Finding a Hart

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Chapter 10

Stephanie

“How are my little monsters?” I asked as I dropped to my knees and hugged them both. Stella immediately held out her hand to show me the Band-Aid on her wrist.

“Stephy. Look.”

I inspected the princess bandage with wide, exaggerated eyes. “What happened to you?”

“I falled.” Stella looked just like her mom, especially when she made that serious face. Her golden blonde hair was shoulder-length and her blue eyes were round on her little face.

Her brother scoffed, looking more like his dad. He had the Gibson hair but his brown eyes were all Sinclair. His personality mirrored his mother’s, though- kindhearted and serious. “There’s not even a mark. Mommy says she’s a ’rama queen.”

I grinned at him and shrugged my shoulders. “Drama queens run in the family, Tanner. Be glad your mommy is giving you a brother rather than another sister.”

After pressing kisses to both my niece and nephew, I walked into the kitchen and gave my mom a quick hug. She turned and smiled before going back to the dough she was kneading.

“Hi, baby.”

“Hey, Mama.” I grabbed a glass out of the cupboard and opened the fridge. “How are you?”

“Good, good. Making some of your favorite- homemade tortillas. How was your week?”

I let out a wry chuckle and shook my head. “Busy. How was yours?”

She caught me up on everything that she and my father had done for the week before I asked if she needed help with anything. She shooed me out so I found my younger sister and her husband in the family room with my dad. I pressed a kiss to my father’s cheek before falling onto the couch so I could watch the football game on TV.

My brother in law, Eldon, didn’t even look at me and I didn’t bother greeting him. Eldon Sinclair was my least favorite of the in-laws. Katelin was twenty-four, two years younger than I was, and Eldon had almost seven on me. The age gap didn’t bother me but Eldon acted like a child and had rushed my sister into having babies because he didn’t want to be too old when they were born. Tanner had arrived when she’d barely turned nineteen and she had turned into a baby making factory after that.

They had met right after she graduated high school and all of her plans had gone by the wayside. She didn’t go to college and ended up being a stay at home mother who relied completely on Eldon. I didn’t have a problem with staying home with her kids, but it was the way her husband had basically put her at his mercy for everything. The only friends she had were her siblings and he liked it that way.

I honestly wasn’t sure what she saw in him. He was okay looking, if you got past the crappy personality. He had a couple of inches on me, light-brown hair with matching eyes, and a decent build. There wasn’t a way to really describe him otherwise except the expression he always wore made him look like an idiot.

“How are you feeling, Kate?” I asked as I rubbed her swollen stomach.

My younger sister let out a long, exhausted sigh. “Tired. Five more weeks.”

I cuddled next to her for a little bit and we chatted quietly as Dad and Eldon stared at the TV. My other little sister, Briana, showed up with her husband not too long after. Briana had just turned twenty-three and she and Marco married the summer before after being together all through college. Bri and I, despite having four years between us, were incredibly close and she was the one I could spill my secrets to without judgment.

I loved her husband. He was a sweet guy and really cared about my sister. Plus, he was insanely handsome. Marco Romano was Italian through and through. He stood about six-feet tall and had hair so dark that it was almost black. His honey-brown eyes always looked kind and they went well with his olive colored skin. He was so good looking and it was only made better by his amazing personality.

The last person to arrive was our little brother, Austin. He had just turned twenty-one and was engaged to his girlfriend, Rhea, who wasn’t with him when he walked through the door. He did, however, have my eight-month-old niece, Lila, on his hip and I promptly took her out of his arms.

“Lila’s cutting teeth and has been kind of a nightmare lately,” Austin explained tiredly. “I told Rhea to stay home to try to get some sleep.”

The four of us all had the same golden blonde hair and same blue-gray eyes, like the Stepford children, but Kate, Austin, and I were all taller than our five-foot-four mother, Kate and I by four inches and Austin by eight. Bri, on the other hand, had the same short stature as our mother. She also had colorful streaks, purple ones at that moment, running through her chin-length hair in an attempt to be different.

We sat down at the huge dinner table and ate the enchilada casserole my mom had prepared. Everyone made small talk and I participated as much as possible. When Eldon started going on about how busy and important he was at the police station where he was a patrol officer, I couldn’t help rolling my eyes. When I looked up, Marco and Bri were both suppressing their laughter.

“Hey, Steph,” Austin said from where he was feeding Lila some rice at the end of the table. “Did you hear about that baby they found in the garbage?”

I nodded and swallowed the food in my mouth. “That’s my case.” I paused and shrugged my shoulders. “Actually, I’m the one who found him.”

“Really?” Bri asked with her eyebrows furrowed. “They’re saying he would have died with how cold it got overnight.”

“Yeah. I’ve thought about that a lot,” I admitted with a shake of my head.

Marco gave me a sympathetic smile. “How is he?”

“He’s really good.” I couldn’t help the smile that stretched across my lips. “He’s super sweet, too. We’re releasing some information later this week to see if we

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