Safe at Home (Warm Springs Trilogy Book 1)

BOOK: Safe at Home (Warm Springs Trilogy Book 1)
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Table of Contents

SAFE AT HOME

  
Acknowledgements

  
Chapter 1

  
Chapter 2

  
Chapter 3

  
Chapter 4

  
Chapter 5

  
Chapter 6

  
Chapter 7

  
Chapter 8

  
Chapter 9

  
Chapter 10

  
Chapter 11

  
Chapter 12

  
Chapter 13

  
Chapter 14

  
Chapter 15

  
Chapter 16

  
Chapter 17

  
Chapter 18

  
Chapter 19

  
Chapter 20

  
Chapter 21

  
Chapter 22

  
Chapter 23

  
Chapter 24

  
Chapter 25

  
Chapter 26

  
Chapter 27

  
Chapter 28

  
Chapter 29

  
Chapter 30

  
Chapter 31

  
Chapter 32

  
Chapter 33

  
Chapter 34

  
Chapter 35

  
Epilogue

SAFE AT HOME

Book One in The Warm Springs Trilogy

CHRISTINA KIRBY

SOUL MATE PUBLISHING

New York

SAFE AT HOME

Copyright©2015

CHRISTINA KIRBY

Cover Design by Fiona Jayde

This book is a work of fiction.  The names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual events, business establishments, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher.  The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law.  Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials.

Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

Published in the United States of America by

Soul Mate Publishing

P.O. Box 24

Macedon, New York, 14502

ISBN: 978-1-61935-708-2

www.SoulMatePublishing.com

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

 

 

For Mom and Dad,

for seeing something in my writing long before I did.

I love you.

 

Acknowledgements

A big thank you to Debby Gilbert and Janet Clementz at Soul Mate Publishing for giving me a chance and taking me through the process. Your help and support mean the world to this first timer.

Thanks to Meda White, my fellow Soul Sister, for being the best critique partner for me. I’m so glad we met in Atlanta because as you know, I needed a comma queen in my life. I’m thankful we’re going on the published author journey together.

Thank you to my Brian for letting me type when I’m on a roll and taking over kid duty even after you’ve had a long day. You’ve always supported me and been my biggest fan. Love you.

To Em and Jessie, thanks for the hours of phone time you spent listening to me ramble on about the industry and believing in me. You guys are the best friends someone could ever ask for.

To Grandpa Doug, Unkie Kev, and Marise like Paris – thanks for cheering me on. Commune life is going to be good.

And, to the town of Warm Springs and the friendly people who reside there. Your town will always hold a special place in my heart. 

 

Chapter 1

Samantha’s hand ached as she gripped the armrest of the BMW. A mix of butterflies and acid churned in her stomach while the strange new landscape flashed and blurred outside her realtor’s window. The uneasiness wasn’t about the way Jenny, her realtor, was driving, but had everything to do with her new surroundings. The usual skyscrapers and throngs of people she was used to had been replaced with pastures and pickup trucks.

Jenny’s gaze flipped back and forth from the road ahead to Sam’s clenching fist. “We’re almost there. It’s just up here on the right. It’s way out. I hope you won’t be lonely out here all by yourself.”

“No, I’m sure I’ll be fine.” The solitude is what sold Sam on the house. She wanted to be alone. It was easier that way.

As Jenny began to slow down, Sam could hardly wait, but at the same time she was scared to look out and see her future. She’d seen pictures, but this was real.

“Here it is.” Jenny announced. She stopped the car in front of an old white house with peeling paint and looked over at Sam whose eyes began to fill with tears.

“Like I said, it needs some work. When Pete got sick, no one really paid much attention to the house. It’s been sitting here idle for a while. His boys just couldn’t bring themselves to sell it at first, and then . . .”

“No, it’s perfect.” Sam’s voice sounded watery. “It’s the first house I’ve ever owned.”

After fighting off the foolish tears, Sam climbed out of the car, strolled through the freshly cut grass, and up to what could be a beautiful porch. Jenny unlocked the door as she chattered away about the house, but Sam wasn’t listening. This was it, her new home.

Entering through the wood and glass front door, Sam stepped into a little hallway and felt her heart swell. The inside was small and cozy. The perfect place to sit and feel safe from the outside world.

“Excuse me, earth to Sam. Do you want to see the rest of the house?”

Sam turned, face warm. “Yes, sorry. Lead the way.”

Jenny led her down the hall to show her the kitchen, which had a wonderful view of the backyard, they moved through the dining room and then the upstairs before returning to the den. It was a wonderful little house, so much more than what she imagined for herself.

A car backfired out on the main road and Sam jumped.

“Are you okay?” Jenny’s blue eyes widened, her voice threaded with concern.

“Fine.” Sam let out a shaky breath and waited for her heart rate to return to normal. “I must’ve been so lost in all my plans for the house that I was in another world.”

Jenny gave her a warm smile, but continued to watch her with a crease between her perfect eyebrows.

“Should we be off to your office now?” Sam tried to sound relaxed.

Jenny beamed. “The papers are ready for you.”

Relief washed through Sam as the thrill of the sale seemed to distract Jenny from Sam’s nervous behavior. She led the way out the door and took a deep breath of country air. It was going to be okay here. No one knew where she was. Not her family. Not her best friend. No one. She glanced over her shoulder at the little white house, which for her, symbolized so much more than a new house. She was home.

Sam spent the following morning picking up paint from the hardware store and waiting for the utilities to be turned on. At last she had power. It was too hot not to have the AC up and running at full working capacity. She was excited to be spending her first night in her new home, but sorry to be leaving the hotel and Betsy’s cooking. She was even beginning to get used to the Hotel Warm Springs’ country decorating, although it would be exciting to have her own kitchen, complete with lots of cabinet space. Her kitchen in Chicago had been a matchbox with plumbing.

After she lugged the last cans of paint into the house, she dropped into a chair and surveyed the list of repairmen the hotel owner, Earl, had suggested. She was going to need help. She hoped the so-called help wouldn’t empty her bank account. The money she received after selling her condo—paired with the rest of her inheritance from her grandmother—would last awhile, but only if she was smart.

She blew out a breath and called the first handyman on Earl’s list.

“Hi, my name is Samantha Parker. Earl said I should mention his name and said you might be able to help me with a remodeling job.” She waited while the guy on the other end of the line checked his schedule. “Tomorrow?” she held her breath an extra beat before responding. “That would be great. Okay, thanks.”

Sam smiled, took a sip of her water and glanced around the kitchen. She was eager to get the housework underway. After tying her hair back, she pulled out a box full of new cleaning supplies and went to work.

She cleaned until she thought she couldn’t lift her arm to hold a dust rag, much less actually use it. The moving truck arrived three hours late, which ended up being a blessing since the cleaning was taking Sam a lot longer than she thought it would. She gave directions on furniture placement, as little as there was, moved the boxes in and had eventually made it to the store that night. Thank God for microwaveable dinners. Cooking tonight was just one more chore and she didn’t have the energy.

Twelve hours of endless cleaning and ripping out carpet left Sam more exhausted than she’d ever been. She crawled into bed, pressed her face into her familiar pillow, and inhaled deeply. Her bedroom was beginning to look like it belonged to her. The furniture was in place and a picture of her family stood on the bedside table. All she wanted to do now was sleep, deep dreamless sleep, for an entire night. The hot shower had only slightly lessened the bone-deep pain in her muscles. The thought of starting over the next day caused Sam to groan and pull the covers over her head.

Wanting nothing more than to go to sleep, she remembered she still owed her mom an email. She trudged down the hall to one of the spare bedrooms, which would soon be her office, and flipped open her laptop.

Hey Mom,

This email is going to have to be short and sweet. I’m too tired to think. It’s good tired, though. I finally feel like I’m doing something useful again. I’m in my new house. Can you believe I’m a homeowner? It’s cute and comfortable, but it needs a lot of cosmetic work. I’ll send you pictures as soon as I have a few minutes and it looks a little better. I’ve hired someone to help me with repairs so don’t worry that I’m climbing around on the roof. I’m going to be doing a lot of cleaning and a lot of painting.

Hug Dad for me. I miss you both already, and one day I hope you’ll understand why I had to do this. It’s what’s best for all of us. When this blows over, maybe things can go back to normal. Please don’t worry and I’ll talk to you soon.

Hugs to you both,

S

The last part was a lie. Her life would never go back to normal, but her mom felt differently. She constantly referred to this as though it was some passing storm that would eventually wear itself out, but her mom had always been an optimist.

Sam woke with a start. Disoriented and sore all over, she laid on her bed feeling like she was hung over. Her muscles ached and her head pounded. More banging sounded, but this wasn’t coming from her head. Someone was beating on her front door. Glancing at the clock, she yanked the covers back and cursed herself for oversleeping. Taking the stairs two at a time, she raced for the door.

“Damn.” She grabbed the outside of her foot and winced after banging it on the banister at the bottom of the stairs. This day was not off to a good start. The knob remained in place as she tried to turn it before she remembered she put the deadbolt on the night before. She couldn’t remember where she decided to put the key. Now, more frazzled than ever, she yelled through the door, “Just a minute.”

BOOK: Safe at Home (Warm Springs Trilogy Book 1)
6.15Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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