Would she risk everything for the father of her son?
Woman of light—Grace Martin once loved Rio Kelman—Older and wiser now, she refuses to surrender her heart to the gunfighter again—not when he has a habit of riding away when she needs him the most.
Man of darkness—Rio Kelman gave up the woman he loved to track down the demons that terrorized the citizens of the Dakota Territory. No more. He’s back, and he wants his woman at his side, but she has another man in her life—a little boy.
Rio wants Grace, but can he accept another man’s child?
Rio stood to one side while Grace gently washed the dirt and blood from her son’s ill-treated body. He looked so pale. So still. He reminded her of a little ghost lying there on the table. She pulled the clean sheet halfway up his body before she froze. Her son. Her precious little boy lay there, still as a broken toy.
She couldn’t breathe.
She hadn’t felt this crushed when her parents died, or even her brother. She’d thought then their losses were the worst things that could ever happen to her.
But she was wrong.
This was worse. This, this was too much to ask of her. She let go of the sheet and bent over like a stooped old woman. “Oh, God,” she cried, “please, please don’t take him from me. He’s my baby. My baby. I beg you. Don’t take him away.”
Rio took the end of the sheet from her trembling fingers and pulled it up to Wolf’s bruised and swollen chin. Wolf didn’t stir. His dark eyelashes lay like crescent moons on his babyish cheeks.
“He’s just a baby,” she said, brushing strands of dark hair back from his face. “He needs a haircut. I been aiming to take him to the barber in town and get him a proper haircut. A little boy needs a proper haircut.” A tiny sob escaped her. “He wants it to grow long, like Grey Wolf’s.”
“Grace.” Rio pulled her into his arms and held her tight. “Honey, don’t. You’re torturing yourself. Wolf is tough. He’ll make it, baby.”
“He’s so little,” she said. “So helpless.”
A deep gash lay across his forehead from side-to-side. His left arm had already turned a deep purple and was swollen, but there was no blood from his nose or ears. That was good. She prayed her son didn’t die. She knew better than most that God could take her little boy if He so chose. “Please,” she whispered, “he’s all I’ve got.”
“You should send word to the boy’s father. He needs to be here. Wolf might not have very long,” Rio said bluntly.
Grace looked up from holding Wolf’s uninjured hand. For a moment, she forgot Rio was there, standing across the table from her. How fast he rescued Wolf from the insane stallion, even at great risk to himself. That’s what parents did. Wasn’t it? They put their child’s safety ahead of their own? Only Rio didn’t know Wolf was his son.
How could he not know his son?
“Grace? The boy’s father? Tell me where your husband is, I’ll go get him.”
Photo Credit~ Pat Kelley
Tabitha Shay, author of paranormal romances, Witch’s Brew, Witch’s Heart, Witch‘s Moon, Witch’s Magic, Witch’s Fire, and Witch’s Touch.
A member of the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc., she has served as both a category chair and judge. Her books have been nominated for several awards, including the prestigious P.E.A.R.L. Award for Witch’s Magic and Witch’s Moon, which was also nominated for Best All Around Paranormal in 2008. Witch’s Fire won Runner Up for Best Paranormal Book of 2010 at LRC. Be sure and catch her new series, Angels of Deadwood Gulch beginning with book 1, Send Him an Angel and book 2, Darkest Angel. Watch for book 3, An Angel’s Heart in 2015.
Ms. Shay also writes under the name, Jaydyn Chelcee, and is the author of the best selling, contemporary western romances, Montana Men Series, In the Arms of Danger, No Holds Barred, Too Hot to Handle/Too Close to the Fire, Playing for Keeps, and Wild.
Coming in 2014, Darkest Angel, book 2 in the Angels of Deadwood Gulch Series.