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???