Home > Hanson (The English Dragon #3)

Hanson (The English Dragon #3)
Author: Kathi S. Barton

Chapter 1


Quinn decided that if she ever woke up from this dream, she was going to be terribly upset with someone. She was in a real castle with servants and everything. As she made her way down the stairs again, trying hard not to make any noises that would bring someone after her, she thought of her sister, Carmine, who would be celebrating her tenth birthday in a few months, and how much fun she was having.

Just yesterday she’d been swimming in the big pool of water. Kendrick said she’d been having so much fun that she hated to have her come in for dinner. And Carmine said that the water was warm, not at all like a bath, it was better. It was wonderful seeing her smile again.

“You really should listen to the doctor, my dear.” Quinn turned and looked at Elissa, Danburn’s mom, when she spoke. “I know how it is, however. I so love to keep moving too. Where are you headed? I’ll come with you, as a helper.”

“To the window. Carmine said it was snowing and I wanted to see it.” Elissa nodded and walked with her, not telling her continually to be careful. “Kendrick is out and so is Danburn. I think they went to go Christmas shopping.”

“They did. I talked with her a little while ago. And she got news that one of Danburn’s friends is coming in tonight. You’ll like Hanson. He’s a nice man.” Pausing to rest, Quinn leaned against the banister to get her breath back. “How’s your mom today?”

That hurt her. Not the question, but the fact that she would have to tell her that her mom was dying. Looking at the window, wanting to change the subject, she thought of life without her mom. But being a realist was what got her through things, so she answered Elissa.

“She isn’t going to make it much longer, I’m afraid. I’ve known that for some time, but the stress of me being hurt and my sister sick has taken its toll on her. She’s...My mom is special to me, and she’s all I have besides my little sister.” Elissa said she was sorry. “I am as well. She’s trying to be strong, but I think that’s making it harder for her. I told her a little while ago just to let go. I hate it, but I can’t handle seeing her suffering much more.”

Quinn saw her mom every chance she got. But she also noticed that while she was in the room with her, her mom didn’t rest as well. Fussing at her for getting up, or worrying after her and Carmine. After assuring her that they were both well and Carmine was no longer ill, her mom closed her eyes with a smile and she’d left her there.

“She’s comfortable though, isn’t she?” Quinn said that she was. The medications were helping her a great deal. “I lost my husband. He got an infection from a shard of iron we didn’t know that he had and it killed him. You’d think that it only happened yesterday the way I feel some days. But I miss him every day.”

They started walking again, and just as they were going to the front of the house, her sister came running around the corner. Carmine was the picture of health, and it made Quinn smile every time she saw her.

“Did you know that I have a snow coat? And boots? Kendrick gave them to me. She said that it’s a present with no ties. I didn’t know what she meant, so Danburn told me that it was just a present, without being something for my birthday or Christmas.” Quinn told her that was wonderful. “I’m going to miss them when we go.”

After Carmine left them to run more, Elissa asked her if they were going somewhere. She smiled at the older woman. They were the kindest people she’d ever known. Nodding, she sat down on the chair that had been moved near the front window for her.

“We can’t stay here forever. I mean, I have to get myself a job and a place to stay.” She had lost her job, but thanks to the state, she wasn’t going to have to work nearly as many jobs to keep them in food and meds. “Rett said that he was looking into a few things for me. I don’t know what that means, but he told me to leave it to him.”

“I would imagine that he does have a handle on things. He’s a good man too. And happy. There was a time when he was as sad as any man I’ve ever known. Cassie has done him a world of good.” Quinn said she liked her too. “I do as well. I’ve always thought of Rett as my son, and now that he’s living close to us, I can go and see him whenever I wish. The rest of them too. I think that all of them, for the most part, have decided to stay here. Or at least have a home that they can come to when they need to be with family. But as for you leaving, I don’t think that Kendrick has any idea of your plans, does she?”

“She can be pretty bossy, can’t she?” They both laughed. “No, I’ve not told her. I think she’s figured it out that I’m needing to go, but she won’t be as easy to convince of it. I’ve loved staying here for the last two weeks, but it’s time we got back up on our own two feet. I need to get Carmine into some kind of school. And then there is the rest of our lives. Things haven’t been all that good for us.”

Elissa sat down next to her on the little couch that had been brought for her as well. To have someone know your every need and take care of it, to not have to go without because you have all the money in the world, was amazing. It wasn’t anything she thought she could get used to, not even in several lifetimes.

“Have Danburn and Kendrick spoken to you yet?” Quinn shook her head, bracing for the bad news. “They will. There are things that you need to be made aware of. And things you need to understand. I think their plan was for them to speak to you this evening. After your sister goes to bed.”

“Do we need to start packing now? I’ve been just living out of my suitcase—not that I have that much—in case they get tired of us. Carmine isn’t so easy to keep neat…that’s it, isn’t it? We’ll go, but I really do need to—” The hand over her mouth shut her up. “I’m sorry. I just worry.”

“No, nothing to be sorry for or to worry about. You’ll be fine.” A noise, or the lack of it, had the two of them turning to the grand staircase. It wasn’t until she saw the doctor, Pierce, go running up the stairs that she knew it was her mom. Standing up, she turned when Elissa told her to wait. “I’ll go up now, but you take your time, child. Hurrying up there will get you hurt or worse. I won’t tell you to stay here, but don’t hurt yourself.”

She was gone. Her mom, she knew, had died. Moving toward the stairs, she was stopped when the doorbell rang. Quinn stood there, not wanting to go and needing to at the same time, but turned to the door. She opened it just as a man turned away to speak to someone behind him.

“I can get them. Just leave them there and I’ll make a couple of trips. No big deal.” The man moved as if he was going to get whatever it was now, and she heard Elissa coming back down the stairs.

“Excuse me, but I’m going to leave the door open for you. I have to go upstairs. My mom is...I have to go upstairs.” He looked at her then and she felt her heart flutter. Good Lord, he was handsome. “I’m so sorry. Please, I have to go.”

“Let me help you. I can smell your pain.” That wasn’t right, so she was sure she’d misheard him. “Come on, love. Let me help you out and you’ll be fine.”

He picked her up like she weighed nothing at all and carried her to the stairs. It was strange and delightful to be handled like this. But before they made it up even three of the stairs, Elissa stopped them.

Hot Books
» Buy Me Sir
» Daddy's Pretty Baby
» Ruckus (Sinners of Saint #2)
» Mastered (The Enforcers #1)
» The Greek's Forgotten Wife (The Boarding Sc
» The Dom's Virgin: A Dark Billionaire Romanc
» Kept (The Enforcers #3)
» Filthy Marcellos: The Complete
» The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood #15)
» Wet
» White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2)
» Wake A Sleeping Tiger (Breeds #31)
» The Hot Shot (Game On #4)
» Fallen Crest Home (Fallen Crest High #6)
» If You Were Mine