Chapter 40

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Cade stood in the kitchen with his back to her. Cayson sat on his father's shoulders with both of his chubby little hands full of dark hair. Cade had one hand on Cayson's back while he got plates and silverware from the cabinet with the other. "Hey Buddy, what do you say we go wake your mama up?"

"Mama!" The little boy repeated then squealed with joy as his father turned around to see his wife standing there wide eyed with her mouth hanging open.

Cade grimaced slightly, his smile turning serious. "I – I," Oh hell, what was he supposed to say? He should have woken Faith up so she could tend to the boy. The last thing he wanted was for her to think he was trying to take her place. But when he had heard the little fella wake up this morning, he'd gone into Cayson's room. The last thing he expected was for the boy to raise his arms to be picked up. "I know I should have woke you up, I'm sorry."

"No, I'm sorry. I don't know how I didn't hear him. I hope he wasn't too much trouble." Faith held her breath waiting for his reply, praying he gave the one she wanted to hear.

"Trouble? No, he was no trouble at all. In fact, we were getting along right fine." Cade smiled a smile she had never seen before. "We even made breakfast, but I didn't let him get near the stove and I made sure no bacon grease popped on him." He added quickly.

"I, you cooked?" Her eyebrows shot up in surprise.

Her husband smiled then yelped as Cayson yanked on the hair still wound around his little fingers. "I can cook but only a few things, bacon and eggs are among them." Cade answered, rubbing his abused scalp with his free hand.

"I made a couple of loaves of bread yesterday. Give me just a minute while I cut a few slices for us to eat with the breakfast you two made."

A few minutes later the three of them were sitting down sharing their first meal together. They ate in silence for a moment before Faith started the conversation back up. "How's your side this morning?"

"It's much better. I don't know what you put on it but whatever it is, it seems to work like magic."

"It's a salve. I got the recipe from Cole, his mother's people used it." Again the silence took over, becoming more and more strained. When they finally finished eating, Faith jumped up and began cleaning up the kitchen while Cayson was happy sitting in his chair.

"I'll help you." Cade said from behind her.

Their bodies weren't touching but she could feel the heat radiating from his body. An involuntary shiver ran down her spine as chills covered her from head to toe. She took a deep breath in an attempt to calm her racing heart. "You don't have to, I'm used to doing it by myself." She turned to get the rest of the dishes and saw the look of hurt, disappointment and possibly anguish in his pale green eyes. It could have been all three rolled together. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that."

"No, it's okay. I know you're used to doing things by yourself but I promise, you won't ever have to again." Cade took a chance by gathering her into his arms, holding her tightly against the hard wall of his chest. Something he had been dying to do since the day he left her. Holding his breath, he waited for her to pull away, instead Faith wrapped her arms around him, holding him just as tightly.

Oh God! What was she going to do? It took every bit of strength she had but she managed to pull herself away when Cayson stated fussing to get down. Faith turned quickly and started over to her son, no their son.

"I'll get him, if you don't mind." Cade added quickly.

"I – no, I don't mind."

It had been two weeks since Cade had walked back into their lives. He had done everything right, there was absolutely nothing she could find fault in. He watched the baby so she could cook, he helped bathe Cayson and even changed his diaper. To Cade's credit he only turned green and gagged twice, but if she were to be fair, she, herself had wanted to gag those two times. Not that she would ever tell him though. No, Cade was as good a father as Levi.

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