"I was beginning to wonder if you were coming or not."

"I – I, she's worth fighting for and even if she won't have me; I will be there for my son. Before we go to the Second Chance, I want to stop by the Triple L." John turned to look at his friend, his eyebrows raised in question. "I need to talk to Levi."

John's opinion of Cade rose significantly. First, the man wanted to be there to raise Cayson, and try to make things work with Faith. That's not something most men who were foot loose and fancy free would want to do. Secondly, he wanted Levi's blessing. It took a real man to do something like that, considering everything that had happened.

"So, US Marshall, huh? What made you decide to get into that line of business?" Cade asked, feeling as if a weight had been lifted off of his shoulders.

"You know my pa, well my ma's new husband, is a sheriff. He had a few connections and helped me get on with the US Marshalls. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. We finally found out who killed Bart Hurst." John looked over at Cade.

"Who killed the bastard?"

"Sheriff Gil Turner."

"I'm not surprised. He was hell bent to have me hang for it, even after Faith told him we were together. Did they hang him or send him to prison for the rest of his miserable life?"

"Neither one."

Cade stopped his horse. "What in the hell do you mean neither one? The bastard didn't go free did he?"

"Oh, no." John stopped his horse and looked over at Cade then chuckled at his friend's confusion. "He's dead. He tried to get a way when we went to arrest him. I shot and killed him." Both men nudged their horses forward and continued on their way.

Each day that went by brought him that much closer to Faith and each day Cade went from full of hope and excitement to dread. They were up at dawn and rode until dusk each day, stopping only long enough to rest and water the horses. They had already shaved off several days of their journey by riding so hard and Cade had no intentions of letting up until he got back to Faith. Each man was lost in their own thoughts and for the first time in his entire life, Cade Jacobs was not paying attention to his surroundings, it was a mistake.

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Kirby Mahoney could not believe his luck! The two people he was looking for were together and heading straight for him. He brought his rifle back up to his shoulder and looked through his new telescopic sight. Yep, that was definitely Cade Jacobs with the Marshall. After today he would no longer be small time, no, after today he was going to be known as the man that killed the Great Cade Jacobs! He was going to be famous, wait, he was going to be infamous! Everyone would know his name, just like they knew Cade Jacob's.

He'd been a wanted man, but that had been for robbery. Kirby had added murder to the list when he had killed the sheriff of Red Valley, the bastard should have been more careful. He was just going to have to make sure he didn't get caught, because if he did, he would definitely hang. Smiling, Kirby waited for a good shot then squeezed the trigger.

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Cade heard a shot then felt a searing pain rip through his side. His horse reared but he managed to get him under control. "Get the hell out of here!" Both men kicked their horses' sides and took off into a full gallop heading in the opposite direction the shot was fired from and to a small copse of trees. Another shot rang out but landed harmlessly in the dirt off to his right. They went a few feet inside the trees then turned back to look in the direction they had come from. Neither man saw anything but a rocky rise about three hundred yards away. Cade squinted, pulling his hat lower to block the glare from the brilliantly clear blue sky.

"I'm pretty sure I know where the shots came from. You stay here, I'm going to make my way around and come up from behind him."

"Him, how do you know there's only one of them?"

"If there had been more than one, they would have fired together causing a rapid succession of shots, not just two."

Cade didn't wait for his friend to answer, he simply took off as fast as he dared. Every step his horse took jarred his side causing pain to shoot through him. As far as he could tell, the bullet had not exited and that meant someone was going to have to dig it out. Finally, he came around to the back side of the rocky rise. Sliding off of his horse, he pulled his .45 from the holster and made his way up and sure enough there was one man laying on his stomach with a rifle looking at the copse of trees he and John had gone to.

"Where are you, dammit? I don't have all day." The man said impatiently.

"I got here as fast as I could." Cade said in a low voice as he pulled the hammer back on his .45.

Keeping Faith  (Book 3 in the Red Valley Series)Read this story for FREE!