Excerpt for Rescued By Love by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


Rescued By Love

Sophie Dawson


Sophie Dawson Novels

©2016 Sophie Dawson

Smashwords Edition

ISBN: 978-1-63376-017-2


Cover image: © Crokogen | Dreamstime.com - <a href="https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-man-waverunner-water-image9952981#res5122048">Man On WaveRunner On The Water Photo</a>


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


Smashwords Edition, License Notes

Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favorite authorized retailer. Thank you for your support.


Rescued By Love 3

CHAPTER 1 4

CHAPTER 2 7

CHAPTER 3 13

CHAPTER 4 17

CHAPTER 5 20

CHAPTER 6 23

CHAPTER 7 28

CHAPTER 8 32

CHAPTER 9 39

CHAPTER 10 43

CHAPTER 11 46

Books By Sophie Dawson 48


Rescued By Love


Logan Scofield came to Antigua to recover from the betrayal and divorce of his wife. He just wanted to rest and heal. But all that changed when he pulls Saige Garner from the waves during her attempted suicide. His heart goes out to the young widow and mother of twins. She gave in to a moment of weakness in her grief. He understands how easy that could be. He wants to help her heal but what will helping her cost him?

Can he get over his fear of betrayal and see the family he always wanted right in front of him? Can Saige let the pain of losing her first love go and find love again with Logan? Or will their time on Antigua be but a pleasant memory touched with a bitter sweet What if?

Or is God doing something for them that they can't yet hope is real?



Rescued By Love is a sweet, inspirational Christian novelette of 16,000 words.


CHAPTER 1


They would be fine. They had Kayla and Ryan as their godparents and guardians. They were young enough to forget the loss of their parents. They'd already lost their father. She'd not been much of a mother for the last ten months. Saige Garner looked back toward the beach one more time. She took a breath, moved from floating vertically in the water into swimming position and began slow arm strokes out to sea.

Tears coursing down her cheeks merged with the salt water as Saige kept her eyes fixed on the horizon. In her mind she saw the sleeping faces of her four year old twins. Tyce, the older twin by three minutes, looked so much like his father except for his brown rather than blonde hair. Oval face with brown eyes. He looked just like Nolan's baby and toddler pictures. He'd be so handsome when he was grown. Amie, her princess, was blonde like her father but with her mother's blue eyes. She also had a heart shaped face with the same widow's peak Saige had. Who would have thought that bit of hair peaked on her forehead would be so prophetic for Saige's life. A widow at the young age of twenty-eight.

~~~~~

Normally the water had nothing breaking the surface as Logan Scofield rounded the peninsula which bounded the waterway into Jolly Harbor in the early morning on his wave runner. Another day in paradise; Antigua. He'd come three weeks ago to escape the cold of the US in January. The sun couldn't be seen yet as it hadn't topped the mountain to the east but the sky was light and Jolly Bay was smooth. It was his favorite time to rev the motor of the jet ski to maximum without having to be concerned that a wave or swell needed to be avoided or fought.

Ahead something dark was floating on the surface. Logan would see what it was and pick it out of the water if it was garbage. It was out a long way from the shore in front of Jolly Beach Resort. No need for trash to wash up on the beach.

As he moved nearer an arm lifted then returned to the water. It was a person. Why were they so far out and still swimming away from shore? There weren't any reasons for someone to be so far out. The energy it took to get that distance from shore would make it difficult, if not impossible, to swim back to the beach. Logan aimed the bow of his wave runner toward the person and sped up.

~~~~~

A motor's roar coming near made Saige look to her right just as a wave runner drew up beside her. Nooo. It was so early. She'd left the suite as the sky was barely lightening.

"Are you insane or trying to kill yourself?" A man cut the motor and reached down an arm extending his hand for Saige to take. She ignored it and increased the speed of her strokes. She didn't think about the fact that she'd never be able to out swim a wave runner.

"No you don't." The man jumped off the runner and wrapped an arm around her waist. Saige swung her arm at him trying to push him away or knock him in the head. She didn't care which. She only wanted to get away from him.

Logan turned her body away from him and gripped his arm from her shoulder across her chest clasping her hard under her arm. It was obvious now that her intent had been suicide. He didn't know or care why. At the moment he only wanted to get her on the runner with him and back to shore. First he had to get them to and on the wave runner. It wouldn't do for that to get away from them.

She continued struggling, futilely, until he grabbed onto the runner and heaved her up across it. Then he kicked hard and managed to mount it before she was able to slip back into the water. Logan pinned her crosswise on her belly between his legs with one knee and took off back toward Jolly Harbor.

She was crying, her head in her arms now. The fight had gone out of her. Logan wondered if she was alone on the island and how he'd find out who to contact. He didn't really want to involve the police. He didn't know what the policy was for attempted suicide and didn't want to find out. As they turned east into the harbor the sun rose past the mountain and twinkled off the gold wrist band on her arm. Tranquility Bay used those. He'd be able to find out if she had family or friends with her at the all-suite resort.

Slowing as he entered the harbor, Logan pulled into the marina and up to the stern of the yacht he'd borrowed from a friend to stay on while in Antigua. Logan secured the wave runner to the swim platform and lifted his leg off the woman's back. He moved to the platform and looked at her. He couldn't tell much since he couldn't see her face. She wasn't sobbing anymore, instead she was trying to catch her breath, her head still on her arms. Then she looked up at him.

"Why?"

"That's my question to you. Why?" She was a young woman, somewhere in her mid to late twenties he'd guess. Pretty, he guessed but with her red eyes and stricken expression it was hard to tell. Slim, in a flowered one-piece bathing suit she hadn't moved and was still sprawled across between the seat and steering of the wave runner.

Logan held his hand out to her. This time she took it and allowed him to aid her transfer to the swim platform. She was trembling all over. He worried that she might be going into shock. He grabbed a couple of towels from the railing above his head and wrapped her in them. Then he picked her up and carried her up the steps setting her on the bench seating lining the area just above the swim platform. He sat next to her and looked at her a moment. She was looking down, her shoulders slumped as if in defeat.

"What's your name?" Logan asked.

"Saige Garner."

"Why were you swimming away from shore?"

"Because I want to die."


CHAPTER 2


Saige looked at the man who'd plucked her out of the water. Now she wouldn't be able to get rid of the pain. There was no way Kayla or Ryan would let her out of their sight. As soon as they got back to the States they'd have her at the counselor before you could say, 'grief.'

"I'm Logan Scofield. How about we get you out of that wet suit? The yacht owner's wife left some clothing here. I think you'll fit into something." He placed his hand under her elbow. She hesitated then allowed him to help her stand and lead her into the cabin.

"I'll get something dry to put on then let you change in the bedroom." Logan dug into a couple of drawers pulling clothing out. "Corinne's stuff is in these cupboards and this closet. Pick whatever you want. Oh, there's a bathroom in there. If you want to shower."

Saige watched him leave the room and close the door behind him. She took a big breath and let out a sigh then rubbed her hand down her face.

Logan quickly showered off the salt in another suite bathroom and put on clothes, gym shorts and a t-shirt. Going to the galley he cut up a passion fruit and a mango. He thought about calling Tranquility Bay but decided to wait until she came out and ate a little.

Hearing the bedroom door open he stuck his head out of the galley and asked her to come in with him. She looked much better. She was dressed in a bright pink sundress that reached to her knees. She must have showered since her hair was clean and combed, though still wet. Her bathing suit dangled from her hand.

"Come, sit here and have some fruit. Do you want coffee or juice or anything?"

"No, thank you."

Logan placed the platter of fruit on the table. He sat across from her and dished some fruit onto a plate and set it before her with a fork. He did the same for himself. They ate in silence. Logan didn't know what to say. He silently asked the Holy Spirit to give him words to ease her spirit. He sure wasn't equipped for this sort of thing.

"Saige," he finally started. "I'm no therapist but I'm willing to listen. It must be something pretty big for you to want to swim until you drowned."

Saige's eyes filled with tears. They slipped over the edge, through her lower lashes and down her cheeks. "I just can't do it anymore. I miss him so much. My sister and her husband can take care of Tyce and Amie better than I can. I've been a pretty miserable mother since Nolan died."

Logan placed his hand on hers. "I'm so sorry for your loss." He paused. "Swimming out into the ocean isn't the answer. You know your children want you more than they do their aunt and uncle."

Saige nodded. "Somedays it's just too hard. I wake up alone, he's not there at breakfast, to kiss and wrestle with the twins a little before he goes to work. There's no one coming home at the end of the day. No one to play with the twins while I fix supper. No one to snuggle with on cold nights. No one to help with all the little things that pile up."

As she kept listing what she missed since her husband's death Logan realized he understood some of what she was talking about. Since his divorce he was without similar big and little interactions with his ex-wife. He squeezed her hand in sympathy.

"I'm sorry to inconvenience you," Saige said. "I'll head back now. After I wash these clothes I'll get them back to you. Thank you for all you've done. I appreciate it."

Logan smiled. "No problem. I wondered when you were fighting me in the water."

Saige cracked a small grin. "I'm sorry about that. Actually, I'm glad you stopped me." She paused then said, "I've been to a counselor but he didn't really help. Maybe I didn't let him."

"You've talked to your sister haven't you?"

"A little but I don't want her to feel burdened by me. By the things I can't do and need Ryan to help with. They've done so much already."

They fell silent for a few minutes. Then Logan said, "How long are you here for?"

"Two more weeks. We're staying in Tranquility Bay."

"I know." At her confused look he pointed to her wristband. She smiled. It was a sad smile but larger than any she'd exhibited before. "Come, I'll escort you back. If your kids get up early they'll be wondering where you are." Logan stood and held out his hand to help her up.

~~~~~

"Mommy, where were you? I got up and you weren't anywhere." Amie's eyes bespoke her worry as she wrapped her arms around her mother's legs. Tyce stood a little ways away. His face echoed his sister's.

"I went out early this morning. I met this nice man and he helped me some. His name's Logan. These are Tyce and Amie. Where are Aunt Kayla and Uncle Ryan?" The sounds of her niece and nephew in the bedroom indicated at least one of the adults was in the suite.

"They're getting Eli cleaned up after breakfast. Brielle and Jordan are putting their suits on. We wanted to wait for you." Amie finally let go of Saige's legs.

"Mommy, did you go swimming?" Tyce asked pointing to her suit.

"Yes, I took an early swim."

"That's not your dress, Mommy." Amie took hold of the hem.

"No, I got a little too far away from shore and Logan took me for a wave runner ride to his boat. I borrowed this dress."

"He wears dresses?" Tyce wrinkle his nose in disgust.

"No," Logan laughed. "I'm staying on a friend's boat. The dress is his wife's. It looks good on your mommy though, doesn't it."

"Yeah," said Amie. "Mommy looks pretty in anything."

Just then two children ran into the room and stopped short when they saw the stranger. A moment later a couple and toddler came in at a slower pace.

"Saige, where'd you go so early?" Kayla Ennis asked.

"For an early swim." Saige saw her sister eye Logan standing next to her. "This is Logan Scofield. My sister Kayla Ennis, Ryan Ennis, her husband, and their kids Brielle, Jordan and Eli." Saige pointed to each of the children.

The introductions made, Kayla asked the twins if they wanted to go swimming now. Their running to the bedroom to change was all the answer needed. "Ryan, why don't you take them and we'll meet up with you on the beach. Logan, please stay and let's get acquainted a bit."

Soon Kayla, Saige and Logan were alone. "What happened?" Kayla shot a serious look at Saige then Logan.

A lump of tears clogged Saige's throat. She brought a fist to her mouth, pressing hard to keep the sob from breaking through.

"Oh honey, no." Kayla's arms were suddenly around Saige who lost the battle with the sob. They came out one after the other as she held onto her sister tightly. Kayla looked at Logan. He lifted his eyebrows and nodded. "Let's sit down and have a talk."

Kayla settled Saige on the sofa. Logan sat in a chair just to her left. "Would you like something to drink? We have Coke, Diet, juice. It's a little early for a beer." Since it was just before nine Logan chuckled his agreement.

"Coke's fine."

She brought the drinks; two Diets and one Coke, and sat beside Saige. "Thank you, Logan," Kayla said. "Saige, oh my word. Why?"

"I miss him so and Tyce and Amie would be fine with you."

Fire burned in Kayla's eyes. "No. They. Would. Not. You know that's a lie. It's the evil one twisting your grief and lying to you."

"I know. I saw the truth in Amie's and Tyce's eyes. It would have destroyed them. I'm so sorry." Saige started crying again. Kayla pulled her sister into her arms and hugged her tight.

When Saige began to catch her breath Kayla said, "Honey, you've had a tough morning. I'm sure you're exhausted. Let me help you to bed. You can nap for a while then come join us on the beach." She patted Saige's head which was resting on her shoulder and looked at Logan mouthing, "You stay here. I want to talk with you." He nodded as she helped Saige rise and go through a door into the adjoining suite.

When Kayla came back she pulled the door nearly shut then sat on the sofa laying her head on the back looking up at the ceiling. "She tried to kill herself didn't she?"

"Yes. I was on the wave runner and saw her swimming out. She was so far from shore. I realized what she was doing and got her onto the wave runner. I took her back to the yacht I'm staying on." He went on relating what Saige had told him.

"I knew she was still depressed but didn't think she was so bad. It's been nearly a year. She was excited about coming with us. We thought getting her away from everything would help. Ryan and I have been praying and praying." She looked at Logan. "Did we make a mistake coming? Did coming here make her try to kill herself?"

"No. It's nothing you did. As you said before. It's the work of Satan. He's the father of lies and he attacks at our weakest point."

"You're a believer?"

"In Christ, yes. Very much so. I think God used me to stop her. I'm glad I didn't turn over and go back to sleep this morning."

"I am too." Kayla's eyes now filled with tears. "She was devastated when Nolan was killed. It was a drunk driver. He lived. Not injured very much. Nolan was kept alive for nearly two days before they said he was brain dead. It was the worst two days of our lives.

"Our folks wanted Saige to move back home but she didn't want to. They live in southern California now. We all live in Illinois. It's home, where we grew up and met our husbands." Kayla paused. When Logan didn't say anything she continued. "I can't tell you how thankful I am you were there this morning. The kids have been through so much. This vacation is supposed to be fun and if Saige had..."

"I'm thankful too. I'd have hated to bring her body to shore. So what will you do now?"

Kayla shrugged. "I don't really know. Stay here and try to keep it from the kids. Set Saige up with different counselor when we get back home."

"She told me the one she was going to wasn't much help." Logan looked at the bedroom door then back at Kayla. "I have a thought. Have you been doing much while you're here? You know, sightseeing and such?"

"Not really. With five kids and only one over five it's kind of hard to do much."

"Well, I know I'm a stranger, but I sort of have become involved. I'm living on a friend's yacht until the end of February. Would you all like to go out for a day? We could sail along the Caribbean side of the island. It's calmer. Maybe doing something so out of the ordinary would help Saige see things from a different angle."

Kayla thought for a moment. "Sounds like a good idea but let me run it past Ryan." She grinned. "You don't know what you are getting in to. Five kids, all day."

Logan smiled back. "We are told we will suffer in this life. It build's character."

Kayla laughed and Logan joined in.

~~~~~

Saige looked at her iPad for the time. She'd slept several hours. Going to the bathroom she looked at herself in the mirror. The pain etched on her face made her look older than her twenty-eight years.

"I'm so sorry, Lord. I forgot that you have me in the palm of your hand. I need to turn my hurt and grief over to you." She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "One day at a time. One minute at a time." Saige turned away from the mirror and left the bathroom. Kayla was sitting on the bed, waiting.

"Come here, little sis and give me a hug. I need one. I got a huge scare this morning." Kayla held out her arms and Saige rushed into them. They fell back onto the mattress softly crying. Finally, Kayla reached back and grabbed the box of tissues on the nightstand and slapped it onto the bed above their heads. "We're a mess. Noses running, wet faces. I'm glad Ryan isn't here to see us. Can you imagine what he'd compare us to?"

"Those ugly monkeys with the large red noses?" Saige said then chuckled.

"Or maybe albino monkfish." Kayla laughed.

"Oh, that's just mean. True, but mean." They lay there blowing noses and wiping their faces. "I'm sorry. I don't know what I was thinking."

"You weren't. You let grief overload your sense."

"Yep. Pretty stupid, and leaving God out of my decision."

"Yeah, that's always stupid. I'm just so thankful Logan saw you and brought you home."

"Me too. I promise I won't do it again. I'll talk to you or Ryan if I get that down again."

"I'm going to hold you to that one." Kayla wrapped her arm around Saige and held her tight. Then she pulled back and a mischievous grin appeared on her face. "Not a bad looking rescuer. Pretty darn cute if you ask me."

"Ha, I didn't but you're right. He is cute. Pretty sweet yacht too. Big. It has at least two bedrooms. He doesn't own it. Some friend does."

"Nice friend. Logan seems really nice too. He offered to take us out on the yacht for a day. Kids and all."

"Oh man. He doesn't know what he's getting into. Did you agree?"

"Said I'd talk with Ryan about it. I think he'll say it's a great opportunity for the kids. You know, experience something different."

"You mean experience something really cool for him to do." Saige laughed and Kayla joined in. "You know, it's funny. This morning I was so depressed I wanted to drown. Tried to make myself drown. Now I'm laughing and looking forward to the day and more days to come."

"Why do you think that is?" Kayla hugged Saige again.

"I brought God back into the picture. I admitted I'd left Him out of my life and wanted Him back in. It makes all the difference."

"Amen to that, sister."




CHAPTER 3


"Ahoy there, matey." Logan heard the call and went out from the pilot room to the deck. It was three days after he'd rescued Saige. Now the families were coming for their day on the yacht. It was just after breakfast. Eight people stood in a line on the dock, each one with their own backpack or bag. Two styrofoam coolers and large bag nearly overflowing with toys sat waiting to be loaded.

"Hey, come on aboard." Logan hurried to unlatch the gate then reached out as Ryan began handing children to him. "You guys stand right there until we get everyone on board. No falling off the boat."

"Yes sir." The oldest, a girl saluted, then slapped her brother who did the same, who then poked the twins who saluted too.

Soon everything and everyone was on board and the women were busy unloading the coolers. They'd spent the day before preparing food to bring.

"You think we'll have enough?" Logan looked at the amount and thought it was more than they could possibly eat. He'd gotten food from the deli at the grocery store as well as beverages and bottled water.

"Hopefully. The sun makes everyone hungry though." Kayla didn't look from the frig she was loading with containers as she spoke and Saige just nodded as she placed bags of chips, fruit and crackers on the counter.

"We'll make a valiant effort at consuming it all, won't we gang?" Ryan asked the children who were climbing onto the bar stools along the counter. He picked the smallest child up. "This is Eli. The rest of you raise your hand when I say your name. Logan doesn't know who you all are very well yet. Brielle." The oldest girl raised her hand. "Jordan." The boy looked a lot like his sister. "Tyce. Amie." They didn't look much alike but were about the same size so that they were twins was evident. "Kayla" She laughed and raised her hand. "Saige."

"Last but not least, I hope." She smiled.

"What about you, Daddy?" Jordan asked.

"Ryan." He said and raised his hand.

Logan smiled. "You guys ready to blow this pop stand?"

"Huh?" Several young voices asked.

"Start the boat and sail out onto the sea?"

"Yeah!"

"Okay, but first the rules." As Logan explained the safety rules he watched Saige. She looked so much better than the other day. Almost younger. Definitely with more hope. She stood leaning against the counter with a small smile on her face. He hoped she was truly more positive about her life and not just covering up her feelings.

"Now, crew," Ryan said. "Lifejackets, where are the lifejackets?"

"Oh rats. I knew we forgot something." Kayla groaned. "They're back at the condo."

"I think we can take the boat to get them. We won't sink before we get there," Logan said. "Come on, crew, let's go and drive this thing."

They all trooped out of the galley and into the pilot room. Several tall chairs allowed the children to see out the windshield while Logan started the engines and backed out of the slip. He listened to the chatter and answered the many questions about the various dials and gauges on the dashboard. Soon they rounded the point and drove the short distance to Tranquility Bay.

Since all the older kids wanted to go help get the lifejackets, Ryan and Kayla left Eli on the yacht with Logan and Saige and took the Zodiac to the beach. They watched as the children ran across the sand and wait for the adults to catch up.

Logan sat across from Saige who had put Eli on the deck with some toys. "How are you?"

"Doing better. I think God had to take me down in order to bring me back to Him. I realized I had been closing Him out of my grief. Once I allowed Him back in I began to feel more hopeful. Ready to live again. Not just for Tyce and Amie, but for myself too."

"I'm glad. I'm happy I could help you. I love being in the right place and the right time." Logan grinned. "Makes me feel useful. Not so much a waste of skin."

"Oh, you're not a waste of skin. Even if it's just to look at. But you weren't fishing for a compliment were you?" Saige shook her finger at him.

Logan laughed. "Me? Never?"

Shouts came from shore and they looked up to see lifejackets were being worn and the Zodiac approaching. Soon the yacht was again filled with the laughter of the children and adults as they headed out of the bay.

Logan turned north wanting to show the children a specific rock formation. Soon he slowed the yacht and pointed. "See that big rock sticking up out of the water?"

"Yeah," they all yelled.

"What does it look like?"

"A frog."

"Now let's go to the other side." Logan moved the boat and asked again.

"An eagle."

"A bird."

"A hawk."

"Birdie, birdie," yelled Eli.

"That's right. It's called Hawksbill. I think it's funny that one side looks like a hawk and the other looks like a frog."

"See foug 'gain. See foug 'gain." Eli jumped up and down on the seat he was standing on. Ryan put his arm out to keep his son from falling on the deck.

They rounded the formation again and Eli screamed, "Ribbit, ribbit." He climbed off the chair and started hopping around calling out. The other children copied him.

"I'll take these frogs down to the larger 'pond' so you can hear yourself think, Logan," Kayla said as she grabbed up Eli. "Ryan you come with me to help keep the frogs in the pond. Saige you can stay here and keep our chauffeur company."

Saige blushed. "Well, was that fairly obvious or what?" She climbed onto the stool next to him.

Logan grinned. "What, the let's all leave Logan and Saige alone for a while?"

She laughed. "Yes. Oh, well. My sister loves me and wants me to start thinking of dating again. I think that may have triggered my action the other day. We'd talked about it the evening before. It made me miss Nolan all the more. Brought my loneliness and grief to the forefront again. Don't tell her I said that. She'd be devastated and think she caused me to... you know."

"I won't. What do you think now?" Logan didn't think he was obvious in his question, or at least hoped he wasn't. Saige was a very lovely woman. He hadn't done much dating since his divorce. His ex-wife's betrayal had hurt him deeply and he was hesitant to begin another relationship. Saige and her family would only be here a couple more weeks. Testing the water with her might be a way to ease himself into beginning to look to a future relationship.

"I'm not sure."

"What about trying out dating with me while you're here. We'd both know it's temporary. It's safe and maybe you could get comfortable with the thought of dating again. Me too, for that matter."

Saige cocked an eyebrow at him.

"I'll tell you all about it if you'll go out to dinner with me tomorrow. There's this Greek place right by the marina. We can walk there and back." Logan didn't know why her agreeing meant so much to him but it did.

"Okay, sounds like fun. I haven't gone out without the twins since Nolan died." Saige dropped her mouth open. "I said that without the paralyzing grief. God is so good."

"Sounds like you have made progress. God has a way of doing that, doesn't he?"

"Yes." Saige smiled at him then turned to look out the windshield as the yacht cut across the waves. "So, where are we going?"

"I figure we'll find a beach somewhere and take the Zodiac in along with food. We can picnic and swim. The kids will love it don't you think? Private beach and all."

"They will. I think the adults will too. With 365 beaches on Antigua you should be able to find one don't you think?"



CHAPTER 4


Saige watched as Logan and Ryan hauled the Zodiac up the beach then began unloading the bags and coolers. They'd taken the women and children to the beach then gone back for the supplies. The kids were already digging in the sand. Kayla was searching for seashells.

"Mommy, can we go swimming?" Tyce ran up to her hugging her legs. "Please, please, please?"

Saige ruffled his hair. "In a minute. We need to get all the stuff unloaded. Come and help."

Tyce raced ahead to the inflatable boat, grabbed a large beach tote bag filled with towels and pulled it behind him to where the others were digging a big hole. "Come on, you guys. We can't swim until all the stuff gets up here."

Brielle, Jordan and Amie jumped up and ran toward the boat. Eli, his swim diaper looking well loaded, toddled behind. Saige grabbed him up, gave him a kiss and a whiff. "Kayla," she hollered. "Eli needs some attention. He's yours so you get to deal with it."

The day was spent playing in the sand and calm water of the cove they'd found. Saige was washed with guilt at the thought of missing the fun her children were having if she had been successful in her suicide attempt. She sat on a towel watching Ryan being buried in sand. Kayla was laughing along with the children as they piled sand on her husband. Eli was asleep next to Saige in a popup tent to shield him from the sun.

"You look pensive." Logan's voice shook her from her reflection. He sat down next to her on the towel.

"I was just thinking that I would have missed this day if you hadn't saved me. Thank you."

"You are most welcome. I wouldn't want to have missed this either. I just hope Ryan doesn't get much sand in his face as he's buried."

Saige laughed. "Hazard of the job. Being a father means taking a lot of risk. You never know what's coming next."

She noticed Logan's expression change from delight to somber. "Are you okay?" she asked.

"Yeah, it's just I had hoped I would have at least one child by this age. Wasn't to be, I guess."

Saige was silent but placed her hand on his. She figured if he wanted to share more he would without her asking.

"I was married for six years. I was ready to start a family after about three. Deirdre kept putting it off. Then I found out why. She was seeing another man and she didn't want him to know she was married. If she got pregnant she'd have to let him know."

"Oh my. I'm so sorry."

"It gave me a Biblical reason for divorcing her. Also the reason I haven't dated much since. I'm having trouble trusting another woman."

"Well," Saige chuckled. "You can borrow my twins while we are here. I bet Kayla and Ryan would loan you their children for a day or so also. Parenting is exhausting, whether there are one or two parents involved."

"I'll take you up on that, if you'll let me. I'd love to spend the rest of your time here with you all. I have some work needing to be done, but I can tag along most of the time."

"I think we'd all enjoy your company. Today has been so much fun, nothing we'd ever have a chance to do without having met you."

Logan smiled and stood up. He held his hand out and pulled her to her feet. "The day's not over yet. Ryan is buried and can't stop me." He leaned over and scooped her up and over his shoulder. Running into the water while Saige squealed in protest he dropped her in to the accompaniment of screams and laughter from the beach.

Saige stood up sputtering. With a gleam of mischief in her eyes she jumped onto Logan pulling him down into the waves. Then they were surrounded by boys and girls who'd abandoned the beach for play in the sea.

~~~~~

"You had fun today," Kayla said as she toweled her hair dry. They were on the yacht heading back to Jolly Harbor. The children had had the salt and sand washed off, been fed and were now all sleeping in beds in another room. Ryan was piloting having been given the opportunity by Logan who was with him. Saige and Kayla had showered and were gathering up all they had brought with them.

"I did. Logan's so generous to have taken us. It's time to start looking forward to each day with those I love rather than look at what I've lost. I realized that today."

Kayla pulled Saige into a hug. "I'm so glad. I've prayed every day for you to see that. I've wanted to shake you so many times. I knew you were just going through the motions. You were missing the joy of the twins even though you were right there with them."

"I know. But that stopped today. I'm always going to miss Nolan, but I have a life to live and our children to raise. They deserve me totally there."

Kayla kissed Saige's forehead. "Wonderful."

"Kayla, do you think... Should I... Would it be okay if I started, hum, dating a little?"

"Sweetie, yes I do. Nolan wouldn't want you to be alone for the rest of your life." She grinned. "Do you have someone in mind?"

"Logan asked me to dinner with him. We both have issues." She made air quotes around the last word. "He had a disappointing marriage and has trust issues. We thought we would just try out dating here knowing it's only temporary so that makes it safe."

Kayla lifted an eyebrow. "You sure you want it temporary? He's a great guy and a believer."

Saige looked at her sister. "He is a great guy, but we'll part ways in a week or so."

"In this day and age you can keep in contact over the internet and by FaceTime very easily."

"Oh, Kayla. Don't scare me by making us a couple. I don't think either of us are ready for that."


CHAPTER 5


"Mommy, you look really pretty. Like you used to before Daddy died."

Amie's words made Saige's hand stop as she applied mascara. They brought a Bible verse to mind. A joyful heart makes a face cheerful, but a sad heart produces a broken spirit. Proverbs 15:13.

"Thank you, sweetie." Saige considered a minute then knelt down and looked at her daughter. "I've been really sad since he died. I forgot that God is always with me and that he cries for me and you and Tyce as we miss Daddy. I remember now and it makes me happier."

"God's like that. He makes it easier." Amie lifted her hand to touch Saige's face. She felt as if the Holy Spirit was touching her, giving her the comfort and peace that no one else could give. Tears filled Saige's eyes as she looked at the sweet face she loved so much. "Don't cry, Mommy. You'll mess your make up."

Saige laughed, blinking away the tears. "Okay, you're right. Don't want to have to fix it all up again. It'll make me late."

A knock sounded on the suite door and Amie ran to answer it. Saige dotted her eyes with a tissue as she heard Amie open the door and greet Logan.

"Hi, Mommy is in the bathroom making sure she doesn't mess up her make up. She's looking real pretty so make sure you tell her."

"Amie," Saige said wanting to stifle that line of conversation as she stepped into the living room. "Hi."

"Hi."

Now there was an awkward silence. Amie looked back and forth between the adults. "You gonna say anything else?"

It broke the tension. Saige and Logan laughed.

"Let's get you over to Aunt Kayla and Uncle Ryan. I'm hungry and you, little girl, are keeping me from heading out to my supper." Saige ruffled her daughter's hair and the trio went through the door connecting the one and two bedroom condo units.

As always the evening was lovely as Saige and Logan walked to the marina. They stopped at the guest services desk for Tranquility Bay chatting for a moment with the attendant. As they left Logan took hold of Saige's hand. It felt odd, holding the hand of an adult, one who was not her husband. Odd, but nice.

The fact that they would part in little over a week made it sweet rather than pressured. Saige relaxed, simply enjoying the warm air and the sounds of the night.

"Hear the peepers?" she asked. "They are tree frogs. I think it's such a welcoming sound."

Logan swung their hands a bit. "It is to me too. I've heard some tourists say they are too loud but I think of it as God's music."

"What a beautiful thought." Saige smiled at him, then embarrassed, look down.

The walk was short, only about five minutes, and soon they were being seated at a table next to the railing overlooking the water of the marina. A saxophone player was in the corner entertaining with soft music.

"This is lovely. We haven't been on this side of the harbor. Just to the grocery store. I doubt the kids would enjoy the 'slow food'. They're more at a fast food time of life." Saige sipped her water.

Logan laughed. "I can understand that. A little too much energy to sit and wait very long."

The waiter came then and took their orders.

"So, where do you live when you aren't boat sitting?" Saige asked.

"I have an apartment in Cincinnati. I'm not there much. My work takes me all over. I do consulting, IT efficiency. My apartment's more a place to keep my stuff. I come here a couple or three of times a year also, staying on the yacht for Andres and Corinne. It's a pretty sweet gig. I can do work from here if I don't need to be on site."

"It's a tough life you've got there, Logan." Saige chuckled.

"Somebody's got to make the sacrifice. We all have our crosses to bear and this island seems to be mine."

They both laughed. Their food arrived and they were silent for a while as they ate. Then the conversation picked up and they compared their lives and experiences. Saige marveled at how easy Logan was to talk to. How their values and views on the world and especially God were so alike. Time slipped by and soon they shared dessert then rose to head back to the resort.

Logan took her hand again as they walked. It was just late enough that the children would all be in bed. Maybe he'd stay for a while and visit with Ryan and Kayla. Saige didn't want the evening to end. It had been wonderful just being an adult. Not having to be a mom. And a single mom at that.

No, Saige thought. I'm not going down that road again. This is what my life is and even though I don't have Nolan anymore I have Jesus. For now, he's my husband. I'm not alone.

"You're quiet." Logan's softly spoken words broke into her thought.

Saige sighed. "Having to take my thoughts captive to Christ. One of those bad ones came in. I'm pushing it away." She lifted her free hand and made a shoving motion.

"That's good. That movement. Such a great visual of forcing the thought out of your mind. I'll have to remember that." He squeezed her hand.

"It is isn't it? I never thought of it before. I do visualize it in my head when I realize I need to take control of my thoughts."

"Just so long as you don't push me away. I'm really enjoying our time."

"Me too." Saige hoped he'd say something like he didn't want it to end, or that he'd like to keep in contact. Or did she? It really didn't matter since he didn't say anything.


CHAPTER 6


Logan wasn't looking forward to the end of the week. Saturday was looming. When it came it would bring emptiness with it. The Garner and Ennis families would be leaving.

He'd spent at least part of every day with them as well as several evenings. He and Saige had gone out on two more dates and they'd gotten to know each other better. He knew they'd planned to simply use the time to ease themselves back into the idea of dating but, at least for him, it had turned into something more.

Logan really liked Saige. Maybe more than really liked. She was everything he'd thought he'd had in Deirdre, funny, sweet, caring. It didn't hurt that she was pretty hot either. She was also a great mother. He'd only known her for about two weeks but she seemed to just fit him.

But, and it was a pretty big but, he'd kept her from committing suicide. How stable was she now? Saige seemed better. She seemed to be dealing more productively with her grief. She talked to him about her late husband. Told him about the man's strengths and, surprisingly, she also talked about his weaknesses. That surprised Logan. He'd thought Saige would look back on the man she had loved so deeply and remember only how wonderful he was. Instead her reflections had shown a regular guy. Someone Logan might have been able to be friends with.

He took the stairs to the second floor suites and knocked on the door of the two-bedroom. He could hear the children inside playing. The door opened and Ryan let him in.

"You sure you want to do this? They're pretty wild today." They'd rented a van and were going into St. John's for a few hours. Saige and Kayla wanted to do some shopping and get each of the children something as a souvenir. Then they planned on having fish and chips at the English double decker bus turned into a restaurant on the way back to the resort.

"You're experienced. I'll lean on you for help." Logan grinned. He liked Ryan and Kayla, too. Both families were Christ centered and seemed to enjoy having him included in their activities. The children did too. Tyce and Amie gravitated to him for rougher type of play, probably missing it. Ryan did his best but he was spread pretty thin between his three and Saige's two.

The twins even took instruction from him. Even gentle rebukes. One day Tyce had shoved his sister down in the sand when Saige's attention was elsewhere. Logan had picked the crying Amie up and given Tyce a harsh look. Immediately the boy had come and apologized to his sister. Logan didn't know if Tyce was truly sorry but at least he'd said he was.

Saige came into the suite from hers in a red floral sundress that hugged her upper curves then flared to end just below her knees. A large brimmed hat that would shade her eyes was held in her hand. Amie came in after her dressed in a matching outfit.

"Very pretty, ladies," Logan said. "Is Tyce dressed the same." He'd seen the boy coming down the hall in a yellow t-shirt and denim shorts from the corner of his eye.

There was a snort. "Naw. I don't do dresses, but I conordirate. See. My shirt's yellow and they have yellow flowers."

Logan nodded wiping his fingers along his lips to keep from laughing at the mangled word.

Soon they had piled into the van, managing to find enough seats and seat belts for everyone. There was only one booster seat, for Eli, and the other children complained that they couldn't see out well.

Logan drove since he knew how to drive on the 'wrong side' of the road. He took a detour onto a back road and found what he was hoping to. Pigmy goats wandering free. He stopped the van and they all piled out. He'd gotten some carrots at the grocery and the children were soon feeding and petting the friendly animals.

"Free petting zoo," Logan said as he and Saige watched. Ryan was taking photos with his cell phone while Kayla kept Eli from squeezing a goat too hard.

"Not quite free," Saige said. "You bought the carrots."

"Small price for the fun and if we hadn't found any goats we could eat the carrots."

"True."

~~~~~

Saige lay in bed, the king size bed, alone later that night. She was not looking forward to going home. The vacation which had started out with her so hopeless had turned into something fun and full of hopes for the future. With their days dwindling her thoughts were becoming much harder to keep captive. Saige really liked Logan. The prospect of losing touch with him, of his leaving her life, threatened to take her back toward that dark depression she had only recently escaped.

Rather than succumb to the depths of despair Saige turned on the bedside light and opened the Bible on her iPad. She needed to fill her mind with something other than her depressing thoughts. She read and then prayed until she fell asleep. In the morning she felt better and decided she needed to talk about her feelings before they escalated out of control.

After everyone had eaten breakfast Saige asked Kayla if they could take a walk and have Ryan watch the children play on the beach. She noticed the couple exchange glances understanding their concern.

Once they had the kids digging a big hole in the sand with Ryan helping, Saige and Kayla walked away. They were silent for several minutes, then Saige said, "I'm struggling again. I promised I'd talk to you or Ryan so I'm letting you know. I'm not looking forward to leaving. It's been so wonderful since Logan found me."

"That's a cleaned up way of saying it." Kayla's tone was flat.

"Yeah, it is. I don't really want to remember that I tried to kill myself. It makes me ashamed."

"I understand, but that's not really healthy. Do you think?"

"Probably not." Saige didn't know what to say next. She really didn't want to talk about her suicide attempt. "I'm going to find a new counselor. I don't think I'm making any progress with the one I'm going to now. I plan to ask Pastor who he'd recommend."

"Good idea."

They walked along the beach silently for a while.

"Anything else you wanted to talk about?" Kayla asked.

"I hate the thought of leaving and especially of losing touch with Logan. I really like him. I know we agreed we would just have a vacation relationship but I don't want to just end it."

"Why?"

Saige was surprised at the question. She thought Kayla would either encourage her to keep in touch with Logan or just forget about him. She thought about it. Why indeed?

"Well, he's sweet and caring, likes the twins, generous, funny, helpful, a bit clueless where kids are concerned."

Kayla chuckled and nodded. "Yeah, thinking Eli wears shoes so he should be able to tie them. He's two, he can barely get them on himself."

Saige laughed. Then she stopped walking and looked out over the bay. "I got really down last night. I could see it happening so I got into the Word and prayed. It helped."

"Hence our walk now."

"Yes. So, what do you think I should do... Besides get a better counselor back home?"

"Why don't you talk to Logan? Maybe he wants to keep in touch too but doesn't think you want to. You'll not know unless you talk about it."

"I suppose. What if he doesn't want to?"

"Then you'll know it's not in God's plan. Pray that whichever way God wants the relationship to go it's very clear to you both. Explore for a future or part ways."

"Good idea. Let's go back. We only have today and part of tomorrow. I think it's time to play in the sand and water."

~~~~~

Logan was with Ryan and the children when they arrived back where they had set up a beach umbrella and chaise lounges. Saige and Kayla were strutting their stuff as they approached. They flopped down on the chairs and began to laugh.

"What's up?" Ryan asked as he sat on the end of the chaise Kayla occupied.

"We, old matrons that we are, just got hit on by a couple of young hunks," Kayla said.

"We were just walking along minding our own business and these two guys join us and begin chatting. They asked how two beautiful women were walking without male escorts and that they'd be pleased to see us safely to our destination."

"I lifted my left hand and flashed my rings at the guy next to me and said that I was sure my husband would appreciate their concern for our security."

"They prettily begged our pardon and headed toward some sweet young things in bikinis lying on towels."

Saige and Kayla broke up laughing.

"What do you suppose they would have said if we told them about the five children we have between us?" Saige asked.

"They probably would have run away instead of walked," Ryan said.

"I don't know about that." Logan sat on the end of Saige's chair. "I like those five children very much."

That earned him broad smiles from both ladies.

Those five children were busy hauling buckets full of water up the beach trying to fill the hole they had dug. Just about as fast the water was draining down into the sand.

Kayla sniffed as Eli dashed past. "Uh oh. Diaper duty. Come on, kid. Back to the unit. Can you guys watch the rest while Ryan and I make this little one smell better?"

"Sure, go on." Saige waved a hand.

Ryan, Kayla and Eli walked away after giving instructions to their other two children to mind Aunt Saige. Logan moved to the chaise Kayla had vacated. Saige kept an eye on the four, who were trying desperately to fill their hole with water, glancing at him off and on.

"We leave and head back to the frozen north land tomorrow. I'm not really looking forward to it," she said.

"I'm not looking forward to you leaving either. I'm going to miss you all."

Saige bit her lip. "I'm going to miss you especially. I've enjoyed our time together. Really enjoyed it."

"Me too."

They sat and watched the kids run back and forth to the waterline.

"I'd really like to keep in touch." They both said at the same time then chuckled.

"I guess that's God's answer," Saige said.

"What?"

"Kayla and I were talking. I told her I hated the thought of losing touch with you. She said to tell you and to pray about it and ask God to let me know clearly whether to or not. I think God let me know pretty clearly that we could continue to communicate. What do you think?"

"Seemed pretty clear to me. I'm glad. I've been praying the same thing."

Something released within Saige. A pressure she hadn't even realized was there. She really did like Logan. He seemed so steady, responsible, funny, fun.

He jumped up from his chair and grabbed her hand pulling her to her feet. "Come on. It's time to get those kids wet." He took off running and grabbed the twins, one under each arm and carried them into the water.

Saige drew off her coverup and followed grabbing Brielle and Jordan by the wrist. "Last one in's a rotten egg."


CHAPTER 7


Logan joined them for supper that evening. They all ate at a restaurant on the marina. He was hoping to be able to have some private time with Saige. Kayla had told him about Saige being down about them leaving. He had told her to be sure to contact him if she saw her sister descending into major depression.

Logan really was attracted to Saige. He was concerned about her. She was still grieving for her husband and that made him anxious about having a future with her. She was the first woman since Deirdre who he was at all interested in. He wanted to get to know her better, her children, too. He knew he needed to proceed with caution. She needed to heal before they could develop their relationship further.

Once there was as much food on the floor of the restaurant as had gotten into the children's stomachs Ryan and Kayla took them to the grocery store to get each of them one of the homemade cookies they sold. Logan took Saige's hand and headed off in the opposite direction.

"Hey, I need to go with them."

"It's okay. I asked Kayla if I could walk you back alone. We won't have time to talk tomorrow." Logan smiled a mischievous smile. "Don't worry. We'll stop at the store and get you a cookie before they close."

Saige snorted and smacked him lightly on the arm. "I'll hold you to that."

They walked to the boardwalk and Logan led her to a bench. They sat looking at the yachts. A pelican floated by then took off running across the water.

"Saige, you know I'm really attracted to you. I want to keep getting to know you and the twins better. I want to be a part of your lives and see if we develop into something more than friends. To do that I need you to be open with me.

"How we met... well, it can't be ignored. I know you've had a great loss. Much greater than mine with Deirdre. I'm hoping you will get some counseling when you get home. I'm hoping you'll let me know if, when you get down. Know you can contact me anytime. I want you to. I care about you. I really want you to heal from your hurt. Even if our relationship doesn't progress, I want that for you." Logan turned and looked at Saige. She was looking at him. Tears were slipping down her face.

"Ah, sweetheart, don't cry. I'm not trying to brush you off. I want to talk, video chat, with you often. It would be daily if I could manage it, but that won't be possible. I'll be in Dubai next month and then Florida and Ecuador. My schedule after that is pretty tentative right now. I'm not sure when I'll have time off to come to Illinois."

He watched as she brushed the tears from her cheeks, then took a deep breath, hoping he could make himself clear without making her doubt or place too much pressure on her. He slipped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her against his side.

"I think God has planned it this way. This year is an extremely busy one for me going forward. I had these few relaxed weeks and now I start running from place to place. I'll rack up a lot of frequent flyer miles and cross a lot of time zones.

"This will give you time to heal. Focus on that. We'll email and video chat as often as possible. I want to be sure to chat with Tyce and Amie a lot, too. They are important to me. Nearly as important as you. You are a package deal, you know. I just want you to be able to face the future. That future may include me. If not, I still want that for you. That you can raise Tyce and Amie to be God-fearing healthy functioning adults and have fun along the way."


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