When Love Comes Back (When the Mission Ends Book 5)

By: Christi Snow

Dedication:

This book is dedicated to the real Felicia.

Yes, there is a real Felicia.

She inspires me daily by her love and devotion to animals and is why when it came time to create a fictional veterinarian, I knew what her name had to be.

Back then, I had no idea that my fictional Felicia would get her own story.

But someone who’s so devoted to animals makes for a kickass, sexy heroine and I couldn’t resist.

But rest assured, the real Felicia is her own person. Other than her love for animals, fictional Felicia is entirely made up from my imagination.





Chapter One




Life was good.

Felicia Parks smiled to herself as she reached into the large cage in the back of the vet office to scratch behind the ears of the momma cat, happily nursing her five, week-old kittens all nestled in a pile on her belly. “You’re such a good momma.”

The big, mottled, brown tortie erupted with loud purrs at Felicia’s words.

Her smile widened. This was quite a change in attitude for the stray who’d been brought into the clinic two weeks ago. Back then, the cat would hiss and scratch, leaving her hands and arms bloody.

Her cell phone, tucked into the back pocket of her scrubs, vibrated. She pulled it out, grinning even wider at the name on the screen. She answered, “You’re not calling to cancel, are you?”

“No way in hell,” Steven’s low voice growled. “I have big plans for you tonight.” His sexy tone sent shivers down her spine. “I just wanted to call and make sure there hadn’t been any emergencies today at the clinic to prevent us from going out.”

She closed and locked the momma cat’s cage and did a cursory check of the rest of the clinic’s charges down the row of kennels. Everyone was calm and secure for the evening.

“No, it’s been a quiet day.” They’d been dating for just over six months, and Steven Hardesty had never once complained when she cancelled at the last minute, which happened way more often than she would have liked.

As a general rule, veterinary medicine was less demanding than other medical careers, but since Felicia ran the Valley View vet clinic as the sole veterinarian, emergencies had trumped her social life and had cost her more than one relationship.

Steven was different, though. He supported her and her conviction to her practice. Her stomach erupted with tiny butterflies at what that meant for them. She was forty-two years old. Had she finally found The One? Only time would tell, but after six months, she was beginning to think so.

“Good.” He sounded relieved. “See? Fate is on my side tonight. It’s meant to be.”

Her heart clutched at that word. Fate. She didn’t believe in fate. Not anymore.

But she wasn’t going to think about her history with that word tonight, not when he had been acting so mysterious about this night for weeks.

It’s meant to be. Another flurry of butterflies took off in her stomach as she contemplated what exactly he could mean by that.

“You haven’t had any more trouble, have you?” he asked.

“No. Everything’s fine. I’m sure it was just some kids out pranking.” Two nights before, someone had let all the air out of the tires on her truck. Annoying, but minor in the grand scheme of life.

She glanced at the clock on the wall. “I’d ask for more details about tonight, but you’re going to be here in forty-five minutes, and I’m in danger of running late if we don’t get off the phone, so you get a reprieve...temporarily.”

He chuckled low. “It doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t tell you, anyway. Tonight’s special, and part of that is the anticipation. I’ll be there at six. I can’t wait to see you, gorgeous.”

“I can’t wait, either. See you in a little bit, Steven.” She grabbed her purse off the desk in her office, flipped off the clinic lights, and let herself out of the back door.

At times, she wondered about her choice to live in the small, adobe house behind the clinic just because it made her too readily available to work at any time. But on nights like this when she just had to cross the parking lot and go a few feet up the stone path to her home, it was a relief.

She had forty-five minutes to transform from her ponytail and fur-covered scrubs into a femme fatale sex goddess for their evening out.