She opened her eyes and managed a weak smile. “You have a son,” she whispered.
No. He couldn’t think about that. He couldn’t really have a son of his own. It was all so unreal. Maybe if he didn’t look at the kid, this would all just go away. “You hang on, Randy. Don’t you dare leave me with a kid to raise on my own. You know I can’t do it.”
She smiled more. “Yes, you can.”
He put his hands to either side of her face and bent down to kiss her forehead. “You listen to me. I love you like I never thought I could love another human being.” He felt a lump rising in his throat, a desperate fear at the thought that he could lose her. “I need you, Randy, and you know all the reasons why. Don’t you go and die on me, you hear? If I lose you I’ll go right back to that old life. You don’t want me to do that, do you?”
“You talk … big, Jake,” she whispered. “Don’t … mean it … got to take care of our little son.”
He brushed her cheek with his own, tears forming in his eyes. “Damn it, Randy, don’t you leave me. Don’t you dare leave me!”
“Come and see your son, Jake.” Mrs. Anderson touched his arm.
Jake straightened, looking over at the cradle … finding it difficult to picture a child of his own lying in it. Why did he dread this? What if he really did love the child? … That meant he couldn’t bear for anything to ever hurt the child, especially not his past.
The sins of the father are visited upon the son. He remembered hearing a street preacher shout that once back in Missouri, recalled how he had applied those words to his own father. And look how he had turned out, just as mean and unfeeling and murderous as his father. To think his own past could somehow scar his son …
Available June 2, 2015
Miranda Hayes has lost everything-her family, her husband, her home. Orphaned and then widowed, desperate to find a safe haven, she sets out to cross a savage land alone...until chance brings her face-to-face with notorious gunslinger Jake Harkner.
Hunted by the law and haunted by a brutal past, Jake has spent a lifetime fighting for everything he has. He's never known a moment's kindness...until fate brings him to the one woman willing to reach past his harsh exterior to the man inside. He would die for her. He would kill for her. He will do whatever it takes to keep her his.
Spanning the dazzling West with its blazing deserts and booming gold towns, Jake and Miranda must struggle to endure every hardship that threatens to tear them apart. But the love of an outlaw comes with a price...and even their passion may not burn bright enough to conquer the coming darkness.