Authors: Vanessa Devereaux
Copyright© 2014 Vanessa
Artist: Sour Cherry Designs
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is
No part of this book may be
used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission,
except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.
This is a
work of fiction. All names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any
resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or
dead, is entirely coincidental.
Big Sky Cowboys, 2
Copyright © 2014
took a deep breath, turned off her car’s ignition and then stared at the
building in front of her. She’d gotten this far. However, now that she was
actually here, she didn’t know if she had the strength to go through with this.
She bit her lip and picked at the hangnail on the index finger of her right
leaned forward and rested her forehead on the top of the steering wheel. She’d
never visited a hospice before, and knowing she was about to visit someone she knew…had
once loved, in some strange way still did, made it that much harder.
Can I do this?
Get myself out of the car, walk across
the parking lot, go inside, and see him.
just see him again after all this time, but see him lying in a bed clinging to
raised her head off the steering wheel, hoping no one had walked by and seen
her. A tear fell from her eye. She wiped it away, telling herself she had to be
strong. She had to find the courage to go in there and see Jon because he’d asked
for her. She’d never denied Jon anything, and this wasn’t the time to start.
giving it any more thought, she got out of the car and headed toward the hospice
entrance. Her hand shook as she pulled open the door and stepped inside the
lobby. A Christmas tree minus its decorations still stood in the corner of the
reception, reminding her they were only a week into the New Year. At least Jon
had hung on long enough to enjoy another holiday season.
I help you?”
looked over at a lady, probably in her mid-fifties, sitting behind a desk.
I’m looking for Jon Nelson’s room.”
one of our favorite residents, and he’s in 146. Head down the hallway to your
right and it’s the room at the end on the left.”
smiled. Jon had always been likeable and he’d obviously not changed. “Thanks,”
mouth suddenly felt devoid of salvia as she got mid-way down the hallway. She
tried to swallow, rehearsing what she was going to say to him after all these
years. The numbers
were in front
of her before she realized it. The door was slightly ajar. She lifted her hand
to knock but then let it drop by her side. She took a deep breath and lifted it
tapped lightly, convinced that if her legs and feet didn’t feel like they were
bolted to the ground, she’d turn around and run.
in,” said a woman’s voice.
stepped inside to see Jon’s sister, Maggie, sitting reading on a couch by the
She looked up and smiled as
Natalie walked into the room.
stood and put her arms out to her. “Look who’s here to see you?”
it’s really you.”
was Jon’s voice. She turned to see him lying in bed. His head was bald; the
gorgeous red hair that she’d loved so much was gone. Natalie guessed it hadn’t
been too long ago that he’d stopped taking chemotherapy. Even though he was
covered in blankets, she could tell by his bony shoulders and sunken face that
he’d lost a lot of weight.
tried to fight back the tears and bit her lip hoping that would help.
go and get something to drink while you two have a nice visit by yourselves,”
sister winked at her and left the room. Now it was just her and Jon.
and sit down so we can talk.” He patted a spot on the bed beside him.
sat, and Jon put his hand out to her. She took it thinking how different it now
felt to the days when they’d been high school sweethearts. Then it had been
plump and warm, now bony and cold. She bit her lip again, willing herself not
to break down.
here we are all these years later,” he said.
didn’t your sister or even you, contact me sooner and let me know you were
shrugged his shoulders. “I guess we kept thinking I’d beat this damn disease,
so there was no need to alarm everyone I’d ever known.”
rubbed the back of her hand. Something he’d always done when they’d gone on
suppose my sister told you everything when she called you.”
said that you weren’t…”
okay to say it, not going to live very much longer.”
sandwiched his hand in between hers. “Oh Jon, why is it always good people like
don’t know, but I guess that’s what life is all about. Some things you win at.
Some things you lose.” He started coughing. “Could you help me to sit up a
stood and helped slid him up the bed a tad more. Years ago when he’d been
muscular that act would have been next to impossible, but now his body felt
like a bird that would break
minute. Natalie pushed a pillow behind him and heard him groan as he eased his
body back against it.
that anything else they can do for you?” Natalie sat and took his hand again.
as much chemotherapy as I can stand, thank you very much. And now they say I’ve
probably got a few weeks. I wanted to make sure I spoke with you just in case
they’re patronizing me, or like the guy in the next room, I slip into a coma.”
welled up in her eyes. She hadn’t seen him for close to fourteen years but the
thought of him no longer being in this world broke her heart. In all honesty, a
day hadn’t gone by when she hadn’t thought about him, even if it was just for a
passing second. Him and…
have a request.” He coughed again.
want you to find our baby…
I guess it’s probably
our teenager by now.”
squeezed his hand. That had been the other person she’d thought about
since she’d given birth.
do it right?”
nodded. Finding him or her without Jon was going break her heart, but if that’s
what he wanted, she’d do it.
I’m gone my attorney will be contacting you. He has some items I want to give
to the child. Also, when my condo’s sold, I’ve requested that the money go to
the child for their college education.”
swallowed. He’d obviously thought a lot about this.
Sometimes she thought she was the crazy one for still
harboring a longing for what they’d lost.
when you find him or her; tell them that I love them and that I loved their
mother more than anything else in the world.”
please stop because this is breaking my heart.”
burst into tears and set her head down on Jon’s chest. She could hear his heart
beating just like she did when they snuggled together after making love. Just
like the night when she’d gotten pregnant.
pulled up in the driveway of her parent’s home and got out of her car. She
headed to the door. She’d come from Jon’s funeral, and while she just wanted to
go home and have a good cry, she had to get this out of the way.
through her purse for the key, she looked up to see the door now open and her
parent’s maid, Kym, standing there smiling at her.
you want to come in?” she asked.
stepped into the foyer. “Are my
sure are, and they’re both in the sun room.”
“I’ll go back there and see them.”
want anything to drink or eat?”
“Some tea would be great.”
nodded and left while Natalie made her way to the back of the house, through
the dining room, and into the sun room where her mother and father both sat