Authors Note: This is not your average romance novel, not even close. The characters have more to do with their lives then worry about who they are falling in love with. They don't fall for each other right away, and it takes time for them to gather emotions for one another. There is also more then just two characters who fall in love in this novel. Some of the characters are hurt and love just isn't the first thing on their minds, but it does come with time. So, if you are tired of those unbelievable romance novels with shallow characters (Not that all are like this, just some), I think you will enjoy this novel.
July 13, 2007: I am currently fixing errors in this story.
Standing in the upstairs hallway, Jacob paced back and forth waiting for the answer behind the bedroom room. Everything, his whole life, his entire future was behind that door, and as the seconds ticked away into minutes, and the minutes into hours, he couldn't help but sweat in fear and excitement. Besides the soft voices of the women inside, there was an eerie silence that both scared and calmed him.
He ran his rope worn hands across his wind burned face, and took a deep breath. He had to know, she was in there and he hadn't heard her voice. His sweet, sweet Caroline in there giving birth to his child. Something in him wanted to break down the door and tell those mid-wives that he wanted, no, had to be in there with her. After all this was his home, his wife, and he had ever right to be with her.
And then, he took another deep breath, looking down at his dust covered leggings. His thoughts ran back to when Hank, his ranch hand, had to take the new ranch hand up to the house, because he wasn't use to being out in the heat for so long, he started to get dizzy. It wasn't more then ten minutes, that Hank came running back screaming that Caroline was in labor. Jacob couldn't even remember how or when he got to the house, it was all a blur, but he sent Hank to get the mid-wives and helped her to the bedroom where she would give birth to his child.
It seemed like days ago that that had happened, but in truth it had only been a few hours. Hank and the rest of the men were out taking care of the cattle, and Jacob knew he should be out there, getting his mind off what his sweet Caroline was suffering through. He just wanted to be near her, even if the mid-wives wouldn't allow him in the room.
Leaning up against the wall, he folded his callous crusted hands together and prayed. He prayed not for his wife's life and not for that of his infant child, but for Caroline's pain. Don't let her suffer, he had mumbled. Jacob only asked for the simple things, and allowed the world to take it's course. It had been a painful pregnancy for Caroline, a couple times they expected her to loose the child, but she was strong and she told him there would be no way in hell that she would not give birth to her first child.
The reality of it all sank in, and Jacob took another deep breath. What if Caroline didn't make it through the child birth. He couldn't live without this woman. She was everything to him, the only one who ever believed that he could be more than a ranch hand. Here he was four years after she married him, the owner of a very profitable ranch. They had tried for so long to have a child, and finally she was pregnant. But now, standing in the hallway, he wished he could take it all back. He knew it was selfish of him, and cruel to think a baby wasn't there.
Caroline, sweet, sweet, Caroline was all he wanted right now. Her long blonde hair flowing over her simple summer dress, standing over the oven cooking his dinner. Her soft lips greeting him with a smile that was unmatched by anyone in the world. Jacob had wanted her from the moment he saw her, a fourteen year old girl standing on the porch outside, his boss's only child. There Jacob was merely sixteen, working as the local rancher's horse boy. She gave that smile to him then, her deep blue eyes stared right into his soul. Nothing in the world was going to stop him from marrying that woman, and when she was eighteen he proposed, and the most beautiful word he had ever heard sprang from her lips.
Now, he was afraid; afraid of that the mid-wife would say when she finally walked out of that room. His eyes were fixed on the door handle, and his heart raced. She was the only light in his life. She made him want to be a better man. Everyday he tried harder and harder just because of sweet Caroline, and there was no better reason in the world.
A lump came to his throat when he heard the scream of a baby from the other side of the door. His child was born, but no questions came of the baby to his mind, when Teresa walked out and smiled at him.
"Is Caroline alright?" He asked, his voice filled with agony.
"Jacob, she's bleeding real bad. She don't got much more time, best you say goodbye now." Teresa soft voice said, and she stepped aside allowing him in.
He looked at her laying on the bed that was pressed up against the corner. Sweat covered her forehead and eyebrows, her cheeks flushed. That soft blonde hair twisted in knots, but there it was, that smile. The same smile that gave him hope and happiness every day of his life.
"Jacob." She said, and reached out her hand to him.
Quickly, he grabbed it and kneeled down beside her, rubbing her hand across his cheek. "Caroline, I… please…"
Her smile didn't leave as she stared at him, "It's alright, love, it's alright. We all got to go sometime, and it's just my time."
"Why, Caroline, why? You're my angel, I can't live without my angel."
"You can only have one angel, Jacob." She told him, and her eyes went to the crib beside the bed. "She's beautiful, Jacob, look."
Standing up, he walked over to the crib and looked down on the new born infant. She already had a couple blonde curls on her head.
"Let me see her."
He gave a nod, and picked the baby up, bringing the infant to Caroline's bedside.
"Look at that, she looks just like you, Jacob." She ran her fingers across the baby's cheek
"No, she looks like her mama." He smiled, trying to suppress his tears.
"You watch over your papa, now, ya hear me, Nicolette?" Her eyes went from the baby to Jacob, "She's going to take real good care of you, I already know it. My time's up, but she's got forever to be your angel." Her voice had gotten real weak as she spoke.
It took Caroline nearly an hour to pass away, but Jacob thought that God had given her that extra time to introduce him to the new love of his life. He wouldn't have understood had it not been for those last moments, and now his new angel was there to care for him. And when that baby smiled for the first time, he saw it. Caroline was staring right back at him, and he knew that she had been right. Nicolette Caroline Beldin was his new angel, and he couldn't have more than one.