Emma had spent the last five years learning to cope with tragedy. She should have known that Doc had something up his sleeve when he'd talked her into taking a cooking job at a Colorado cattle ranch. Cooking was the easy part. Working with disabled children was something she was decidedly not prepared for. Throw in a tall dark mountain of a man with a voice like warm velvet and she was completely over her head! It would take God to straighten out the tangled mess she had made of her life.
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“I’m s-so s-sorry.” Emma stammered.
“Don’t be,” the man smiled. “Do you have nightmares often?”
“They’re not usually this bad.” Suddenly cold, she shivered and clutched the blanket to her chest. Confusion colored her voice as she asked. “How-?”
“I came in late last night and couldn't sleep. I was on my front porch waiting for sunrise when I heard you scream.” Smiling he held up his hands. “It’s a good thing I still have the key or I’m afraid I would have broken the door down.”
While he spoke he got up from the side of the bed and moved to a chair. For the first time she saw he was wearing an open jacket and flannel shirt. No wonder he had felt so warm and comforting.
“You must be Emma. I heard about you from Sue, when I called last evening to see if she needed anything from town before I headed out.”
She realized that he’d deliberately been talking to give her some much-needed breathing space, in which to gather her wits.
When he reached out his hand, Emma didn't hesitate to place hers into it. “I’m Sue’s brother Jake Peterson,” he introduced himself formally, as he politely shook her hand.
“It’s nice to meet you Mr. Peterson,” she said automatically. “I’m Emma Winters.”
As Emma sat looking up at him, she was suddenly struck by the absurdity of the situation. A bubble of nervous laughter welled up from some secret place deep inside and surprised her by escaping.
Jake, determining she was not hysterical, grinned and soon they were both laughing.
Meet the Author
Mary DeWeber has always been a voracious reader. She often found unusual places to curl up with book including the branches of a sycamore tree! She spent hours entertaining her five children with stories that she would invent on the spur of the moment. Not afraid of tough subjects, her deep faith shines through her. Mary now resides in Arkansas in a hundred-year-old farmhouse with her husband Jeff and their dog Gretchen.