Preview of Book 2 of the Cody Weston, MD, Trilogy

    Marc bounded up the stairs two at a time. “Kaitlyn!”
    “In here,” she called, her voice muffled.
    Marc rounded the corner into the room that had belonged to his parents and found his sister on her knees, her head buried inside their mother’s old trunk.
    He leaned casually against the doorjamb and folded his arms across his chest.  
    “What are you doing?”
    She straightened and glanced back at him over her shoulder. There was a smudge of dirt across her left cheek and her hair had pulled loose from its mooring at the back of her head and was draped over one shoulder. He arched a brow and fought the urge to laugh.
    “Poor Mr. Sims lost everything in the fire. I’m trying to find some clothes for the dear man.”
    Her brother nodded. “That’s a good idea.”
    “Thank you.” She bent over her task again. “I think Papa would have wanted us to help, don’t you?”
    “I’m sure he would have.” He pushed away from the doorframe. “Do you need any help before I head down to the saloon?”
    She pulled several shirts out of the trunk and sat back on her heels. “No, go have fun at your poker game.”
    He did laugh then. She had a new smudge on her other cheek and one across her chin.
    “What’s so funny?”
    “You,” he said, still chuckling. “You have dust all over your face.”
    She shrugged. “I’ll wash it off later.”
    “All right, brat. I don’t know when I’ll be home so don’t wait up.”
    “Okay.” She reached in to grab another stack of shirts and stopped. Between two of her father’s old shirts, she saw the folded corner of a piece of paper. That was odd. She couldn’t remember ever having seen any letters in this old trunk before and she’d been through it several times in the two years since her father passed away. She looked back at the door where Marc had been standing to make sure he was gone then she pulled the paper out of its hiding place.
    It was an envelope, not a letter, and it looked to be quite old. The words “Mama and Papa” were written on the front in flowing script. She didn’t recognize the handwriting, although it was most definitely feminine. Very carefully, so as not to rip the fragile paper, she opened the envelope and took the letter out, unfolded it, and began to read.

Dear Mama and Papa,
By the time you read this letter, I will be on my way to Santa Fe. I tried, I really did, but it hurts too much to see Kaitlyn every day and not claim her as my own...

    Kaitlyn’s eyes widened at the mention of her name. She glanced back at the top of the page. In the upper left hand corner was the date: May 9, 1863. Why, she was just barely three years old then. She dropped the letter in her lap and picked up the envelope. There was no other writing on it, no clue as to the letter’s author. She quickly skimmed through to the bottom of the letter where it was signed with a flourish.
    It simply read “Rebeccah.” She let out a little gasp. She knew that name.