16

Rogan

I could barely believe what Lowe had told me. Had Jordan really told him that she was falling in love with us? I couldn’t tell if I was more frightened by that fact that she had verbalized it or by the fact that it didn’t terrify me the way I thought it should be.

I’d spent my time with her, but I had no idea all of that was going through her mind. It wasn’t as if she wasn’t absolutely perfect, or like my child didn’t love her. Worse things had certainly happened to me. To have a woman like Jordan in love with me, that was the kind of thing guys dreamed about; the kind of thing I’d dreamed about ever since my ex first left.

I peeked over at her. We were in my car headed north to Decatur where I had my own cabin. It was one of my favorite places to go, not just because it was away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but because it was right near a few perfect hunting trails. I knew it would be a perfect, romantic place to take Jordan where I could have her all to myself. She’d mentioned back when we first met that she was intrigued by my hunting hobby, and I figured there was no better way to introduce her to the craft, than to show her where I spent my time. Harrison agreed to watch Danielle for me, and I was going to enjoy a couple days of having Jordan’s attention totally on me.

Arriving at my cabin was a pit stop at best. Jordan was clamoring to get outside, and even though I had no intentions of actually hunting (that wasn’t a very romantic activity), I knew it was the height of hunting seasons, so there would be tons of games to view, and it was just approaching sunset, and the scenery would be perfect. I got her out on the trails and she was blissed by the number of deer, pheasant, and rabbits we saw, and I explained to her the specifics of hunting deer versus small game. We even got lucky and I was able to show her my most favorite animal to hunt, the Javelina. It was rare to find them outside of Texas as far as the United States went, and even there, they were uncommon and damn difficult to hunt. We had a bit of fun attempting to track one, and Jordan thought it was hilarious how fast they were.

As the sun began to set, I took her out to one of the hills that overlooked the Decatur fields. I pulled out the picnic I’d packed for us to eat dinner, and set out a blanket and she curled into me while we ate and watched the sunset.

“How often do you come here?” she asked.

“It was more before Danielle was born,” I told her. “Kids change everything.”

“I know, I recently had seven of them,” she responded and I giggled.

“It was therapy for me to be able to come here while everything was happening with her mother. If I didn’t have this place to just come and sit and relax and get away from it for a little bit, I don’t know what I would have done,” I explained. “I would scream. I would cry. Anything to just get it out.”

“Have you ever brought her here? Danielle, I mean,” Jordan asked.

I shook my head. “No. I don’t know that I’m ready to expose her to the world of hunting, or just death in general. It was hard enough discussing with her what it meant that her mother was moving across the country and she’d get to see her once a year moving forward if she was lucky.”

“I can relate to Danielle,” Jordan said in a softer, sadder tone, and I looked over at her. She was staring out over the horizon, watching the land, but her mind was somewhere else. “My family fell apart when I was her age.”

“Seriously?” I asked. How serendipitous that we would get a nanny who could actually relate to our children. It didn’t make me happy that she’d been through any pain, but it was just something else that was there for us to love about her.

“Yeah,” she said. “My dad left us, really abruptly. According to my mom they were great. He just up and left one day. It was so unexpected that she actually thought something bad had happened to him, but then a few weeks later she got divorce papers in the mail. I was an only child, so it was a bit easier for my mom to raise me on her own, but they had me young, so it was a struggle all the way around. She didn’t have a ton of money and my grandparents wanted her to abort me, so they weren’t very helpful or invested.”

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