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The Cowboy’s Twins

Written by Linda Warren

Chapter Ten

Deb swung to face Abby. “You let him into your house? How could you? How could you, Abby?”

Ignoring her mother, Abby walked into the kitchen. “Would you like a cup of coffee?”

“No. I’d like an explanation.” Her mother’s high-and-mighty tone irritated Abby. “We supported you through all the heartache and now…”

Abby held up a hand to stop her. “Have a seat. We need to talk.”

“I’ll take a cup of coffee,” her dad said and walked over to the coffee maker.

Abby sat at the table with her mother and gritted her teeth. Dealing with her mother had never been easy. From the time she was fourteen and wanted to wear makeup, they seemed to be at odds.

“Jess said you told him I never wanted to see him again.” Abby glanced at her dad as he took a seat at the table. “Whose decision was it to get Jess out of my life completely?”

Her father twisted the cup in his hand and didn’t look up. Abby had her answer.

“It was for your own good,” her mother said. “He’s done nothing but hurt you.”

“So you get to decide what’s best for me? Like I’m five years old?”

“Abby, you’re our baby. We have to look out for you.” Her mother was pulling out all the stops.

Screeches interrupted the tense conversation and her parents glanced out the bay windows to the backyard to see the kids getting muddier and muddier.

“They’re getting dirty.” Her mother got to her feet. “I’ll bring them inside and clean them up.”

“No.” Abby stood. “Leave my children alone.”

Her mother paled. “You don’t mean that!”

“Abby, please,” her father begged. “I’m sorry we let our concern for you get in the way of doing the right thing. Please don’t take the kids away from us.”

“I didn’t say I wouldn’t let you see them, but it will be on my terms. The number one rule will be that you don’t badmouth their father to them.”

Her mother pinched her lips and didn’t say a word.

“We won’t,” her father said. “I promise.” He glanced toward the kids. “Can we go outside and see them?”

Her mind told her to be stern, but her heart just couldn’t be that cruel. “Sure.”

Her parents scurried outside before she could change her mind.

Jess leaned against the counter, his arms folded across his chest. “You caved.”

His tone of voice annoyed Abby as much as her mother’s. “Wait until you talk to your father.”

“I won’t cave.”

“We’ll see.” She carried the cups to the sink.

“I miss my Abby,” he whispered, standing close to her. If she leaned in, just a little, she could smell the scent she associated with him; leather, manly sweat and a masculinity that was all Jess. It had stirred her senses when she was sixteen. Blown her mind when she was eighteen. Tried her patience when she was twenty. Broken her heart when she was twenty-four. Today she wasn’t taking any chances. She did her usual thing and walked out. But soon she would have to face him and all the anger from the years he’d hurt her.

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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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