Cherry Hill 4:Love Heals

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

Cherry Hill: Love Heals

Charlie can be stubborn when it comes to helping others even if it means a little danger. When it comes to her own love life, and four men she is attracted to, she lets the past get in the way and the fears she needs to let go to move on and be healthy. Taking her own advice is harder than she thought. As a therapist she helps people to make the right decisions and even take some risks with vulnerability. So why is it so hard for her to do the same? After being betrayed by the one and only man she loved, she definitely is intimidated by the four older Mullen brothers. Retired soldiers and a local sheriff, their attitudes alone scare people away. They are everything she fears, yet everything she desires. She just needs to let go and take that chance.

As she takes a risk and falls in love, everything in her life and theirs is falling into place, but the world doesn't revolve around them. There are bad people out there, and her profession and theirs place her right in the center of danger. She could lose it all or die trying not to.



Prologue



Charlotte “Charlie” McCabe just finished up a counseling session and was writing down some notes when Estelle knocked on her office door.

“Hey, Estelle, I’m just finishing up some notes. What’s going on?” she asked and glanced up then back down as she typed the information into the computer. She looked back.

“What’s wrong?” she asked when Estella didn’t answer.

“Kyle Ellis. He’s outside in the parking lot, and he’s having an episode,” Estella said, and Charlie stood up, eyes squinted. “How bad?”

“People are watching and concerned. I think they’ll call the sheriff.”

“Shit.” She got up and headed toward the door.

“Be careful, Charlie. You haven’t seen him in months, and he isn’t your client.”

“He was until he moved with his woman, his brothers.” By the time she got outside, she could see the deputy patrol car pull up, and she knew it would be a matter of minutes before Sheriff Titus Mullen appeared, and maybe even her brother, too. The office was right on the border of both Cherry Hill and Central Valley. Anything happened, and both departments showed up.

“Kyle?” She said his name, and he looked up, eyes wide, and he hurried toward her. She almost took a retreating step back, but she knew this man and hoped he wasn’t past the point of talking things out.

The deputy got out of his car. Sheriff Titus got there next, and Kyle turned to look at them.

“Kyle, what’s going on? How are you?” she asked. Approaching slowly, she turned and looked at the sheriff and Deputy Miles.

“What do they want? They think I’m crazy, too? Did I do anything wrong?”

“No, Kyle, you didn’t. Want to talk?” she asked and was feet from him.

“Charlie?” Titus said her name, and she held her hand up and reached out to Kyle, placing a hand on his forearm and one on his shoulder. Kyle lowered his head. She could see his pupils were dilated.

“What did you take? Come on now and tell me,” she said to him as Titus approached with Miles.

He looked at them and then back at her. “My buddies said it would help. I don’t want Clare to know.” He was shaking, and she knew he was under the influence of drugs.

“What did your buddies tell you to take?” she asked calmly and glanced at Titus who looked concerned and on guard with a hand on the butt of his gun and a protective stance. The man was huge, over six feet three and intimidating in appearance alone. Throw in the gun and that badge, and she was trembling seeing him in police mode.

Miles was on the other side. “I don’t know. I was stupid, Charlie. So stupid, but the flashbacks came, and I didn’t want to tell Clare. Please, she’ll be scared.”

She caressed his arm. “Easy now. My first concern is you and getting whatever you took out of your system.”

“I couldn’t take it. I can’t take it.” He raised his voice and fell to the ground. He wrapped his arms around her waist and roared. Titus stepped toward them to grab Kyle, and she shook her head. She held on to Kyle. She rubbed his head and gripped his shoulder.

“You got this. You made a mistake, and we need to fix it.” He looked up toward her. She could tell he wasn’t really with it. How much did he take? What specifically did he take? How long ago? She was filled with questions, but she was concerned.

Then suddenly he stood up, nearly knocking her over and turned toward Titus and Miles as he wrapped his arm around her waist and held her close. “Leave me alone. I need Charlie. I don’t need anything else,” he yelled at them.

“Calm down, son. We’re here to help you, to help Charlie,” Titus said to him.

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