Between an Oath and a Promise – Extended Epilogue

Another six months had passed since Logan asked Morgan to marry him. She was now standing in front of a full-length mirror in the gown she had chosen for her wedding. Carly and her mother were with her. Carly kept fussing with her hair while her mother chatted about how pleased she was that Morgan was marrying Logan. 

There was a knock on the door, and Logan’s mother, Emily, opened it slightly. “Are you about ready?”

Morgan took a deep breath and nodded. 

“That’s good because there is a good-looking cowboy standing in the chapel who is getting very anxious,” Emily teased before closing the door again.

Morgan was more than ready to join her life with Logan. Carly and her mother each gave her a kiss on her cheeks and left with the promise that they would see her in the chapel in a few minutes. Then she was alone. 

While she waited, she couldn’t help but compare this wedding with the one she’d had with Sam. They had married quickly at a city hall and hadn’t even invited their families. A justice of the peace had performed the ceremony. She was aware that she had deeply hurt her parents, but at the time she hadn’t cared all that much. She had just wanted to be with Sam. It was also why, when a few months later Sam disappeared, she didn’t run home for help. She had made the decision to quickly marry him, and she needed to learn to be strong on her own. 

This time around, she was marrying a man she had liked, and loved, since she was fifteen years old. He had been a big part of her life while growing up and even after she left home and was raising Cody on her own, she now realized that he had always been in the back of her mind. Her family was thrilled with her choice, and Cody already treated Logan like he was his second father.

After she had moved back from Wyoming, Sam again appeared in their lives. This time, though, he seemed to be a different man. He no longer tried to convince Morgan to give him another chance. She was still reluctant to allow Sam to be alone with Cody, and he accepted that decision. He turned his focus on Cody, and they slowly began to develop a relationship with each other. Morgan did seek legal advice, and with Barry’s help, as well as a social worker, she was able to work out an agreement with Sam that she felt good about. In fact, Sam would be taking Cody part of the time while she and Logan went on their honeymoon. 

She took a deep breath and stepped out of the room. Her father was there, waiting for her.

“You look beautiful, my dear,” he told her.

“Thanks, Dad,” she answered as she tucked her arm through his. He began to lead her towards the chapel, and then he stopped. She looked at him questioningly.

“I just want to tell you how proud I am of you. I know that the last few years have been difficult for you, but you didn’t let it get you down. You kept your goal in mind to be a vet and didn’t let anything or anyone stop you.”

She smiled at him. “It’s been worth it. I really do hope that you aren’t upset that I decided not to take over the clinic.”

This was something that had worried her since she returned from Wyoming. She began to work back in the clinic, but it only had taken her a few days to know where her heart was. After talking with Logan, they decided that she would focus her energy on the cows, horses, and other animals on their ranch and take small jobs on the side, helping other nearby ranches and farms. She no longer wanted to work in a clinic with just dogs and cats. She still remembered the day she finally confessed to her father that she had changed her mind about taking the clinic over. He had been understanding but also very disappointed.

“No, I would have probably made the same decision you did if I had the option to focus on just large animals. Besides, Peter is working out great.”

“That’s good to hear,” Morgan said with relief. Peter was a young man her father had hired just out of vet school with the plan for him to purchase the clinic within five years. “But we don’t need to worry about that. Right now, let’s get you and Logan married.”

“Good idea.” 

At the entrance of the chapel, they stopped, and a few seconds later, the song she had chosen began to play. Morgan paused at the entrance of the chapel and looked at the guests standing at her arrival. Her mother was in the front pew with Carly’s family next to her. Logan’s parents sat on the other side. Both Logan and Morgan had invited a few extended family members; aunts, uncles, and cousins. She wished Grace had been able to come, but she didn’t feel up to flying. Sarah and Sierra walked down the aisle, scattering pink and red rose petals in front of them. Cody stood by Logan, carefully holding a small pillow with two rings tied to it. Morgan hadn’t chosen any bridesmaids. She only wanted her sister to be her matron of honor. 

“Now that’s a look I wanted to see,” her father murmured.

Morgan followed her father’s gaze to the front of the chapel where Logan stood. His face lit up, and the smile he gave her made her feel beautiful like they were the only two people in the room. She walked beside her father slowly, like they’d practiced the day before, but she wanted to run to Logan and throw herself into his arms. 

Instead, she forced herself to take one step and then another until she was finally standing next to the love of her life. The minister, Mr. Walker, cleared his throat as the music slowly faded away. He opened his Bible and began to speak, quoting a few scriptures about marriage and giving them advice on how to keep their love strong. When it was time to exchange vows, Morgan did so eagerly as love for this wonderful man seemed to burst all around her. Logan slipped the ring on her finger that he’d chosen for her, a beautiful white-gold band with a single diamond in the center. Her birthstone, a blue sapphire, and Logan’s birthstone, a ruby sat on either side of the diamond. Morgan did the same, a thick gold band that was trimmed with black gold. 

When Mr. Walker finally ended the ceremony with “you may now kiss the bride,” Logan grinned and swept Morgan off her feet and into his arms. He then planted a wonderful and romantic kiss on her lips while their family and friends clapped in approval. 

“Logan is finally my dad now,” Cody announced loudly, with a definite feeling of relief, which made everyone laugh.

Morgan spent the next few hours at Logan’s side. He kept her hand in his, refusing to let go. They danced, laughed, enjoyed a delicious meal, and danced some more. She kept an eye on Cody and was glad to see he was also having fun with his cousins. He even danced with a young girl a few times. 

“It’s time to go,” Logan murmured in her ear, and Morgan nodded, also eager to get started on the rest of their lives. This had been a magical day, but she was more than willing to leave everyone behind and looked forward to time alone with just the two of them. Carly helped her change out of her dress, and Morgan spent a few minutes giving her sister last-minute instructions on the care of Cody since she would be the one mainly watching him while they were on their honeymoon.

“Don’t worry about Cody,” Carly finally told her. “He’ll be fine.”

“I know,” Morgan admitted. 

“I’ll make sure he gets to Sam’s place safely, and I’ll keep an eye on him,” Carly promised. 

“I appreciate it,” Morgan answered. 

But she had never been away from her son for so long. When she finished dressing, Morgan went to find her new husband, who grabbed her hand and basically dragged her away and into his waiting truck. And they soon began a wonderful week together. After they were engaged, Logan had asked her where she wanted to go for their honeymoon, and she had a ready answer.

“Camping in Yellowstone.”

He had looked at her in disbelief. “You want to go camping? I was thinking you’d say you want to go to Hawaii or on a cruise.”

She shook her head and laughed. “I love Yellowstone and haven’t been there since I was a teenager. But if you’d rather go somewhere else, that is okay with me.”

“No, Yellowstone sounds fun.”

He had immediately made reservations at one of the campsites and started to purchase camping gear. Morgan had been fine to not worry about what they needed to bring and allowed Logan to plan everything. 

They spent their first night as a married couple in a fancy hotel that had a honeymoon suite and left for Yellowstone early the next morning. It only took a few hours to get to their campsite since Pine Ridge was so close to the National Park. When they arrived, Logan sent her off to explore the campground on her own, telling her to not come back for thirty minutes. She enjoyed being in the beautiful mountains and even met a few of their temporary neighbors. When she finally felt like she would return to their campsite, she stopped at the entrance in shock at what she saw.

“I thought that even though we are camping, we should do it in comfort,” Logan explained.

He had purchased a high-quality canvas tent that was big enough for eight people. An outdoor rug lined the ground in front of the tent, and solar lights hung on a nearby pine tree. She looked inside the tent and saw that it was divided into two rooms. Logan had turned the front room into a sitting area, complete with comfortable camping chairs and a small flat-screen TV that was hooked up to a battery. The second room had a queen size air mattress with a sleeping bag big enough for two.

“This is wonderful,” Morgan squealed as she threw her arms around Logan.

He looked pleased by her exuberance. “I’m not going to ever want to leave.”

Logan had also set up a smaller tent that had their food in it, stored in bear-proof coolers. And so began one of the best weeks Morgan had ever had. They spent their days exploring Yellowstone Park. They visited Old Faithful and did a guided tour where they went on a few day hikes. They saw wild buffalo, moose, and deer and didn’t see any bears, which Morgan was grateful for. Logan went fishing and caught some good-sized trout for dinner one evening. They visited many hot springs and waterfalls. Their nights, of course, were wrapped up in each other in what they called their Honeymoon Tent. Logan had also planned delicious meals. He showed his expertise as he grilled the trout he caught one evening and made baked beans in a Dutch oven another night. They enjoyed s’mores, one of Morgan’s favorite camping desserts, almost every day.

When their week was finally over, Morgan had mixed feelings about leaving Yellowstone. She’d had a wonderful time getting to know Logan as her husband while in her favorite place in the world, but she also missed Cody and was excited to see him again. And besides, they had plans to go to California with Cody, as a new family.

They packed up their belongings and left the campsite behind, with promises to each other to come back the next summer and bring Cody with them. When they returned home, it was to her small apartment, which was now theirs for the next few months. Logan had begun to build a new home for them on the ranch, but it wasn’t completed yet. 

Cody was very excited to see them when they picked him up from Carly’s house. He wouldn’t let them out of his sight and enjoyed the small souvenirs they’d purchased for him from Yellowstone. Morgan spent the next day doing laundry and packing for their next trip. The next day, they flew to California. 

Morgan had wanted to take Cody to Disneyland and to see some of the other tourist sites. She also wanted to see Grace again and introduce her to Logan. Cody was so excited to be going on this trip that he had a hard time sitting still on the plane. By the time they arrived at their hotel in Los Angeles, he collapsed on his bed with fatigue. The next day, they headed to the happiest place on earth and spent three fun-filled days there. Logan wanted to spend a few days at the beach before they rented a car and drove to San Diego, where Grace lived.

Cody was so excited to see Grace and jumped out of the car the moment it stopped in her driveway. Morgan was ready to reprimand him until she saw that Grace was on her porch as if waiting for them.

“Grandma Grace,” Cody shouted as he ran towards the older woman and flew into her arms. 

“I guess Cody has missed her,” Logan murmured into Morgan’s ear, and she smiled. 

“I’ve missed her too,” she said as she walked towards Grace and was soon enveloped in her arms.

“And this must be Logan,” Grace said.

“Hello, Ma’am,” Logan greeted her. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”

“Oh, call me Grace, like everyone else,” she instructed. “It’s nice to meet you. Come inside.”

Morgan followed Grace into her townhouse. “You have a beautiful home.” She could tell that it was only a few years old, and Grace had decorated it with blues and mauve colors. Morgan recognized some of the furniture from Grace’s home in Wyoming.

“I quite like it,” Grace said with a laugh. “As you know, when I moved here, I stayed with my daughter. As much as I love her and her three children, it only took us a few weeks to realize that I needed my own space.” She waved a hand at a sofa. “Go ahead and sit down.”

Over the next hour, they visited with Grace and got caught up in their lives. Cody told Grace all about Duke, Buttercup, and his friends at school. He briefly talked about having Sam in his life, but most of his conversation revolved around Logan and their new home at the Broken Creek Ranch. 

They ordered pizza, watched a movie, and talked some more. The next day, Grace went with them to the San Diego Zoo. When they left Grace a few days later to head back to Los Angeles, Morgan was glad that they had made the effort to see Grace.

One Month Later

Morgan hurried to Logan’s office and knocked on his door before opening it.
“He’s here,” she informed him. 

Logan nodded, a wide smile on his face. He was aware of exactly what she was referring to.

“I’ll be right out.”

Morgan grinned and hurried outside. Logan joined her a few minutes later. They stood in the dirt driveway and watched as Jed parked the truck next to the newly built barn. Logan opened the door to the horse trailer.

“He’s got a lot of problems,” Jed said with a shake of his head. “I hope you know what you are doing.”

Morgan touched Jed’s arm in reassurance. “Let’s see what Logan can do.”

“How did he travel?” Logan asked. The gelding pulled against the rope that held him tight against the wall of the trailer, his eyes wide with fright.

“He made sure that I knew he was back here. Let’s just say that,” Jed replied wryly.

Morgan shook her head, and Logan knew that she felt the same. They had only been back from their trip to California for a few days when he was contacted by one of his previous clients who lived in Colorado and told him about this horse and that he needed a new home. 

“His name is Buster and he’s been living on my neighbor’s farm. His owner died about a year ago, and he’s been neglected ever since,” his client had told him. “He’ll need some work because he’s basically been ignored for so long, but once you settle him down, I think he’ll be a great start for those kids that you want to help.”

Logan had instantly contacted Buster’s previous owner’s wife and made an offer she couldn’t refuse. And he planned to change the horse’s name at his first opportunity. In his opinion, Buster was no name for a horse that was going to be the start of his dreams.

Logan looked over the horse before untying the rope. The horse left the trailer easily enough but began to prance and kick his hind legs in the air the moment he touched the ground. Logan immediately began to calm him down, and within a few minutes, the horse stood still, allowing Logan to examine him.

“You just don’t know what’s going on, don’t you?” Logan murmured as he ran an expert hand over the horse’s back. He had a chestnut coat with a black mane and tail. 

Morgan approached the horse and touched his neck before offering him a cube of sugar. “You are a handsome one, aren’t you?”

“I think he’ll work just fine,” Logan announced as he led the horse towards the new barn. “Let’s get you settled into your new home.”

Morgan helped Logan brush the horse and gave him a more thorough exam. The horse only tolerated the attention for a short period of time before Morgan decided to let him have a rest before updating him on his shots.

“So, what is his name going to be?” Morgan asked once the horse was in his stall, enjoying a good meal of hay and oats.

“I’m thinking of Champ,” Logan responded. “He is a champion in my mind. He will represent the start of what I hope to be a wonderful new start of Broken Creek Ranch.”

Morgan nodded in agreement and smiled at him. Logan saw the absolute joy on her face, and she looked beautiful in the afternoon Montana sun. He drew her close to him and gave her a kiss on her forehead. 

“Thank you for being willing to give my dream a chance,” he murmured to her.

She turned towards him and wrapped her arms around his neck. “And thank you for waiting around for so long until I came into your life again. Sometimes when you believe in something, in a dream, it takes a while to come true. But if it is worthwhile, it’s worth the wait.”

Logan didn’t respond. He didn’t need to. Morgan knew exactly what was in his heart. Sometimes believing in a dream is enough.

THE END


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29 thoughts on “Between an Oath and a Promise – Extended Epilogue”

    1. I really enjoyed all of the little details that you put in your book. It made this book and its characters seem very real. Even the town as I read the book could be seen in my imagination very vividly. Two things that made it hard to read was the editing mistakes that made me stop and I had to read the paragraph again to have it make sense and my only other problem that I had was Logan calling his parents by their first name. I could understand why if it had just been his father; but not his mother. I’m sure that you have been over your book since it has been available and probably noticed the editing issues. I really appreciate that you have the imagination and skills to write a book. I know that it’s not easy! Thanks for letting me into your town and enjoying myself!
      Sincerely,
      Kirsten Deakin

      1. Leslie, I agree with Kirsten on the editing issues. The writing is so good that you don’t want anything to take away from that. I was surprised to see you were a new writer. There is a depth of wisdom for the details. I enjoyed your book as well as the extended epilogue. Keep up the good work!

        My best to you & God Bless
        Lynn

    2. I enjoyed this story Leslie. Most of the characters developed and changed through the story, with Logan’s father being the most dramatic. His change of heart allowed for the happy outcome for Logan and Morgan.

    3. Oh oh. I could not put this book down. I fell in with Morgan from the first day. She was a real strong and heads on woman.The story continued to keep me reading. When Sam left her, Morgan took the strongest sell and raised the wonderful son. She took the bull by its horns and stayed strong , I had a sister that had just the same strength. Mel saw her husband in Ww2 and raised three children. I,m putting her on my Star. Of reading. she was an Advil reader. Back to Morgan and Logan their love was/is real. I feel True love is a lasting, and they will have a life time together

    4. Hi Leslie
      This is my first time reading one of your books. I absolutely loved this story! Your characters are adorable and I certainly could visualize what they looked like. You have a wonderful gift of writing! I’m looking forward to reading more of your books. Thanks for a great read! Congratulations!!!

    5. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, but was greatly bothered by the mistakes. You called Logan’s father Richard numerous times. You often. Used him when speaking if a woman and her of a man. You constantly you your when it should have been you’re. You are such a good author, you should hire an editor to proofread your books, or if you can’t afford thar, at least proof it yourself.

  1. I really enjoyed this book about Morgan, Cody and Logan. It showed that no matter how tough things get if you work hard and keep the faith you can make all your dreams come true. This book was recommended to me by Carol Colyer and while I don’t usually read contemporary romance books I liked this one a lot. I look forward to reading more of Leslie Hales books in the future. Thank you Leslie Hale for this wonderful story!

  2. Dear Leslie this is a wonderful story anc the characters are very realistic So glad Morgan,Logan ,and Cody found happiness as a family and were able to live their dreams and I enjoyed reading this story

  3. Leslie, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your book. Your characters were all so realistic that I could easily visualize them. I appreciated your inclusion of rehabbing horses to be used as therapy animals. Keep up the good work.

  4. Enjoyed The book and how they ended up working together using each’s talents to go forward with their dream.

  5. Enjoyed tremendously. The storyline kept me riveted, so that even when I had to stop reading I was eager to get back to find out how it ended. Took me a while to get to this story. Hope to enjoy more from you.

  6. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. The characters were true to the plot and each one was brought alive to bringing us into their lives. Young love can and does last especially when the lovers still have deep feelings for each other and more recent hurts brings them together.

    Yes, there were a few errors but easily forgotten when you get lost in the story. Keep up the good writing Leslie. You have a new fan here.

  7. I loved the story and the extended ending. That gave the story a needed ending. I also agree with the editing errors on Logan’s mother’s name (Lisa or Emily). These corrections and adding this extended epilogue would be a great update for this book. You should see about that process. That would up the reviews and ratings. Amazon can post the update for ebooks.

  8. Leslie, thank you so much for sharing your writing gift. This story is absolutely interesting and entertaining and so inspiring. The characters are absolutely amazing and realistic. I as a divorced and single mother of the two most wonderful sons can identify with Morgan and her heartfelt journey. I loved this amazing book and all the twists and turns throughout the story. Logan, Morgan a Cody’s beautiful happy ending is just the way to begin their next chapter of their lives. Love the extended epilogue which is absolutely amazing. Congratulations on your amazing writing talent. Looking forward to reading your next book. I highly recommend this amazing book. Thank you for sharing your wonderful writing gift.

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