Chapter 15

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Gary sits in the passenger seat of his little brother's extended cab Chevy. His eyes are glazed over and his heart almost pounds in his chest. The rest of his family has already made their way inside the Midland Memorial Hospital, but he can't bring himself to. Even to look at the outside of the building makes him feel like a thousand walls are falling inside his chest. To see the inside would be like walking into a nightmare.

Before his mind can carry that thought away into the land of exaggeration there is a knock on the opposite window. He turns his gaze to find Brooke peering through the glass with concern and care glowing from her heart through her eyes. Not trusting his voice he waves her to join him in the cab.

"I hope I'm not interrupting something," she says with the sound of a car door clanging behind her.

He shakes his head. "Not at all."

There is a pause before she looks at him then stares straight ahead through the windshield. "I need to make a confession."

With one eyebrow cocked he turns to look at her. "Okay, what 'cha got?"

"The other night in the hotel lobby. I saw you having a intimate time with the Lord."

This brings a long two minutes of silence. He is stunned that she saw it let alone remembered it and she is too scared of what he might think of her to move. Finally he clears his throat. "I'm sorry, I'm not very graceful when I have those moments."

"Oh no! That's not at all what I meant. I just felt like I was spying on something special. I've never experienced a time like that."

Gary feels a pang in his heart for her. "I'm sorry you haven't. It is something special I can't describe. It is an amazing feeling and an amazing time. Usually during that time I pray for my future wife." Admitting this makes him blush.

Brooke looks at him for a brief moment. "Oh. That's cool." A blush covers her own cheeks and doubt overtakes her heart. No guy who has a deep daily relationship with Christ and prays for his future wife wants a girl like her that has had a past relationship that didn't end well and is three-hundred years away from being anywhere near the Proverbs 31 woman.

"Thanks," his voice interrupts her doubtful and sorrowful cry, "I started to a couple years ago when my dad told me he and mom's romantic story." He stops as if to realize that he is getting all lovey-dovey.

She forces a smile and nods. "Y'all must be quite the love struck family. Jaelyn and Tyson's story is straight out of a story book and what you are doing is ten times better than a story book!" A giggle she didn't prepare for escapes her causing a even darker blush to rise up her neck and onto her cheeks.

"I don't know about that." He chuckles a bit. "I guess Little Lynn made up for us boys."

Brooke just smiles at him not really knowing what to say or talk about next.

After a couple minutes of silence Gary runs his hand over the back of his neck in obvious thought. He looks at Brooke momentarily then blows a breath out between his lips. "I need to tell you something."

"Okay," she feels like her voice would start to shake if she utters another word, but she isn't really sure why. They aren't in a serious relationship. Yes, she cares about him and thinks he cares about her, but by no stretch of the imagination are they married.

Once again he runs his hand across the back of his neck. "I want you to know that I won't be in Fort Stockton much longer. Now that Peter isn't here to run the family's ranch Mrs. Carol asked me to. I'll be back and forth for a month or so helping Jaelyn now that baby is here."

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