Wyoming Heart

By: Diana Palmer

“I remember,” she said. She shook her head. “He’s very good at puzzles. I think you have to be, if you want to work in law enforcement.”

“I’m good at puzzles, too.”

“In fact, yes, you are.”

“Do you think your boss would ever talk to me, about being a Ranger?” he asked.

She felt uneasy. She didn’t want Tad around Banks. She didn’t know why. It was just that she hesitated to let him into her private life. She guarded it from everybody. She had, for years.

“Do you have homework?” she asked, trying to sound natural when her head was buzzing.

“I do,” he replied. He grimaced. “A lot.”

“You should get to it. Afterward, you can play video games until bedtime,” she added.

“Okay!” He finished his milk and went tearing off to his room.

She sighed with relief. She didn’t want to introduce him to Banks. She didn’t know exactly why.

She washed up and cleaned the kitchen before she went to her own room to listen to music while she knitted. It was something she’d learned from her late mother. It relaxed her when she had nothing else to do. She liked to make shawls and hats, in all sorts of wild colors.

Tad and his video games, she thought amusedly. He had a space one that he was crazy about. It was good that he was, because one game was all she could afford to buy him for their used gaming console, which had belonged to Morris. The game had been on the discount shelf. It was gently used, but Tad didn’t mind. Most of his electronics were second or even third hand. They couldn’t afford much in the way of entertainment.

Clancey had been delighted that the benefits package she got with her new job was even better than the plan she’d had when she worked for Hollister at SAPD. Medical and dental were included. Medical expenses were the arrow in her knee. She had health problems that weren’t apparent, but they could be expensive from time to time. It was nice that she didn’t have to try to treat herself. She could afford to go to a doctor and be treated. There was a small co-pay, but she could manage that.

She was sorry Tad was so vehement about the military. It was probably just a wild dream anyway, she thought. They were unlikely to let her in. But on the off chance, she’d gone by the Army recruiting office before she picked up Tad at school and got some literature about joining. She’d mentioned her health issue to the soldier in charge, who grimaced, but said they did occasionally make exceptions, and she was welcome to try anyway.

She didn’t want to make life even more complicated for her little brother. But when Morris got out, what were they going to do? Compared to living in a homeless shelter, the Army looked good. It looked very good.

She picked up her grandfather’s guitar, sat down with it and began to play.

Don’t miss Unleashed by Diana Palmer, available now wherever Harlequin® books and ebooks are sold.

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