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from Never Far Away by Patricia Elliott

Copyright © 2018–2020 Patricia Elliott

Chapter 1

*Published by Clarendon House Publications in 2018 in their Rapture: The Inner Circle Writer's Group Romance Anthology 2018*

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"Daddy, Daddy!" Jessa, Ryan Jenkins' whirlwind of a daughter, shot into his office, her red pigtails flying. "I saw a mermaid."

Picking up his six-year-old bundle of energy, he set her on his lap. "Did Ms. Peterson put on The Little Mermaid again?"

Every day he had to listen to her ocean-going adventures, despite the fact that he hated the water. It nearly made him lose everything he held dear, but he pushed away the gnawing hollow feeling in his gut because it was the one thing that made his baby girl happy.

She shook her head wildly, her bright green eyes sparkling. "Come and see!"

A storm had recently passed through and it probably brought a log or something that looked like fish-woman. "Where's Ms. Peterson?" he asked.

"She's with the mermaid."

Ryan pulled his lips to one side in amusement as he placed Jessa on her feet. The nanny was always feeding his daughter's imagination with some mythical goop, which was usually a good thing, but he'd have to talk with her about this whole ocean addiction. They were going to be moving away soon, and they had to get his baby girl u...






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