Cherry Hill 3: Starting Over

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

“Great, and sounds good.”

Everett watched her walk over to where some of the exercise equipment and mats were as Bailey went through some motions with her. Even as Donny worked on him, he kept looking at Adalee, especially as she did some leg stretches, bent low and her tight, sexy abs showed. By the time the session was over, his arm and hand hurt even more so, and he told Donny.

“It fucking hurts. At this rate I won’t be shooting again. I thought this PT shit was worth it,” he snapped at Donny.

“It is worth it, and you’ve come far in just a few weeks. Give it more time.”

Everett exhaled as Adalee and Bailey went past him, and she looked at him, but he must have still had a pissed-off expression on his face. From there on out, she wouldn’t make eye contact. When he was done with the session, he walked outside and rubbed his jaw. He stretched out his hand and felt defeated.

“Some days it feels like you take ten steps back.” He heard the female voice, turned, and saw Adalee there.

“What?” he asked.

“Sometimes it seems like you take freaking ten steps back after a day or so of thinking you’re moving forward. It sucks,” she said and then continued to walk.

“How long have you been recovering?” he asked.

She opened her car door and he approached closer. He noticed her slight limp and then she rubbed her hip. “Week six since I was able to start PT. I think sitting around in the hospital hurt my recovery time, but doctors, ya know?” she said, and he nodded. She was really stunning, and he towered over her, yet she had this toughness about her.

“Seven weeks for me,” he said to her and looked her over.

“Well, what choice do we have, right?” she asked, and he didn’t want to stop talking to her.

“How did you get injured?” She swallowed and looked away. “Sorry, you don’t need to tell me.”

“No, it’s okay, the way these towns work and considering I found out that Bailey’s brother is a deputy in Cherry Hill, I’m sure it won’t be a secret long.”

He snorted. “I know her brother, Faris. Good guy. So is that where you moved to, Cherry Hill?”

“Yes, just got here a few days ago. Anyway, don’t give up on the PT. I’m trying to stay focused, too. Not exactly a great thing to have a limp,” she said and rolled her eyes and prepared to leave.

“When do you come back?” he asked and shocked himself.


“Same time?” he asked.

“Why?” she asked, and he couldn’t help the reaction he had to her. She was stunning, sexy, sweet, and holy shit, he felt interested and that hadn’t happened in months, hell in over a year.

“I’ll be back then, too. Thinking since you’re so full of motivational words, I may rely on another line of supportive bullshit in two days from you,” he said and then headed toward his truck.

He heard her chuckle, and he turned around, and she laughed, shook her head, and got into her car. He followed her the whole way back to Cherry Hill until she stopped outside of the sheriff’s department, and he kept going, heading home. He didn’t do anything in town these days. Kept to himself on the ranch and didn’t even go out except here and there to Finnian’s. Forget about Harper’s. The last thing he needed was to feel weak and inferior around a bunch of single women. His mind remained on Adalee and how instantly she lifted his spirits. Then came the thought that he would see her again on Wednesday. He shook his head and exhaled. Who the fuck was he kidding?

* * * *

Adalee couldn’t stop smiling or thinking about the hot older guy at PT. My God, the man was gorgeous, rugged looking with a shadow of a beard along his face, big thick muscles bulging from his T-shirt and tattoos along his arm. He was hot and then some. He actually caused a reaction in her. She assumed he was a cop or someone in law enforcement as she overheard him say he just wanted to be able to shoot again and sounded frustrated that things were taking so long. She could understand that. As she found a parking spot in front of the sheriff’s department, she saw a few deputies outside talking and even a state trooper, and then she realized it was John. He turned to look right at her and smiled to another guy. Before she even got around the car, they approached and John was introducing the deputy.

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