Chapter 5

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Gary's heart rate picks up for a reason he himself isn't sure of. As if not connected to his thoughts his legs begin to move faster carrying him towards the drivers door. He jerks it open and as he does it is like he jerks his mind back to reality. "Brooke, hey, Brooke it's me Gary. Can you hear me?"

Slowly and with a groan her head lifts and she looks at him through narrowed slits. "Gary?"

Her voice with hoarse, but he still beams a smile. "Yeah. Can you move your toes? How bad does your head hurt?"

Looking down at her feet she wiggles her toes and then looks back at him squatting beside her car. "Yes I can move them. My head doesn't hurt bad. What happened to the deer?"

"Okay good you remember what happened. He is in front of your car. Come on I'll take you home," he says as he stands and extends his hand out to her. Intensely, his gaze watches every move she makes as he places on leg and then the other out of the car and starts to stand up. He keeps ahold of her hand while she walks around to the passenger side door that he quickly opens for her.

"Thank you," she says with a smile as he closes her door.

Once he is around and in the other side of the cab he nods. "No problem."

She sighs. "I have no idea what I would have done if you hadn't come along. With Jeremiah out of town this weekend I don't have many people to call."

He feels his heart sink for some odd reason at the mention of another male in her life. Getting his emotions under control he nods. "Well you can call me anytime you are in trouble. I'm sure I'll be around."

"Thank you, again."

Nodding he forces a smile. Maybe, his evening isn't going as planned, but it would have been a lot better without feeling like he is taking a boyfriends place for the evening. That's just not who Gary Maxwell is. It doesn't matter who it is if the girl is in a relationship you don't mess with her at all. On the other side of the situation, Gary Maxwell doesn't just leave people in trouble, especially people he and his family know.

Brooke quietly gives him directions to her house while watching the inward battle he is obviously having. Every now and again he will shake his head and mumble something to himself. "Right here," she says pointing to the house she calls home.

He hops out before she can and jogs around to open her door for her. "I'm sorry about what happened. When it get's light in the morning I'll bring your car over here."

She smiles at his generosity and shakes her head. "Oh no, don't worry about it. Tomorrow is Sunday, you should be at church."

"Oh I will be."

Happily she nods. "Thank you for helping me out."

"No problem. I hope your boyfriend gets back safely."

The words almost make her burst out in an obnoxious laugh, but she catches herself before she completely embarrasses herself. "Boyfriend? I'm not sure what gave you that idea, but I don't have a boyfriend."

Gary's eyebrows knit together furiously. "You said Jeremiah was out of town. I guess I just thought he was your boyfriend."

She laughs. "Oh no, that's my bad. Jeremiah is my older brother." Studying him a moment she cocks her head to one side and smiles. "Would you like to come in for a glass of tea? I mean I own you one after all your help."

With a smile on his face he lets his gaze settle on her for a moment. Her gaze is curious and hopeful staring back at him, but her eyes hold tiredness. Suddenly a twinge of protectiveness comes over him. Even though she does live in town is it safe for her to be here all alone? It isn't like this is the most protected town in Texas. Far from it. "Alright," he says with a nod. "I'll come in for a bit."

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