This picks up right after Unchained Hart: A Long Lonely Time if you haven't read that you will be confused so I am adding the last paragraph from that story below. If you haven't read A Long Lonely Time or Wait For Me go read both of them before you read this or it will not make sense to you. This is the third story in the UnChained Hart Trilogy. The first is: A Long Lonely Time, Second is: Wait For Me, Third and final is: I'm Coming Home .
A Long Lonely Time
Not caring the letter was not her's Zoe tore the envelope opened and what was inside that letter it changed everything. She must have read it and reread it a dozen times not wanting one word to change. Tears where running down her face. This changed everything her life was never going to be the same again. And perhaps her loneliness was finally over.
At the bottom of the letter instead of signing his name Wade had ended with
We are patiently waiting for Zoe, Love Wade and Jack.
For not only did Wade's letter content paper but it always had a picture in it one Zoe never wanted to let out of her sight. The picture had a smiling face of a baby boy who looked to be over a year old. He looked just like Wade Kinsella only his eyes were the same shade as hers.
Zoe Hart guessed the baby's name had to be Jack, Wade's letter had been filled with pleads to her Mother asking about how Zoe was doing and if she had awaken yet. That Jack needed his Mother, that part had almost caused Zoe to have a heart attack. The longing she felt as she looked at the picture of who she now knew was her son caused a ache like no other.
How could Candice Hart the woman she had called Mother for all her 30 some years of life have kept this from her? How could her Mother see her crying because of her lost baby and, not tell her that he was alive and well living with his Father in BlueBell Alabama?
None of that matter though all that did was getting to Jack at all cost. Zoe would deal with her Mother later, she had to get to BlueBell and to her baby. Making sure to take the letter with her Zoe ran from her Mother's office to her bedroom. She found a suitcase in the bottom of her closet filling it up with the clothes that fit her best with her thinner frame. She was packed in under ten minutes. She needed to get to the airport on the first flight out going towards Mobile.
There was a knock on her door "Dr. Hart" the Maid said "your friend Jess has call my phone asking to talk to you"
Zoe opened the door said a fast "thank you" and took the phone. "Jess I need a favor can you book me a flight out of JFK to Mobile Alabama?"
"Why what's going on?" Jess asked worry in her voice.
"My Mom hid from me that Jack is alive" Zoe said not caring the Maid was standing there listening to her every word.
"Who's Jack?" Jess asked as she got into the elevator "I'm coming up to your floor now."
"Jack is my baby" Zoe answered leaving her room with her suitcase in one hand the cell phone in the other. She was headed for the elevator to meet Jess. She didn't know why Jess was here but right now she wasn't going to question it she needed the other woman's help too much.
"Baby?" Jess squeaked out not understanding, just as the elevator doors opened and there stood Zoe with the phone in hand and a suitcase by her feet.
Zoe pulled out a picture she had in her pants pocket letting it explain what she couldn't with words. What was just so unbelievable to her. That her Mother would hide this from her. Hide her son from Zoe she would never in a million years understand that. How she would have worked all the harder at physical therapy if she knew she had a son to come home to when it was over. But there laid the problem didn't it, Candice Hart had no intention of ever letting Zoe know of her son because she didn't want Zoe to ever go back to BlueBell Alabama, to go back to Wade Kinsella.
Jess mouth dropped open the picture was one of a baby with Zoe's eye color, and Zoe had said her baby was named Jack and he was alive. Baby Jack looked nothing like Zoe other then they eyes. "Are you sure he's yours he looks nothing like you?"
"Yes I'm sure he looks just like Wade, with my eyes" Zoe supplied as she pushed the down bottom for the elevator wanting to get out of her Mother's apartment as soon as possible.
The Maid had followed Zoe, seeing this Zoe returned her phone to her. "Tell my Mother I've gone out. Please don't tell her I found Wade's letter."
The Maid nodded her head she had seen in the past year many of those letters and now knew what was inside them she would keep Zoe's secret for her. Mrs. Hart should not have kept something so important from her daughter.
"Thank You" Zoe said as she and Jess entered the elevator as the doors closed Zoe let out a breathe. There was so much she had to get done so she could get to JFK and get a flight out. She was glad she had Jess with her so she didn't have to do everything alone.
"I was just coming to see if you wanted to go shopping with me" Jess said not knowing how to start the conversation about how Zoe's Mother had been lying to her for the past seven months. "But I see instead we need to get you to the airport"
Zoe smiled at her friend "Yes to the airport I got my handbag and driver's license, plus my Mom has kept my credit cards paid up so I can use them to get a plane ticket."
"You need to get a cell phone" Jess said as the pair exited the apartment building "in case you get lost and need to call for help"
"I don't have time to go to a cell phone store and get one setup" Zoe said knowing that Jess was right she did need a phone but she really did not have time right now to get one.
"Get a burner one then" Jess said at Zoe's puzzled look she laughed and said "I mean a prepaid one we can set it up on the taxi ride to the airport."
"Where can we get that at?" Zoe asked liking the idea of not having to wait at a cell store for one.
"I think there is a store that sells them on the corner up here, do you know which companies work in Alabama?" Jess asked knowing that having service in the City didn't mean it would work down south.
"Yes I remember what my old cell company was" Zoe said as they walked into the store and Jess took them to the counter asking the clerk where the prepaid phones where at. In under ten minutes they had a cheap smartphone brought along with a prepaid card for a month of service. Took another five minutes to hail a taxi and they where off to JFK.
Jess got to work getting the new phone out of the box and using her phone to get service connected for Zoe's. It took over twenty minutes but she finally got Zoe set up with a Alabama number and phone service making sure she had Zoe's new number.
Zoe just set back and let Jess handle the cell phone matter, her mind was elsewhere she was staring at the picture of her baby. He looked just like Wade, he even had the smirk down pat. He looked happy and healthy in the photo, Wade must be taking good care of him. Wade as a Father was something Zoe hadn't had a lot of time to think about. When they had been dating she hadn't really thought that far ahead. She had always thought one day she would be a mother but hadn't given it much thought of when it would happen.
Now that it had happened all Zoe wanted was to get to her little boy. They were waiting for her that's what Wade's letter said. She didn't have time right now to worry about just what Wade was waiting on her for. Because she had mourned the loss of a relationship with Wade the last few months, and she wasn't sure if she could just jump back into one now. Her feelings for Wade were gone now at least that's what she told herself. Right now all she could think about was Jack and getting to him, she knew what her feelings for him were.
Jess was just now getting in a taxi headed home it had taking over a hour after getting to JFK for Zoe to get a ticket for a flight going to Chicago from there one that went to Atlanta then on to Mobile. She had a long layover in Atlanta of two hours and a short one of only thirty minutes in Chicago hopefully just enough time to get to her other flight.
Jess had walked as far as they would let her with Zoe at JFK with a promise at their parting that Zoe would text her each time she changed planes and landed in Mobile. That didn't make her feel better though because Jess knew Zoe really shouldn't be alone right now. If only Zoe had someone to pick her up at the airport in Mobile she would feel better.
But the only number Jess had for anyone in Alabama was Zoe's ex which she had saved after Zoe's break down. Jess didn't think calling Wade was a good idea. But didn't Zoe say one of her friends had been the Mayor but she didn't know the name of the town he was the mayor of so that was out. As much as Jess wanted to help Zoe she knew she could not call anyone to pick her up hopefully she would be okay getting herself there.
Jess's phone beeped letting her know she had a text message 'Boarding now, thanks for all your help' Zoe had texted her. Saying a silent prayer for her Jess sent a reply of 'Let me know when you get to Chicago'
Zoe had barely made her connecting flight to Atlanta from Chicago she hoped her suitcase made the journey but didn't really care if it did or not. Just as long as she got to BlueBell herself by tonight. She had arrived in Atlanta and had two hours to kill before her connecting flight to Mobile so she decided to get something to eat she hadn't eaten since breakfast and it was almost five pm now. She had settle for a chef salad and a tea to drink she was to nervous to eat anything else until she had seen her baby. She dropped a text to Jess telling her she had gotten to Atlanta and was just waiting for her next flight. A few minutes after that she received one back from Jess asking her to text when she got in to Mobile. Zoe had responded she would and that had taken all of forty minutes.
Next Zoe found her gate for her next flight and set there waiting and thinking now we be a good time to try and book a rental car. So she took out her new phone and searched for rental car places in Mobile that would pick you up at the airport or were at the airport themselves. She was sure this would pass the time by quickly for her, but instead she just found herself in a nightmare all the places she called had no cars there was three different conventions going on in Mobile at the moment so all the cars had been rented.
Time had just started slipping away now she had less then twenty minutes until her flight left and no way to get to BlueBell she had checked for a Bus but they all had left already for the day on the route towards BlueBell. She had three choices she had to stay in Mobile a few days until there was a rental car available, or call the Mayor's office tomorrow and asks for Lavon seeing as she had forgotten his cell number. Her last choice was to call the only person in BlueBell who's number she had remembered that number was burned into her brain. It wasn't like she wouldn't have to see him anyway, as soon as she arrived in BlueBell she was going to be making a beeline for him.
Taking a deep breathe knowing this was crazy Zoe dialed Wade's number, on the fifth ring just as she was about to hang up he answered. "Who's this?"
She wanted to just hit end to the call so bad she was so afraid all of a sudden what if Wade wouldn't come get her? What if he didn't want her to see Jack? What if he had moved on even though he had stated in his letter he was waiting for her. But what if he was waiting for her? With that thought Zoe found the courage to answer "Wade it's me, Zoe.."