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She kneeled down in front of the rocker, placing her hands on his knees. "Jeb, I love you so, but I'm the one who must decide what's best for me. There are decisions each of us must make for ourselves. Things that can't be dictated by another person no matter how precious they are to you. This is one of those choices."
If he were testing her, she knew she was failing badly.
"Rach, you don't need to work outside our home. Ranching should be a full time commitment for us both." Drawing a breath, he added, "I have no debts and this trip will pay for more livestock if that's what's bothering you. I want to take care of you."
"I know you do. It's not the money. I have some saved and there'll be more coming from the folks' property in Pennsylvania. I worked so very hard to become a doctor and there's such a need out here."
He rose and began pacing through the room. "Don't I have needs, too? It may sound ridiculous, but the thought of your examining another man is hard to swallow." Then softening his tone, he said, "Let's compromise. We'll wait until we get to the San Joaquin to decide just what we'll do. I want you, but I also want you to be happy."