Finding Us (Pine Valley Book 5)

By: Heather B. Moore

“Hello? Is anyone on the line?” he said, making Felicity realize she hadn’t actually said anything.

“Uh, yes, it’s Felicity Miner,” she said. “Is this a bad time?”

His tone softened in recognition, which made her feel both relieved and self-conscious at the same time. “No, it’s fine,” he said. “What can I help you with?”

“I was, um, wondering if it was possible to get the name of the shoplifter and some details about his previous record?” she asked. “I just, well . . .” She exhaled. Why couldn’t she spit it out? “I’m worried that he might retaliate now that he’s out on bail. Today wasn’t the first time he was in the store, like I told you, and I don’t know what it all means. I feel like if I know more about him, then I might feel a little safer, I guess.” She was rambling, but he seemed to be listening. “It’s probably all confidential, I’m sure. Sorry to bother you.”

He didn’t laugh at her, so that was a good sign. “Are you still at the bookshop?” he asked.

This question she hadn’t expected.

“No, I just got home.”

“Would it be possible to speak to you in person about this?” he asked. “I’m off duty in a few minutes, and I could meet you somewhere, or come by your house.”

Her house? Was the information about the shoplifter that confidential? It was nearly dark outside, and she didn’t really like riding her bike around in the dark. “My house is fine.”

“All right, I’ll be there soon.”

He hung up before she could give him her address.

Leo had never been this spontaneous before. He was a planner, down to the minute, and to the detail. Offering to stop by Felicity Miner’s house wasn’t what he’d planned on saying until it came out of his mouth. But he wanted to see her again. As crazy as that sounded.

Maybe it was because he hadn’t been prepared to feel such a strong attraction toward Felicity Miner. It had come out of the blue.

Since the messy breakup with Janna earlier that year, his friends were constantly asking him when he was going to date again, questioning if he was still pining for Janna. No, he was definitely not pining for her. He supposed that he’d been more burned than hurt, but he’d also been mad at himself for getting involved with Janna in the first place, and letting things go so far.

He’d put up with a lot with Janna, and he shouldn’t have. He should have broken things off when he saw the first red flags. During their colossal breakup, Janna had thrown things at him. Screamed at him, calling him a lot of terrible names, including a few he didn’t know.

His mother had been happy when she found out they’d broken up. No matter how much she wanted more grandbabies, she’d never liked Janna, although she’d been mum about any specific reasons. And Leo decided that perhaps his mother had been right all along. Janna was sexy, charming, and could be sweet when she wanted to. But it was only when she wanted to. There had been no give and take in their relationship. He gave, she took. She’d pressured him to quit the police force and to go into business with her dad, who owned a grocery store chain. That would have been a real change—cop turned grocery store manager.

The last straw had been in February—at her birthday party—when she’d opened the gift he’d bought for her. They were with her friends, always her friends, and she’d smiled at the huge pile of presents on the table. She tore through them all, exclaiming at each one. When she got to his, she picked up the large box. “Did you wrap the smaller box in a bigger box?” she’d said, flashing him her perfect smile. “You know how they did it on that YouTube video I showed you last week?”

“Not exactly.”

She laughed, thinking he was teasing, but he wasn’t. He knew what she was hinting at—she’d told him that if he really wanted to make her happy, he’d propose to her on her birthday. Leo had bought her a leather jacket that she’d admired several times when they’d been out shopping for her.

She’d shaken the box. “Feels heavy,” she said, her eyes narrowing and her smile drooping. Then she ripped the paper and lifted the lid. Her eyes widened, and she lifted out the jacket, checked all the pockets. No ring.

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