The sound of paws and yipping echoed through the house as the wrinkly little tan and white dog came barreling down the hardwood floored hallway. The puppy immediately started barking at the newcomer, causing Bella to step backwards in fright. Emmett crouched down and scooped up the small dog, cooing lovingly while scratching his head.
"Who's my good boy? Huh?"
"I swear, son, you treat that damn dog better than your old man," a deep, gravelly voice called from the next room.
Bella's eyes widened slightly and her heart began to pound furiously. Emmett smiled and nudged her forward. She walked slowly towards the living room until the imposing visage of Robert McCarty came into view. Even though he was sitting in his beloved recliner, you could still tell that he was a big man. Six feet five and built like a lumberjack, Mac had always been an imposing figure. She could see that his dark hair was now peppered with gray and his face was a bit more haggard with age, but still ruggedly handsome.
"What are you doing here at this time of-" Mac's words were dropped from his mouth when he looked over and saw the girl standing in the doorway.
Her fingers nervously played with the pockets of her sweatshirt and she hesitantly pulled her hood back, revealing an old and worn Mariners ball cap. Recognition and an ache for his deceased best friend hit him like a punch in the gut. He stood slowly, as if the girl would dart away at any moment.
*A special thank you to Lolypop82 for the awesome manip of our Rockella!*