Hunky Cowboy Colt O'Malley has lost what is most important to him. Spring Reed needs a safe place to stay. Can love erase all doubt or will anguish tear them apart?
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His brown eyes were filled with grief. The heavy shadows under his eyes indicated a lack of sleep, and his shoulders slumped in defeat as though he was about to fall over.
Wrapping her arms around her middle, she stared at him. He was a big man, tall with wide shoulders. Somehow, he looked shrunken. “I’ll stay and make sure you eat. I’m assuming the job is still open.”
Colt took off his tan Stetson and slapped it against his thigh. His dark hair hung past his collar, and it looked soft blowing in the cold wind. “Look, I don’t know what the hell you are talking about. There is no job. I don’t know what Caleb told you, if he really invited you here at all. It’s not his style to bring girls home.”
Spring’s heart was in a vice that kept tightening. “He offered me a job keeping the books for you.”
“Ed, take her back.” The bitterness in his tone was loud and clear.
“No can do. This little gal was promised a job, and I think you should honor that promise.”
“Then leave, I’ll take her back myself.”
“Fine.” Old Ed turned and walked to his truck. When he got the door, he turned toward Colt. “You know I don’t go around handing out advice, but if I was judging by the way you look, I’d say she needs to stay.”
Colt's eyes raked her over, making her nervous. Finally, he sighed. “Let’s go inside, and get you something warm to wear before I take you back.”
Numb inside and out, she followed him. The house looked much bigger than she’d pictured. The exterior was wood, covered in peeling paint, but the front porch looked ample. It was hard to judge, however, with all the blowing snow.
Walking inside, she shivered. It was spring break, and she thought it might be chilly still, but she didn’t have the money to buy a heavier coat or boots. She felt stupid arriving in her windbreaker and sneakers. The snow must be due to melt soon. Warmth was in full bloom in Texas already. Sure, there was a bit of snow remaining at home, but this whole area was still a blanket of cold, white snow.
The front part of the house had an open floor plan, the kitchen and great room were connected, and a roaring fire in the massive stone fireplace welcomed her.
“Have a seat, I’ll make coffee.”
Spring nodded and cleared a place on the cluttered, threadbare couch. Caleb hadn’t exaggerated when he’d told her that they were barely keeping their heads above water. She didn’t mind poor. It was what she’d known all her life.
Spring glanced over her shoulder and grinned. In her eyes, he spotted happiness and it warmed him. In two long strides, he was beside the ladder. She gingerly turned on the steps as he reached his arms up to her. The way her face lit up gave him the confidence he needed to scoop her up and hold her against him.
“What are you doing?” She laughed as he put her down but he didn’t let go.
“I’ve had something on my mind for a while now.” He studied her dusty pink lips.
“What would that be?” Her voice was husky.
Leaning down, he kissed her and as soon as his tongue touched her lips, she opened for him. Groaning, he deepened the kiss and was thrilled when she put her arms around his neck to pull him closer.
Spring squirmed against him while they kissed. Her kisses were feverish as though she couldn’t get enough, and her tongue tangoed with his in a sexily charged dance. No one had ever kissed him with such passion.
He lifted her until she wrapped her long legs around his waist. They stared at each other. Was he going too fast? When she started to kiss the side of his neck, his question was answered. He set her down on the kitchen counter and quickly took care of her shirt and bra
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