They have a big party at the Rancho to celebrate Gabe, Claire and Jane being released from the hospital. As he’s about to head home, Gabe gives Maddie a kiss.
Clayton watched from a short distance. It hurt him to see, partly because another man kissed Maddie. Mostly, because he knew Gabe’s sorrow. They’d talked and he’d consented to one kiss. Clayton understood. Had he been the one giving her up, he’d have wanted that, too.
“I had to know, Maddie. I had to be able to tell myself we had that much.”
As Gabe got in the car, Maddie kissed his cheek and closed his door. His mother drove slowly away. Gabe leaned back, closing his eyes. A single tear escaped.
“You all right, Baboo?”
“Fine, Mama. Just tired.”
Maddie watched the car pull away. Touching her lips, she could feel Gabe’s kiss. It was the saddest moment of…
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