The Cowboy's Twins
~ Chapter 2 ~
Sunday afternoons in Horseshoe, Texas, were lazy and carefree. Most of the stores were closed except for the diner and a few shops.
Abby and her three-year-old twins had gone to church with her parents and had lunch together, as was their usual Sunday routine. Then she’d taken the kids home to put them down for a nap, which Lane, her son, resisted all the way. He was her problem child. Nothing in life had prepared her for a rambunctious, mischievous little boy.
Their Sunday afternoon treat was Dairy Queen. The kids loved it when she let them have what they wanted. In a red booth Lane sat to her left in a booster seat and Lizzie, his sister, sat across from them. That way she kept Lane boxed in.
Just when she thought Lane was going to behave for a change, he started crawling across the table to Lizzie. Abby grabbed him by his shirt and pulled him back. “No. You stay here by Momma.”
“I want to sit by Lizzie.”
Lane wiggled in his seat. “I’m bored.”
Abby placed her napkin on the table. “Then it’s time to go home.”
Lizzie shook her finger at her brother. “You’re being bad, Lane.”
Abby cleared the table and dumped everything into the trash. Lane and Lizzie danced around her feet. At times, they seemed permanently attached to her.
The decision to move home had been an excruciating one. But she’d lost her babysitter in Houston and her parents had been pressuring her to return to Horseshoe. She’d thought about it for a long time. She didn’t want her parents taking over her life, which was the main reason she’d moved to Houston when Jess had left her. But the kids were getting bigger and needed to be around their grandparents. Abby had bought a small house three blocks away from them and everything had worked out well.
She walked out holding a hand of each child. Opening the back door of her SUV, she said, “I’ll put Lizzie in and then I’ll get you, Lane.”
“I can do it myself,” Lane said and darted around the car.
“Hey, little buddy, where you going?”
Abby froze. She knew that voice. It sometimes woke her late at night when all she had were memories to keep her warm, to keep her sane. It couldn’t be, she told herself, and hurried after her son. Jess McQuire stood there just as handsome as ever. Tall and lean with unruly blond hair peeping out from his Stetson, his blue eyes pierced her like an icy breeze.
She swallowed hard, trying not to let her emotions get the best of her.Don’t look. Don’t acknowledge him. Grabbing her son’s hand, she hurried back to the car and put him in his seat. She jumped into the SUV and drove away, leaving Jess standing there gawking after them.