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from Desires of the Heart by Tiffany Doran

Copyright © 2017–2020 Tiffany Doran

Chapter 23
A House Divided

Matt arrived shortly after two o'clock that morning. He was drained from his flight but heavily burdened with worry for Katie and for Randy. To think that Katie is somewhere out here in very real danger made him almost sick to his stomach. He still held the letter that Katie wrote him in his back pocket. He blamed himself for this whole situation and with the way he acted so selfishly back home. Throughout the flight, he could only think that if he had handled things differently, this wouldn't be happening. He called a cab and made it to Katie's home. Matt wasn't sure if anyone would be awake at this hour but really, he had no place else to go. He got out of the cab, unloaded his luggage and walked to the front porch. The house was completely dark with the exception of the dimply lit candles in the windows. He sat down heavily in her rocking chair and then realized that there weren't any cars in the drive. "Man, I must be more tired than I thought." He said rubbing his eyes. He walked the length of the front porch and looked around to see if maybe they had just parked them in a different spot. Nothing. He picked up his phone to call the house. He could hear the distant ring from the inside but no one answered. He hung up and walked back to the door. He decided to call Randy's cell phone. Surely if he were asleep, him calling the house would've woken him. "Hello?" Randy answered in a breathless tone. Matt was surprised to hear his voice on the other end of the line. "Randy, it's Matt, I just got into town and I'm at your place. I want to help find Katie, but I have no idea where anyone is at." He said.

"Well, I would say son, that you are just in time, that's what me and Buck and Frank are doing now. I'll swing back by and pick you up. The more eyes we have looking the better." Randy said. "Wait, Frank Merriman is with you?" Matt asked in confusion. He had never known Frank to be out past ten o'clock at night, much less to be out at two in the morning. "It's a long story and we have all night to catch you up on all the details once I pick you up. They key to the house is still in the same place it always is, under the welcome mat. If you have anything with you, put it inside and be ready to go when I get there, every second counts." Randy said gruffly and then hung up. Matt stood in the middle of the driveway, mind spinning. He walked to the door, pulled the key out from under the mat and placed his luggage just inside the door. He could smell the sweetness of a cinnamon candle that had recently been put out. But it sure didn't smell as heavenly as it did when Katie was home. Her smell always seemed to linger in the air for hours after she was gone. Gone...those words echoed through his head. Katie is gone. He co...

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