Thanks for following this story and the comments, I do believe in happy endings. Hope you are not disappointed.
the couple approached the grove of small bushes, Christina asked, “So what is
“Patience, lovely lady,” Jarrod replied with a smile. “You’ll see soon enough.”
Once they rounded the bushes, all Christina saw in front of them was more open field. “Okay we’re here,” she commented.
“Good,” Jarrod replied. “Now do you see some stakes about a hundred yards straight ahead? There should be some ribbons tied on top; blue and red ones.”
Looking closer in the direction indicated, Christina smiled and said, “Yes.”
“Well, lovely lady,” Jarrod announced, “Let me introduce you to our new home. Please lead the way to the stakes with the red ribbons.”
As they approached the site, Jarrod explained that before he ever returned to Stockton, even before he thought of asking Christina to be his wife, he had asked the architect who had designed his home in San Francisco to design his new home on the ranch. He had brought the plans back with him and because of everything that happened, had not mentioned it to anyone. That was until last night, when he talked to his brothers.
Once approaching the stakes with the red ribbons and with the help of Christina, making sure he did not stumble over any uneven ground, Jarrod laid out the design of the house, both downstairs and up, from the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. He explained the view from the balcony of the master bedroom and how you would be able to see the pond below. He went onto explain how this particular spot had a special meaning for him. The pond below was where he would always ride to when he needed to think over things. It was a quiet spot to be alone.
Jarrod then laid out the rest of the plans for their home which included a stable and barn on the left side of the house, plus another smaller house for the stableman and housekeeper. He had figured since he was to live there alone with Katie, it would be best to hire a couple to help with day to day tasks. The right side of the house would be left clear for gardens. Behind the house there was a big tree, in which he had planned to build a tree house for Katie.
Christina could see the excitement on Jarrod face as he explained his plans. All of a sudden she saw a sadness appear. She reached over and placed her right hand on his left cheek, turning his head to see in his eyes. “What’s wrong, Jarrod?”
Jarrod looked down toward her voice and said, “Feeling sorry for myself, about being blind. I know I’ll have you and the children to help me move on. And I look forward to our future together. It’s just……..”
Christina placed her right hand over his mouth and said, “No Jarrod, not this time. We’ll be fine. Your dreams will happen, and I’ll be by your side to see that they do. Let me and the children be your eyes.”
Jarrod removed her hand and squeezed it tight. He then hugged Christina and as he was about to give her a kiss said, “I love you.”
The happy couple arrived back home and were not surprised to find everyone sitting around in the parlor. Christina helped lead Jarrod into the room and before they entered softly said, “They’re all staring.”
Jarrod bent down and quietly whispered in her ear, “Think they might be expecting me to make an announcement?”
“Well you’d better, big brother,” Nick shouted, “we don’t have all day, this is a working ranch you know.”
“Nicholas,” Victoria scolded. “Now if there is something Jarrod wants to share with us, at least give him a chance to relax.”
“Relax from what?” Katie stated. “How hard is it to go on a picnic?”
“Okay,” Jarrod said. “I won’t keep you all in suspense any longer. Christina has agreed to become my wife and Katie’s mother.”
“Yippee,” was the shouts that came from the children as they both ran up to Jarrod and Christina.
“Does that mean you’ll be my father?” William asked.
“That’s what it means, son,” Jarrod answered as he bent down to hug the young boy. After congratulations from the rest of the family, Jarrod said, “Now since we plan on leaving for West Virginia next week; that only gives us a few days to plan a wedding. I’d like Christina to accompany me on this trip as my wife.”
“I think that can be arranged,” Victoria said. Within minutes she and Audra started thinking out loud as to what needed to be done first.
Jarrod smiled and gave Christina another hug. It was the happiest he had been in a long time.
The excitement of the day was overwhelming for the lawyer as he sat in his leather chair in his room. It was all he and Christina could do to get the children to go to sleep. And then it was all he could do to break away from the woman he loved and head to his own room. The window was open and he was enjoying the cool breeze blowing in.
All of a sudden his head began to ache. He bent over and held it in his hands. The pain was worse than anything he had previously experienced. And this time, to his surprise, he could swear he was seeing flashes of bright white light. He called out in pain as he tried to rise up from the chair, only to fall to his knees.
Within minutes Heath and Nick entered his room. He could not hear what they were saying, but he could feel their arms lifting him up off the floor and helping him towards his bed. He wanted to tell them what was wrong, but could not find the words. He was now lying down, his head on the pillows; he heard more voices but could not answer them. He cried out one more time and then fell into unconsciousness.
Not sure how long he had been sleeping, Jarrod slowly began to wake. He heard the birds chirping outside, almost in unison with the snores coming from someone sitting in the chair by the window. As he had done for the past few weeks, Jarrod opened his eyelids and willed himself to see something other than the darkness. To his surprise, he saw light and shadowy figures. Everything was blurry, but he was able to make out objects. He immediately sat up and stared at his brother Nick. He wanted to say something, but thought better of it. Maybe this was only a dream; he had to be sure.
Slowly Jarrod pushed back the covers and rose from his bed. He walked to his bedroom door, slowly opened it and began walking down the hallway. The first door to his right was to his daughter’s room; he opened it and walked in. There she slept; he could make out the small figure sleeping in her bed. A little further away was another small bed where William was sleeping. The children had been sleeping in the same room since Cunningham and his men had entered the home.
Jarrod walked over and covered up his daughter, who had kicked off her blankets. He bent over and kissed her on the head. He then went over to where William was sleeping and gave him a kiss as well. He left the room and went straight to the guest room. He opened the door and saw Christina sleepy soundly. He closed his eyes for a bit and opened then to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. Even sleeping she took his breath away. He knew better of it, but entered the room, sat down on the right side of the bed and tried to see clearly the form of the woman he loved.
All of a sudden Christina stirred and saw Jarrod sitting on the bed. He looked to be watching her. “Jarrod?” She questioned. “What are you doing here?”
With a smile he answered, “Watching a beautiful lady sleep and even though you appear a little blurry, you are a sight for sore eyes.”
“You can see?” she asked.
“A little,” Jarrod answered as he moved closer to her. “I’ve been given a second chance, in more ways than one. And believe me; I’ll never take anything for granted again.” Before Christina was able to respond, Jarrod was next to her, embracing her in a hug and welcoming the new day with a deep kiss.
Two weeks had passed, since Jarrod had regained his full sight. The trip to West Virginia was canceled and instead, the family was preparing for a grand wedding in three weeks. It was now mid August and Jarrod found himself overseeing the building of his family’s future home. He looked off in the distance and saw Christina riding up on a horse. He began to make his way to greet her. He held onto the reins of her horse as she dismounted. Soon he was holding her in his arms and giving her a kiss.
She was eventually able to pull herself away and reached into the saddle bag. “These letters arrived today,” she said. “My parents in Connecticut and another from your father’s friend in Tucson.”
Jarrod took the letter from Tucson and began to read it. Letting out a sigh he said, “Señor Mendoza would like me to visit next week. He assures me I can help resolve the matter for him in a few days.”
Christina placed her right hand on Jarrod’s left arm and said, “I know he was one of your first clients and a close friend of your father.” She looked up at Jarrod and saw the worried expression on his face. “We talked about this a few days ago, when you received his telegram. Nick will go with you and see some horses and it will be a fun trip for the children as well.”
“Are you sure?” Jarrod began. “There is still so much to do here. Setting up my new office…”
“Which will not be completed until after we’re married,” Christina reminded him. The old building had been completely torn down and Jarrod decided to have a new single level building built in its place. Not only an office with a large waiting area, but a library as well. The files of past clients had all been recovered and resorted and were now being held in storage. Jarrod’s crates from his San Francisco office had never been opened, so they were in storage as well.
“What about helping you move out of your home in the city?” Jarrod asked.
“Remember my parents will be staying with me in San Francisco for a week, before we all come back to Stockton,” Christina answered.
“And what about your parents?” Jarrod stated. “I should be here when they arrive, not off on business.”
“They’re not leaving for a few days. You can make the trip to Tucson and be back before they arrive.” Placing her hand on his face, she said, “Plus it will give you something to do, instead of fidgeting around here.” He gave her a look. “I know you’ve been anxious to get back to practicing law, it’s in your blood. So go help Señor Mendoza. And spend time with your brother and the children. You know they’re looking forward to this trip.”
“I know,” Jarrod said with a slight sigh. “Nick has them all excited about the train and stage ride, plus looking at the horses. I guess it wouldn’t be a good idea to disappoint those two.”
“Fatherhood is becoming you, Counselor Barkley,” Christina said with a smile. “You’ll only be gone a week, I only hope you can survive a full week alone with those two.”
“You mean those three,” Jarrod answered back.
“It will be a fun adventure for all of you, plus give me time to finish up plans for our wedding.” Christina replied.
“Almost like a little vacation, before I settle into married life.” Jarrod said with a chuckle. He then gave his love a kiss and thought to himself, after all, what can go wrong?