TPCR: Chapter 15, Part 2 and Chapter 16

So Erin has asked Lucas to drop her at Arabella’s so she can be with Max while Lucas meets with Sheriff Cousin.

“I can handle Vincent,” she insisted.

“You and whose army?”


Huh.  This story finally remembered it was Christian.  Ah well, it was fun while it lasted.

Lucas drops Erin off, and there is no sign of Vincent or Maurice, so Erin heads in and Lucas has his first prayer in years!

God, I don’t deserve Your attention, but Erin and Max…keep an eye on them, okay?

Not as heartrending as some other Love Inspired First Prayers, but not bad.

Sheriff Cousin informs Lucas that Maurice is violating his parole just by crossing state lines, which is nice.  And Sheriff Cousin proposes setting a trap for Mustache Twirler, with the help of Erin, whom S.C. apparently bent space and time to call when neither we nor Lucas saw, because she is “willing.”

So Erin heads back to her place with Max, with the apparent full knowledge of S.C.

She had no idea what Vincent’s latest betrayal would do to a man who’d spent years running from his past.  But would Lucas turn away from God again—or run into His arms?

Um, you’ve got a kidnapper on your trail right now, Erin.  Not sure this is the hot issue.

Erin and Max head into the barn and she hears some noise in the loft and assumes it’s Sheriff Cousin.  And almost immediately, Mustache Twirler shows up and wants to take Max for “a ride and see the Christmas lights,” which just makes me wonder where his pedo van is parked.

Erin gets him to admit that he’s trying to drive Lucas out of town, which doesn’t prove a difficult task.  She tries to get him to confess to setting the fire and being a party to the kidnapping, but Mustache Twirler isn’t having it and calls in Maurice (who was apparently just twiddling his thumbs outside) to assist in the kidnapping.

This takes Erin completely by surprise, because she had been under the impression that Sheriff Cousin would have arrested Maurice by now.  Know who else is surprised?  Lucas, who is the one in the loft, not Sheriff Cousin.

(Come to think of it, if Erin thought Sheriff Cousin was in the loft, why did she think he was in the process of arresting Maurice?  Gorramit, not all inspirational romance writers should write action scenes.)

Lucas prays for God’s help, and suddenly sees a fire extinguisher attached to the wall of the loft.

He had forgotten that sometimes God’s response could be very swift.

Well, Lucas, unless the fire extinguisher wasn’t there before you prayed, I wouldn’t give him the credit.  I’d give Erin the credit for being concerned about fire safety.

So Lucas flings the fire extinguisher at Vincent’s head and beans him (you’d think that might kill him, but it doesn’t even knock him unconscious), and Erin and Max make a run for it as Sheriff Cousin FINALLY shows the hell up and does some arresting.

A short while later, they’re all congregated in Erin’s house while statements are being taken, and Lucas is demanding to know (quite rightly, I’d say), just what the hell took Sheriff Cousin so long.

“We had to get something on Vincent.”

“So we let a known criminal attempt to forcibly take your son and girlfriend and did absolutely nothing before YOU had to step in!  Perfect plan, right?”


Still later (a few days later, actually), back at the ranch cafe, business is slowly picking up.

And Lucas and Max show up to ask Erin out on a date.

A picnic date.

At her house.

Without asking her.  Yeah, not sure if Lucas is down with the “dating” stuff yet.


But Erin seems delighted with all that, so who am I to judge?

Erin and Lucas take care of a few loose ends during the date, she saying that she is actually thrilled to be running a cafe and not being a vet, and he saying that he is thrilled to be a vet (and owes that mostly to her, which is quite sweet).  So it all works out!

Then Erin obsesses over What All This Really Means, and is Lucas still planning to ditch town in a year?  Which, girl, he’s having a date with you with his son tagging along, so I’d say it’s looking pretty good for you.

But we’ve still got five chapters and an epilogue to go, so who knows???


Posted on December 20, 2016, in The Prodigal's Christmas Reunion. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Lucas prays for God’s help, and suddenly sees a fire extinguisher attached to the wall of the loft.

    As someone of the theistic persuasion, I often notice small details I overlooked (or remember stuff I forgot) during and after praying. I don’t think praying is the only way to achieve that state of clarity of mind, though, and I understand that petitioning the goddess of foxes and rice is just the way I do that. It’s essential for me, but I understand that it isn’t for everyone else.

    I also (sarcastically) love how the kinds of Christians who read and write books like these always remember to thank their god, and never remember to thank anyone else. I think it helps that their god takes credit for literally everything good that happens to them, and if he doesn’t their pastors do on his behalf.

    Also also, does throwing a fire extinguisher at someone remind anyone else of Madoka Magica?

  2. I assumed Lucas was going to just spray Vincent with the fire extinguisher, not throw it at his head! Good thing it was one of those magic fire extinguishers that aren’t heavy enough to seriously hurt or kill someone when it hits them on the head. Either that or Vincent has a really strong head or special villain powers or something. I don’t think normal people would be getting up so quickly after that.

    • InquisitiveRaven

      Do keep in mind that fire extinguishers come in a variety of a sizes and weights. I mean I’d expect this to do a lot more damage than this.

      While I’d expect a fire extinguisher kept in a barn to be on the heftier end of the scale, that doesn’t mean the barn owner has that much sense.

  3. So, using a civilian as bait, then fucking off to do something else without informing your bait or keeping any kind of guard around her? Yeah, SC is lucky the mayor is probably his great uncle or something.

  4. Also, this highly Christian small town is probably a deep red part of the state, and Mustache Twirler is palling around with murderous criminals. How is a fire extinguisher the heaviest weapon on the scene?

    “As the last whispered words of the prayer passed Lucas’s lips, his eyes fell on the modified full auto AR 15 her father had given her on her sixteenth birthday to properly protect herself from the UN troops that could march in and take over any day now. (Although his knowledge about how competent his nephew was as sheriff might’ve had something to do with it) “I’d forgotten that sometimes God’s response could be very swift .” mused Lucas, as he loaded a magazine into the weapon.

    • Yes indeed, but this is the Budweiser of fiction: it’s trying not to offend anybody, so it can’t go into details that will signify it as Other Tribe. Similarly the weirdly non-specific going-to-church sequence.

      (Clearly, a lot of the readers are expected to be OK with “Jesus, find me a parking space”.)

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for December 23rd, 2016 | The Slacktiverse

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