Seeking Justice (Cowboy Justice Association Book 11)(2)

By: Olivia Jaymes

“It might change how you feel. I don’t care about having a baby. It’s not that important to me.”

A silvery tear slid down her creamy cheek. Now Reed felt like a total asshole. He’d made her cry mentioning the one thing that she didn’t want to talk about. She never wanted to talk about it again. She’d made that clear the day they’d walked out of that fertility specialist’s office.

“You’re lying. It was important. To both of us.”

“Our marriage is more important than a baby. We could always adopt.”

Scrubbing at her wet cheeks, she turned away again. “You just don’t get it.”

“And that shuts down the conversation, doesn’t it?” Reed’s voice had become louder and his heart beat faster in his chest. The ties that bound them together felt so fragile these days, as if they might snap at any moment. He was constantly reaching out to pull her closer but that just pushed her farther away. “Dumb old Reed doesn’t get it so you stop talking. Stop believing in our marriage. It’s all your way and I don’t get any say.”

“Nothing has been my way.”

The words were barely audible, but Reed still heard them. Dammit, he loved this woman. He’d die for her without any question. But he couldn’t make her happy. Shit, when was the last time he’d seen her smile? He couldn’t remember. All the joy that had been inside of his wife had leaked out, leaving a shell of a human being. She existed but barely. She worked and sometimes she’d eat. She rarely left the house and she hardly spoke to anyone especially him. It had been like living with a shadow. The day she’d asked him to leave he hadn’t even argued. He’d packed his bag and left, mostly out of self-preservation.

Honestly, Reed needed to keep his head in the game and not be distracted by his own personal issues. He’d hoped when Kaylee had said she was coming to help out that the time together might give him a chance to heal his marriage, but they both had to want that. Right now, he was alone in wanting to make this work. The days to come weren’t going to be easy. In fact, being this close to her and not pulling her into his arms was a particularly cruel form of torture. He still loved his wife desperately. Sometimes he thought she still loved him, too.

The safe house was located on the outskirts of Billings. Close enough to law enforcement but far enough away that they had some privacy. It was state of the art technologically and administered by the Marshal service. Their friend Evan Davis had once been a US Marshal, so he was the liaison with the service who was looking for Wade, but they were also helping protect Ava, Logan, and the kids.

They were all helping. Tanner, Seth, Griffin, Jared, Jason, and Dare. They were banded together now, a team. No one was going to get to Logan and his family.

No one. If only he could somehow protect his wife from the world.

“Are you happy, honey?”

“I don’t know. Are you?”

“We could be. It doesn’t have to be like this.”

Reed pulled up to the front of the house and parked the car. In a few seconds, they would be onstage. They might not be a couple, but they had to act like it. Kaylee gathered her purse and backpack, pushing open the car door.

“The difference between the two of us, Reed, is that I don’t expect to be happy.”

If he couldn’t get Kaylee back… Neither did he.

* * * *

The safe house where Logan, Ava, and the kids were staying was lovely and spacious with soaring ceilings and shiny maple floors. It looked comfortable but a little cold and unlived in, more like a showroom than a home.

But Ava had a wide smile on her face and open arms which Kaylee flew into gratefully, hugging her best friend hard. It had been far too long since they’d seen each other in person. Skype sessions were fine, but they simply weren’t the same. Already the tension that had built during the car ride was draining away.

“I’ve missed you,” Ava gushed, giving Kaylee a second hug. “I’m so glad that you’re here but you didn’t have to come.”

“I wanted to come. I thought you might need a hand with the twins, keeping them occupied.”

Rolling her eyes, Ava gestured toward the back of the house. “Logan has them in the backyard right now and they’re all getting dirty playing kickball. We’re trying to keep them outside as much as possible to wear them out. So far it seems to be working.”