Return to Silver Creek: Riding Free - Book cover

Return to Silver Creek: Riding Free

Lizzy HM

Age Rating


In the heart of Silver Creek, where mountains hide secrets and shadows whisper, Noah—a former Delta Force operative with a sixth sense—tries to rebuild his life. Battling PTSD and haunted by his past, Noah finds peace with his loyal friend, Ghost, and the horses they train.

When Noah meets Rena, a fiercely independent woman with a troubled mare, he senses a kindred spirit. Rena, determined to guard her land and heart, reluctantly seeks Noah’s help with her traumatized horse, Dutchess. As Noah steps into her world, he uncovers layers of pain and resilience, forging a bond between them.

Together, with Ghost by their side, they work to heal Dutchess and set up a search and rescue group for the lost souls in the wilderness. As they confront their demons, Noah and Rena learn to trust again. But can they overcome their pasts to find hope in each other? Dive into their journey of healing, trust, and unexpected love.

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22 Chapters

Chapter 1


Chapter 2


Chapter 3


Chapter 4

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Noah took off his Stetson, running his fingers through his short black hair before putting the hat back on. He looked up, aware that he’d been procrastinating for too long and his mama would be furious if he didn’t get on with it.

He shook himself, realizing he was letting his PTSD dictate his thoughts. He didn’t enjoy meeting new people anymore. Truth be told, he never really did. His uncanny sixth sense, which earned him the nickname “six” in his delta force team, made things more complicated.

It was tough to want to meet new people when you’d grown up knowing most of them had hidden agendas. Noah had the unique ability to discern those agendas since he was a child, whether it was people trying to get close to his siblings through him or spies lying to gather information for the enemy.

It was both a blessing and a curse. While it had been incredibly useful in the military and kept him out of trouble before that, it also made it difficult to make friends. He had only found a few people in his life that he could fully trust, apart from his family.

Ghost was at the top of that list. Noah was relieved his teammate had joined him in Silver Creek. They planned to start a search and rescue group and had a meeting with the mayor next week. The surrounding forest and mountains meant that hikers and campers getting lost was a common occurrence.

As Noah approached the dilapidated old house, he heard a horse whinnying frantically from the back, near the barn. He recognized that sound, having spent years helping his father retrain terrified horses. It was a desperate plea for escape.

“Easy baby,” a female voice responded, sounding choked up, as if she was on the verge of tears. “You gotta let me have a look, girl.”

As he rounded the corner, he saw a slender woman of average height standing in the round pen with a large sorrel mare. The mare was clearly a quarter horse and a beauty. His eyes traced over her body and his blood boiled as he saw the blood and lashes on her haunches. The cuts looked about a day old and the blood had dried, matting the chestnut hair, but the wound hadn’t healed enough to be older.

Resting one foot on the wooden railing of the fence, Noah’s voice came out harsher than he intended. “Who did that?”

The woman jumped, letting out a high-pitched shriek, and spun around. The sound cut off as she bit down hard on her bottom lip. Her expression instantly hardened.

The mare stomped, growing even more frantic in response to the girl’s suppressed fear. For a moment, Noah was afraid the horse might hurt her, but instead, the animal seemed to see him as the threat and charged toward him, ears pinned back.

In an instant, Noah sensed that the animal was more scared than aggressive. He called the frightened creature’s bluff, vaulting over the fence and holding up both hands. With his palms facing forward, the horse stopped in its tracks, stamping a foot and tossing her head, eyes blazing.

“Easy, girl.” He walked slowly forward until he felt the mare tense.

“Who the hell are you?” The woman’s icy voice shattered the calm, and the horse turned, darting back to pace the fence at a canter.

He bit back a retort, taking her in. She was older than he had initially thought. Only slightly younger than him, if he had to guess. Still, he doubted she could be the cause of the mare’s wounds.

“I’m Noah Davis. I just moved in next door. Who are you?” he asked, eying the mare again.

The horse had stopped running and was now leaning against the fence in a corner, her head drooped. The anxiety had drained all her energy. He knew the feeling all too well.

“I didn’t know anyone had bought that old place.” She shifted uneasily.

Noah met her eyes and was taken aback by the sincerity he felt from her. He had thought his neighbors had been avoiding him. He nodded silently, and she frowned, leading the way out of the round pen.

He could feel her stiff, fearful movements. He opened the gate, motioning for her to walk through first.

She hesitated as the fear vanished from her gaze in an instant. She looked fierce and dangerous again. She held out a hand to stop the gate from swinging back at her as she exited, never taking her eyes off him.

Noah had honed his ability to tell whether a person, or animal, was truly dangerous or just defensive. Even with his ability, the emotions sometimes appeared similar. Occasionally, he could catch a glimpse into the past that caused whatever emotion the person was feeling in the moment. That had only ever happened with people though, not animals.

Despite his reluctance to trust, something about this girl drew him in. She was genuine in every emotion, like an open book. She hadn’t lied to him yet, and he wondered how long that would last.

He knew her icy exterior and steel guard were just that. Protection. He had experienced this with several people in the military, but this was somehow different. So how did this girl draw him in so completely?

“Rena Childers. My grandma left me this land and you are trespassing.” She crossed her arms tightly over her chest and glared at him. “I appreciate you introducing yourself, but I’m not one for socializing, so you can kindly leave now.”

Suddenly, a low growl sounded from behind her. Noah looked past her to see a large jet-black German Shepherd. He felt the protective aggression radiating off the canine and immediately knew he was the threat.

Noah lowered his head, stepping back in submission, and the dog stopped slightly in front of the woman. She smiled down, seemingly pleased, and to Noah’s surprise, relieved.

“Diablo, quiet,” the woman said, and the dog fell silent.

She looked back toward me and mused, “You aren’t running.”

“My brother has a wolf. Diablo’s not the scariest dog I’ve met.” Noah shrugged, smirking down at her.

He decided to leave out the part about his sensing abilities. Unless he became a threat, the dog was content to watch. The dog had a gentle and kind soul, though not trusting and remarkably protective. It was clear that he was used to defending his master.

Strangely, Noah felt relief knowing Rena had some protection. He knew how helpful a large dog could be in a tough situation. His brother’s hybrid had saved Noah’s nieces from their psychotic biological father just over a year ago.

She nodded and placed one hand on Diablo’s shoulder as if drawing comfort from the dog. “What are you doing here?”

“Just came to introduce myself to a new neighbor,” Noah chuckled dryly. “If you need help with anything, let me know. That house is pretty old.”

“Thanks, but I don’t need your help,” she snapped.

“Who beats that horse? Is she yours?” Noah couldn’t help but ask.

“Yes, she is mine, and no offense, but that’s none of your business. Now I ask again. Please get off my property.” Her voice was cold, and she shifted, stepping farther away from him.

As Noah turned to leave, her shaky voice stopped him short. “She wouldn’t hurt you. You can’t call animal services or anything.”

He stopped and looked over his shoulder at the beautiful woman. “I wouldn’t dream of it. She was just protecting you, they both were.”

Noah tipped his hat with a quick shrug then began walking again. “It’s been a pleasure meeting you, neighbor.” And oddly enough, it wasn’t a lie.

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