Two weeks later
On the street, a car door slammed.
It had been two weeks since that night at the Los Diablos compound. In the intervening days, Brittney had struggled physically and emotionally. No doubt, there were more tears to be cried, but at least healing had started. To avoid all the temptations found in Laramie, Cassidy moved to a rental house in Pleasant Pines. She'd gotten a leave of absence from her job, and for now, Cassidy planned to focus on her daughter.
After getting Brittney and the other girls from the compound, Travis had called the state police. Dozens of law-enforcement officers had descended on the Los Diablos compound and arrested several members of the MC.
Booth was never found.
It meant that he was out there, somewhere.
The emotional ramifications of her hellish experience were extensive—it would be months before Brittney was comfortable being left alone. And Cassidy was fine with waiting. She was taking her daughter to therapy, and even attending joint sessions, so they could work on the issues that had led Brittney to run away in the first place. Together, they would make things right between them.
All the same, it didn't mean they couldn't have company.
The doorbell rang, and Cassidy answered the door.
Travis stood on the threshold, dressed in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. After the events at the compound, the local paper called Travis both a hero and a vigilante. The town council gave him a raise and a day later, rejected his application for the sheriff's position.
"Wow," he breathed. "You look amazing."
Cassidy couldn't help but smile. "You clean up pretty well, too, Deputy. Come in."
She led him to the kitchen. The table was already set for three. Brittney was removing a roasted chicken from the oven. There were also potatoes, a salad, green beans and, for dessert, apple pie.
"Have a seat," said Brittney.
Travis sat and winced. Booth's bullet had broken two ribs and momentarily knocked Travis out. The Kevlar vest stopped any real damage—and undoubtedly saved Travis's life.
Cassidy slid into her seat. "Any news?" she asked as food was being passed.
"Nothing about Booth," said Travis. "The DEA is investigating."
"What about everyone else?" Brittney asked.
"Charges have been filed. Several members of the gang have pled—agreeing to go to jail in exchange for information about those in charge."
"They won't be free?" Brittney asked.
"Not for a while," said Travis, "no."
"That's good," said Cassidy. The stilted conversation eased into stories from when Travis and Cassidy were kids. A middle school yearbook was produced to show just how cute Travis looked with braces.
As the last dish was cleaned, Brittney stood. "I'm going to get ready for bed," she said.
Once she was gone, Travis said, "She appears to be doing well."
"She looked into online classes today. It's not success, but it's a start."
"How are you?" he asked.
"Tired, but thankful," she said. "And you? How do you feel? You were the one who got shot."
"Me? I'm sore, but I'll survive."
"Is there anything I can do to help you feel better?"
"Sure is." Reaching for her hand, he pulled her toward him.
Sliding from her seat, Cassidy slipped onto Travis's lap. He brushed a lock of hair out of her eyes and pulled her into a kiss. They had risked everything to save her daughter—something neither of them could have done alone. But the moment was about more than justice or honor or even the past. It was about now, today, and renewing a love that would last a lifetime.
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