Sample Sunday from Emma’s Wish

Today’s sample is from Emma’s Wish, available from Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and AllRomance Ebooks

“You got children, ma’am?”

“No,” Emma replied. What did that have to do with anything?

“Then I don’t think you’ve got any business telling me how to raise mine.” The rebuke stung as much as if he’d physically slapped her. At the same time, her anger doubled. Just because she wasn’t a mother herself didn’t mean she had no idea how much children could be hurt. In her pain, she couldn’t help lashing out.

“You aren’t going to raise your children. You’re getting rid of them. It’s difficult to keep them, so you’re just disposing of them the same way you’d get rid of a horse or a dog that gave you trouble–”

For a moment, Emma thought she’d gone too far. Sam’s face darkened, and a cord bulged in his neck. But she couldn’t stop now, no matter what.

“I’ve given you an option, and you’re too pigheaded to even consider it. I don’t have children of my own, but if I did, I can guarantee you I’d move heaven and hell to keep them. Nothing would make me give them up. Nothing.”

“You don’t know–”

“You’re right. I don’t know what it’s like to have someone depending on me, loving me without reservation. I do know those children need you, not strangers.”

“I’m giving them a family.”

“No, Mr. Jenkins,” Emma said softly. “You’re destroying the only family these children have.”

Sam opened his mouth to speak, then apparently changed his mind. He moved to the door, flung it open and stormed outside. “Joseph!”

Joseph looked up, his mouth ringed with strawberry juice.

“Get Nathan and Becky and get in the wagon.”

Joseph’s gaze shifted to Emma. Nathan picked up the bucket of strawberries and picked his way through the patch to stand beside his brother. The question shone in their eyes.

Within a few moments, they’d realize Emma had lied to them. Why, oh why, had she told them they could stay with her? Why did she constantly jump into a situation without thinking?

“Now.” Sam’s voice was stern.

Emma shook her head slightly in a silent apology. Tears filled her eyes as she watched the children set down the half-filled buckets of strawberries, and trudge over to the wagon.

Emma couldn’t let them go without a warning to their father. “I’d keep a very close watch on them until you get them on that train, Mr. Jenkins. Next time they run away, you might not find them until it’s too late.”

“Stay out of it,” he warned. “This isn’t your problem.”

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