Two months later
A stable hand offloaded Marne from the trailer that brought her from the equestrian center and led her to the pasture. Fran was happy to see her, and she greeted the mare with a carrot and a hug. In a month, they would know if the breeding was successful. Marne nickered at Fran when she took the halter from her and let her run. In a while, she would spend time grooming her, though Fran was positive she already was.
She walked back to the gate where Oliver Farnam waited for her. “Thanks for taking care of my baby. I sure did miss her around here.”
Oliver shook her hand. “She’s always a pleasure to have. It was no problem at all. Were you able to find homes for your heifer and cow yet?”
Fran nodded. “The Bradfords took both of them. Caleb has more acreage than we do here, and Missy can live her days out there. The kids adore her.”
“Great to hear!” He closed up the back of the trailer and placed his hat back on his head. “Have you heard from Charlie?”
She nodded. “Charlie is okay. I’m expecting him to call sometime this weekend.”
“Give him our best, and let him know we’re praying for their safe return.” Oliver hugged Fran and kissed her cheek. “If you need anything, let me know.”
“Thank you, Oliver. I will.” She closed the gate and walked back to the barn. She needed to spread bedding in Marne’s stall before evening. Pitchfork by pitchfork, a layer of straw covered the floor. Fran turned the water on and filled her trough and set a brand new salt lick inside the door. It sure was good to have Marne back home.
The summer market would be in full swing soon, and the plants were well established and on the way to a beautiful harvest. For now, the garden needed little attention, just an occasional weed pulled. The bees were healthy and produced an abundance of honey and beeswax. The coop had a batch of chicks, six of which would replace hens from her current brood. But instead of sending them for processing, she would sell them to another farmer in the neighborhood. With just herself on the farm, she didn’t need as much food, and she was able to live modestly.
With Marne bedded down in her stall for the night, she walked back through the sunroom and into the kitchen, stripped her dirty clothes from her body and walked to the downstairs bathroom for a shower. She had finished drying her hair when the phone rang, and she ran to answer it.
“Hi, love,” Charlie’s voice greeted her. “Oh, honey, I miss you.”
“Charlie!” her cheerful voice replied. “I miss you more than you know.”
“How is everything there? Is Marne home yet?”
“She is!” Fran answered happily. “She came home today. I’ll know in about a month if we’re expecting a foal next year.”
“That’s great, honey.” He hoped she would keep talking. He missed her voice. “How are you getting along?”
“The plants are good, Missy and Moo are all settled in with Caleb and Sunny, and—”
“No, honey, I mean, how are you doing?”
Tears filled her eyes. “I’m lonely. I miss you. I am afraid for you, but I pray for you every day. I miss your kisses.”
Charlie sighed. “I miss everything about being home, especially you. Look, I can’t talk much longer. Tell me you love me, Frannie. I need to hear it.”
“I love you. I love you. I love you,” Fran said. “Promise me, Charlie. Promise me you’ll be safe.”
“I promise, Frannie. I love you. I love you. I love you, darling.” She wept as the call ended.
Fran warmed up leftovers from a meal Sunny brought for her the previous day, but she only picked at it, her mind on Charlie. His request for her profession of love usually meant a mission in a dangerous situation, and all she could think about was her husband. Fran stood from the table and picked up her supper plate, carried it to the kitchen, and covered it. Maybe this would make a good lunch tomorrow, she thought.
She walked to the doors and locked up, turned out the lights, and walked upstairs to her bedroom. Fran turned the covers down on the bed and changed into her pajamas. And she kneeled on the side of the bed, folded her hands, and prayed for Charlie’s safety.
“Keep him safe,” she prayed. “Please, keep him safe and let him come home to me.” When she finished, she climbed into their bed and wept until she fell asleep.
The phone rang well before the sun appeared in the eastern sky the next morning, and Fran’s heart skipped a beat. “Hello?” she said with a shaky voice.
“Hi, love,” Charlie greeted her.
“Oh, thank goodness!” she cried. “You’re safe.”
“I promised you, honey. But I knew I had to call you. Our mission was a success.”
“I did as you asked me, Charlie. I prayed. I love you.”
“I love you, my Frannie. I have to go, but I’ll call you next week, darling.” They blew kisses over six thousand miles and hung up. Fran took a deep breath, exhaled sheer relief, and cried.
A few hours later, she awakened to a new day. Fran walked outside to the yard. She brought Marne from the barn, slid the bridle over her head, her racing saddle on her back, and climbed atop the young mare. Marne nickered at Fran, who leaned forward and patted her neck. “Let’s go for a quick ride, shall we baby girl?” She took the reins in her hand and nudged the horse to a trot, and with a gentle prod, Marne cleared the fence. They rode toward the Bradford farm, about three blocks from home.
Sunny had just put her children on the bus for school when Fran approached her. “Hey, Sun!” she greeted her friend.
“You have her back!” Sunny exclaimed. “I know how you missed her.”
“I did. I won’t be able to ride much if this girl is pregnant, so I thought I’d get one in this morning.” She patted Marne’s neck, and the mare whinnied.
“Have you heard from Charlie?” Sunny asked.
“I did, both last night and this morning very early. He had a mission last night. He has a tell when he thinks something might go wrong.”
“How is he?”
Fran smiled. “He’s okay. The one thing he asks me to do every time I talk to him is to pray. It’s the one thing I do every morning and every night without fail.”
“Your mama would be so proud of you, Fran, to see you grow in your faith. You’re doing her and Charlie proud.” Sunny took her hand and squeezed it. “Are you ready for the market?”
“I will be. The plants have some beautiful fruit on them this year. I’m counting on a good market season. It’s been two months, and I haven’t seen a dime of Charlie’s pay since he left.”
“That doesn’t sound right. Did you ask about it, Fran?”
“There is no one on base to ask. Everyone has gone overseas with the unit.”
“If you need anything, let us know. We’re not going to let you fail when Charlie is away serving our country.”
“Thank you, Sun. I appreciate that.” Fran felt a hunger pang and realized she hadn’t had breakfast yet. “I really should get home. I have much to do today. But before I go, how are Missy and Moo?”
“We adore both of them. Missy is quite the character. I can see why it pained you to rehome her, but I’m glad you entrusted her to us.”
“I’m happy you could take them. I knew the cows would be safe on your farm.” Fran picked up Marne’s reins and waved to Sunny. “I’ll see you soon!”
Fran dismounted before she got to the fence, took the lead and guided Marne through the gate into the yard. She slipped her bridle and saddle off, and her padded halter on, patted her on the shoulder and walked back toward the house.
She warmed up a plate of pancakes she had made days earlier and a cup of fresh coffee. As she ate, her thoughts went back to Charlie. How much she missed him. How much she worried for his safety. How much she looked forward to his return.
In a week, Fran would turn thirty, and she would spend her birthday alone for the first time in her life. She had no plans other than to spend it in the garden preparing for the season’s first harvest and market season. Her best friend Clara had long since moved away from Appaloosa Plains to follow her husband’s job prospects. Caleb and Sunny had their family. No, it would just be Fran, Marne, and the garden for her thirtieth birthday.
Fran had just finished cleaning up breakfast dishes when she heard a knock at the front door. She wiped her hands on her apron and ran to answer it. Dolly Farmer stood there to greet her.
“Hi, sweetheart!” her mother-in-law said with a hug and a smile. “How are you doing over here?”
“Everything is on schedule so far for the summer. Marne came home yesterday, and we’ll know in a month if we’re expecting a foal next spring. The plants are—”
“No, Frannie, how are you doing here by yourself?” Fran supposed she must have spoken to Charlie. It was the first time she’d seen either of her in-laws since Charlie left.
Fran shook her head. “I’m lonely. I miss Charlie, and his phone calls home are always short. But I’m proud of him.”
Dolly smiled. “We are too. Look, Frannie, do you need anything at all? Is there something we can do for you?”
“No, but thank you,” she replied. “I do need to get the truck looked at someday soon. Charlie was going to do that, but he found out about the deployment the very next day. Tomorrow never came for that. I will need something before the market season comes around.”
“Georgie is good with his hands. I’ll send him over to look at it, sweetheart. How have you been getting around?”
“Well, until I bred Marne, I was riding her into town for short errands. If she’s expecting, I won’t be able to ride her for long. But she couldn’t carry boxes of produce on her back anyway.” Fran suddenly realized they both stood in the front doorway, and she was embarrassed. “I’m so sorry, Dolly. Please come in and sit! I’ll make some tea—”
Dolly took her hand and stopped her. “That’s not necessary. I can’t stay anyway. I was just headed out this way and thought I’d stop to see how you’re doing.” She hugged Fran and stepped back. “I’ll send George over to look at the pickup. If he can’t fix it, at least you’ll know where you stand with it.”
“Thank you,” Fran replied. “I’ll leave the back door open so he can get into the garage, though I should be home.”
“I’ll let him know. You will tell us if you need anything, won’t you?”
Fran nodded. “Of course.” The women hugged, and Dolly left.
Five days later, a package arrived in the mailbox for Fran. It didn’t take long to recognize the handwriting on the label or the address from which it came. Charlie had decorated the outside of the package with stickers and stamps, anything he could find at the bazaar when he packed it. The postmark revealed Charlie mailed it nearly six weeks prior. She carried her treasure up the steps to their bedroom. She was aching to know what was inside the box, but she wanted to wait until Charlie called to open it.
Sunny would be there at any moment to take Fran to look at a used pickup truck. Charlie’s old junk was deemed unrepairable, so she sold it to the junkyard for parts. With a few hundred simoleons in her hands, she hoped to negotiate a deal for a working truck, one that would last for the season. When Charlie returned home, together, they would purchase a newer one in better condition.
The horn sounded outside, and Fran took her purse and locked the front door. As she ran for Sunny’s car, she waved.
“Hi, Fran!” Sunny greeted her.
“Hi Sun,” Fran replied. “Thank you for doing this for me. I hope this will work for the season at the very least.” She gave the address to Sunny, and they drove away from the Farmer home.
They arrived at the farm within five minutes, and both women got out of the car. The truck sat in the grass off the driveway, a faded “For Sale” sign in the windshield. An older gentleman came from the farmhouse, walked toward them, and waved. “Are you Fran?” he asked.
She nodded. “I am. Is it okay if I take a look at the truck? Does it run?”
“It does. My son tuned the engine up last week. It purrs like a kitten.” The man took keys from his pocket and threw them to Fran. “Start her up and see what you think.”
The truck was much older than the one she had sold, but it was in remarkable condition for a vehicle its age. She opened a creaky door and hopped into the driver’s seat, put the key in the ignition, and turned it. The old truck fired up on the first try, and Fran smiled. “You’re right. It does purr like a kitten.” She left it running and jumped out of the cab, ran her hands over the bumpers, and checked the tires. The bed was open but had removable rails for hauling her produce to market. “How much did you say?” she asked him.
“Well, that depends,” he answered her. “Your husband is the Farmer boy, right?” Fran nodded. “He’s fighting overseas with my grandson, Phillip.” The older man thought for a moment. “How about one hundred?”
“No, that’s not enough—” she tried to protest, but he took her hand.
“I don’t need the money, darlin’. One hundred is more than enough.” He smiled at her. “You know, military families take care of each other, Mrs. Farmer. Some day, when you can, pay it forward to another deserving family. That’s all I ask.”
Fran was amazed. “I don’t know what to say. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” he replied. “We’ll see you at the market in a few weeks.”
She smiled and nodded. “Yes, you will.” She took five smaller notes from her purse and paid him, got into the truck, and drove it home.
After supper, Fran sat in the living room with a book when her phone rang, Charlie’s number on the ID. She answered it, a smile on her face.
“Hi, honey,” he said. “How’s the love of my life?”
“The same as always, Charlie. Lonely. Missing you. Incredibly proud of you. How are you doing over there?”
“The conflict is still going on. I think it will be for a little while yet.”
She remembered the package that arrived that morning and smiled. “I got a pretty box in the mail this morning,” she said. “And I have some other news, too.”
“Did you open the package? Did you like it?”
“I haven’t yet. I was hoping I could open it while I’m talking to you.” She was on her way up the stairs to retrieve it.
“I only have a few minutes, love. Do you have it with you?”
“I do now,” she said. She sat on the bed, the box in front of her. “Can I, Charlie?”
“Yes, love. Quickly.”
She took a pair of scissors and cut the tape, opened the package, and found a smaller box inside with a letter. She tugged the gift box open to find a silver neck chain with a cross pendant on it. “Oh, Charlie, where did you find this? It’s beautiful!”
“There’s a bazaar in the town, and a silversmith made the pendant. I thought of you. I’m sorry I’m not there for your special day, my love. Happy birthday.” He blew kisses on the phone.
Fran choked up. “Thank you.”
“You said you had other news? I need to go in one minute. Can you tell me quickly?”
“Yes. I bought a new-to-us truck today. It’s older but very nice. Clean, in good condition, it runs perfectly.”
“That’s great, sweetie! How much?”
Charlie’s mouth dropped open. “Are you sure you didn’t steal it?”
She chuckled. “The man’s grandson, Phillip, is deployed with you,” she said. Charlie recognized the boy’s name. “He gave me a deal on it and wants us to pay it forward someday.”
“That is incredible. Listen, baby. I have to go. I love you, Frannie. I’ll call again soon. Keep praying for us.”
“I will, Charlie. I love you, too.” They blew kisses one last time and hung up the phone. She turned her attention to the silver necklace. The chain was delicate, the pendant intricate in design. She removed it from the box and clasped it around her neck. She stood, walked to the mirror in their bedroom, and admired it. Oh, how she loved that man.
After the phone call, Fran closed up the house and locked the doors. Marne was already stabled for the night, fed, watered, and happy. So she walked upstairs, changed into her pajamas, and kneeled to pray like she did every night. Fran clasped her hands together and spoke quietly. When she finished, she climbed into bed and cried.
On the morning of her birthday, Fran began her day like she did every other day. Marne was happy to see her and nickered at her softly when she opened the stall door. “Good morning, sweetheart,” Fran said and patted Marne’s neck. “How’s my girl?” She wrapped her arms around the horse’s neck and smiled. “Would you like to go for a ride?” Gently, she patted Marne’s nose and took equipment from the hook it hung upon in the tack room. Fran gently slipped her halter off and buckled the leather strap around Marne’s head before she led her from the barn.
Once she was sitting on Marne’s back, Fran nudged her forward and over the short fence. They rode together at a trot toward the equestrian center. There was no hurry, and she had nowhere to go. It was just a woman and her horse moving together as one, the beautiful beast under Fran was strong and agile. About a mile from the house, she allowed the mare to graze while she rested. From there, they continued down toward the center.
Oliver Farnam was outside the center with the stallion that mated with Marne. Fran admired the animal, chestnut-colored with a stark white blaze and stockings on his front two legs. He was a beautiful horse, and Fran dismounted to take a closer look at him.
“Good morning, Fran,” Oliver greeted her. “How’s our girl?”
Fran held tight to Marne’s reins. “She’s perfect. We’re just enjoying a morning ride together. She’s a magnificent horse. Is this the sire?” She pointed to the stallion whose reins he held.
“Yes,” Oliver confirmed. “We just acquired him from the old owner. He will be here permanently.”
Fran wrinkled her nose. “What does this mean for the breeding contract?”
“Nothing changes, Fran. As the new owner, I will honor the terms of the contract. As soon as we find she is expecting, the contract is valid and active as it was signed. So don’t worry about that.”
“Well, that’s a relief,” Fran sighed. “When can we do the ultrasound on her to check? It has to be coming up soon?”
“In another week. Marne is five weeks out from being bred. I don’t have to tell you that Sophie and I are hoping for a foal, and I know you are too.”
She nodded her head and patted Marne on the neck. “I am. I know what a champion racehorse could do for us.” Marne paced uncomfortably at Fran’s side and nudged her arm. “I guess that’s my cue to go back home, Oliver. I guess I’ll see you next week after the doctor gives us news about Marne.”
Oliver hugged her and kissed her cheek softly. “That sounds like a good plan.” He gave Fran a leg up to mount Marne. “Enjoy your day, my dear.”
“Thank you, Oliver,” Fran waved as she turned Marne back toward the farm.
When she arrived home, there was a message on her answering machine, so she listened to it as she brewed a cup of coffee.
Fran, this is Dolly. Honey, we know it’s your birthday, and Georgie and I would love to take you for supper tonight to celebrate you. Please call me when you get home. We love you.
This development is unexpected, Fran thought. She prepared her coffee, sat down in Charlie’s chair, and dialed her mother-in-law’s number. She let it ring six times before the answering machine picked it up, so she left a message.
Dolly, this is Fran. I got your message, and I thank you for the birthday wishes. I should be home all day. I guess I’ll talk to you later.
After breakfast, Fran took the phone handset and brought it to the barn while she groomed Marne. She took each of the mare’s feet into her hand, and cleaned the dirt and muck from her hooves, brushed her beautiful cream coat, and braided her mane. When Fran finished, she fastened Marne’s halter over her head and allowed her to graze in the pasture.
Fran moved to the coop and fed the brood. The chicks had grown since they had hatched just a few shorts weeks prior. “I don’t need any more chicks,” she said to the rooster as she collected eggs from the nests. The bird looked at her and crowed, and it made her laugh. The cranky old bird pecked at the feed she had thrown onto the dirt outside the door. As Fran finished her chores, the phone still hadn’t rung.
Since she was home alone, she stripped her dirty clothes off in the sunroom and left them, walked to the bathroom upstairs and showered. She smelled of dirty horse and barn, and it wasn’t a pleasant aroma. The shampoo lather cleaned her flaming red strands of hair as she rinsed the soap from her head. The water looked a bit dirty, and she laughed. When she finished, she sat on the bed, a towel wrapped around her head and body while she air-dried. I’ll just lay here a while, she thought to herself. Her heavy eyes closed sleep overtook her quickly.
Hours had passed, and the sun was nearly ready to set in the western sky, and Fran hadn’t heard from Dolly all day. While she thought it strange, it didn’t occur to her that something could be wrong. She took the towel from her now dry hair and laughed. Locks of her hair stuck up every which way, and Fran wrinkled her nose. It was too late to fix it, so she put it in a messy ponytail, and got dressed.
Marne was still out in the pasture, grazing when Fran opened the back door. “Marne!” she called to the mare, and she trotted to Fran obediently. “That’s my good girl!” she praised the horse. A closer look revealed that her grooming earlier was undone. Marne’s white mane was a dusty tan, the same color as the dirt on her back. “What will it take to keep you clean, hmm?” she laughed. The air was nippy for an early summer evening, so she closed the barn door behind her to keep the draft to a minimum. “Good night, sweet girl,” she said.
Fran had been tucked into bed for a few hours when her phone rang. It alarmed her since she wasn’t expecting a call from Charlie. But when his ID came up on the phone, she smiled.
“Hello?” she answered.
“Happy birthday, love,” he said. “How was dinner with Ma and Pa?”
She stretched and yawned. “I got a message from your mama earlier this morning, but she never returned my call, so we didn’t go.”
“Would you go check on them for me? That isn’t right.” Suddenly, Charlie was worried.
“Tonight? It’s almost three in the morning here, Charlie.”
He huffed in frustration. “You’re right. I don’t want you out of the house this late by yourself. I keep forgetting how much ahead we are on time. So I suspect your birthday was less than wonderful.”
“Oh, no, it was wonderful! I went for a ride to the equestrian center and met with Oliver. He bought the sire to Marne’s foal if she has one. He is beautiful! And then I rode home and groomed her, took care of the chickens, took a shower, and fell asleep until just before dark.”
“I can’t tell if you’re being serious about your birthday being wonderful,” he laughed.
“It was. I did no chores today except feed the chickens and collect a few eggs. I had the day off!” She fell back onto the bed and giggled like a child. “It was a good day.”
“I’m glad you had a good birthday, love, but I wish Ma and Pa would have connected with you. I’ll try to call them later to check on them.” If things were okay with them, he would be relieved but angry at the same time. They promised to take care of her while he was gone. “We may have something going on tonight, so I’ll call you if I do. Otherwise, it will be next week, sweetheart.”
“You have to go already?” she pouted. “I’ve just barely said hi.”
“I know, sweetie. Ten other guys are waiting to call home. I can’t hog our break time.” He blew her a kiss. “I love you, my Frannie. Keep praying for me.”
“I love you, Charlie. I pray every morning and night for you. I hope I don’t have to talk to you until next week.” It sounded terrible, but he knew what she meant.
“Me too, sweetie. I have to go. Be strong and pray, love. We’ll talk soon.”
“I will,” she said. They blew kisses and hung up the call. And at the same time, almost six thousand miles apart, they said, “I miss you” to one another.
Fran was in the garden aerating the soil around the plants when her phone rang. She saw Charlie’s number on Caller ID, and her heart sank.
“Hi, love,” he said. “Oh, Frannie, I’ve thought of nothing else but you today.”
“I’ve been missing you here. Is everything okay, Charlie?” She heard footsteps and muffled sounds.
“We have a mission in a few hours, love. Now is when we need your prayers. Tell me you love me, Frannie. I need to know.”
She shook her head. “No…” A sob choked her, and she couldn’t speak. “Charlie, I love you. I love you. I love you. Promise me you’ll come back safe.”
He shook his head. On this mission, he could make no such promise with reasonable certainty. “I love you, Frannie. Pray for us as though the whole world depends on it.” He wasn’t afraid. This moment was what he had trained for. His only fear was leaving Fran behind, and it tortured him. “Pray, Frannie.” He took the phone from his face to gather himself, and when he had, he spoke softly into it once again. “I will call you.”
“I’ll be waiting,” she wept.
Hours passed, and the longer she had to wait for his phone call, the more she worried. Fran got up and started the tea kettle. She paced the floor and watched the sun come up in the backyard while she sat in a chair on the back porch. In each pocket, there was a phone. In her right, Fran had her cell phone, and in the left pocket was the cordless handset to the house phone.
Three hours later, Fran was nearly out of her mind with worry, so she tried to think of something, anything that would take her mind off the mission. She was upstairs folding laundry when she heard a knock on the door. Immediately, she felt sick, and her legs went weak. From the top of the stairs, she called out, “Who is it?”
“Armed Forces,” came the answer. Fran walked down to the bottom of the stairs and held to the railing for dear life. The distance between the bottom step and the door was less than five feet, but she couldn’t walk it. She stumbled to the door and opened it, two men from the base stood before her. “Mrs. Farmer?”
Fran choked on a sob. “Yes?”
“Mrs. Farmer, Charlie has been trying to reach you for hours, but he could not. Ma’am, he was injured in this morning’s mission, but not gravely.”
“How not gravely?” she asked. She wasn’t sure she wanted to know.
“He took a bullet to the shoulder. The doctors say he was fortunate. The bullet missed every major nerve and blood vessel. Two inches lower and it would have pierced his heart.”
“He’s okay?” she asked on the verge of relief. “He’s going to live?”
“He is okay, Mrs. Farmer. He was going to tell you himself, but, as we said, he couldn’t reach you. We are sorry to have alarmed you.” They tipped their hats and left.
Fran’s first reaction was anger. “I asked you for protection!” she screamed into an empty house. “I asked you to keep him safe, but you failed me! You failed Charlie…” she collapsed on the floor of the living room and cried uncontrollably.
Two hours after the cadets brought Fran the news of his injury, her phone rang. She had fallen asleep on the floor in the living room, and the ring startled her awake. Charlie’s number was on the ID, and she scrambled to answer it.
“Hello?!” she said, nearly breathless.
“Hi, love,” Charlie greeted her. “I’m okay. I want you to know that. It wasn’t as bad an injury as they originally thought.” She began to cry and didn’t say another word, and her sobs broke his heart. “Sweetie, I wanted to tell you myself before I went into surgery, but I couldn’t get the call to connect.”
“They knocked on the door this morning. I thought I was a widow. I can’t do this anymore, Charlie. I can’t…”
“Baby, I’m okay. I’m out of commission for a month or so until this heals. But I’m going to make a full recovery, I promise.”
“This wasn’t supposed to happen!” she exclaimed. “Charlie, I prayed for you, I prayed for your safety, and I failed you.”
“No, you didn’t, love. My injury could have been so much worse, Frannie. I was extremely blessed, and it was because of your prayers. Don’t give up hope, honey. Don’t give up on your faith.”
She sniffled and dabbed her eyes. “I’ll never give up. But I mean it when I say I can’t do this anymore. I need you…”
“I’ll be in the hospital for a couple of days, and I have my cell with me. Call me anytime you want, honey, and I’ll talk to you. I’ll be in physical therapy for a couple of weeks, and then it’s back out to the field.”
“Anytime?” she asked. She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.
“Day or night. Frannie, keep praying for our men. They need prayers while I’m out of commission. Pray for me, too. Honey, I love you, but I’m sleepy from the anesthesia. I’ll call you when I wake up in the morning, okay?”
She nodded her head. “Yes, Charlie. Sweet dreams, my love. You promise to call in the morning?”
“Of course I do. Don’t forget to call Ma. I’m worried about them.”
“I promise I’ll call her now. Charlie, I love you, and I’m happy you’re okay. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
He smiled. “Yes, you will. I love you, Frannie.” They blew kisses over the miles and hung up.
Where she sat on the floor, she clasped her hands together and prayed out loud. “Thank you for sparing my Charlie’s life. Thank you for your hand of protection over him and his men. Please continue to keep them safe and watch over them. Amen.”
Up Next: Chapter Ten, Generation One
Love and Horses, A Pose Pack by Kaleeko
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Garden Rose Living Chair by Severinka
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