[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]

smile. "Do you ... do you want this back?" she asked, pausing to lift her left hand. The little silver ring
sparkled in the light, and he couldn't bear the sight of it. He'd never told her its story. Maybe it would
have helped her to understand if he had. "No," he said. "Someday you'll marry again, and you'll . . .
you'll have those kids you want so much." She forced the words out. "I'll save the ring for them.
Good-bye, Cade." He didn't look at her again. He knew if he did, he'd go down on his knees and beg
her to come back, and he didn't dare. This was the best thing he could do for both of them. He couldn't
live without children and she couldn't give him any; it was just that simple and tragic. So he let her
go. Long after he heard the car drive away, he remembered another time she'd left him, another time
when she'd gone away in a car. His blood ran cold. The accident. She'd wrecked the car because he'd
upset her. He drew in a rough breath. What if she did it again? He phoned down to the bunkhouse and
woke one of his men and sent him to follow Bess back to San Antonio, just to make sure. He stared at
the receiver when he'd hung it up. Why couldn't he stop caring, he wondered bitterly. She'd hurt him
and cheated him, and he still cared about her. With a muffled curse he pulled his hat off the hat rack
and stormed out the door to work. Bess got to San Antonio in record time because the streets weren't
crowded at that hour of the morning. Her first stop was the apartment house where she'd lived, and
she was in luck because her old apartment hadn't been rented out yet. There had been a tenant who'd
wanted it, but he'd canceled at the last minute. Bess took the key and went down the long walkway
wearily. Thank God the apartment was furnished. Her few bits and pieces of furnishings from Spanish
House were at Lariat. She hadn't thought to ask Cade to bring them up, but he was so coolly efficient
that she knew he would. She hadn't expected him to let her stay, although she'd hoped that he might
relent before she drove away. Then she'd hoped that he might come after her. But his mind seemed to
be made up, and somehow she was going to have to learn to live without him. Senora Lopez greeted
her a little curiously. Bess made up some quick story about needing to stay in town on business, and
that seemed to satisfy the little old lady. Bess washed her face and unpacked before she left for work.
She could always get some groceries when she came home, not that she had much appetite. At least
the tears had slowed down. She felt numb and sick as she went back to her car and drove to work.
Thank God she had her job. She'd never needed it so badly before. No one questioned her sudden
move back to San Antonio or the fact that she wasn't wearing her wed- ding band anymore. She didn't
have the silver ring on either. She'd put it away in her jewelry chest so that she didn't have to look at
it. But Nell was giving her long, sympathetic looks, so she had to have some idea of what was going
on. One thing that Bess loved about her office was that no one invaded her privacy. They were
supportive if she needed them, Julie and Nell most of all, but no one ever pried. She called Donald in
tears at the end of the first week, and told him that she and Cade were divorcing and asked him to
handle the case. He'd come to San Antonio to talk her out of it, but she wouldn't be swayed. Donald
didn't realize the whole truth of the matter, and she couldn't muster enough nerve to tell him the real
reason Cade didn't want her anymore. It hurt too badly. She finally convinced him, paid him a
retainer, and sent him off to get things started. There was no sense in postponing the inevitable, and
Cade wouldn't want to continue to be tied to her. He wanted children. Since he no longer wanted
Bess, she was certain that he could find another woman he desired enough to have children by. Gussie
came over the first week she was back at work, worried and obviously curious. "Elise says that
you've left Lariat, but she won't tell me anything," Gussie said quietly. "Darling, you've loved Cade
for years. What's wrong? Can I help?" The unexpected sympathy sent Bess running into the arms that
had comforted her as a child, and she cried until her throat hurt from the tears. She felt terrible, as if
she were dying of weakness and nausea, and the loss of Cade was responsible. She had to drag [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]