Book 4 of the Murrells Inlet Miracles series
By Laurie Larsen
Sadie Flynn breezed into the kitchen, her mind clamped on her To Do list for this sunny May day. No time to enjoy the beach or the sun, much to her dismay. She pulled open the cabinet, extracted her travel coffee mug, and turned to the coffee pot. Half a pot of the elixir sat there already. She glanced around the room. Her dad sat at the kitchen table, enjoying a cup.
“Earth to Sadie,” he said, then chuckled.
“Sorry. Did you say something to me?”
“Just ‘good morning.’ Your mind is obviously somewhere else. What’s going on in there?”
She smirked and rolled her eyes. Being focused had served her well in her lifetime, in general, but sometimes it made her come off as ditzy. Or uncaring. And those traits were the furthest from the truth for her.
“Busy day today, Dad. I’ve got to swing by the college and enroll in my summer semester classes.”
He stood and carried his empty plate to the sink. “One step closer to becoming a Registered Nurse.” He leaned in and placed a kiss on her cheek. “I’m proud of you.”
She took a moment to pause in his affection. She and her dad: a team, a twosome. The Dynamic Duo. It had been only her and him for so long, she could barely remember a time when there were three. Before her mom’s health deteriorated, it was her dad who took care of her. Her mom had never shown interest in being a full-time mom, so it was lucky for Sadie that her dad filled in the gaps. But after her mom’s car accident, and the resulting head injury that caused her to get worse and worse for years, she and her dad had become a tight, well-functioning team.
Burying her mom last summer was not as sad as it probably should have been. It was totally expected and represented the final chapter in her mother’s tragic life.
Dad pulled away from her with a friendly wink. “What else?”
Sadie cleared her head of sad memories. “Then, to the gym. I’ve only got a week left before the marathon, so I’ve got some training to do.”
“Good for you. Break a leg.”
“That may be appropriate for an actor, but I believe it’s a jinx for an athlete.”
Shaw chuckled. “Okay, then how about, don’t break a leg?”
“Better. And what about you? What are you up to today?”
“Annual shots for the Anderson cattle herd, and then heading over to the Myrtle Beach Zoo to care for a few animals that are under the weather.”
Sadie smiled. Her dad didn’t have a job like most dads did. He never sat in a desk chair behind a computer, didn’t even have an office. As a large breed veterinarian, his patients were out in the fields and barns all around the Grand Strand, South Carolina. Most of his time was spent in his truck driving to where the animals were and caring for them. He loved treating all animals, but especially the big ones, wild or domestic.
“And are you seeing your lady love today?” Sadie turned her head and noticed the flush of pink that traveled up her dad’s neck. After a long stretch of no love or affection in his life, her dad had met the right woman. Some things were worth waiting for. Shaw and Nora were distinct opposites, but proof of the old adage that opposites attract.
So that was all the answer she was going to get about her dad’s love life. She laughed, not expecting any different.
“Well, have a great day. See you tonight.” They both wrapped up their breakfasts and headed out.
Later in the day, Sadie drove to Fitness Giants, the gym she’d been attending for several years. Workouts were a huge part of her life, especially since she’d started running marathons. Recently, she’d set a goal for herself: run a marathon in each of the fifty states. At age twenty-two, she’d already run five. Next week’s race, in North Carolina, would bring her to a half dozen.
She dropped off her bag in the locker room, then walked to the weight room. This week, her training plan called for light cross training with weights and elliptical, as well as some short runs, making sure her body kept active, but not overworked. She picked up free weights and started her lifting.
“Hey Sadie,” came a voice behind her. She turned.
“Oh hi, Jett.”
“Training for something in particular?” Jett Martin was the personal trainer she’d worked with two years ago when she wanted to start her marathon career. He’d given her a custom work out program to prepare her body and mind, and she’d followed it for every race since.
“Yep. I’m running a marathon in North Carolina next weekend.”
“Awesome. You ready?”
“Should be. Still following the Jett Martin fitness plan,” she said with a smile as she returned the ten-pound weights and grabbed the twelve.
“Well, then you can’t lose.” He turned his back to her while he studied the form of his client, then turned back quickly. “If we both have time, how about a smoothie later and a chat to catch up?”
“Sure.” Sadie watched Jett as he turned back to his client, pleased that he’d suggested a catch-up. He’d been instrumental in getting her trained and in shape for running and she’d enjoyed working with him. He was tough and demanding when he needed to be, but also encouraged her and taught her how to take it easy on her body when necessary. As a trainer, he was the perfect combination of hard and soft. In the almost two years since she stopped working with him, she’d excelled as a marathoner. But it would be fun to find out what was new with him.
She pulled her eyes away from him when a faint heat settled on her neck. In addition to his talents, he was easy to look at. Tall, tanned, longish hair, a body as tight and fit as you would expect from a personal trainer. He was a handsome guy, no doubt about it. His biceps bulged as he helped his client, a tiny young woman probably no more than a hundred pounds, lift the weights back to the frame. “Good job,” he was saying to her with a broad smile. Encouraging her, helping her achieve her goals.
Sadie put down her weights and walked purposely away from Jett, heading for the elliptical machine. Time to get in some light cardio. And away from the odd attraction she’d just experienced. As she started moving her legs, she glanced back at Jett for a moment. He was certainly a worthy person to be attracted to. However, she had already decided … love was not for her. At least not at this point in her life. She had too many goals to accomplish to worry about a man. She was solid; a strong, single woman, working toward her own life and fitness goals. She was right on track. Why would she weaken her resolve to allow a man to worm his way into her heart? She refused to be derailed.
After all, she saw what happened to her mom and dad when they fell in love. It was a disaster. It led to nothing but heartache. Why would she ever allow that to happen to herself?
She focused back on the work she was doing on the elliptical. She would have a smoothie with Jett, she would chat and fill him in, but she would consider him only as a fitness partner. Nothing more.