“Thank you for trusting me to tell me, Denver. It means so much.”
Her words were music to his ears.
It had taken some convincing, but Jessie had finally convinced Denver that she needed to get some things from her hotel room. She was still worried about having to face her father, but her cowboy had been so good to keep her mind occupied on other things. For now, she didn’t want to think about her dad.
As they walked into the lobby, she saw Maude, the owner, wearing a bright red housecoat. Next to her was Denver’s mother, Mrs. Wilde.
“Mom, what are you doing here?”
The woman was beautiful. She looked too young to have children as old as her sons.
“I’m here to see Jessie.”
Denver frowned. “What about?”
“None of your business. Don’t be rude.”
Jessie had met her and her husbands at the hospital in Elko where they’d taken Pappy Jack after the explosion. She’d instantly liked her. “Hello, Mrs. Wilde.”
“Please. Call me Mary.”
“We don’t have time for this. I want to get Jessie back to my place. You don’t know what is going on, Mom.”
“I know more than you think, Denver. You Wilde men are so overprotective. Well, you stay down here in the lobby. Jessie and I will go to her room and have a chat.”
“Your dads are outside making sure things are safe. Does that make you feel better?”
“Good. We’ll be down shortly.” Mary held out her hand for Jessie to take. “We’re way past due this talk, sweetie. Maude, if my son makes a move to come up the stairs, shoot his kneecap.”
She laughed. “You know I will, sis.”
Denver shook his head. “There’s no chance of winning with these two. Ten minutes. Then I’m coming up.”
“Please. Your mother is right. I have some questions only she can answer. I need to talk to her.”
He stared at her for a long time. Then he finally nodded. “Okay. But I’m not leaving this lobby.”
Mary went up to him, and he leaned down and kissed her on the cheek. There was much love and respect between mother and son.
“I promise, son, not to climb out the window with your sweetheart.” Mrs. Wilde traced an X over her chest. “Cross my heart.”
“Fine. Go. But don’t undersell your sons to Jessie.”
“I’m only going to tell her the truth.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of.” He pulled Jessie in tight. “Don’t believe everything she tells you, okay? I’m not that bad.” He leaned in and kissed her.
“But you are,” Jessie teased. “I already know that.”
“Sweetie, run, before he changes his mind.” Mary darted up the stairs like a teenager.