As I promised Jarrod and Victoria are back at home with their family before Christmas. I do wish you can enjoy these days with those whom you love and who love you and that the New Year will bring to the valley dwellers plenty of sweet, sad, funny and all kind of stories and warm friendship.
Heath joined them and engulfed her and his brother in his arms. Then, he began to look around for his oldest brother but Jarrod was nowhere to be seen.
Jarrod had gone to the market one more time to get something to eat for his dear friend. He was concerned because he was weaker everyday and he could barely walk. His upper leg was swollen and it hurt him a lot. Plus it continued bleeding from time to time. He was sure it was infected and that was the reason of his fever. After imploring for some time he got a half bottle of milk and several biscuits from the day before. But he was happy thinking his lady as he used to call the poor woman would be able to eat something since that kind of food was easier for her to swallow.
When he was slowly and painfully dragging himself back to the place where he had left her, he spotted a group of men. His blurred eyes didn’t let him see them too well and he thought they could be attacking her one more time and yelled while he approached them waving his branch.
Nick and Heath looked amazed at their oldest brother. Jarrod was in an appalling condition, he walked wobbling and pulling his leg, his face was blushed and he seemed not to recognize them. As he was going to attack Heath, the younger man uttered he was his brother while Nick repeated the same from the ground.
Jarrod gazed at the man standing in front of him and then at the other cradling gently the woman and saw he wasn’t mistreating her. Suddenly he remembered and whispered his brothers’ names dropping the branch. As he stretched his hand to touch Heath face he fell cold in his brother arms. Heath got his big brother before he could hit the ground and hugged him discovering he was burning.
A wagon arrived and Nick carried his mother to it, laying her on a stretcher, while Heath after tapping lightly his older brother face to wake him up almost had to carry to the wagon. As Jarrod saw his mother to his side, he took her hand in his and whimpered, “Mother?”
Victoria opened her eyes and smiled warmly at him squeezing his hand feebly and saying, “Jarrod, Sweetheart.”
After a week in the hospital mother and son were allowed to go home where they would keep taking things easy and resting for some weeks in order to recover their lost vitality.
Nick and Heath got the family private train car ready and this time Heath took his mother inside while Nick helped Jarrod who, in spite of his cane, had to lean most on his weight on his tall brother to walk in.
Both patients arrived tired, sore and still rather weak but happy at the ranch where Audra, Dr. Merar and Silas were waiting for them. Victoria and Jarrod enjoyed and relished in the family hovering over them and basked in their love.
After another week, Victoria was able to stand and leave her bed and she was allowed to take short walks around the house.
She went to Jarrod’s room where he had to remain in his bed for longer. He had to rest his severe injured leg and he was still feeling cold. Although Dr. Merar had made sure his body was getting free of the substances he had received in the warehouse and he would be healed soon.
As she entered, she kissed her son’s smooth and clean cheek and sat in his bed edge to talk. She stressed she had been thinking about all those poor people who had no home and since they had a beautiful house and money enough they could create a trust at the hospital to treat them when they were ill.
Jarrod agreed commenting it was a wonderful idea and said he would start working on the project as soon as he would be able to go to his office, although he had to visit the governor in Sacramento first. Then he added he knew who could be the lead project and pointed to Audra since she had a good experience in charity institutions.
Later, Heath and Nick helped their lawyer brother to go downstairs so the family could sit together in the study. Victoria shared with her children hers and Jarrod’s plans. All they agreed and Audra strolled to the settee where Jarrod was resting his leg, covered with a soft and warm blanket. She kissed her oldest brother cheek in thanks for thinking of her and praising her experience, making sure she would be able to do a good job with his and their mother’s advice.
As he returned the kiss, Jarrod held her hand in his and asked his sister for a favor.
He wanted little Peter to visit him in the ranch. The young boy deserved to have a family or at least live with a caring and lovely, father, grandmother, aunt and uncles, and he planned to adopt him thinking that maybe he would be able to find the best mother for him.
He already loved the child and knew he and his mother had been able to survive thanks to his mother abiding love for him. He went on to say that although he couldn’t remember he had a family, they had been with him all the time even in his nightmares. Audra grinned hearing his brother joke since it meant he was recovering his usual charming but also a little cynical sense of humor.