new and wonderful feeling. Seeing Terry standing beside Jackie when she opened her door and reached for Sam, made Kayla realize how lucky she was to have such good and trusting friends.

“Terry has a thing for Jackie.” Luke grinned as they left Jackie’s apartment.

Kayla chuckled. “I know. And I think it’s wonderful.” She looked over at him. “What about you? Terry’s been your friend for a long time. What do you think?”

“Terry’s dated quite a bit, but I’ve never seen him so caught up. I think it’s serious. I’m glad for him.”

“Good.”

The SUV was packed with boxes. Earlier, Luke and Terry had moved the heavy things she wanted from the apartment into Luke’s house. She didn’t keep much. Luke’s house had all the furniture they needed. She felt at home the first time she walked through the nineteen-forties, brick home in the Heights. Surrounded by tall oaks, the house fairly screamed home. She’d have to re-arrange some furniture, clean out some closets, but all of that could wait until she moved in.

She couldn’t be happier.

“Did I tell you Joe Stefano came to see me?”

“No,” Kayla answered as she shoved a box into the living room.

“He’s studying for his GED and has a job at Wal-Mart.”

“That’s wonderful.”

“The kid is going to make something of himself after all.”

She wrapped her arms around his waist. “Why do I think you had something to do with it?”

He looked at her and grinned. “Now why would you think that?”

“Because that’s the kind of man you are.”

“You’re prejudiced.” He kissed the corner of her mouth.

“What you did for Aunt Nester and your mom? That was just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen.” She chuckled. “Did you see the look on their faces when they realized they were really moving?”

“I’ve been working on them for years. It took Sam to make it happen.”

“I love you, Luke Garrett.”

“Not as much as I love you, Kayla Hunter.”

She looked up at him, reveled in his embrace. “I have a question, Luke.”

“Anything.”

Her voice was low when she asked, “Have you killed a lot of people?”

He seemed to stiffen, then pulled her close and put her head on his shoulder. “Anatoli was the first and I hope the last. Why do you ask?”

She stepped out of his arms. “I don’t want to have to worry about you every day.”

His smile seemed to be one of relief. “Most of my job is legwork and on the computer. I gather evidence, others make the arrest. Sometimes I give them a hand, others I don’t.” He paused. “Can you live with that?”

Her own smile bubbled up from her heart. “I can live with just about anything as long as I have you, Luke.”

“You will. Always.”

“Wonderful.” She looked around, taking in all the work that awaited them. “Now, let’s finish here so we can pick up Sam before Jackie gets tired of him.”

He laughed. “Never happen.”

A minute later, Luke struggled to open a box sealed with tape.

Kayla reached into her pocket, pulled out the pocketknife she kept there. The only time she’d been without it was for the flight to New York.

“What are you doing with that?” he asked.

Kayla looked at the man she loved. Would he ever understand what she’d been through? To some extent of course he would. But only someone who had been grabbed and kept prisoner would really understand. “It’s the only thing I had to protect myself with.”

He took her into his arms, held her tight. “I’m so sorry you had to go through so much. It wasn’t right.” Gently, he took the knife, put it in a drawer. “You don’t need this. Not anymore.”

“I know Sam and I are safe. It’s not that.”

“I understand.”

Did he? How long would it be before she could take a walk and not search every face and every car that passed by? Would she ever forget that her son had been stolen and only a miracle got him back? She didn’t have answers. What she did know was that they were as safe now as they’d ever be. Time was on her side. If she could get her son back, she could get over this.

It didn’t take long to put things where they belonged. “That’s all there is,” Kayla said, taking the last empty box into the kitchen. “The rest of my stuff can go to Goodwill.”

“How do you like your new home?” he asked, taking a bottle of water out of the fridge. He handed it to her and took another for himself.

She looked around at the varnished wood cabinets, the tile floor. “It’s beautiful.”

Turning to him, she hugged his waist. “You’ve made me the happiest woman in the world.”

“Can’t be as happy as I am.”

“Do you know what you’ve given me?” She didn’t wait for an answer. “All my life I’ve wanted a real home. A place where I could put down roots, be a family. I never had it with my mother, or with David. You’ve given me this gift of love and permanence.” She couldn’t stop her eyes from welling up. “We’re going to have a wonderful life.”

He took her in his arms. They kissed until breath left her.

Luke looked into her eyes. “I love you and Sam so much. I have you to thank for helping me take the first step to get to know my birth mother. Plus you’ve given me a beautiful son. If it’s possible, I’d like you to put my name on Sam’s birth certificate as the father.”

“I’d like nothing better. How does Samuel Luke Garrett sound?” It sounded wonderful to her. Like a dream come true.

His grin told her all she needed to know.

Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a small box. “Let’s make this legal.”

Her heart hammered a hundred miles a minute as she took the box, opened it. A square cut diamond winked at her. “Oh, Luke. It’s beautiful.”

“Not as beautiful as you.”

“I’m so happy I can’t stand myself.”

He led her out of the room and down the hall again. “There’s another room I want to show you.”

“I’ve seen every room in your house,” she reminded him.

“Our house,” he corrected. “I’ve made a couple of changes.”

He opened the door to the master bedroom. A king-sized bed with a deep blue coverlet and a matching rug next to it dominated the room. A tall chest of drawers stood in one corner, a rocking chair in another. A TV was hidden behind the doors of a dark oak armoire. “I intend to spend a lot of time in here,” he said, taking her in his arms.

When he traced a finger over the curve of her breast shivers slid through her in a familiar dance.

“I want you, Kayla.”

The passion in his husky voice intensified the shivers. She was hungry for him, consumed by a wild desire to get close and stay there.

“Luke, I love you so much.”

“And I love you.”

They were at the bed. Her mouth held his in a kiss that started with a touch and went deeper. Until she couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think.

“Luke?”

“Hummm?”

“When are we getting married?”

Laughing, he held her even closer. “As soon as you want to.”

“Can we get married here?”

“I’d like that.”

She kissed him. Hard. “Jackie’s giving us that party she promised. We could have the ceremony then.”

“Sounds like a plan,” he agreed, giving her another breathless kiss.

“We can ask everyone who helped find Sam. Besides Aunt Nester and your mom, there’s Captain Jensen, the FBI team, Brent Douglas, even Buddy Thorpe, the truck driver who saved my life, and especially Kane Odell. What would we have done without him? Or without Jackie and Terry?” she asked, feeling the excitement already. “Then there’s Jackie’s Uncle John. Who have I missed?”

Luke chuckled as he gave her another warm hug. “I don’t know, but you can have anything you want, sweetheart.”

“We can’t forget your biological mother. I have a feeling she’s going to enjoy being a second grandmother to Sam.”

Luke’s chuckle gave way to laughter. “You may be right. I have a feeling this house might not be big enough.”

She touched his cheek, then framed his face and gloried in the gleam in those compelling green eyes. The love she saw in them made her heart stagger in her chest.

“It’s big enough for all the love in our lives, and then some.”

He kissed her, softly, sweetly until her very breath left her. “That it is. Starting right now.”

A shift of his body, and they tumbled onto the soft bed.

Kayla went down with a shriek of delight, then pulled Luke to her for another soul-searing kiss.

Life didn’t get any better than this.

A word about the author...

Mitzi Pool Bridges is a former businesswoman who has traveled extensively. She lives in Texas with her husband, surrounded by her large family.

Mitzi is an avid reader turned writer and invites you to visit her website at:

http://mitzipoolbridges.com

E-mail her at [email protected]

Thank you for purchasing this publication of The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

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BOOK: Find My Baby
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