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Authors: Kaylea Cross

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The Vacant Chair (31 page)

BOOK: The Vacant Chair
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She nodded over her shoulder. “Someone else came to welcome you home.”

Aggie, he thought.
Has to be Aggie.
But when he turned his head, he came to a stop so sudden that he jerked in his boots.

It couldn’t be. Just couldn’t be.

He gaped for a moment while his heart thudded in his ears.

His mother was there, rushing toward him with a wide smile and eyes that glimmered with tears. He wasn’t imagining this. The pressure in his chest was too real to be a dream. She rushed right up and clasped him in a hard embrace, and he almost went to his knees.

“My son,” she whispered against his cheek when he bent to return the hug. “My beautiful, splendid son, I’m so proud of you. Welcome home.”

Her words tore a choked gasp out of him and he pulled her closer, the remaining shred of the boy in him painfully grateful for her love and acceptance. For just a moment he allowed himself to close his eyes and hold on, shocked at how healed he felt because of her thin arms around him. As he straightened, hiding his wet eyes, he was completely undone by the two women beaming up at him.

Brianna had done this. She had somehow done the impossible and mended the rift before he’d arrived. He hadn’t realized it fully at the time, but Brianna had pulled his mother out of the depths of her grief and brought her amongst the living the day she’d intervened and taken the laudanum away. And in the process, made it possible for them to be a family again.

First she’d saved his life, and now she’d saved his soul as well.

He owed her everything for that.

Unable to think of a single thing to say to her, all he could manage was a hoarse, “Thank you.”

Brianna’s smile was soft with love and understanding. “You’re welcome.” She curled an arm around his waist, while his mother tugged on his hand. “Aggie’s cooked enough food to feed an entire company. Let’s go home.”

Home.
Until a few minutes ago he’d thought he could never go back, and now Brianna had changed everything. She’d healed them all.

Whether they spent their lives in Detroit, Lexington or anywhere else, home was wherever she was. Heart full to bursting, Justin bent to whisper against his wife’s ear. “I’m going to spend the rest of my life showing you how much I love you.”

Her answering smile lit him up inside. “I look forward to that.”

So did he.

Flanked by the two people he loved most in the world, he stepped out of the station’s shadows and into the summer sunshine a free man.

 

-End-

Complete Booklist

Suspense Series (romantic suspense)

Out of Her League

Cover of Darkness

No Turning Back

Relentless

Absolution

Bagram Special Ops Series (military romantic suspense)

Deadly Descent

Tactical Strike

Lethal Pursuit

Empowered Series (paranormal romance)

Darkest Caress

Historical Romance

The Vacant Chair

Acknowledgements

Despite the ridiculous amount of research I did for this book, I could never have made the story shine without the advice and talent of two very awesome people.

 

Katie Reus, you have no idea how wonderful it feels to know that I have you in my corner. You mean the world to me, and I feel so blessed to have such a talented and loyal friend.

 

And to my long-suffering editor, Rhonda Helms, thanks for helping me whip this WIP into shape!

About the Author

Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards and has been nominated for both the Daphne du Maurier and the National Readers’ Choice Awards. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She and lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and sons. You can visit Kaylea at
www.kayleacross.com

BOOK: The Vacant Chair
8.31Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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