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Kelsey reached over and hugged Skye with a teary smile. "Paul says Dylan's a strong one. I'm sure he'll do fine." She squeezed Skye's hand. "You were all he was thinking about before he fell asleep."

Skye nodded. "Thanks, that means a lot. He is strong; no one would doubt that."

Kelsey noticed Skye's ring and lightly touched the stone. Her eyes twinkled as she winked and whispered, "Congrats! I'm so happy for you both."

Skye laid her hand over the ring as hope started to warm her again. "Thank you." Skye smiled as she felt the smooth stones against the palm of her hand. Then twisted the ring so that only the band showed on the outside of her hand. "I think I'll wait to announce it though."

"I understand. Dylan should be with you."

"I just want to be sure everything is going to be okay. Then I can really celebrate."

"Sounds like a good plan."

Skye gave Kelsey an appreciative smile, then frowned. "Have you seen Sue Ellen? She would want to be here."

Kelsey bit the inside of her cheek, then said, "She was here earlier, but she said she was going to help a neighbor with something. I can't remember who though."

"I wonder if we should send someone out after her." Skye's hands fluttered. "But I don't even know where to start."

"I'm sure she's fine. As soon as she's heard, she will come here." Kelsey patted Skye as she tried to comfort her. The girl looked up and caught Jesse's eye. She mouthed, "Sue Ellen?" to him.

Jesse shrugged and frowned. His sister had been acting up from the time Dylan and Skye had left this morning. He'd been glad she'd gone her own way today. It had meant he and Wade could have a nice, quiet fishing trip. He didn't know why she couldn't just settle in and see that this place was the best place she could ever be. His knee started to bounce as his worry for Dylan took over again.

When Kelsey raised her eyebrows at him, he shrugged again. He had more important things to think about then where Sue Ellen was every minute of the day.

Wade saw the exchange between Jesse and Kelsey. "I'll go look for her," he sighed. "I'm the one that let her go off on her own today."

"No, Wade." Skye put a hand on his arm to stop him. "You need to be here."

"Me and Curt will go," Aaron said, volunteering himself and his brother. "She can't be all that far. Pry just holed up at a friend's chattin'."

Just as Curt and Aaron rose to leave, the door burst open. Sue Ellen rushed into the room, her large blue eyes full of worry and her blond curls all askew. "Jesse? Skye? Tell me he's okay!"

Skye quickly went to Sue Ellen's side. "He's fine, honey. I mean, Doc just did surgery, but he said everything went well."

Sue Ellen fell into Skye's arms wiping away her tears. "Oh, I was so—I'm just so glad! I heard, and I couldn't believe it. Not Dylan! I'm just so glad everythin' okay."

The girl rushed to Jesse. "Oh Jesse, this musta been so hard for you. I'm sorry ya had to go through this." She hugged him.

Jesse put his arms around his sister and gave a half-hearted hug to her stranglehold. When she wouldn't let go, he pulled her arms from him and mumbled a "Thanks." Sue Ellen looked at the floor as she pulled away.

When Skye was once again sitting down, Sue Ellen walked over to stand in front of Kelsey. "Do ya mind if I sit by Skye? Family and all that, ya know."

Surprise, then understanding, flashed across Kelsey's face. "Of course. Yes, please sit." A pain shot through her. If she had any family left, she would want to be close to them during a time like this too.

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