Yo Soo Bhi Tere Naal Acoustic
Voltus V Ending Theme Indonesian Version
Home > Upon A Midnight Clear

Upon A Midnight Clear
Author: Linda Howard

The Teacher by Jude Deveraux

Chapter One

Legend, Colorado

"I don't see why--" "Please don't say it again, Jeremy," his mother said, then had to grab the side of the stagecoach to keep from slamming into the fat, snoring man beside her. Or perhaps beside wasn't the correct word. Even before the man had fallen asleep he'd been trying to get even closer to her than the tiny seat forced on them. It didn't help matters that the man kept swearing that she was "the prettiest little thing I ever seen in my whole dad-gummed life," as he put it. When Jeremy had closed his eyes, looking as though he'd fallen asleep, the man had offered Kathryn an extraordinary amount of money to spend just one hour alone with him. "If you know what I mean."

Kathryn certainly did know, and her instinct demanded she tell him she'd rather be boiled in oil than have him touch her, but instead she'd smiled and murmured that she was already "promised."

The man had patted her knee and said he "understood." Maybe he did, but Kathryn didn't have any idea what he meant. Was the American Wild West so without morals that women did spend "just one hour" with a man? As much as she wanted to know, she wasn't about to ask. However, the man's intimate interest in Kathryn de Longe and her son was why they were now speaking in French.

"We could have stayed and fought," Jeremy said, looking up at his mother with eyes much too old for his mere nine years. Kathryn had no answer for him because over the last weeks she'd exhausted her supply of words. What could she tell him that she hadn't already said? For his entire nine years they had been running. Actually, since Kathryn had had to escape Ireland when she was pregnant, maybe she could say he'd been running since before he was born. But no matter where they went or how well they disguised themselves, the O'Connor money always found them.

Now, Kathryn looked out at the steep mountainside that fell away from the narrow road the stagecoach was trying to climb. This barren, isolated place was their last chance. Their very, very last chance.

Turning, she forced herself to smile at her son. Since he was born she'd tried to protect him. Perhaps she hadn't done a very good job, but she knew she'd done her best. And maybe this time they could settle down. Maybe this time they could stay in one place for longer than three months.

When she'd bought her stage ticket (through a third party so no one would remember a lone woman buying a ticket), she'd asked a man about the isolation of Legend, Colorado, and he'd laughed. "Lady, there are places up in the Rockies that not even God can find. And I figure Legend heads that list." She hadn't smiled as he'd meant her to, but had nodded solemnly. Yes, that sounded like the place she needed.

It hadn't been so easy to persuade Jeremy to the idea of living in an isolated mountain town, as he'd liked Philadelphia very much. He was a quiet child and studious. Like his father's people, Kathryn thought with a melting of her heart. He was very much like his father's uncle with his love of books and music. And he had his father's taste in clothes. And his father's good looks, she thought with a heavy sigh. One look at Jeremy and there was no doubt whose son he was.

"I'm sure there was some other way," Jeremy said for the thousandth time. "We could have--"

"No!" Kathryn said sharply, then wanted to bite her tongue. Part of her wanted to tell him the truth of how bad the situation was, but another part wanted to protect and shield him.

Sewn inside her corset was a wanted poster bearing excellent likenesses of both her and Jeremy. The poster said that she, Caitlin McGregor, was wanted for thievery and attempted murder, and ten thousand dollars was offered for information leading to her apprehension. It further stated that she was dangerous and should be treated as such.

You'd like that, wouldn't you, O'Connor, she thought to herself. You'd like to see me behind bars. Or better yet, led to the scaffold. You'd probably dance at my hanging.

If she were caught, there would, of course, be no appeal for her. Who would believe her over the money of an O'Connor? Who would step forward and defend her against such a man as he? Especially when he was so very obviously Jeremy's father?

"I'm sure you'll like the place," Kathryn said soothingly to her son. "I hear there's a library and many entertainments are brought from Denver."

"Denver," Jeremy said with a sneer of contempt. "Traveling players? And what do you think they have in the library? Dime novels? Shall I read about Dead Eye Dick?""It might do us both a bit of good to get away from the rarified air of Philadelphia for a while. And we might like it here. Stranger things have happened."

Jeremy just snorted and looked out the window at the beautiful, but empty, mountain scenery.

Kathryn wanted to isolate herself in this godforsaken place about as much as her son did. They'd been in Philadelphia nearly three and a half months, and they had begun to make friends. There had even been a man...

But Kathryn wouldn't allow herself to think of that. She knew when she'd run away from Ireland with Sean O'Connor's child in her belly that she'd never be able to have a normal life, a life with a man and a house and maybe other children and--

"Mother!" Jeremy said sharply. "You have that look on your face again."

Kathryn smiled as she reached across the narrow aisle and took his hand in hers. She knew she'd been wearing what Jeremy called her "dreamy look" when she was far away. She'd told him she was thinking of the sweet greenness of Ireland when she had that look. Better that than to tell him the truth of how she dreamed of a home and husband and safety. No, she couldn't tell Jeremy that, for, knowing him, he'd think she could have those things if it weren't for him and he'd run away. Again.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
» Fixed series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)
» Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels #1)
» Norse Mythology