That doesn’t matter. This is my family, my real family. I have a baby on the way and I’m going to raise my baby right. I’m going to work this land, tend these animals, build this ranch into something good, and I’m going to do it with him, with Connor.

I see the way the others look at him, especially the new ones. They all look at him with a sort of awe, like he’s special or something. I can understand it, I feel that way about him too. He has a sort of gravity about him, and he’s become even more notorious around these parts for doing the right thing. Folks respect him for taking the Bell boys to the law after what they did instead of attacking back, which is what most ranchers would’ve done.

Of course, some ranchers think he’s a traitor for going to the law, but you’ll never convince everyone.

I sit next to Connor on a long bench and lean against him as we laugh and joke and talk with Tina and Violet. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I feel like my life is finally complete. I have my baby, my husband, my home. We’re going to build a family here.

I look up at Connor. “Hey,” I say softly. “I love you.”

He smiles down at me. “I love you too.” We kiss gently.

“Gross,” Violet says, throwing bread at us. “Cut it out.”

We all laugh and I lean against my man. Every day is like this, smiles, jokes, hard work but also lots of joy. I go home tired and happy, and after Connor satisfies my every desire, I wake up and look forward to doing it all over again.

The wind in my hair, Connor by my side. There’s so much possibility out here on the ranch, so much more possibility than I ever thought I’d have. I’m happy I took the plunge and moved in with Connor two years ago, quit my job and uprooted all over again, but it was the best decision I ever made. I’m happy, I’m home, I’m looking forward to tomorrow with my man.

I don’t know what else I could want out of life.


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