Page 6 of Her Hero

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“Ah, the real world is a destroyer of dreams.”

Josie burst out laughing. “I don’t think this is the best kind of conversation over breakfast.”

“True. But what else is there to talk about?” he asked, winking at her. “I’m forty-five years old, by the way.”

“I’m thirty.” She held her coffee cup up to him, and he clinked her mug with his own.

This had to be the best way he’d spent any kind of breakfast.

Chapter Three

“How’s the ankle?” Elijah asked.

Josie glanced down at her ankle. “A little sore, but other than that, it feels fine.”

He wrinkled his nose. “I’ve made you do too much.”

He’d not made her do anything. He merely offered to give her the grand tour and of course she’d accepted.

His home was stunning. It was a nice large size with a living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry room, and there was another room in the back that seemed to have a chair, a few books, and a couple of beds for the dogs. Upstairs were three bedrooms, one bathroom, and an attic. He’d not shown her the attic. Then, they had ventured outside, not that she could have gone too far.

He was there to help her as he gave her a rough idea of what his garden was like. They stood on his porch, and he pointed to where his vegetable garden was, with a small lawn for the dogs. His front yard was also large, and there was a gate at the bottom, not that it was needed.

He lived so far out in the wilderness, she was surprised he had electricity. Elijah had told her about a generator. The only thing he didn’t have was a live television and Internet access. And she didn’t care. Completely off the grid.

He had a television and several shelves filled with movies. He had admitted that he’d not watched them all, and he often preferred reading over watching a movie. Then of course, there was just sitting in peace.

Stepping back into the house, Josie wanted to ask if there was any way she could get to her cabin back in town. At the same time, she didn’t want to appear rude. She really didn’t want to leave.

This had been the first time in a very long time that she had woken up and felt at peace. Even at the cabin, she had checked her cell phone, with the excuse of it being “just in case.” Just in case what?

“With all the snow, that is quite dangerous, right?” she asked.

“It is.” He closed the door, grabbed a towel, and dried Buster, then Trixie. His dogs had joined them on their walk.

She adored his dogs.

Once they were dry, he took off his coat and she quickly handed him the coat he’d given her. The scent of him had surrounded her, but not anymore. Nibbling her lip, she couldn’t help but watch him. He looked so … calm.

“Josie, I’m afraid getting you back to your cabin in town will be impossible. It is too dangerous, and I’m not going to risk your life.”

She held her hands up. “I … I don’t want to put you out, and I certainly don’t want to be a drain on your resources, and I don’t want to put you at risk.” She wanted to beg him to let her stay.

“Then you’re more than welcome to stay. Taking you out there is not going to be ideal,” he said.

“Then, can I stay?” She nibbled her lip, curious.

“Of course.” He chuckled.

Her stomach chose that moment to growl.

“Time for food.”

She put a hand on her stomach. “I’m so sorry.”

“Nah, I’m starving. I was wondering when I was going to have to make food. Be a darling, and grab their bowls, will you?”

Josie looked around the floor, and sure enough, she found two clean bowls. Buster and Trixie sat near her feet as she grabbed them.

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