From Lifeline Echoes
“You hang on, do you hear me?” she ordered. “I won’t go anywhere until they have you, I swear. But you have to stay with me. Promise!”
“Okay . . . promise.” His words were slurred; his voice sounded weary.
Sandy struggled to think of something to talk about—to keep him talking and alert. “Do I hear an accent, Mick?”
His laugh was slow and soft. “Yep, I’m afraid so. I can’t seem to get the Wyoming out of my voice.”
There! Something she could get him to talk about. “Tell me about Wyoming,” she said.
He sighed. “There’s nothing like a wild gallop across the plains on a fast horse. If you can be up on that horse at daybreak, you feel like you’re flying up to meet the day. And to be in the Red Desert at sundown’s even better. If you time it right, just a split second before the sun’s gone, you feel like you’re inside all that red and orange glow. Then in your next breath you’re standing in pitch black. When you look up, the stars are already popping out. So many stars they blend together. And there’s always shooting stars for making wishes.” He laughed softly. “I guess I sound a little pathetic.”
“No.” She wished she could touch him with more than her voice. “More like a homesick cowboy.”
He was quiet for a time, then, “I guess maybe I am, Angel. I am homesick.”
His quiet admission brought tears to Sandy’s eyes, and she prayed he’d see those sunrises and sunsets and stars again. “So you lived in the desert plains?”
“I had the best of both worlds, Angel,” he told her with an easy pride. “Our ranch is in the middle of a finger of desert that’s nestled between two legs of mountains and forest.”
She could hear the love in his voice as he spoke, knew he was picturing it all in his head. “Why did you leave?”
“That’s a story for another time,” he said. “I’ll tell you when we’re on our first date.”
“Are you asking me out?”
“Oh, we’ll go out.” She could hear the grin in his voice. “I was just making the plans.”
Her lips twitched at his audacity.
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