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from Desires of the Heart by Tiffany Doran

Copyright © 2017–2020 Tiffany S. Doran

Chapter 26
Delusional Dilemma

Once Katie realized Tate had his leash, she jumped off the couch and ran to the small kitchenette and cowered down. The dog continued to bark and growl and she was trembling at the idea of the dog getting loose from Tate's grip and attacking her. But with a jerk of the collar and a stern voice from Tate, the dog calmed down. "I'm sorry, Katie. We don't get any company and he doesn't know any manners. Please come out, I won't let him hurt you." Tate said apologetically. Katie slowly raised up and stood looking at Tate and the dog as she cautiously walked out from around the island. "His name is Mars. I have had him since I was a boy. I named him Mars because, as corny as it may sound, I thought he was out of this world. He was the only one who cared about me back then and now." Tate said solemnly. Katie walked over to the futon near where they were standing and sat down. She couldn't stand anymore. She was afraid and tired and after that incident, she thought she may just fall down. Tate slowly walked Mars to where Katie was sitting and Mars began sniffing her. Katie was still afraid but starting to calm down some. "Is this who you wanted me to meet, Tate?" Katie asked looking up at his tired, ragged face. "I did but you stayed in the bathroom for hours. I peeked in and you were sound asleep sitting on the toilet leaned up against the wall. I didn't want to disturb you." Tate said with a half smile.

Mars continued to sniff her and then lightly licked her hand. She slowly moved her hand towards Mars and pet his head. He had such soulful brown eyes and his fur was soft. "You seem to take really good care of him, Tate." Katie said as she continued petting the dog. "Of course, he and I, we take care of each other. I am all he has and he is all I have or had...until now that is." Tate said as he smiled at Katie. Katie felt a cold chill run down her spine. She knew he was saying that because she was there now. Katie took her attention from the dog to Tate. "How long do you intend on keeping me or how long do you think you can keep me here before someone figures everything out and comes to get me?" Katie asked matter of factly. Tate grew restless at the idea of her being taken. "That won't happen my dear, because you are mine now. I have you here finally and they can't take you away. You, me and Mars, we can be a family now. The family I never had" Tate said. "So that's what it is," Katie thought to herself. "He wants a family. He chose me because I was nice to him, I showed compassion towards him." Katie thought. She felt bad for Tate. "That's not how it works though Tate, you can't kidnap someone and force them to be your family and keep them against their will." Katie said in a caring...

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