Connections Jan 2015 - Page 66

Cora heard the sincerity in Shane’s words and cut off the sarcastic reply she was about to give. “That little girl will be fine.” She said laying a gentle hand on Shane’s arm. “I’m sure it’s just a bug. Nothing to worry about. She probably got it from one of her school mates. Now shew, I’ve got work and so do you.” Shane smiled and hurried out the door. He loved Cora like a mother and he was being honest when he told her he couldn’t do it without her. Being a single father and running a ranch would be impossible without help. At eight, Meg didn’t need as much supervision as she had in the beginning, but on days like today Cora was a life saver. He was still going to worry about his little girl. He knew Megan was in good hands, but he was going to head back and check on her around lunch time, anyway. While the men took a break, he could reassure himself it was just a bug, like Cora said. Shane pulled himself onto his favorite horse and headed across the field. Chapter Two Melissa barely stopped herself from moaning as Jeremy bounced on the bed. If he pushed any harder on the edge, she might topple to the ground. “Mom, wake up!” He insisted. Smiling, she pulled him into her arms and rubbed his head with her knuckles. Jeremy squirmed and tried to get away. Melissa finally released him and sat up. “I’m up now you little monster,” She said lovingly. “What’s so important you had to deprive me of sleep?” “Can I go outside?” He begged. “Pleeeese? I waited for a whole hour before I woke you up.” Melissa laughed. Jeremy had a whole new world to explore and he was anxious to get started. “Breakfast first, then you help me unload the car. After that, you can go check out the backyard.” She’d need to inspect the old tree house. If the porch steps were going, the tree house might be a complete loss. She hoped it was salvageable. As a child the tree house had been her sanctuary. She’d spent hours, days sometimes, with her best friend Sarah plotting world domination in their special clubhouse. She wanted Jeremy to have just as many adventures as she had while he was still young. “There was a real football in my room. Not a kid’s toy, but a real football. Can I have it mom? Can I really play with the football?” Jeremy asked, hope shining in his eyes. “I bet your grandparents left that there just for you.” She smiled, thinking of her parents as they headed for the kitchen. “And there’s an X-Box in my room, too. Is that for me?” He asked hopefully. Melissa hadn’t seen the X-box. Her parents had gone overboard. She loved them dearly, but they needed to be spending their money on their new house, not on spoiling their grandson. “It is, but it’s a privilege, not a right.” She warned. “Yeah, I know. I have to do my work and be good in school and then I can play with the good stuff.” He parroted, losing some of his excitement. Melissa couldn’t dampen his spirit already. “Should I make pancakes?” She asked, smiling. Jer loved pancakes. “Do we have syrup?” He said, regaining his enthusiasm. “Grandma always has syrup.” Melissa said confidently. “And scrambled eggs?” Jeremy said, hoping he wasn’t pushing it. “Of course.” Melissa said, grateful the light had returned to Jeremy’s eyes. **** Hours later, Melissa watched as Jeremy climbed in and out of the tree house. She was surprised that it was in such good shape. She knew she shouldn’t be. Her father was thorough and he’d been a good carpenter. That’s what made the condition of the house so depressing. It signified just how sick her dad had been the last couple years. But Jake Peters had built that tree house to last. Melissa knew he had grandchildren and maybe even