Page 7 of Faithful Cowboy (Whiskey Valley Bryant Brothers)

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I nod, knowing I need to give up offering to pay. I know Kelly offered, and I have now. I don’t want to offend anyone. “Well, I truly do appreciate it.”

She looks at me with a smile. “Was your ride from the airport okay?”

I freeze at the out of the blue question. Can she tell I’m attracted to Griffin? “Uh, it was great. Griffin was a complete gentleman.”

Natalie barks a laugh out and then tries to stifle it. I can’t resist any longer, I need to know. “Are you and Griffin....” I let my voice trail off, and Natalie stares at me as my face gets heated. I clench my hands at my side to stop from fanning myself.

“It’s like that, huh?”

Natalie wiggles her eyebrows at me, and I start to stutter. “Uh, no, uh, what do you mean?”

She walks toward me and sits down at the chair at the desk. “No, I’m not with Griffin. I’m married to King, and we have a son, Eli.”

My back straightens as if a weight has been lifted off me. I was beginning to feel bad for being attracted to this woman’s man. “Oh, well, I’m excited to meet them all.”

I walk across the room and sit on the bed. “So, uh, Griffin seems nice.”

I barely resist rolling my eyes. Smooth, Hailey. Real smooth. Why don’t you just hang a sign around your neck that says I want Griffin?

Natalie pulls her legs up into the chair. “Yeah, he’s really nice. He’s a great guy. He’s quiet, but the brothers said he hasn’t been the same since he got out of the Army.”

I lean forward. “What do you mean?”

She shrugs. “Well, when he was shot...”

“Shot! Oh my God, what happened? Is he okay?”

Natalie is stunned by my reaction, but no more than I am. How can I care this much about some man I just met? I shouldn’t. But also knowing he’s been hurt, well, it guts me.

Natalie rests her hands in her lap and shrugs. “Yeah, I mean, he’s okay. King said he’s just glad he’s alive. He was already back here before I met King.”

“Does he...” I start, but Natalie cuts me off.

“I’m sorry. It’s not my place to talk about it.”

I clench my eyes. “I’m sorry. You’re right. It’s the writer in me, I don’t even think and just start spouting off at the mouth.”

“Don’t apologize. I can appreciate the fact you want to know more about him.”

She’s back to wiggling her eyebrows at me, and this time, I burst out laughing.

Once we both settle down, Natalie tells me that she’s got to go, but she’ll see me at breakfast in the morning. “The guys start super early, but they’ll roll back in for breakfast at seven.”

My eyes widen. Breakfast at seven. “Okay, sounds great.”

I watch Natalie go and start putting things away. I set my laptop up on the desk but don’t even open it. I shower quickly and am in bed staring up at the dark ceiling, thinking about a certain cowboy when sleep finally comes.

Chapter 7


“What the hell were you thinking?” I ask King early the next morning. We’re down at the barn. Ryan is nowhere to be seen, and neither is Mia. I guess since they have decided they love each other, they’re going to sleep in, but I’m not going to give shit to Ryan about it. I’m glad to see him finally settle down.

Chance and King are by my side, and we’ve been going through the day’s chores. I’ve tried hard to keep my mouth shut, but I can’t any longer.

King looks at me, his jaw tight. “Thinking about what?”

“Hailey Young... the romance writer.”

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