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The Cowboy’s Twins

Written by Linda Warren

Chapter Six

The hurt in Jess’s eyes tore at Abby’s heart. Maybe he deserved a lot of things, but this wasn’t one of them. The kids had a toy box by the sofa and she saw the dog leash Lane had found in the front yard. He often tried to rope Lizzie with it, which usually resulted in a lot of screaming.

She got to her feet with the kids in her arms, which took effort now because they were getting so big. She sat on the sofa. Jess stood behind them, looking lost.

Pulling the leash from the box, she said, “Look what I found.”

“That’s mine.” Lane took it from her.

She handed Lizzie a doll she’d carried around since she was a year old. “Miss Dolly’s lonely. I think she needs a kiss.”

Lizzie brightened immediately and clutched the doll. Lane got to his feet and fiddled with the leash, trying to make a loop.

Jess eased a little closer and sat near Lane. “Can I help you with that?”

Lane looked at him, his face one big frown. “It’s my rope. I want to make a loop so I can rope Lizzie.”

“No!” Lizzie sat up from Abby’s lap and within seconds she joined Lane and Jess. “Don’t let him do that.”

Jess took the leash. “I’ll make the loop for you, but you can’t rope your sister.” He got up and went into the kitchen and brought back a chair. “You can rope this.” Sitting on the sofa, he gathered the dog leash and made the loop with a twist and a knot. Lane and Lizzie watched intently. He swung the loop over his head and threw. It landed perfectly on the chair.

“I wanna do it! I wanna do it!” Lane jumped up and down.

Abby sat back and watched as Jess taught their son to throw the leash. From then on both kids were in his face. Lane was getting most of the attention and Lizzie didn’t like it.

She pushed the doll in front of Jess. “This is Dolly.”

“Well, hello, Dolly.”

Lizzie giggled and the resentment they’d felt at first disappeared.

“Time for baths and bed,” Abby said.

The twins scurried for the bathroom. When they were tucked in bed, they both wanted their dad’s attention. He read to them and sat with them until they fell asleep.

Abby watched all of this with a sense of amazement. Jess would make a good father and she regretted now that she hadn’t tried harder to find him all those years ago. But she couldn’t go back. She had to deal with now.

They walked into the living room. “Thank you for helping. I wasn’t sure what to do,” Jess said.

“Kids change their minds quickly.”

The room was dark except for a lamp and the coziness was getting to Abby. It felt like old times, talking to Jess, loving Jess. Once again, she knew they couldn’t go back. She had to decide what was going to happen next and Jess wasn’t going to like it.

“We need to talk.”

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About the author

Since I sold my first book to Harlequin, my life simply hasn't been th...

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Linda Warren

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