Cole sat at the kitchen table staring into the blackest cup of coffee he'd ever made. The sun colored the sky beyond the mountain ridge that hugged his family’s property. The morning light illuminated the room. I should be out working the field, turning the hay. Cole reclined in his chair, thumbing his jaw. He peered out the large glass windows that his mother had loved, with narrowed eyes. Dew clung to the grass in the fields. Turning the hay would have to wait until later.
Dragging a hand through his hair, Cole next scrubbed his rough, bristly face. The image of Bethany lying on the ground in the hospital parking lot preyed on his mind. What kind of man allowed a woman with a newborn baby to be homeless? He scowled at his reflection in the glass window.
“A man that doesn’t want to get involved in someone else’s affairs,” Cole grumbled. “There’s a reason she’s alone in the hospital and no place to go. Trouble.” Her golden blonde hair and those dark chocolate colored eyes stroked something inside him in a way he didn’t want to acknowledge.
Cole gravitated toward his coffee and took a swallow. Who was he kidding? I’m screwed. Maybe a few years ago he could have walked away and done nothing for Bethany and her daughter. Filled with the hate and pain of his brother's death, Cole had caused a slow erosion in his family but not now. Not after Logan and Mr. Miller's forgiveness changed him. He couldn't just ignore Bethany's situation. She needed help. He could help her. Hell, he wanted to help her.
A loud sigh escaped his lips, casting a glance around the kitchen; Cole knew the house could use a woman’s touch. It had been years since a woman had lived in his home. Emma moved out after getting married to Logan and Cole didn't date. The idea of taking a woman to dinner in hopes that she would like him was time he couldn't waste. His brother, Peter, kept his women away from the house. Peter said they started getting ideas when he brought them home, and the ideas weren't ones he was willing to bring to fruition.
Peter was going to have a cow if he showed up with Bethany and Olivia. It was one thing to have a beautiful woman around, but a crying baby was another. He took a large mouthful of the bitter coffee and choked it down. He pushed the cup away and stood. It was his house, his land, and his choice. Peter would have to deal with it.
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