Julie had trust issues from a previous romance. Therefore, when she met the new church counselor, romance was the last thing on her mind. Yet, something about him captivated her. He was gentle and fun loving, patient, and had a good sense of humor. And, he was a widower with a young daughter who tugged at Julie's maternal instincts. He seemed to be a good father and a devoted believer. In spite of herself, Julie was falling in love. She never imagined that a crisis would arise and that all the traits she loved might drive a wedge between them. Could he be trusted or would he break her heart?
“Mr. Riley, I don't think you've met my sister-in-law, Julie Price. Can you believe she teaches four-year olds every Sunday even though she's single and doesn't have any kids of her own?”
Julie fought the urge to elbow Gina for her un-requested offering of information. Yet, as the counselor engulfed her hand in his warm grip, she had to fight the urge to like him.
She didn't want to like him. She didn't even want to talk to him. And yet, when he released her hand, she felt an odd twinge of disappointment.
“I'm not much for formalities. You can call me Dave. And you, Julie, must be a remarkable person to be so unselfish with your time.”
She forced her face into a mask of impersonal friendliness. “Thank you. Gina tells me you're a counselor, and you're going to office at the church.”
He nodded. “That's true. I had a practice in a small town, but when my wife died, the memories were too painful to stay. I'm hoping this will be a new beginning for Erica and me.”