A Love Reborn in the Wild West – Extended Epilogue

Leon hoisted another bag of feed into the barn. 

“Is this the last load?” Tony asked. They’d been hauling grain for most of the morning. Leon didn’t realize how much grain and other things he’d need when he’d decided to raise cattle as their living. 

When he’d moved to the little farm with Abbie, he was excited about all the potential. Now that nearly five months had passed, all the difficulty was piling itself on, and he was starting to see how much effort all the working parts would take to get together. 

“Yes, finally the last load. Thank you for helping me out. I know you’ve been very busy with the sheriff and all your training. How has that been going by the way?”

Tony grinned. “Better than I ever expected.” Leon had been the first to be shocked when Tony told everyone that he was going to be studying under the sheriff to be a deputy. 

He’d never imagined Tony would have an interest in keeping the law after all the effort he went through once to break it. 

“I’m glad it’s treating you right, honestly.  You’ve cleaned your life up nicely, Tony. I thought at one time it wouldn’t be possible, but you really surprised me.” 

Tony looked down a bit sheepishly. “I didn’t know if I could do it myself, but with everyone believing in me and accepting me as a part of the community and helping me fit in, I saw that I owed it not only to myself but to all of you to make a difference and turn everything around. One day, maybe I’ll be sheriff and put some delinquent men like I was behind bars.” 

“Now? Nothing would surprise me regarding what you do.” Leon chuckled. 

“Leon!” Abbie’s voice startled him. It was different somehow, worried. He hurried out of the barn. Abbie was standing on the steps of the little house they shared in the center of the ranch. 

She was holding her very large stomach with one hand, a look of pain on her face. 

Leon didn’t have to ask to know what was happening. They’d spoken about how their baby would be arriving any day now for the past couple of weeks. He ran across the yard toward her, yelling at Tony on his way. 

“Tony! Get the midwife and the doctor. Tony!” 

Tony came out of the barn, looking equally panicked and startled as Leon was feeling.

“It’s time?” Tony asked. 

“Yes! It’s time. Get the midwife fast!” Leon was relieved that Tony was here with him today because that way he could be with Abbie. Once Tony returned with the doctor and midwife, he’d send for Abbie’s parents, and Jenny. 

The hotel wasn’t far from here, only around fifteen minutes on foot. Abbie was very happy about how close they lived to her parents. Leon wrapped his arm around her waist and helped her back to their bedroom. 

“Are you okay? Is there anything I can do?”

Abbie shook her head as she clutched her stomach in pain. He waited as she breathed through it. 

“It’s okay. I just need the midwife and the doctor. This is normal.” She looked up at him, a big smile on her face. “We’re finally going to meet our baby.” 

“Yes, we are.” Leon kissed her forehead. You’re strong. I know you can do this.” 

“Thank you. As long as you’re here, I know I can.” She took his hand and gave it a tight squeeze. 

He was going to be a father soon. 

—*—

Leon paced back and forth on the porch. Adam and Tony were both there with him, as well as Mr. Hurst. If anyone saw the four of them there, with their pained expressions and the worry in their eyes, they would have assumed that all of them were waiting for their wives to have a baby. 

“Do you think it is supposed to take this long?” Leon asked Adam. 

“I don’t know. I’ve never had a baby.” Adam grinned, then his expression turned worried. “Is it supposed to take this long?” He directed his question to Mr. Hurst. 

“I don’t remember how long it took, but it was forever.” Mr. Hurst frowned. “I think she’ll be all right. We just have to wait and let the midwife and the doctor do their work.” 

“Okay. Yes, she should be fine. Abbie is strong. She can do this.” Leon wondered if any of the other men were convinced by his words because he wasn’t. 

“Of course, she’ll be fine. I’m going to be an uncle.” Tony grinned and slapped him on the back comfortingly. Right when Leon was prepared to go into the house and ask how she was doing, despite being told to stay outside, Jenny came out with a big smile. 

“It’s a girl! And Abbie is just fine.” 

Leon jumped up and hollered with joy. The next thing he knew, Mr. Hurst and Adam were shaking his hand. Tony leaned in and gave him a bear hug. 

“Can we see her? Can we visit them both?”

“Of course, but be quick, because she needs to rest.” As they passed inside, Leon didn’t miss how Jenny gave Tony a special smile. The two of them had been courting for a couple of months now, and they were good together. Leon was certain that Tony’s relationship with Jenny was part of the reason he had stayed so grounded and was actually excited about life lately. 

He was relieved to know that Tony managed to find a woman who could love him and accept him for who he was. He didn’t expect it would be Jenny, and he was pretty sure that if Tony did anything to hurt Jenny, Adam would kill him and Tony. 

Adam and Tony were not best of friends but they did get on better than they used to. 

Leon paused outside the room where Abbie was with the baby. He could hear the cries of the little girl who was his daughter. Was he ready to be a father? Would he even be good at it?

“Come on, son. I’m sure she’s anxious to see you.” Mr. Hurst squeezed his shoulder. 

Mrs. Hurst was helping the midwife in the living room. She gave him an encouraging nod. He couldn’t have asked for better in-laws who accepted him and loved him like a son. He took a deep breath and stepped inside. 

—*—

Abbie looked up from the sweet little bundle in her arms. Her gaze met Leon’s. 

He looked so uncertain and cautious, like a young boy who was worried about doing something wrong. 

“Come closer! Come take a look at your daughter.” Abbie held out the baby. Having a baby was one of the most painful experiences she’d ever had, but every second was worth it. 

Once she had that baby in her arms, she knew she’d do anything for her. 

“What if I drop her?” Leon hesitated, his eyes wide. 

“You won’t drop her. Come on, hold her.” 

Leon hesitantly scooped up their daughter, holding her close. After a few seconds of insecurity, he adjusted his arms, and the baby nestled against his chest. 

“What will we name her?”

Abbie felt her cheeks blushing. She had thought of a name, but she wasn’t sure if Leon would like it or not. 

“I was thinking, and I thought we’d name her Hannah Carrie. Hannah for your mother and Carrie for my sister. If you don’t think it’s a good idea we can …” 

“No, it’s a perfect name. I don’t think I could come up with anything better.” Leon’s gaze met hers. Even though the room was full of people proud and happy for their moment, all Abbie saw was him. 

His eyes were full of tears, happy tears at becoming a father. Abbie had cried a few tears herself. 

She reached for Leon’s hand. He took hers and squeezed it softly. 

“We’re a proper family now.” 

“Yes, we are.” Abbie wondered how many children they would have. After seeing her baby’s face for the first time, she was certain she wanted a dozen. 

—*—

Abbie sat in the parlor in the rocking chair her parents had gifted her for when she had the baby. 

Hannah was sleeping, wrapped up in a soft blanket. She had her tiny little fist in her mouth and occasionally would rouse from her sleep enough to give it a suck or two. 

Leon came out into the parlor with two cups of tea. 

“How is she?” he asked. 

“She’s perfect.” Leon sat down beside her in a parlor chair.

“This is nice, just our little family.”

Abbie smiled over at him. “Yes, it is. You know, I am glad that Adam got married, and that Jenny has someone too. Soon the three of us will all have children who can play with one another, and the story starts over again.” 

Leon grinned. “Yes, I’m not sure Adam likes the idea of Tony and Jenny together. I think the fact he’s married is the only reason he’s allowing it because it would be unfair to keep Jenny from the same thing.” 

“Jenny loves Tony. She’ll make him a good wife. The two of them … well they’re perfect for each other. Especially if you skip over how Tony kidnapped and held her best friend for ransom.” 

Leon chuckled. “Yes, especially if you gloss over that part. You know … there was a time when I never thought I’d have a family to love and protect. You’ve given me everything I could ever ask for. I have a family, through your family, a daughter, a wonderful wife, a home, and a farm. I am so blessed and most of the time, I feel like I don’t deserve it.”

Abbie shook her head. “Why would you think you don’t deserve it? If anyone doesn’t deserve all this, it would be me.” Abbie sighed. “I’ve thought about it a lot, and I feel like … well, we are giving Carrie another chance in a way. Do you think she is happy looking down and seeing us like this, so happy?”

“Of course I do.” Leon reached over and took her hand in his while simultaneously brushing his thumb over the soft top of their baby’s head as she slept. “You know, she’s happy where she is. We might not understand it right now, and it’s sad without her, but she’s in a good place.”

“You’re right,” Abbie whispered. “Now we have someone new to carry on her legacy and Hannah’s too.” 

Leon reached over and cupped her face with his hand. “Hannah would have been so happy to know that we married and had a little baby who we named after her. I wish she could have lived long enough to see this. She would have been overjoyed.” 

“I am sorry too. But now we have a little one, and we will tell her all about her grandmother. You can tell her all your stories about Hannah, and I’ll make sure she knows who Carrie was. Even when we pass away, she’ll know who her namesakes were and carry those memories on to another generation.” 

“That’s a beautiful legacy.” Leon leaned back and closed his eyes. “They say that sleep isn’t something we’ll enjoy anymore.” 

Abbie giggled. “Maybe for a few years, but this phase will pass, and then we’ll be wishing we could come back and hold her while she was a tiny little baby.” 

“You’re right.” Leon laughed. “You must be exhausted. Leave her with me, and I’ll watch her while you rest.”

“Okay.” Abbie stood slowly, then lowered Hannah into Leon’s arms. She kissed both their foreheads, then walked down the hall to the bedroom to rest. She couldn’t have asked for more. God had blessed her with everything imaginable. 

THE END


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18 thoughts on “A Love Reborn in the Wild West – Extended Epilogue”

    1. I enjoyed this book of friendships that grow to love and marriage. A lot going on between Abbie and Leon, Also kidnapping and Leon brother whom I was glad he made a turnaround with his life. A good reading from beginning to end. 😘

    2. I really enjoyed this story. Easy to understand how and why their lives have changed and what challenges they faced. Better together ❤️ I’m always rooting for the underdog.

  1. A sweet story with quite a few hiccups. Leon and his past and Abbie who didn’t believe she should find love and live happily ever after. Enough action to keep the pages turning.

  2. A great story Ellen. I liked that blood doesn’t always make a parent and that love, forgiveness and redemption prevailed. The extended epilogue brought the joy of all the hurt to a beautiful end for all the main characters. Loved it.

  3. Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I kept trying to guess what would happen next but had to keep reading to find out. The unknown is so much more interesting.

  4. This was another wonderful story and I enjoyed it. There were quite a few ups and downs but it ended with Leon and Annie getting their happy ever after. Thanks again for a wonderful story.

  5. Beautufully written ! A lovely story about good and bad people and the coming together of childhood friends after a long separation. Enjoyl

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