Warriors of the Heart Series
One year after her husband is killed in action, Julie Ellis is back in her hometown and focused on raising her young son. Then Reagan Harrison bursts into her life—a cocky, charming linebacker who leaves her off balance.
As a successful, professional athlete, Reagan believes he has it all. But after meeting Julie, he finds every excuse in the book to spend time with her. Despite his best efforts not to fall too hard, Reagan envisions a future with Julie, along with the little boy he’s come to love as his own.
While Reagan’s protective love begins to mend Julie’s spirit, she can’t suppress her continued deep devotion to her late husband’s memory. And when a letter arrives from beyond the grave, Reagan resolves to provide her with the answers she desperately needs to heal. Now Julie must choose either to keep her heart closed off or remove the lock and fight for a future with Reagan. Can a second chance at true love be just as sweet?
Page Count: 278
Word Count: 71020
The time was a few minutes before four o’clock, and Reagan roamed past the staff entrance of Warriors Stadium. He’d paced back and forth for the past fifteen minutes. Every so often, he would look out the glass doors for Julie’s car. If not for seeing Julie, he would’ve been in a crappy mood. Today had been a rough practice, with the coaches running the team ragged. Their tough love was part of training camp, getting men in shape for the season—the pain came with being a professional athlete. But tell that to his body, which ached like he’d been run over by a herd of buffalo. And tomorrow he’d go through the process all over again.
At four o’clock on the dot, he spotted a Jeep drive into the staff parking lot, Julie’s distinct red hair unmistakable through the windshield. He opened the door to meet her.
She stepped out of the car as Reagan approached.
“Hi, Julie.” His voice cracked. Get it together, Harrison, you’re not sixteen. He cleared his throat.“Nice to see you again.”
“Hi.” She went to the back door to let her son out of his booster seat. “Thanks for arranging this. Aiden’s really excited, so I hope you’re ready. He may give you a run for your money.”
“I’m ready for anything.” His wide smile might seem too eager, so he dialed it back a notch. Spending time with her son would remind him of why he didn’t date single moms. Although he was incredibly attracted to her, he figured a widow with a young son was too much responsibility. At this point in his professional career, he was very careful of who he let into his life. He didn’t need any distractions. This tour with Aiden should shake loose any romantic notions he had toward the kid’s mother.
Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, a dark-haired boy sprung out of the back seat and landed directly before Reagan. The kid was struck speechless. His wide, round eyes mirrored his gaping mouth.
“Hi, Aiden.” He shot him a friendly smile. He bent down and held out his oversized hand to shake Aiden’s. “I’m Reagan Harrison. Your mom told me you’re a big Warriors fan. Would you like to come with me and take a look inside the stadium?”
Aiden gave a slow nod and looked over at Julie.
She took hold of Aiden’s hand and gave him a soft nudge with her elbow. “He’s usually not this quiet. Enjoy the silence while it lasts because once he finds his tongue, he’ll be talking non-stop.”
Laughing, Reagan motioned for them to follow him toward the building. They walked to a large, glass-fronted visitor’s entrance. “The stadium is pretty quiet right now, but during home games the parking lots fill up with fans for their tailgate rituals. This place can seat seventy thousand people, and the stadium can get unbelievably loud.” He held open the door for Julie and her son.
As they entered, their footsteps clicked on the black granite floors. Historical Warriors photographs surrounded them. The team colors of red and silver were everywhere, from the paint on the walls to the modern lobby furniture.
“I’m taking you to the front offices first,” Reagan said.
Julie and Aiden followed along into a large central room, with a half dozen office suites attached to this main hub. Behind a glass-topped desk sat a petite, dark-haired woman whose fast clicks on the keyboard sounded like a snare drum. She raised her gaze as the door closed behind them, her pink reading glasses perched on the tip of her nose.
“Julie and Aiden, I’d like to introduce you to the person who makes this organization run, Rosalie Turner. Rosie, these are the friends I was telling you about earlier. I’m showing them around the stadium.”
Rosalie came from behind her desk, approached them with her short stride, and gave Reagan a hug.
She was just shy of five feet tall, and Reagan knew he looked like a giant in comparison.
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