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Lost and Found Baby

Written by Hope White

Chapter Eight

Scenarios played out in Katy’s mind.

If these guys wanted the child, they’d surely avoid a collision, right? Then again, nothing would surprise her at this point.

She knew this part of the state better than anyone. She’d grown up here, and as a deputy she had patrolled the highways and neighborhoods for the past five years.

“Time for a Dale Earnhardt Jr. move,” she said.

“Katy—”

“Don’t worry,” she interrupted Luke’s protest. “I’ve got this.”

She couldn’t blame him for being worried. When they were teenagers she’d sideswiped Cannon Rock with Luke in the back seat while perfecting this move.

Squeezing the wheel tight, she said a silent prayer.

She approached the turn, hit the brakes and spun the wheel. The truck skidded. Just as she came inches from impact, she punched the accelerator and regained control, speeding away.

There were three choices of turns up ahead, enough to confuse the assailants following her.

The squeal of brakes and a crash echoed behind them. She glanced in the rearview and spotted the SUV pinned against the rock. A smile tugged at her lips.

“You did it,” Luke said.

“Don’t sound so surprised. A lot’s changed since we were kids.”

*

They retrieved supplies from Garfield Market and headed to the safe house. Neither she nor Luke spoke much during the hour-long drive, probably because they were still in shock about everything that had happened.

A break-in, fire, assault and abandoned baby.

When they reached the safe house, Katy changed into a sweatshirt and jeans, and got to work searching for missing-children reports on her phone.

“We should talk,” Luke said.

She glanced at him. She suspected what was coming. “The baby really is yours, isn’t she?”

“No, she’s not my child.”

He looked so natural cradling her, giving her a bottle. Luke was just as Katy remembered: kind and gentle. Yet now he also seemed fragile in a way he’d never been before. War had definitely changed him.

“We should talk about the elephant in the room,” he said.

“The only thing I’m interested in is finding out how a baby ended up in your house. Are you sure you’re not responsible for this child?” She mentally scolded herself for being rude, but suspected it was her way to keep distance between them.

“Katy, you know me better than that.”

“Do I? I haven’t spoken with you in two years, Luke. Ya know what, just drop it.” She reached for the little girl. As he handed her the baby, he hesitated.

“I’m sorry,” he said, with sincere blue eyes. “I will make sure no one hurts you, or the baby.”

Yet he’d hurt her. Badly.

She wandered to the window, patting the child’s back to help her burp. “I thought you were dead, too,” she let slip.

“I couldn’t contact you.”

“Really? So you were on some special mission or something?” she said, sarcasm dripping off her voice.

“I couldn’t talk to you because it’s my fault Steven’s dead.”

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About the author

I was born and raised in the midwest and migrated to the Pacific north...

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Hope White

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