“How was we supposed to know that deputy was privy to our plans?” Alex asked, toying with one of the many gold coins mixed with bills that were placed in a pile on the floor.

Mark dusted off his hand. “How was I supposed to know you’d try something with Katie Morris? You fools!” Mark’s anger was growing more intense by the second.

Marshall stood up. “If it weren’t for that blame niece of yours near’ killing Harrison…”

“She didn’t near’ kill me!” Alex protested.

“Shut up, the both of you.” Brant turned from his place by the window. “The boss is right. You two were being fools.”

“Them’re fightin’ words!” Alex stood up, fists clenched at his sides.

“Stop!” Mark called the men to order. “This is still a job undone. I’ve helped you rob banks all over Texas and no one knows who you are. I’ve saved the four of you from being killed more times than I can count. I can still pull this off. We just need to get that document.”

“You going back?” Joe spoke up for the first time.

“No,” Mark shook his head. “They’ll come to us. You wait and see.”

“Can’t we just take the money and leave well enough alone?” Alex asked.

“No!” Mark yelled. “I want that ranch if it’s the last thing I do! I don’t care who I have to kill to get it!”

**********

Katie finished packing all the food she could get into saddlebags and sacks as she loaded down one of the spare horses. Her heart beat into her ears and she found her hands trembling. She could feel deep inside herself that someone was going to get hurt. She started moving quickly with nervousness.

“Kate? You alright?” She heard Adam ask.

Katie glanced at Adam, but went on about cleaning out the chuck wagon. They couldn’t take the wagon along incase they had to move quickly.

“I have a bad feeling about this, Adam,” she told him.

“I know, but we don’t have another choice. The sooner this whole debacle is over, the better. I’ve got to go on ahead and start tracking them. Erik and Wade are coming with me,” Adam explained, throwing his saddlebag over his shoulder.

Katie whirled around to face him. Her eyes were wide with panic.

“What if something happens to you? What if I’m not there?” She jumped off the wagon and landed in front of him.

“Nothing’s gonna happen to me, Kate. I’ll be just fine,” Adam smiled and cupped her face in his hands.

“You can’t be sure about that,” A lone tear ran down Katie’s cheek, and Adam wiped it away with his thumb.

“I am sure. I know who holds the future for us. Don’t you remember the verse you told me? ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.’ God’s got this, you know it?”

Katie nodded and wrapped her arms around him. “Be careful.”

“I will,” Adam mumbled. “I’ve got every reason in the world to be careful now.”

He pulled away just enough to give her brief kiss.

“I love you,” he said, smoothing her hair behind her ears. “I love you so much.”

Katie nodded as three more tears spilled down her cheeks. “I love you more.”

Adam hugged her quickly and then left to mount his horse before riding off with Wade and Erik on either side.

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