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from Desires of the Heart by Tiffany Doran

Copyright © 2017–2020 Tiffany S. Doran

Chapter Nine

As they pulled into the driveway, something caught their attention from the front porch. Something was there that wasn't when they left. A single white rose was lying on the front steps as they walked to the front door. Katie looked at Randy and Randy looked at Buck. "There's a note attached." Randy said as he reached down to pick it up. It read "You're as innocent as the white rose signifies. A pure heart and a kind soul, that's why everyone loves you so much, That's why I love you so much." Katie took a deep sigh. "Well, I guess you guys know what this means right?" Katie asked. Randy and Buck stared at each other each waiting for the other to answer. "It was actually a rhetorical question you guys, Katie said, stand down. What this means is, is that this fool is crazy enough to get this close to our house. Who is to say that he wouldn't try to get closer? She went on. "This just means that I am not leaving to go to California as I had once said. I am staying here and protecting my family and our family home!" She said firmly. Buck reached out and touched Katie's arm. She cut him off before he had a chance to say anything. "I may look sweet and I may look innocent but I am nothing but angry right now." Katie said as she went to open the front door to go inside. "This is our home and I will not let it be invaded by some crazy person." she said as she flung open the door. The door hit the side of the house with a loud crack. Randy and Buck just stood there almost taken aback by what just happened. "She's got the innocence of a child but she is a spit fire when she's angry, just like her momma was." Randy chuckled. Buck held the door for Randy to go in.

Later that evening, Katie had gotten out of the shower, put on her silk blue pajamas and fixed her a nice cup of hot cocoa. She got a blanket, wrapped it around her and sat on the couch looking out the window at the stars twinkling in the sky. It was pitch black out with only the moonlight and the stars to give light on everything below. She took sip of her cocoa longing to be outside but knowing she is safer inside. After finding that rose on the porch, she really didn't want to get in trouble by going outside. She knew how upset her father and Matt and Buck would be. The temptation was so strong though. How nice it would be just to sit on the porch swing and enjoy the quietness of the evening while sipping her hot cocoa. The breeze of the warm summer's night gently rocking her in the swing. The temptation of her thoughts overtook her until she couldn't take it any longer. She tiptoed quietly to the foot of the stairs to see if she could hear anything from her dad. Just a light snore was all she could make out. A smile tickled the corner of her mouth. Buck had left an hour ago so she was safe to go outside with no persecution. She walked to the door and placed her hand on the door knob. She hesitated. Her conscience was telling her, almost screaming, to not go outside. She wrestled with herself for a few minutes. She looked back at the couch where she left her blanket lying and then she looked out the slender paned window by the front door. It would be the right thing to turn around and go back to the couch or upstairs to bed even. But she didn't want to do that. Being in her room with all the curtains drawn and not being able to open the windows anymore was suffocating. "I'm tired of being afraid, I'm tired of being made to feel like a prisoner in my own home." She said to herself quietly. I just need to prove that nothing will happen when I go outside, then they'll see and I can go out more often."
She won the argument in her mind and quietly opened the door. She left it cracked however, so the click didn't wake up Randy. She took a long breath of the evening air. It filled her lungs with a satisfying breath of freedom. She walked to the swing at the end of the porch and grimaced at the creaking noise the wood made and the squeak of the chains. But finally, she was outside. She took her phone out of her pocket and flipped the camera open. It was such a star filled sky that night, she knew she would get great pictures. Smiling and filled with such peace, she began humming as she took shot after shot of the midnight sky both in front of her and behind.

He watched her there, behind the tall entangled thickness of the brush. He had hit the jackpot when he saw her slender figure make its way out of the house and to the porch swing. He was hoping only for a glimpse of her silhouette in passing as he watched her window. He was lulled by her beautiful voice. Her auburn locks of curls falling like a waterfall over the back of the swing. His patience to hold her was growing thin. He wanted to be t...

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