Sanctuary (Family Justice Book 3)

Free Sanctuary (Family Justice Book 3) by Suzanne Halliday

Book: Sanctuary (Family Justice Book 3) by Suzanne Halliday Read Free Book Online
Authors: Suzanne Halliday
Tags: A Family Justice Novel
her back.
    Though his jaw clenched knowing the agony she was feeling, he never wavered, just kept breathing and caressing. At first, George sat with his head resting on her feet. Before long, he’d crept onto the sofa nestling in the curve of her bent legs. As she calmed, the dog made his way onto her lap until the three of them were plastered together with Heather held safe in a George and Brody sandwich. When she wrapped an arm around the dog’s neck, Brody sighed mentally. She was on her way back.
    His mouth twisted into a grim frown. Fuck. He should have been prepared for her reaction. What the hell was he thinking surprising her like this? Pfft. He’d been thinking about Heather, knowing how difficult these end-of-year days were for her. Talk about shitty timing. Nothing like having the worst moment of your life tied to a major, worldwide celebration.
    “Feeling better?” he asked softly.
    Her head nodded on his chest, but she wasn’t talking. Fine with him. He was enjoying having her on his lap. And not in a sexual way either. As he guided her through the panic, Brody was aware on a deeper level of how much she needed him. Since she was not the type to ever let so much as an inkling of her personal torments out in front of others, it felt huge that she let him get so close.
    He liked how that made him feel. Heather actually needing him was something new in the mix.
    Eventually, she shifted and sat up straighter, lifting off his chest. Muttering a shaky, “Thanks,” he noted that trembling fingers fussed with her hair while she kept her eyes cast down.
    Oh, fuck no. He wasn’t having any of that.
    “Hey.”
    She still didn’t look up. As gently as he could, Brody put a finger beneath her chin and tilted it until he forced her to look at him. Though her expression remained closed, a pink flush replaced the deathly white pallor. And she felt soft and warm against him instead of the stiff, unyielding block of ice he’d rescued from hitting the floor.
    “Don’t be embarrassed, honey.” He rolled a shoulder and gave her a quirky grin. “I know how much today sucks for you.”
    She bit her lip. Yep. That was right. Heather Clarke, counselor, social worker, and all-around badass solver of other’s problems actually bit her goddamn lip. Add that to the category of ceaseless wonders.
    He could feel the conflict rolling off her in waves. She wasn’t used to being the one in crisis. He understood. PTSD was like that. An equal opportunity head fuck. It could reduce even the most together person to a quivering mess or a raging freak in seconds.
    Kissing her on the tip of her nose, he tried to lighten the mood and give her a chance to get past what triggered the collapse. Reaching into his pocket wasn’t easy. Not with the fully-grown female sitting on his lap and the big, dumb, year-old puppy sprawled down her front.
    “Seriously. This calls for a selfie. You. Me. The damn dog.”
    Before she could protest, he held his phone up, chuckled, “Smile,” and went for it.
    “Brody,” she yelped. Swatting his chest, she turned eyes blazing with annoyance his way. “I look like shit. Let me see that picture.”
    As she grabbed for his hand, he easily swatted her away. “Oh, look,” he drawled. “You have nothing to say until you get your picture taken, and then it's ‘I look like shit’? Women,” he teased as he shook his head.
    Laughing as she tried to look stern and frosty, he pinched her butt and kiddingly shoved. “Come on, m’lady. You and your mangy dog are fucking heavy, so move it, would ya?”
    Muttering curses that sounded like a damning soliloquy on how fucked up men are, she scrambled awkwardly off his lap. Just as she struggled to her feet, he distinctly heard her say, “And here I was thinking I might actually like your disappearing ass.”
    Whoa! Really? The temptation to rile her up a bit was there, but he held it in check and let the moment pass. He’d heard what she said. That was good

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