Travis moved to sit next to Cassidy. His thigh brushed against hers and a spark of desire flickered to life in her belly. He said, "Brittney made her own choices. You can't take responsibility for all of them."
"I wish I could believe you." Cassidy shook her head. "Brittney's involvement with Booth and Los Diablos is my fault. I'm the one who let her get away while I was too focused on…" She sighed. "I don't even know what to say. Was I too busy building a life for my child to actually take care of her?"
"Over the years, I've dealt with a lot of families in crisis. There is one thing I know of that helps a family heal, and a kid get their life together, and that's a willingness to work on the problems. You came to me. Hell, you tried to face down the damn motorcycle club on your own when you thought you had no options." Travis continued, "That makes you a force of nature and takes a ton of love."
Travis reached for her and pressed his palm into her own. She liked the strength in his hands. She liked the calluses at the base of his fingers. She liked the way his touch reminded her that she was a woman.
Maybe she liked it all a little too much.
How could she be thinking about anything other than saving Brittney?
Pulling her hand from Travis's, Cassidy said, "I appreciate the pep talk."
"You don't believe me, do you?"
"You can't carry the weight of the world on your shoulders," he said.
Yet, that's exactly what Cassidy had been doing for years. "I wouldn't know how to put down the burden," she said. "Even if I tried."
"Do you know what I see when I look at you?" When she didn't answer, he continued, "I see someone who is wise, caring and won't take no for an answer. I see a person willing to make sacrifices for someone they love. I see a dedicated mother and a beautiful, sexy woman. I wish you saw her, too."
For a moment, Cassidy wondered what a life with Travis Cooper might be like. Then again, who was she kidding? Her daughter needed her now more than ever. And Cassidy would be damned before she'd allow herself to be distracted by love.
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