Book 1 in the Serenity Cove Series
For almost thirty years, I perceived my emotional house as secure as a home built with brick. Sadly, not unlike the story of The Three Little Pigs. When the wolf huffed and puffed at my door, my emotional house crumbled—the bricks nothing more than mere straw. ~ Journal entry
My world turned chaotic a few months earlier. Nothing in my experiences prepared me for this upheaval in my life. Prayers for guidance met with only silence. Insecurity raged, leaving my emotions shredded, like climbing a steep mountain without a rope, gripping rock with my bare hands.
Goldie, my constant companion and hearing dog, brushed her paw against my leg, alerting me. The physician’s assistant strode into my room—an air of efficiency following her.
“Good morning. Glad to see you’re up and sitting in a chair.” Evelyn flipped open my chart and removed a pen from the pocket of her lab coat, legs bare down to her stylish shoes. My toes clenched—she probably soaks her throbbing feet in a foot bath every night.
She secured the blood pressure cuff around my arm. “The hospital has a great patio. It’s a great place for lunch or relaxing with a good book. There’s often staff or other patients to keep you company. Although I see you have an adorable friend.” She pulled a treat from her pocket and offered it to Goldie. “Compliments of Thelma from the front desk. Says she’ll be in to walk Goldie again later this morning.”
She smiled and took my temperature with an ear thermometer. I thought back to when I was a teenager—I’d hoped and prayed the device held some kind of magical healing properties.
“Temperature’s normal—good. Any dizziness or nausea?”
“Other than my bruised ribs, I feel good.”
“You’re lucky—that was a nasty fall you took down an embankment. Doc wants to monitor your concussion. You don’t want to be alone and have a problem.” She stopped making notations on the chart and glanced toward the door. I followed her gaze to a woman, the hem of her soft, paisley sundress swirling about her ankles. I watched, waiting for her to speak. Did she have the wrong room?
“Good morning.” Her lips stretched as she punctuated good morning with a bright smile—a cheerful greeting must’ve chimed through the air. Her fiery curls bounced as she waltzed on into the room. She reached between the handles of her bag and plopped the contents on the bed. “I hope these are the right size. I asked Logan, but he’s clueless about such things.”
She greeted Evelyn with a quick hug and moved closer to my chair. The gilded specks in her green eyes lit with a sparkle. “I’m Maggie Delatorre, Logan’s sister. He says … place … few days.”
I accepted her outstretched hand, returning her smile. “I’m Samantha Forrester—my friends call me Sam.” I adored her bubbly personality. “I’m deaf. If you look directly at me as you speak, I lip-read.”
“Will do.” She made eye contact. “And who is this little one—a miniature collie?”
“A sheltie. Goldie’s my service dog.” I patted her head.
“She’s beautiful. Anyway, according to Logan, you need a place to recover.”
“Logan? The policeman who rescued me last night?”
“That’s him, the chief of police. Better known as my brother.”
Evelyn finished making notations on my chart and flipped it closed. “If you need anything, press the button.”
It took a minute after Evelyn left the room before I could string together words in response to Maggie’s invitation. I didn’t make the connection when Logan told me his name, but my birth mom had mentioned Maggie in her emails. I’d learned that Maggie’s family was a part of the town’s history, with ancestors who played a role in Serenity Cove becoming what it is today. How will she react when she learns I’m Anne’s daughter? My head felt woozy—from the concussion or confusion. I wasn’t sure.
I focused on Maggie to quiet the chaos in my head. “I don’t want to impose. I’m fine right here.”
“No imposition. We’ll be great friends. You’re as pretty and sweet as my brother said.” She unfolded a sundress, smoothing out the wrinkles. “You have an incredible view.” She nodded toward the window.
“It’s a lovely spot for a hospital.” Watching the endless azure waves rolling onto shore earlier, I’d faded into my thoughts. Logan had invaded those musings. Not that I would tell Maggie. Besides, there wasn’t room in my life for a man until I found the true me. I’d come to Serenity Cove to settle my birth mother’s estate and then go home.
“I’ll go chat with Thelma while you get dressed.” She breezed out of the room as cheerfully as she’d arrived.
I managed to pull the sundress over my head. I kept the paper slippers on my feet rather than the boots I’d had on when I fell—not one of my brighter moments, climbing down a rocky trail in high-heeled boots. When Goldie needed a break, the cove seemed an inviting place to stop.
The checkout process was faster than I expected. I love small towns.
We cruised along a stretch of what Maggie called the coastal road, although the sign read Shore View Drive. Maggie pulled onto the shoulder of the road and pushed a button, allowing the canvas top of her red convertible to disappear into the trunk. With the top down, the scenery was even more serene and inviting. A pod of pelicans flying in formation against a perfect blue sky, airbrushed with white clouds. Sailboats drifting on a cerulean sea. I breathed in the healing air giving me a sense of well-being.
I checked on Goldie in the back seat, though she would never jump from an open car. By the look on her little canine face, she was enjoying the wind whipping through the car. The bright sun sparkling on the crystal-capped waves once again caught my attention. I whispered a silent thank you, though apprehension still nagged my insides. How would the next few hours unfold?
Maggie touched my arm, gesturing to a house facing the sea. The wind blew her coppery curls forward, making it difficult to catch her words. She tucked her hair behind her ear, edging to the side of the road, she stopped the car. “There’s home. See the Victorian lady?” She pointed. “She’s graced that hill for many years. Christened Lady in White by my great-grandmother.”