Instead Matt was brought here, to that little hill with the tree on it. "You'll be happy to know Nikki's coming up for the weekend," she said.She didn't cry as much anymore, though she missed him; missed the laughter, the long, late-night talks. Walt had the diaper bag slung over his shoulder and was headed for the car. "A girlfriend."Walt hefted himself into the driver's seat. Either she can't stay away from the new baby or things aren't going so well with her and that that " Walt couldn't seem to finish."She can't stay away from the baby and no, things aren't going well with Craig.Ever faithful to his best friend, he's done right by Matt's widow as best he can considering he's been secretly in love with her for years.Now, just as he's about to make his move, another woman has staked her claim on hima claim that will be tough to escape. Vanessa Rutledge stood in front of her husband's grave, her coat pulled tightly around her against the crisp March breeze, red hair billowing in the wind.There was a time, years before she met Matt, that Vanni had envisioned herself as a high-powered news anchor; using her degree in communications.She decided to take a year before pursuing an eighty-hour-a-week career path and, on a whim, went to work as a flight attendant.It was her loneliness and advancing pregnancy that had sent her packing to Virgin River.She had thought it would be temporaryshe'd have the baby, wait for her husband's return from war and move on to his next assignment with him. "I have plenty of girlfriends." She had lots of girlfriends from flying days and, even though they didn't live nearby, they were great about visiting and staying in touch, giving her every opportunity to talk about Matt, about grief, then about the baby and recovery.
Paul Haggerty lives by the marine motto: Semper Fi.
When you live in a place like Virgin River where the doctor's office only makes appointments on Wednesdays, it's a pretty good bet there won't be any waiting around. Mel had delivered little Matt right in Vanessa's bedroom and their bond had grown deep and strong. "I've been expecting this conversation," she said."How long was it?