Read a Good Book This Weekend
“Whatcha find?” a deep voice asked from behind him.
Turning, Daniel shrugged at the man, Pierre Lefevre. He was not quite as tall as Daniel, but broader—maybe rounder was a better term—with salt and pepper black hair and a thick beard. “Some kid who got loose from a government goon squad.” He rifled through some baskets on a lower shelf. “Don’t we have any ketchup that isn’t forty years old?”
“Saving him and condiments? Wow, must be special. Looks like you found a keeper.”
Daniel turned and glared at Pierre when the other man poked at his arm with a thick, stubby finger. “Fuck you. He’s just a lost, hurt kid.”
Pierre threw his head back and laughed. “Been there, done that, and you never once brought me condiments.”
Snatching up a few packets, Daniel grumbled, “It’s just ketchup.” He turned on his heels, blocking out Pierre’s obnoxious remarks and laughter, and headed back to Kyle.
He didn’t do strays. Really, he didn’t. He had to keep reminding himself of that fact and remembering what happened to a little lost puppy, then later a smart-mouthed, cocky kid who’d joined the Freedom Militia not so long after Daniel had.
Kyle was still sitting where Daniel had put him, palms flat against the table, eyes downcast and focused on some spot between them, but now there was a woman beside him, cleaning the wound. She put a bandage over it and patted it, brushing her fingers over the bulge of Kyle’s shoulder and down his arm. Daniel wanted to slap her hand away and tell her to keep her hands off. That unexpected thought made him stop short and simply dump the food and water on the table.
“Here, eat.” Daniel cracked open one of the bottles of water and shoved one of the wrapped sandwiches closer to Kyle. This stray was not getting under his skin; he wasn’t. “Okay, well, they’ll take good care of you.”
He started to back away, but bumped into Pierre instead.
Kyle looked up, dark eyes too bright. His face fell and he bit on his lower lip again. “You’re leaving?” The voice that came out sounded small.
“I… look, they’ll take good care of you here, I promise, and I’ll see you soon.”
It seemed impossible but the large, dark eyes got bigger; the face he looked at seemed even younger, more lost. Daniel nodded, sidestepped Pierre, and started to walk away.
“Thank you,” Kyle’s soft voice had a slight wobble, “for not killing me and all.”
Daniel stopped in his tracks, dropped his chin to his chest, and heaved a sigh. He did not do strays. Turning around he grabbed the unopened bottles of water and the two remaining sandwiches off the table and stuffed them into his pack. Holding out his hand at the woman medic, he waggled his fingers. “Give me some extra antiseptic and bandages for a few days.”
“Huh?” She looked up at him, surprise all over her face.
“Just… please?” When she laid the requested items in his hand, he stuffed those into his pack too. Moving around the table, he slipped his fingers under Kyle’s good shoulder and tugged. “C’mon.”
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Every life is a circle, and sometimes those circles connect and overlap in unexpected ways, even if the patterns they form aren’t obvious at first glance.
Past and present, from the wilderness to small towns and cities, the greedy and evil seek to exploit the vulnerable. The brave men of law enforcement fight to protect the innocent and punish the guilty—but they’re not alone. Men from all walks of life are called to stand beside them and solve these mysteries. Along the way, lives intertwine as couples are reminded that one thing makes the struggle worthwhile: love.
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