Laura and Brent really tried to make their marriage work, but in the end, it just wasn’t meant to be. Or was it? When the meet to discuss joint custody of their Akita, they discover they have much more to talk about other than the dog.
The ringing of her phone pulled Laura out of her writing ‘zone’. She sighed and answered it without even checking the caller ID. “Hello?”
There was no one speaking on the other end, but she could hear the breathing.
“Hello? Is this some sort of a prank?” Laura had had these kinds of call before, and had them do silly things like this.
The phone disconnected and she tossed it back on the table. A check of the phone logs showed it was a blocked number. Likely some silly kid.
Laura sighed when the phone rang again less than five minutes later. This time, she did check the caller ID and realized it was Callie.
She signed again—inwardly—as she listened to the phone call. The last thing she wanted to do was go on a search and rescue tonight. Valentine’s Day was two days away, and she’d been looking forward to sitting home and moping. It was their anniversary.
She rolled her eyes at her own musings. Going out on a search might be just the thing. She looked down at Angel, the Akita that was her partner in SAR. “What do you say, girl? Got a search in you?”
“What?” she said, her mind once again on the phone call.
“You’ll be working with Brent,” Callie said patiently. “He’s the only medic we have in the area right now.”
Laura didn’t groan, but she wanted to. The last person she wanted to spend possibly the next few days with was her soon-to-be ex, Brent Anders. “Um, Callie, I don’t really need a partner.”
“You know the rules, Laura. We send out teams of two for a reason. One with the dog and one with the medical training. You two are good together.”
We had been good together, Laura thought bitterly. But, that was before. “I don’t suppose I can talk you out of using him?”
Callie sighed and Laura winced when she heard it in her ear. It wasn’t Callie’s fault that she and Brent were no longer together. “Sorry, Callie. Of course I’ll work with him. Where are we going?”
“The mountain. Two kids went hiking and never checked in,” Callie explained. “They are fifteen and sixteen. Their parents are worried sick.”
Laura frowned. Why would parents let their teenagers hike in the mountains in the middle of February? These mountains were meant for experienced hikers—not kids—and certainly not during winter time. “Did you call Brent already?”
“I called him first to be sure he was available. He said he was…though he didn’t sound much happier than you are to be working together. What’s up with you two?” Callie asked.
Laura realized that Callie likely didn’t know that she and Brent were separated and awaiting a court date for their divorce. “We’re not together,” she said quietly.
“Oh! I’m so sorry, Laura. I had no idea.”
“It’s okay. We’re both professionals. Are we meeting at the lodge?”
“Yup. He said he could be there around three. It’ll give you two at least a couple of hours of daylight.”
“Okay. I’ll let you know when I arrive. I’m assuming you gave Brent the particulars?”
“He had me fax it to him. He’s got everything. Be safe, Laura, and bring them home.”
“We’ll do our best,” Laura agreed. If nothing else, Brent was a professional. They’d both do their jobs and find the missing kids. “Take care.”
When she sat down the phone, she looked down at the dog that had been her companion for the last three years. The Akita had been just a puppy when Brent had brought her home.
She remembered it like it was yesterday and looked down at Angel with a soft smile. Brent had been so sweet then.
“Well, come on, girl. Let’s go get our stuff,” she said.
Her backpack that she used for all SAR work was always packed in her closet. She re-packed it and checked it routinely. There was usually not time for her to take an hour to get her bag ready. Her hiking outfit was also always ready.
She grabbed her pack after she’d dressed, and grabbed her heavy parka. It was bound to be cold in the mountains.
Angel was excited and she had to laugh. The dog just loved the work. The Akita wasn’t the typical SAR dog, and Laura had been hesitant about training her, but in the end, she’d given in to Brent’s insistence that they’d make a good pair.
When her previous dog had passed away, Laura had decided to not replace Sadie. The hole in her heart couldn’t be filled with a replacement. Brent hadn’t argued with her—at first.
But, after six months, he’d simply arrived home on Valentine’s Day with the cute puppy and handed her over. It had, of course, been love at first sight.
Laura shook her head from her musings. Remembering the good times with Brent just wasn’t where she wanted her head just then.
“Let’s go, Angel,” she said as she headed for the door to the garage. “We’re going to work.”
About the Author
Hope Welsh writes romance fiction. Her first love is paranormal. She’s also currently working on book three in the Prophecy Series. Books 1 & 2 are available now. Her current works in progress also include two young adult paranormal stories she hopes readers will enjoy.
She’s been writing since she was in third grade and has never looked back. She’s also published some of her more steamy stories with various e-publishers using a pen name. You can find her steamier works, coming soon as HS Welsh. (She is using the new name so she doesn’t offend her readers that like her less-steamy romance)
Currently, she lives in the southern US. Hope enjoys creating characters that come alive on the pages! Her goal is always to provide an entertaining read that her readers will love.
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