Heaven can be found among the stars.
Settling into her new life in Oregon, Lana faces more potential dangers while a newcomer to the vineyard sends her life in a new direction. Her bond with Lian is increasing as are her feelings for him, but will it be enough or will someone from her past shove a wedge between them?
Reader Advisory: This book is best read in sequence as part of a serial.
General Release Date: 18th April 2014
Lian crossed his arms, staring at the woven basket resting upon his oak table and frowning at the contents. “There was nothing accompanying this”—he waved a hand—“delivery? At all?” I really don’t need to be dealing with this right now. What is the purpose of this being dropped in my lap?
“No, sir, Mr Yang. Two of the vineyard workers found it out by the south end.”
He scowled further and bent in closer. A baby. Who would leave a baby in a field? Had whoever abandoned him seen the workers? The infant chose that moment to open his eyes. His face scrunched up and he emitted an ear-piercing wail, one someone his size shouldn’t be able to make. Babies always surprised him with what they could do, though, and what they could survive. Yes, they were fragile—however they were also incredibly resilient. So while he knew he shouldn’t be taken aback, there would never fail to be a small part of him that found these little beings to be so completely full of amazement.
“What’s his problem?” His ears rang. “Is he hurt?”
“I believe he wants to be held, Mr Yang.” The statement was delivered deadpan.
“Don’t suppose that’s something you’d care to do, is it, Maxwell?”
Lian sent him a knowing grin. He’d not truly expected the man to do so. Exhaling sharply, he wiped his hands off on his pants prior to carefully lifting the baby free. His fingers found out the truth in seconds. He’s wet. “We need some cloths for a diaper, Maxwell. As quick as possible.”
“Right away, sir.”
It had been years since he’d been around a baby, longer since he’d cared for one. The child kept up a steady stream of cries, his pale face becoming a mottled red.
“Easy, little man. We’ll have you fixed up in no time.” He reached into the basket and frowned. Also wet.
“Here we go, sir.” Maxwell came back with a tray of items.
“Thank you. Spread a towel out and—” He shook his head. “Nope, change of plans. Come with me and bring all that along.”
In the bathroom, he pulled out the trash can where he tossed all the—albeit few—ruined, soiled pieces of clothing the baby wore. Once done, he knelt before the tub and adjusted the water before spraying him off.
The crying stopped and happy, gurgling noises came from him. With care, Lian bathed him then wrapped him in the large towel Maxwell handed him. The boy’s laughter turned to soft coos as he blew bubbles and stared at him with light blue eyes.
Who let you go, baby boy? Laying him on the bathroom counter, Lian then quickly diapered him, grateful the knowledge hadn’t stayed gone given the number of years it had been, and secured the pins on the side. Changing the towel for a warm, dry one, he then covered the infant up and placed him in the crook of his arm.
“I’ll take care of this, sir.”
“Thank you, Maxwell. I will see what I can find him to eat.”
“Would you like me to get some formula and bottles, sir?”
“Good idea, Maxwell. Can’t really fix him a sandwich to munch on.”
“I will go immediately after I finish here.”
“Thank you.” Lian left the bathroom, eyes on the baby. “What am I going to do with you, little one?” His plans surely didn’t include a child.
With a small yawn, the baby smacked his lips and tiny babbling noises escaped along with some bubbles. Lian nuzzled him as he went to his office and sat behind his desk.
He stared at his phone before reaching for a phonebook and thumbing through the pages until he found the number he was looking for. Then he drummed his fingers along the desk blotter and weighed his options.
Word Count: 10,054
Book Length: SHORT STORY
USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR
Aliyah Burke is an avid reader and is never far from pen and paper (or the computer). She is happily married to a career military man. They are owned by six Borzoi. She spends her days at the day job, writing, and working with her dogs. She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached here. She can also be found on Facebook or Twitter: @AliyahBurke96. And Pinterest.
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