Page 22 of Faithful Cowboy (Whiskey Valley Bryant Brothers)

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I cup her face and force her to look up at me. “If you didn’t come back, I would have come for you. There’s no way I could let you go.”

She smiles at me through the tears. “That’s good, Griffin, because here with you is where I want to be.”

She goes on her tiptoes, and I lift her up in my arms and swing her around. She just made me the happiest man on earth.

Epilogue

Hailey

“What do you have in here? A ton of bricks?” Chance asks me.

I roll my eyes. Griffin and Chance are helping me—and by helping me, I mean I just stand here while they do all the heavy lifting.

“They’re books, Chance. You should probably read one some time,” my sweet Griffin says to him as he lifts the other box of books.

I lead the men into the store and right away see the store owner, Amanda.

She waves and walks over to me, hugging me excitedly. “I still can’t believe that Hailey Young is living in Whiskey Valley. Thank you so much for doing this. The whole town has been talking about this book signing.”

I pull back and look at her in awe. “Thank me? You don’t need to thank me. I should be thanking you. I’m so excited to share this book with everyone. This is definitely my favorite book I’ve written.” I look over at Griffin, who is just staring at me openly, with love shining in his eyes. “I was definitely inspired with this one.”

The doorbell rings, and a grunting Chance comes in the door, his arms piled high with boxes. “Where do you want them?”

“Over here,” Amanda tells him, but when he takes two steps and knocks into a shelf, she walks over to him and grabs his arm. “Is it okay if I lead you so you don’t knock over anything?” she asks him with a laugh.

I wait for some kind of smart remark from Chance, but he’s speechless as he watches Amanda guide him to an empty table in the center of the bookstore. “This is it.”

He sets the boxes down and stares at her. “What’s your name?”

She gasps when she looks at him, but I’m not sure if she knows who he is or if she’s just surprised by his looks. All the Bryant men are handsome. “Amanda.” She answers him stiffly and then turns on her heel and walks back toward the registers, putting the counter between her and us.

Chance is right behind her and leans against the counter. He’s at least ten years older than her, but that doesn’t seem to bother him because he leans toward her. “Amanda, can I take you to dinner sometime?”

She shakes her head. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Griffin and I just stand and stare. I grab on to his shoulder and announce to Chance and Amanda that we’re going to go out to the truck and grab the rest of the things. Neither one of them answer us, so I pull Griffin outside with me. As soon as we get outside, I ask him, “Have you ever seen Chance—"

“Immediately fall for a woman? No. And I don’t think he knows she’s a McCoy.”

I roll my eyes. “I still can’t believe you have a problem with your neighbors. It was years and years ago. You have your land, they have theirs now. Surely, it’s water under the bridge.”

He pulls me into his arms. “First of all, it’s our neighbors. You’re going to be a Bryant soon too.”

I lean up and wrap my arms around his neck. “Oh yeah, you think so, huh?”

His face turns serious. “Oh, I know so. And probably sooner than later too, don’t you think?”

I lift my shoulders in a shrug. “I don’t know. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.”

He grips on to my waist and pushes me backwards before dropping to one knee. “I’d planned on doing this tonight, after the book signing, but I can’t wait. I want the whole damn town to know you’re mine.” He pulls a box from his pocket, opens it, and holds it up to me. “I promise to love you, protect you, and be faithful to you for the rest of my life. You’re the one for me. Hailey Young, will you do me the honor of being my wife?”

I gasp and scream yes before dropping to the ground next to him. We kiss, and somewhere in the mist of it all, he slides the ring on my finger. The rest of the night goes by in a blur. I may have written a book about a cowboy that falls in love with a city girl, and even though it became a bestseller, it’s nowhere near as good as the real-life love of the romance author and the soldier cowboy that lived happily ever after.


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