Down the Road

Chapter Thirty-Four

by Melinda Kay Jenkinson

Down the Road
Chapter Thirty-Four

Two weeks had gone by and Kaye Leigh missed Jeff so much it was like a constant stomachache. Jon and the rest of her family had been calling and leaving messages. She had not heard from Jeff at all, but she did get a call from Mr. Fisher saying that Jeff had signed the papers so it would not be long until the divorce was final. She had been sick that day and night.

Jeff had made it clear to everyone that he did not want to discuss the situation with Kaye Leigh. Jon made sure he got over there for a while everyday. They were on the porch talking with Becki and Curtis. The phone rang; Jeff went into the house to answer it.

"We've got to do something about this." Becki said.

"I talked to Mr. Fisher; he's going to "lose" the paperwork for a while. He said he talked with Kaye Leigh and she sounds miserable." Jon said. "I've left Kaye Leigh a message almost every day, so has the rest of the family."

"Did you check the flights out of El Paso?" Curtis asked.

"Yes, she left on one going to Denver, then onto Raleigh North Carolina, but after that they weren't on another flight. She used her maiden name to fly under. So as close as I can come she's in North Carolina." Jon said. They had to stop the conversation because Jeff had come back out.

"That was Tim, he wanted to see if Kaye Leigh was still here, apparently when he was in the hospital and she went to see him, he had mentioned that he would like to work for her again, and she said that she was giving me the ranch so he would have to talk to me. He said he tried to tell her not to let Morgan win, but she said that she had already won." He said sitting down and laughing sadly.

"If he had been able to call sooner, this might not have happened." Jeff said.

"You could find her you know." Jon said.

"We've been through this Jon." He said.

"I've got some work to do." Becki said, "Trying to set up interviews and book signings when I have no idea where she is is extremely hard."

"If you find her let us know." Jon said.

"Don't bother." Jeff said. Jon shook his head.

"When I find her I am going to strangle her." Jon said.

"You might have to wait in line." Curtis said.

Becki went into the house, sat down with her laptop to try to figure out how to set things up without knowing where Kaye Leigh was. She had some e-mails waiting for her so she decided to read them first, then she could try to figure out what to do.

There was an e-mail from Josh, she opened it and began to read it. She got up and went to the door, "I've found Kaye Leigh." She called through the door.

"What?" all the guys said getting up and going into the house. Becki showed them the e-mail.

"They're in Jacksonville, North Carolina." Becki said.

"Isn't that where she and Sam lived?" Jeff asked.

"What are you thinking?" Jon said.

"Nothing, I just thought that was where they lived at one time." He said.

"They did, but that wouldn't have anything to do with why then went there." Becki said.

"I know it wouldn't I just asked." He said.

"Josh said that Kaye Leigh isn't doing so well, says she's crying all the time, not eating, not writing." Jon said reading the e-mail. "He said that his mom told him North Carolina would be the last place anyone would think to look for them." Jeff shook his head.

Jon finished reading the e-mail. "Josh wants you to come and take them home." Jon told Jeff. "So what are you going to do?"

"Nothing, I told you I'm not chasing her." Jeff said.

"Do you want to lose her forever?" Curtis yelled. "Are you going to be so stubborn that you're going to let pride stand in the way of love?"

"You've been hurt Jeff, but so has she. The whole situation was hard on everyone, but Kaye Leigh is taking the full blame, she walked away from everything that means the world to her because she thinks you deserve better. Do you?" Becki asked.

"What are you talking about Becki?" Jeff said.

"Do you believe that you deserve better than Kaye Leigh or that she doesn't deserve you?" she replied.

"I don't think either. I will never love anyone else but her." He said.

"So you're going to allow both of you to be miserable and alone instead of following her to the end of the earth like you told her once that you would do." She said quietly.

"I would have no idea where to look for her without her knowing Josh contacted us." Jeff said.

"I can arrange that, you just leave it all to me and the four of us will go get her and the kids and bring them home where they belong. However there will be no strangulation while she's pregnant, after the baby comes then you can do whatever." Becki said. The guys laughed.

Kaye Leigh received an invitation to do a book signing at a bookstore in Jacksonville for the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. She had thought about letting Becki know but she would probably want to come there. She still had not answered any of the phone calls and she was dealing with the kids on a daily basis about wanting to go back.

Josh was angry because he missed the last few games, and because he missed home. They all missed Jeff, Dan, and Faith. Her and Josh had gotten into a huge argument the night before about Jeff, it ended with Josh saying he would rather live with Jeff.

"Hi guys." Kaye Leigh said when the kids got home.

"Hi." Grace said.

"Josh can we please talk?" she said.

"What mom?" he said sitting down on the couch. Kaye Leigh went and sat down next to him.

"I'm sorry about last night Josh; I know that this is hard on you guys." She said.

"It's hard on you too mom, you want to be with dad I know it." He said.

"You're right Josh, I love him very much, but you don't understand." She said.

"I understand that you believed something that wasn't true, I don't understand why that made it so we had to leave." He said trying to fight tears.

"Someday when you're older you will understand, I just hope until then you can forgive me and help get our relationship right again." She said. He left the room without another word.

By the time the day of the book signing came, Kaye Leigh was glad she had something to do outside of the house. Her writing was going nowhere, the kids barely spoke to her, and she was extremely lonely. She was getting bigger with the pregnancy and had no one to share it with. Thinking about the baby made her think about Jeff, which led her to cry more.

She arrived about fifteen minutes prior to the book signing.

"There she is." Jeff said.

"She's gotten so big." Becki said. Jeff watched her cross the street. Once Kaye Leigh was in the bookstore, they all got out of the car. They were all wearing light jackets because it was colder here then in Texas. Jon stayed home so he could spend Thanksgiving with his family, but gave them instructions to inform his sister that she was in for a severe lecture when she got back, and a good strangling when she had the baby.

Curtis looked around, and then said, "We'll wait in that dinner across the street."

"Can't we go see mom too?" Faith asked.

"You'll see her soon, but your dad and her need a little time." Becki said.

Curtis, Becki and the kids went across the street and sat down in a booth by the window where they could see the bookstore. Jeff had gone into the bookstore, went behind some shelves, and watched Kaye Leigh for a few minutes.

Kaye Leigh had been signing books and talking with people for about half an hour when she heard.

"Could you make it out to Jeff?" she looked up quickly, and there in front of her was Jeff looking at her with all the love he had for her before she left.

"What are you doing here?" she asked shocked.

"I'm looking for my runaway wife; you've might have seen her." He said smiling.

"You shouldn't have come." She said taking the book and signing it.

"You shouldn't have left." He replied.

"There's your book." She told him.

"I'll be waiting over here until you're finished." He said. She watched him walk away. For the rest of the time she had trouble concentrating on what people were saying and whom she was signing books for. After the last person left she thanked the bookstore owner, Jeff was right beside her making sure she did not slip away.

"Can I help you sir?" the owner asked.

"This is my husband Jeff." Kaye Leigh said.

"I'm sorry I didn't realize he was here." The owner replied.

"He's leaving." She replied.

"Not without my wife." Jeff said.

"Thank you so much for allowing me to come here today." Kaye Leigh said.

"No need to thank me it was a Rebecca Stevenson who set it all up." The owner said.

"Oh really?" Kaye Leigh replied. Jeff laughed.

"It was nice to meet you Kaye Leigh." The owner said and shook her hand. Kaye Leigh went out of the store ahead of Jeff.

"Becki knew where I went?" Kaye Leigh asked stopping and facing Jeff when they got out of the store.

"Not until she got an e-mail from Josh." He said. He had not wanted her to know but he knew it would come out so he thought it would be best to get it out of the way.

"Josh sent her an e-mail?" she said.

"Yes and she shared it with the rest of us." He said.

"I can't believe that kid." She said more to herself than to Jeff.

"Don't be mad at him." Jeff said. Kaye Leigh laughed.

"I've got to go." She told him. She started to cross the street but he was right beside her.

"I'm going with you." He said. "Let me tell Becki and Curtis to follow us." He took Kaye Leigh's arm and steered her towards the diner where the others were.

"This isn't fair; I can't out run you right now." She said. Jeff laughed.

"What isn't fair is you making me chase you all over the country, one of these days I'm making you chase me." He said smiling at her.

"Mom!" Faith and Dan yelled running towards her. They stopped so they did not bump into her.

"Hi guys." She said wrapping her arms around both of them and kissing their heads. "How have you been?"

"We've missed you guys." Faith said. Kaye Leigh smiled at her, because she could not speak afraid that she would break down.

"Mom missed us too." Jeff said for her.

"Hey boss lady." Curtis said hugging her.

"Curtis, Becki." She said giving both of them a hug.

"You two follow us where ever Kaye Leigh takes us." Jeff said.

"To the airport." She said. Becki laughed.

"Lead the way boss." Curtis said. Kaye Leigh paid for their stuff and led the way out the door. Curtis and Becki went to their car, Jeff, her and the kids went to Kaye Leigh's car.

"How are you guys doing in school?" she asked Dan.

"Great, but I really miss having Josh to do homework with." He replied.

"He misses you being there too." She said smiling.

"So why did you guys leave?" Faith asked.

"That is between your mom and me." Jeff said quickly.

"Are you coming back?" Faith asked.

"Yes." Jeff said.

"I'm not sure." Kaye Leigh said. Faith and Dan laughed.

They all got into her car and headed to Kaye Leigh's house.

"Is this your car mom?" Dan asked.

"It's a car that my publishing company is renting for me until I can get my truck here." She replied. Kaye Leigh made sure that Curtis and Becki were behind her.

"Cool." Dan said.

"But you guys are coming back to Texas right." Faith asked again. Jeff laughed.

"Yes they are coming back." He told her. Kaye Leigh looked at Jeff, and he smiled at her.

When they pulled up to the house Josh and Grace came outside.

"Dan!" Josh yelled when he seen him. "How was the rest of the season?"

"Good, we missed you though, could have used you in the last game." Dan said.

"I wanted to be there." Josh said looking at Kaye Leigh.

"I said I was sorry Josh." She told him.

"I know, I'm sorry too mom." He said.

"It's ok, I love you kid." She said. "Even though you sent Becki an e-mail." Josh just grinned unashamed.

"Let's go inside." Jeff said.

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