Chapter 22

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Faith woke the next morning alone, she knew that she would but it was still disappointing. There was no way he could stay the night in her bed without someone finding out about it. No, it was just her being fanciful. She stretched, then smiled, realizing two things. First, her muscles were delightfully sore and the second was that she was naked. Throwing back the covers, she made her way to her new wardrobe and got dressed for the day.

The week flew by. It was the night before the men were supposed to leave for the cattle drive. She and John were sitting on the front porch talking. Cade had not spoken to her since the night they had made love and even then he hadn't said very much. In his defense though, his mouth had been occupied. A small dreamy smile formed on her full lips as she remembered the passion they'd shared.

"Faith? Faith?" John repeated. He didn't know why he bothered talking with her. All this past week she seemed to daydream constantly. Frustrated, he called her name again. This time she shook her head slightly then focused on him.

"Yes?"

"Is something wrong with you?" John asked, unable to hide the irritation in his voice.

"No, why would there by anything wrong?"

"Well, you've just been acting different lately."

"No, everything is fine, I just have a lot on my mind with the cattle drive. Now, what were we talking about?"

"I was saying that I think I'm going to stay here with you instead of going on the drive. I don't think you should be here by yourself."

"I'm sure I'll be fine. Besides, the men will need you."

"They'll be fine without me. I know that if I were watching this place, waiting to make my move, I'd do it when all the men were gone."

"I agree with John, that's why I'm staying here with you and he's going with the men." Cade stated flatly. He was standing about ten feet away but neither Faith nor John had heard him walk up.

John drew in a deep breath to argue but knew it would be useless. If he were truthful with himself, he'd have to admit that Cade was much more capable of taking care of Faith. It only made matters worse that it was obvious the two of them were attracted to each other. The last thing he really wanted was for the two of them to be left alone for a couple of weeks. But then again, he would never be able to forgive himself if something happened to Faith.

Cade Jacobs was only going to break her heart. On the other hand, he admired the man. He seemed to be honest and didn't mind taking time to show him things, almost like an older brother would. "Well I guess I'll be turning in then." John sighed as he got up from the edge of the porch where he and Faith had been sitting, and headed toward the bunkhouse. He paused as he was passing Cade. "Don't hurt her because if you do, I'll come after you." His voice was low but there was no mistaking his tone.

Cade simply raised a single dark brow but said nothing. His respect for the boy just doubled. Men simply did not threaten him. The few that did, simply didn't live very long, not that he went after them for the threat. It was the opposite actually. When he didn't respond to their threats, they would call him out and he would kill them.

Faith watched the exchange between the two men, then waited until John was almost to the bunkhouse before turning her attention back to Cade. She eyed him up and down, drinking in his powerful thighs and muscular body. A thrill of excitement shot through her body settling in the pit of her stomach. If it were just the two of them, then there was a very good possibility they would make love again.

She knew she would never get married, so she needed to pack a lifetime of memories in before he left for good. The last thought brought her crashing back down to reality. "You didn't have to be so rude to him." Faith snapped.

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