Protecting Peyton (Eagle River Response #2) Read Online Amber Kuhlman

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors: Series: Eagle River Response Series by Amber Kuhlman

Total pages in book: 153
Estimated words: 142767 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 714(@200wpm)___ 571(@250wpm)___ 476(@300wpm)

When I was about to marry my dream girl, my life crashed around me. After my firefighter father was killed in the line of duty, I had to step up and care for my widowed mother. The devastation she suffered made me realize I would never put my fiancee, Peyton, through that. As a firefighter, I am constantly in danger. Due to my calling, I had to end my engagement with Peyton.
When I was injured on the job, I discovered that my physical therapist was none other than Peyton, the girl who stole my heart years ago.

I didn’t think I’d ever see him again. Even though I want to help Korbin get better, I’m terrified of what he might do to me. He once broke my heart. Am I willing to risk it happening again?
As much as I want to be with him, I also know I need someone who is stable and doesn’t play games. However, despite my rational mind, my treacherous heart takes over and I fall into his arms once again.
Aside from my worries about our uncertain future, I learn Korbin has a stalker who won’t stop harassing him.
Can we succeed despite all the odds against us? Or will our second chance at love burn to the ground?



It was raining on Sunday afternoon, the day of Oscar Butler’s funeral. It constantly rained in Washington, but today it merely felt as though God was mocking us and nothing more.

I held Korbin’s hand in mine as the preacher spoke on the podium in front of the open casket. On the other side of Korbin, his mother, Nina, sobbed into her son’s free arm. In the years I’d known this family, never had I seen them torn apart like this.

“Are you okay?” I whispered, leaning over to brush my lips against Korbin’s ear. He nodded, squeezing my hand, but I knew he couldn’t possibly be okay. His own father had died; killed in the line of duty, leaving Nina a widow and he and his siblings fatherless. He hadn’t said much since we’d received the news, and that worried me. I had no idea what was going on inside his head.

Glancing down at the glistening diamond ring on my finger, I clenched my knuckle. I forced myself to focus on the words being said in memory of Oscar Butler … husband, father, and one of the best firefighters Denver had seen in the last fifty years. Oscar was a man of deep intelligence and fearlessness. A hero to his children, a soulmate to his wife, and my future father-in-law.

But not anymore. Not now.

“It’ll be okay,” I whispered to Korbin. “I promise.”

But it wouldn’t be okay. Not anymore. And somehow, both of us knew that.

Most of our small-town neighborhood showed up to my father’s wake, and while we were grateful for their support, it felt all-consuming and suffocating, nonetheless.

“He was an excellent firefighter.” Daxton Chambers, and old friend of my father’s, reached out his hand to shake mine. He was smiling, but under that smile was true sadness. Tears even brimmed the man’s eyes.

“Thanks,” I said. “He was an excellent husband and father, too.”

“Of course,” Daxton said. “How is your mother holding up, Korbin?”

I resisted the urge to look over in the direction of my mother, who was still scurrying around the house, refilling drinks, serving refreshments, and making small talk with every guest who had appeared. But that wasn’t my mother. It never had been. Multiple times my brother Ian and my little sister Isabella had tried to slow her down, begging her to sit for a moment and catch her breath.

“As well as can be expected,” I told Daxton with a forced smile. Peyton stepped beside me then, taking my arm in hers, a silent comfort she always managed to provide.

“How are you holding up?” she murmured to me as Dax shook my hand again and turned away to rejoin the wake. I chuckled humorlessly and shook my head, turning in Peyton’s direction to pull her into me, relishing in the sensation of her warm body against my own.

“This sucks,” I told her honestly, brushing some loose strands of hair behind her ear. “It really does.”

“You can be sad,” she said softly, reaching up to touch the stubble on my cheek. “You can cry, too, you know.”

“I don’t cry,” I teased, but the humor in my tone fell short, and I abandoned the façade and buried my head in Peyton’s neck instead, refusing the tears I could feel threatening to spill over.

“It’s okay,” Peyton whispered, holding me so tightly that I never wanted her to let go. “You’ll get through this. Everyone will get through this.”

I didn’t know if I was ready to believe her. It was still so fresh, so raw. Less than a week ago, my father had been alive and well, doting on my mother after work, helping me train for the firefighter exam, teasing Peyton about how soon we’d be having grandchildren for him—and now, nothing. Not anymore, not ever again.