{Chapter} 2

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{Chapter 2}

Adam pulled his horse to a stop. “Whoa.”

It appeared that the four robbers had met back up and spent the night here. Four sets of tracks came together and met near a snuffed out fire that looked hours old. Adam felt his adrenaline pumping as he remounted his horse. This was the push he needed to find them. He pushed on for a few hours and began taking in his surroundings. He recognized where he was, though it seemed unlikely. Had the gang really had the gall to return so close to Sundance? It appeared that he was on MC Ranch property. More specifically, on the south road that supposedly led to the ranch, but had fizzled out over the years. Any person that didn’t know the area well would get lost on the road. He had known that he was close to the area, but not this close. Had is crazed mind forgot to take in the scenery and find where he was at? What else had he forgot?

The nearness to the MC Ranch brought back memories of the terror if his life. Katie Morris. The woman was the most demanding sort he had ever met. And their past wasn’t something he was proud to remember, either. Taking a deep breath, he refocused on the problem at hand. Could the gang be holed up on Toni’s property? Could they be holding the McBride family and the cowboys hostage? Could some of them be hurt?

Adam’s imagination was running full throttle and it drove him and his horse into a run where they headed straight for the main ranch.

**********

Katie opened her door, responding to a knock that had sounded moments before.

“Jane!” she invited the girl inside. “What a pleasure to see you.”

“Hi” Jane said nervously, smoothing her hair behind her ear.

“What’s the reason you’re out here today?” Katie asked, motioning the girl to a seat in the front room of her cute little house.

Erik and the cowboys had given it a good paint job for her birthday, not to mention fixing the front porch that was caving in. It was one of the best presents she had ever received.

“Well, I came to see you because… because…” Jane hesitated.

“Well, people usually come and see me about a man, is that it?” Katie smiled.

“Well, it’s just that I’m seventeen. I’m more of a burden to my parents now and I’m desperate. There are no jobs available for girls like me around town and I can’t go on taking advantage of my parents,” Jane explained.

“Need to take a breath? That’s the longest sentence I’ve ever heard you speak” Katie teased.

Jane smiled nervously. Katie walked to her desk in the next room and came back with a leather-bound book. “Fortunate for you, I’ve got nothing but free time these days, what with my latest couple getting hitched the other day” she sat down in a chair beside Jane and flipped through the pages of the single men in Sundance.

“Gross… we definitely don’t want Lee Sanders. That man’s so ugly it scared all the hair off his head and to his ears” Katie commented with a cringe.

Jane fidgeted.

“What about Otis Mason? He’s a pretty good looking man, and a hard worker,” Katie offered.

Jane sent her a nervous look. “He’s as big as a plow horse. I… I’m scared of him.”

“Well, it won’t do well for a woman to be scared of her husband” Katie shook her head.

She scanned a few more names. “Brent Samuels? Nah, he’s a bumpkin.”

She looked over a few more pages, no names seeming to fit poor Jane. Then she saw his name.

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