Must Have Faith by Deborah Garland
Forgiving isn’t easy. Forgetting may be impossible.
Greg Mallory isn’t the kind of man to wallow just because he was left at the altar. Not when there are plenty of women to help him forget his heartbreak. But as the only Mallory son he has an obligation to carry on the family name. When Greg’s runaway bride returns, his head tells him to keep his distance, but his body and his heart are both begging for a second chance.
Faith Copeland bolted out of Darling Cove with a shameful secret and stayed away for ten years thinking Greg Mallory would never forgive her. Coming home means facing her past and Greg. She just didn’t think he still had the power to make her melt after all this time.
One moment alone proves their attraction is stronger than ever. Are they brave enough to start fresh? Or will past secrets destroy their second chance at happy-ever-after once and for all?
Must Have Faith
Greg cleared his throat and leaned in. “Anyway, there’s something I want to ask you.”
A small wave of panic ticked up Faith’s heart rate. Was he going to ask her why she really left? Could this be the moment where she came clean? She swallowed. Hard. Yes. This is the perfect time. And place because he couldn’t make a ridiculous scene. Although he could leave her there alone. That thought sent a pain through her chest so sharp, she rubbed her blouse. Her heart was hammering under her fingers and her mouth went bone dry.
Greg watched her with curiosity and concern. “Faith?”
“Sure. You can ask me anything.” She sat up, ready to explain the worst mistake of her life and watch the man she loved grow to hate her before her very eyes. “Go ahead.”
“Do you think any less or different of me from what I told you about Miranda and the other women?” Greg’s voice carried a hint of pain like he feared her answer.
It was if she’d been tied to a pole in front of a firing squad…and they missed. God! He was concerned about himself and his behavior. But how to answer? Yes. Of course, it bothered her. And if the situation had been reversed where he’d left and while he’d been away she’d banged all kinds of men…let all different men have their way with her. In all different places and all different ways, Greg would have a heart attack. So yes, it bothered her. But that would make her the huge hypocrite.
“You’re not the only one who was possessive, Greg. I wanted you, remember. And I fought to get you. So yes, it hurts. But I know I have no right to feel that way.” Faith stood to go to the ladies’ room.
She wasn’t sure if she had to throw up or just needed to release some tears and gear up. She was ready to tell Greg about that night, but was thankful to have a minute to consider how she’d put it. “I’ll be right back.”
When she turned to step toward the back of the diner, a body plowed into her. The forceful push sent her to the ground and her palms smacked flat against the sticky linoleum.
Greg jumped up, pushing the man. “Hey! Watch it.” He reached down to pick her up, but was shoved backwards.
The man lifted her instead, holding her by the throat. There was something cold and sharp against her neck.
Faith knew from experience it was the long serrated edge of a knife.
In the time it took Greg to get to his feet, he’d drawn his gun.
The man’s face registered. He was the brother of the man his father had killed.
“I know who you are, asshole.” Greg’s feet were in position, his hand tight against the groves of the gun’s handle. “Get that knife away from her throat.”
“Good. And I guess you know how this works. Your father takes someone from me and I take someone from you.” He jammed his arm harder around Faith’s chest forcing a loud gasp to escape hoarsely from her.
“Maybe where you come from that’s justice.” Greg inched closer sending the man back a step. “Here…that’s going to make your mother bury another son. Is that what you want?”
The man pulled Faith away, his back hard against the counter. Whipping his head toward the register where the waitress stood frozen, he yelled, “You call anyone bitch, she dies, he dies and then you.”
“Make the call!” Greg screamed with confidence.
Faith’s face was blank, not looking at him. Hiding her fear, he suspected. To stop him from throwing all his emotion into his trigger finger. He watched the man’s eyes as he was trained searching for hints of his next move.
But when Faith looked up at him, her eyes were blinking fast then slow beats. Christ, was she having a stroke? Her fingers lifted off the man’s arms slightly and she went limp, falling out of his hold. The man jerked back confused. Faith wasn’t having a stroke, she was distracting him.
That’s my girl!
Greg shoved the gun into his curve of his back and dove pushing the man down. He climbed over Faith to get to him, kneeing her in the stomach and knocking against her head. But Greg didn’t care, he just needed that knife away from her. His right hand yanked the man’s hold on the knife and his knee pressed hard into the man’s groin. Swinging his other leg around to step on the man’s wrist, the knife came loose. He pushed it out of the way.
The man was subdued for the moment, but a surge of energy was expected. Preparing, Greg looked behind him to make sure Faith was a safe distance away. She wasn’t.
His throat swelled staring down the barrel of his own gun. “The safety’s not back on, Faith.”
“I know how to use a gun.” She stepped forward pointing his Glock at the man, who had decided not to struggle after all and had turned white.
A faint siren and the flash of lights turning the corner caught Greg’s attention. He lowered his voice. “Faith, put that gun down. Now!”
“You’re not going to take me,” she said pointing it at the man. “You are not going to take me!”
“No one is taking you anywhere, Faith. You’re safe. I’ve got this.”
“Gun!” An officer yelled storming into the diner, pointing his gun at Faith. “Drop it!”
Greg whipped his head around. “Stand down!”
“Mallory what’s going on?” Another officer thundered in.
“Someone take this piece of shit,” Greg responded. “That knife is his, watch the prints. He put it to her throat.”
“22409 requests immediate back-up to Sadie’s diner. Officer on the scene,” he said into the radio strapped to his shoulder.
“Copy that,” the acknowledgement crackled.
“Mallory, she’s got to lower that weapon.”
“Faith, look at me. Give me the gun.”
“He’s not going to take me.” Her voice squeaked like a small child.
“No one is going to take you anywhere. I’m here, Babe. You’re safe.” He inched closer, a strange feeling washing over him that she wasn’t talking to him and therefore not hearing him respond.
The tips of his fingers reached the rim of the gun barrel and his heart spiked when she didn’t jerk it away. The Glock slacked into his hand. He clicked the safety and shoved it into the curve of his lower back while Faith fell forward into his arms.
In celebration of the Must Have Faith, Darling Cove Book 2 release
Book 1, Must Love Fashion will be part of a Goodreads Giveaway
Starting June 4th
Must Love Fashion on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2D9OVnE
About the Author
Must Have Faith
The runaway bride is back.
Deborah Garland is a versatile author of women’s fiction, contemporary and paranormal romances. Her books are about love and the struggles of complicated relationships. The heroines are strong and witty and the heroes fall hard for them. She lives on the North Shore of Long Island with her husband and their two pugs, Zoe and Harley.
Deborah is a member of the national RWA organization (Romance Writers of America) as well as its long island and new jersey chapters. The release of must love fashion qualified her to be a part of their published authors network (pan).
Connect with the Author
Facebook: Deborah Garland Author
Goodreads: Deborah Garland
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