It’s your mother, Heather. She’s in
I swore my heart stopped beating and all the color drained
from my face. I reached for Hudson to steady myself. The last time I’d gotten a
call like this, my grandmother had fallen ill then died a few weeks later. The
thought of losing my mother, too, was too much to handle. “We’re on our way,” I
said, ending the call.
To be continued...
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(Excerpt) The Cowboys Heart II
I felt like an awful mother leaving my son in the city like I had, especially
knowing his grandmother was ill, but I also knew he wasn’t ready to leave. And
in light of everything else, I couldn’t handle an argument with him about going
back to the ranch. And it wouldn’t be forever, just a few days. Besides, Jamie
needed the time with his father. It’d been far too long since they’d had any
real quality time together. I only hoped it went well and that Jamie’s father
didn’t spend the next few days buried in his work – or his new girlfriend. I
Hudson took my hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. “I’m sure your mom is going
to be fine.”
over and smiled at him. “I know. I’m sure she will, too. I’m more worried about
Jamie. I shouldn’t have left him in the city.”
He took my
hand and gave the back of it a kiss. “He wanted to stay there,” Hudson reminded
me. “He was excited about it. And despite the problems with you and his father,
I doubt he’d ever let anything happen to Jamie.”
“Yeah, I think you’re right.” I settled back and got as comfortable as I could
in the airplane seat and closed my eyes. Jamie was a smart, resourceful kid. If
things got bad, he’d call me. He always called when he needed help. I was
confident in that thought. What I wasn’t confident of though was Jamie’s
willingness to return home when the time came.
Hudson here with me helped calm my nerves, too. Even though he’d lied to me, I
took comfort from his presence, and I truly believed he never would’ve made
that deal with Buck if Hudson had known me. I made peace with my decision to
forgive Hudson, and I’m glad I did. There was no way I’d make it through this
“I left my
car at the airport,” Hudson said, interrupting my thoughts. “When we land, we
can go straight to the hospital.”
leaned across the arm rest and gave my lips a soft kiss. I really had missed
him. “Thank you,” he whispered against my lips.
I asked, confused.
forgiving me and giving me a second chance. I swear to you, Heather, I will not
mess it up again.”
I rested my
forehead to his and sighed. “Let’s just put it behind us and forget about it,
okay?” Because honestly, I couldn’t handle dealing with mine and Hudson’s rocky
past and abrupt break up on top of my mom’s illness. Dad hadn’t said what was
wrong with her, only that she was very sick. My mom had always been in good
health, and other than childbirth, I couldn’t remember a time she’d ever been
he whispered again.
and we fell silent, which was fine with me. I was hoping to get some sleep
during the flight because I hadn’t gotten much last night.
“Oh, God, Mom!” I cupped my hand over my mouth and stifled a
gasp. She was lying in the hospital bed, pale as a ghost, tubes and machines
hooked up to her everywhere. I’d never seen her look so sickly and helpless
before. Dad was sitting in a chair near her bed, and he looked just as tired
and sick as Mom did. “What’s wrong with her?” I asked.
his head and stood. Then he extended his hand to Hudson. “I don’t believe we’ve
been formally introduced. I’m Dean Walsh, Heather’s