Here we are my loyal readers, finally another chapter! Hope you like it. REVIEW please and suggestions are welcomed.

An incessant ringing pierced the quiet of night and Sam lurched into a sitting position blinking at the glowing red numbers of the alarm clock: 3:20AM. Fumbling for the phone, Sam rubbed the sleep from her eyes, "Hello,"

"Mrs. Ely? This is Brad Renner from the Search and Rescue team your husband works with," the man on the other end of the line seemed to be speaking gently in a quiet voice.

Sam swallowed, this could not be good. "Is Jake okay?"

Clearing his throat Renner answered, "Well, as you know we were tracking down an escaped convict on the run and he and Jake seem to have had a run in with one another."

"Is Jake okay?" Sam choked out fighting tears.

"He was shot," Renner replied and Sam gasped covering her mouth with a shaking hand. "They are taking him to Darton hospital now. We are not quite sure how severe it is quite yet."

Sam was racing around her room getting dressed, "I am going to the hospital. Thanks for calling." Sam hung up and immediately ran out to her truck. Her hands were shaking and her heart was pounding as she drove. Tears pricked the corners of her eyes and Sam's mind raced. How could this be happening? Jake was hurt? Her Jake was on his way to the hospital. He was her rock. She was the one that got into difficult situations and he would help her out of them. She was the one that followed her heart into trouble and Jake was her level headed cowboy that would save her.

Sam's hands trembled more and her stomach rolled. She felt like she was going to be sick so she pulled into the Ely's ranch. She hurried to the door and knocked. Luke answered after about a minute and ushered her inside. Once in the kitchen Maxine joined them, "Sam, what is wrong?"

"Jake is going to the hospital. He was shot working with SAR and they called me, but didn't know how bad it was. I was trying to drive there, but I just can't on my own," Sam let the tears begin to fall and she let out a quiet sob, "I'm just so scared for him."

Luke grabbed the car keys while Maxine pulled on her jacket, "Come on, let's go see about our boy."

Hurrying to the desk, Sam bit her lip and wiped her tears away, "Was a patient admitted by the name Jake Ely?"

The young blonde answered, "Yes, he was brought in about forty minutes ago. Are you family?"

"I'm his wife," Sam's voice caught a little.

The nurse nodded sympathetically and looked at a file, "He is in surgery right now. The doctor will have to tell you more after the operation. Here is some paper work, that we will need filled out."

Sam took the papers from the nurse's outstretched hand and quivered a little, "Okay, thank you."

"Mrs. Ely, he will be okay. The bullet went through his shoulder and missed everything important," she smiled warmly trying to ease Sam's mind.

Sitting in a green waiting room chair, Sam sighed, she would not calm down until she saw her husband with her own two eyes. Clasping her hands together, she closed her eyes praying silently. A hand on her shoulder made her look up. Maxine was standing with a tissue clutched in her hands and Luke at her side.

Sam offered a watery smile, "They told me that the bullet went through his shoulder and missed everything important, but he is in surgery."

Maxine sat next to her daughter-in-law, "He will be okay Sam. Jake is tough and it doesn't sound too serious."

"He has to be okay," Sam swiped tears from her cheeks, "I need him."

"I know, Sweetie. And he needs you too," Maxine hugged Sam gently.

Sam exhaled slowly, "I don't know why I am being such a wimp. I shouldn't be falling apart."

Luke snorted, "See what love does to you. Messes you all up."

Maxine smirked, "He is right you know? No matter if it is a minor injury, you will always be on pins and needles when something happens to Jake and you can't control your emotions. I remember when Luke and I were first married, and he was charged by a bull. It barely nicked him, but it knocked him down and unfortunately I had been watching. Well, you would have thought that he had just been gored to death by my reaction. I immediately started crying almost uncontrollably with my hand covering my heart. Mac checked him over and patched him up before I could see him."

Sam sniffled a little, "When did you regain your composure?"

"When he was holding me and telling me for himself that he was okay. See Sam that is part of marriage, worrying about your other half, loving them, and yearning to always have their love in return. If something hard comes along, you will always worry that you will lose Jake. So don't fight the emotions, they just mean that you love Jake more than anything in the world and that my dear is a very good thing," Maxine patted her knee, "Now finish that paperwork before Jake gets out of surgery."

Hugging her mother-in-law, Sam whispered, "Thank you," as the tears again slid down her cheeks.

After what seemed like forever, the doctor came over to Sam, "Your husband is out of surgery and in his own room. Jake is very lucky, the bullet was just far enough to the side that it missed all his ligaments and bones. His muscle was damaged as the bullet ripped through, but if he does physical therapy he can restore most of his strength in that shoulder.

"Thank you, Doctor. Can I see him?" Sam asked tentatively.

"Sure, he just woke up from the anesthesia in room #43," the Doc hurried to another patient's room.

Sam rushed to her husband's hospital room and tentatively opened the door. Standing in the doorway, she looked over her husband. He was in the customary hospital gown laying in the bed. A sling held his left arm in place in front of him.

More tears threatened to spill over when Sam saw her tough husband laying helpless in the hospital bed. She walked slowly over to his bedside and let a tear fall down her cheek. Jake looked up at his wife and winked, "What's wrong?"

"Jake, you were shot in pursuit of a criminal! I was scared to death. They didn't tell me how bad it was and are never hurt except for that time that you broke your leg, but I was scared to death that time too and," Sam rattled on nervously.

Jake reached up with his right hand and put a finger over her lips, "I'm fine, Brat."

Sam nodded and a few more tears escaped so Jake tugged her down to his level capturing her lips with his while his hand caressed her cheek. A few seconds later, Sam pulled back a little remaining at Jake's eye level, "I'm so glad you are okay." She sat next to him on his hospital bed and rested her head on his good shoulder.

Jake wrapped his arm around her, "Sorry I scared you."

Two weeks later, Sam went around their ranch feeding their horses and humming softly in the muted light of dusk. Jake hadn't been able to do much work lately considering the doctor gave him strict orders to stay inside for a month and only move his shoulder to do his physical therapy.

Sam remembered when Jake had broken his leg and she had gone to visit him. Maxine had warned her, "He's cranky as a bear." Now Sam had been living in the bear cave with him and understood exactly what Maxine had meant. Darrell and Jen had come over the day after he got home from the hospital and left shortly after.

Even though Jake had been grumpy Sam didn't mind too much because at night he would have no choice, but to watch movies with her while she helped him with his therapy.

Turning Sam started to walk back to the barn door and head in for the night. She froze seeing Jake standing with Singer by Witch's stall wearing a guilty expression on his face.

Sam perched a hand on her hip, "What are you doing, Mister?"

"I just came out to check on the horses," Jake frowned, "I've been stuck inside for like thirteen days."

"Because those were the doctor's orders! Now get inside, it's time for your therapy," Sam waved her hands at him shooing him back to the house.

Jake groaned and stubbornly walked forward, "Gee, Sam I thought you were my wife not mother."

Sam's jaw dropped open, "Excuse me, but I'm the one who has been taking care of you so watch what you say."

The corner of Jake's mouth raised in his lazy tomcat grin, he answered, "Fine, but I get to pick the movie tonight, Brat."

"Fine," Sam agreed grabbing his hand as they walked inside.

An hour later Sam sat with her head resting on Jake's good shoulder as Life as we Know It started on the TV. Jake was such a pushover even when he was as grumpy as a bear.