Authors: Tara Neideffer
Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary Romance, #Sweet Romance, #Love Story, #Womens Fiction, #Chick Lit, #Love, #Romance Novel, #Cowboy, #Dating, #Family Life, #Sex, #Passion, #Adult, #Lust, #Flirting, #Grief, #Psychological
As she sat there, she started
crying, and as she cried, she got angrier and angrier with Randy. She
knew she shouldn’t be angry with him, it wasn’t his
fault, but her emotions were everywhere. The anger that swirled
around inside her was beginning to spill over. Paige slammed her fist
against the small table, and with tears streaming rapidly down her
face, she angrily threw her journal across the room, knocking over a
lamp. It hit the floor, but didn’t break. Right then she
wouldn’t have cared if it had shattered to pieces. She stared
at it for a minute, the compulsive side in her told her to pick it up
and put it back where it belonged but her emotions overrode those
thoughts for once. She couldn’t move and didn’t want to.
All she wanted to do was release her pent up feelings out loud for
once. To scream them out or break things, it didn’t matter. All
that mattered was the release and finding a way to keep them out of
her mind for good.
“Why did you leave me here
to do this all by myself?!” she cried out between hoarse sobs
to the empty house. She got up and kicked the lamp, feeling a
sickening gratification as she watched it shatter against the wall.
She cringed at the loud noise, praying to any God out there that it
didn’t wake Kyra up. She needed this time alone to dish out all
As she stood there staring down
at the broken pieces of the lamp, she realized she felt no better
than before her fit of rage, which made her even angrier.
“Why?” she yelled
again, feeling defeated in every way possible. Tears streamed down
her face and her nose ran. She grabbed a Kleenex and despairingly
blew her nose. She felt like an idiot yelling out like that to
someone who was gone, but no one was here to see her so it didn’t
really matter. She knew it was useless, but she couldn’t hold
her feelings in any longer. All she wanted was for Kyra to have her
father back in her life. She was so scared to raise a baby on her
own. He was supposed to be here with her, to help her and be that
missing piece. But now he was gone and she was all alone. She didn’t
know if she could do it. It terrified her to think about making all
the decisions by herself. It was beyond daunting.
She sat there on her couch and
cried for an hour, rocking back and forth as sobs lurched painfully
out of her until she had finally worn herself out and sleep sounded
wonderful. She shuffled down her narrow hall to her bedroom, and once
she crawled into bed, she was quickly taken away by the power of
heartache and exhaustion.
Tyler Evans eased his truck out
of his driveway and slowly started down the road, gradually picking
up speed. He was on his way to pick up his son Brandon, who lived an
hour away, and every Friday he dreaded the drive but anticipated
seeing his son. With the long drive, he had time to think about a lot
of stuff, something he tended to avoid any other time. The discussion
he’d had with his friends earlier today crossed his mind. They
were razzing him about being single and telling him that there had to
be something wrong with him to not notice the good-looking blonde
hitting on him at the gas station. Sure, she was good-looking, but he
wasn’t interested in dating right now and she wasn’t his
type. He worked way too much to date and on the weekends he spent all
his time with his son. Besides, he knew that when he was dating
someone they usually want more of his time than he could give right
now. He nodded his head as if agreeing with himself. He had the radio
cranked up and an old AC/DC song; You Shook Me All Night Long came on
and he felt content with his life. Anyway, he was twenty-eight years
old and already divorced once, he wasn’t ready to get serious
with another woman and risk going through all that again. He still
needed time to figure out what he wanted out of life and women. He
figured in time—when he had the time—he would find that
special someone. But right now he was definitely in no hurry.
An hour later, he finally pulled
into his son’s driveway, honked once, and after a few minutes
he saw his son come scuffling out, shaggy brown hair and all.
needs a haircut this weekend,
made a mental note to add this to his to do list this weekend.
He grimaced when he saw his
ex-wife following behind him.
does she want?
thought, knowing she only came out to talk to him when she had
something to complain about.
He gave her his charming,
sarcastic smile as she approached, knowing she hated it. “Hi,
She crossed her arms as she
glared at him, giving him a fake smile. “Tyler, you were
supposed to be here an hour ago. I had an appointment, now I’m
late. Next time you’re going to be late, will you at least call
and let me know so I can rearrange my plans?” she asked
“Sorry, job ran over and I
lost track of time,” he said, leaving it at that. He heard her
let out a huff as she turned back towards the house and laughed,
knowing that no answer would make her happy.
He smiled as his son opened the
door. Brandon gave him a smirk as he climbed in and buckled his
“Hey, bub, how was your
week?” Tyler asked, as he backed out of the driveway.
“Oh, all right,”
Brandon said as he showed his dad his new handheld video game.
“Isn’t that cool.
Was that for your birthday?”
“Yeah, plus I got some
games to go with it.” He held them in his hands, proudly
displaying them to his father.
“Great, now you can show
me how to play them. How was school this week?”
He rolled his eyes as he
strongly proclaimed, “Boring.”
Tyler smiled and watched his son
intently play his video game, and then turned his attention towards
the road heading home. This, he thought, could not be any better.
An hour later they finally
pulled into their driveway, and as the truck came to a stop Brandon
jumped out and made a mad dash towards the house where Diesel, their
Australian Shepherd, was lounging on the wrap around porch.
“Hey, bub, come here, I
have something to show you!” Tyler called and then motioned for
Brandon to follow him, knowing he would be beyond excited once he saw
what was waiting in the barn for him.
“What is it, Dad?”
Brandon asked, as he jumped off the porch and quickly ran towards his
“You’ll see, just
follow me,” Tyler said, laughing.
As they made their way in the
direction of the barn, a few of the horses out in the pasture took
off running towards them, thinking it was feeding time. Tyler looked
out over his thirty acres of rolling pasture and breathed in the
fresh air. It was breathtaking out here and he couldn’t imagine
living anywhere else. He never understood how someone could choose to
live in the city compared to out here.
He swung the barn doors open,
revealing twenty stalls, a small tack room, and a hay loft. They made
their way down the narrow aisle and stopped at the last stall on the
right. He glanced down through the bars and looked at the small black
colt lying on the ground next to his mother.
Tyler opened the door and said,
“Guess who came early?”
Brandon’s brown eyes grew
wide and huge boyish dimples popped out as a smile formed on his
face, “Lady had her baby!” he yelled and peered around
“Yep, there he is. What
are you going to name him?” Tyler asked, as he stepped to the
side so Brandon could see him better.
Brandon’s face scrunched
up as he contemplated it. “I don’t know yet.”
“Well, you think about it,
since he’s now yours,” Tyler said, reaching up to rub
Lady on the neck. The sorrel mare brought her face up to Tyler’s,
sniffing him all over before lowering her head back down to munch on
hay. He watched as Brandon slowly walked up to the young colt,
holding his hand out like he had been taught, and then gently rubbed
Tyler watched Brandon for a
while as he got acquainted with the new colt, glad that he got to see
his son every weekend. He wasn’t sure what he would do if he
were only able to spend two weekends a month with him, like most guys
who were divorced. It wouldn’t be enough, that was for sure and
he wondered how they managed to be okay with that. “Come on, I
have something else for you too,” Tyler said draping his arm
around Brandon’s shoulders and leading him out of the stall.
“Does it have to do with
my birthday?” Brandon questioned, a huge smile splayed across
his face as he looked up at his dad.
“You’ll just have to
see,” he teased.
Tyler shut the barn doors and
they headed towards the house, their boots kicking up dust from the
dry June day. He smiled as he saw the old black blazer sitting in the
driveway and then grimaced as Brandon shrieked with excitement.
he yelled as he raced to the two story old white farmhouse, up the
steps, and flung the screen door open, darting inside.
Smiling, Tyler slowly climbed
the steps to the front porch, gave Diesel a quick pat on the head,
and then followed his son inside.
“Hey, Mom, how was your
drive?” he asked as he leaned down to give her a quick kiss on
the cheek. Carol Evans was in her sixties now and she was starting to
look her age. Her blonde hair was now turning gray, and her smooth
complexion was finally starting to show some age. Her blue eyes
looked tired and were now rimmed with crow’s feet. He was
surprised she was able to endure the four hour drive here with her
arthritis bothering her most of the time now. But she said she was
determined to visit with her grandson for his birthday and wanted to
come out and see the old farm.
“It was a long one, but
I’m just glad to be here. The place looks great Tyler, your dad
would be so proud of all the work you’ve done,” she said,
grabbing his arm and smiling up at him. Tyler looked down at her, she
was so small compared to him that it was almost comical. He was
pushing six foot one and she had to be only five feet tall. Tyler
wondered where the time had gone. His father had died last year of a
heart attack. Life seemed too short sometimes, or maybe he just got
caught up in work and let life slip by. He was betting the latter was
true. Owning his own fencing company was a lot of work, plus taking
care of the horses and everything that needed done on the farm, it
all seemed endless. He did like to keep busy working, it was his
escape while Brandon was away all week, but he wondered if he was
missing out on life. He was starting to wonder if he was letting it
all just slip past him in a blur. He couldn’t even think of
anything fun or exciting he’d done all week. There was just
work. Brandon was now eight years old and he was twenty-eight,
nearing thirty. He was divorced and lived alone all week, just
working, and waiting on each weekend to come so he could see his son.
Every week just seemed to fly by.
“Come on, hun, I have
something for you,” Carol said to Brandon, waking him up from
his wandering thoughts. He usually only let his mind wander on the
hour drive to pick up Brandon, so he wasn’t sure what had made
those thoughts come into his mind right now.
Brandon jumped up from his seat
and followed Carol to the living room, plopping down on the floor in
front of her.
“Here you go, sweetie,
Happy Birthday,” she said as she handed him a big box wrapped
in shiny blue wrapping paper.
Brandon started tearing into his
present and Tyler gave Carol a wink, knowing the present was exactly
what Brandon had wanted. He knew he was right within two seconds when
Brandon start yelling “Yes, an Xbox. Yes!” loudly over
and over as he punched his fists wildly into the air. Carol just
After Brandon carefully
inspected his new Xbox, Tyler retrieved the present he’d gotten
him. “Okay, bub, here’s my gift for you,” Tyler
said, handing him another present.
Brandon opened it up and his
eyes widened and Tyler smiled until he looked over and saw Carol’s
“Don’t worry, Mom,
it’s just a .22 rifle, and it’ll be locked up in the gun
cabinet when it’s not being used. He knows he won’t be
able to touch it unless I’m with him,” Tyler said knowing
his mom was about to have a heart attack.
“Brandon, you be careful
with that thing, and you make sure you listen to your father, okay?”
she chastised, her hand absently rubbing at her chest.
Tyler shook his head, knowing
his mom had always been a worrier.
“Yes, nana, I know. Hey,
Dad, can we shoot this tomorrow?” Brandon asked holding his new
gun in the air.
“Yeah, we can.”
“Now, Brandon, I know
you’re not a fan of cake so I made you a homemade cookie cake
instead,” Carol said as she headed into the kitchen to get the
Brandon absently nodded as he
stared at the new Xbox and gun in his hands and Tyler knew he’d
be up all night playing it.
Hours later, after the sun had
already descended below the hills, Tyler told Brandon good night and
made his way to bed himself. It was late now since they had all
stayed up so long talking and spending time together. His mom didn’t
get the chance to come down often and she could only stay until
tomorrow afternoon because of a church function she had on Sunday
that she couldn’t miss.
Tyler took off his hat, tossed
it on his dresser, and ran a hand through his dark hair. He climbed
in bed and hoped this weekend would go by slowly. He wasn’t
ready to see his mom off tomorrow, or take his son home on Sunday,
but he knew he couldn’t stop time.
Paige made her way up the
limestone steps towards Anderson hospital. It was six a.m. and she
was already exhausted. After being woken up several times last night
by a fussy Kyra, she thought she was going to have to call in to work
today, but she had somehow managed to get going. She wasn’t
sure what was going on with her last night; she rarely woke Paige up
any other time, but last night she just couldn’t stay asleep
for some reason. As she got to the last step, she felt her foot hit
the edge; before she knew it she was lying on the concrete sidewalk,
her hands splayed out in front of her, her face resting on the cold