The Hero Next Door by Justine Davis

The Hero Next Door by Justine Davis

Author:Justine Davis [Davis, Justine]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: SxNW Publishing

Chapter Nineteen


Matt looked at Kelly, who was standing in Jake’s workshop, staring at the towering sculpture that, even at this rough stage, was already a dragon.

“Almost overwhelming, isn’t it?” Rachel said as she came over to them from tables set out under the big oak trees near their cabin-like house. It was a modest place, for someone the current stature of Jake Stone, but Matt liked that they’d stayed, and wondered if it was because Jake never wanted to forget where he’d come from.

Kelly looked at Rachel and smiled. “Yes. This whole...gathering is, a bit. I don’t know when I’ve seen so much...presence in one place.”

Rachel laughed. “Yep, and even in a wheelchair, Uncle Lew’s got it. So, between him and the three J’s and your guy here, it is pretty impressive.”

Your guy? Matt gave a slight, awkward laugh as Kelly glanced at him and smiled as if obviously he should be included in that. And as if him being called her guy didn’t bother her at all. He barely managed to stop himself from lifting a hand to rub his cheek where she’d touched it the other night, as he’d been doing every day since.

“Yes, ” Kelly said, then asked, “The three J’s?”

“John, Jen, and Jake,” Rachel explained. “That’s what Jen called them, when they took Jake in, got him away from his father.”

He saw Kelly look over to where Jen stood next to Lew, who was laughing despite his injuries. Jen stood arm in arm with her brother, the creator of what Matt was sure would be another masterpiece, and the intimidating John Reese who was actually smiling at them. He was also holding little Cammie, a bit gingerly. Matt had laughed out loud at the man’s expression when Rachel had handed her to him, saying blithely he was going to need the practice.

“An impressive trio,” Matt said. “Jake the artist, Jen the builder, and John...”

“The world saver,” Rachel said softly.

“Like I said, presence,” Kelly said.

“Ask Lew to tell you how he was the first to meet Rachel. It’s a funny story,” Matt said.

“I will,” Kelly promised. Matt could tell she’d liked his former training officer, and he knew she respected his service.

And yours? Was that all it was, or had she really been personally afraid it had been you who’d been hurt? Because she...cared?

“Hey Dad, did you see the back, where his tail’s going to be?” Jimmy darted out of the workshop excitedly.

“I did.”

“Jake told me once he didn’t really make the animals, he just helped them escape the wood.” He said it so seriously, Matt had to stifle a laugh.

“Maybe that’s how it feels to him,” Kelly said.

“Hard to believe his old man tried to smother that genius,” Matt said.

“He’s been shown the error of his ways,” Rachel said, rather smugly. “Speaking of which, he may turn up. I told him he could come if he promised to behave—” she grinned at Matt “—but that we’d have police here to escort him out if he didn’t.”

Matt genuinely laughed this time.


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