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.When I returned it,” he added gently, “I bought a set of rings—one for you, one for me.Wedding bands.So you get two presents, not one.”She just looked at him.He shrugged.“I never wanted a divorce,” he confessed.“Not really.My mother was young, like you, and maybe she wasn’t ready for marriage.I saw my father die inside after she left him.He never got over the divorce, and he mourned her until he died.I didn’t want to end up like him.I was afraid of commitment.I knew you cared about me, but I was afraid it was just a crush,” he confessed.“Some crush,” she said with a smile.“It lasted five years.”“I knew that when you took a bullet for me,” he said quietly.“That was when I knew you felt something powerful for me.But Grier was always around and better men than me have felt inferior to him.”“Cash is a sad and lonely sort of person,” she replied.“I felt sorry for him.I know things about him that you don’t, Judd.He was married just briefly, and there was going to be a child.I don’t know what happened, but they divorced bitterly.He was just a friend.”He grimaced.“I didn’t know that.I was crazy with jealousy.I finally realized that you weren’t going to wait forever while I sorted out what I felt for you.That was when I knew that I was going to fight to keep you.”She gazed at him, encouraging him to continue.“You know, my parents were exact opposites.He was in love, but she married him without really loving him.She did fall in love, with another man, and she couldn’t help what she did.I never understood that before, because I’d never been in love.” His voice turned husky.“But I understand her actions better now, even if I still don’t approve of them.Love takes away your choices.You and I think alike and I believe deep down I knew all along that we have enough in common to make a good marriage.But I just couldn’t let go of the past—of the fact that you and Cash seemed so close.I couldn’t be certain what you felt for him.He gave me some bad moments, especially after we came back from Japan.”She smiled slowly.“Tippy gave me some.She’s beautiful and sophisticated.”“Sophisticated, like Grier.” He traced her ear, pressing her soft hair behind it.“They can console each other,” he said with a wicked grin.“But they’re both out of the running.”She hesitated.“Are you sure?”His dark eyebrows lifted.“Just how many women do you think I’ve ever ravished on the floor of a laundry room?”Her eyes narrowed.“It had better only be one,” she returned with mock anger.He chuckled.“Now you sound more like yourself.” He reached for the clean undershirt.Her hands fluttered against the thick hair on his chest as she reluctantly moved away.He smelled of aftershave and soap.She liked the masculine scents, far too much.“I’ve got to get back to work.I’m tying up loose ends in the Clark cases.” He glanced at her.“I never told you.Guess who was doing the poisonings down here?”“Not Jack Clark,” she guessed.“No.His brother John was poisoning the cattle, and he killed old Hob.He got a friend and co-worker—the same man who loaned him the pickup truck—to give him an alibi for the time of old Hob’s death by making him think a jealous girlfriend was checking up on him.Jack Clark killed the young woman for testifying against him and sending him to prison for six years.Jack was our prime suspect for the poisonings because he lived in Jacobsville, and he knew it.”“Don’t leave anything out!” she demanded.“The councilwoman who was showing Jack the properties in Victoria had no idea that he was establishing an alibi, while his brother was down here poisoning bulls.They poisoned Brewster’s bull because it was one of the progeny of Handley’s Salers bull.They poisoned ours because they were both getting even with us for firing Jack.But if it hadn’t been for you, I might never have solved the murder case in Victoria.”“Me?”He pulled his shirt on, fastened it, and stuck the star back on the pocket.“You mentioned how the fence was cut,” he said.“We had a cut fence at the scene of the last homicide.I checked it against the picture you had Nick take of our cut fence.It was a perfect match.Our fence—that you had sense enough to save—has become prime evidence.Not to mention that black pickup truck that belonged to John Clark’s friend, Gould, in Victoria.Then, those colored fibers I mentioned that were found at the crime scene matched a swatch from a flannel shirt you remembered Clark wearing when he confronted you on the ranch.It was with a box of his belongings that John Clark took to Victoria with him.There’s one other crucial bit of evidence we latched on to, also.”“Don’t keep me in suspense,” she said excitedly.“Besides a hair found on the shirt at the crime scene, the evidence technician noted teeth marks on the woman’s breast.She hadn’t been dead long, and her body was half-covered by the shirt when she was recovered.The technician said her body was still warm when they found it.He played a hunch—he put sterile water on a swab and went over the woman’s breast 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