Joe stood outside the old log house with single-paned windows, the Spick house, watching the closed door Margaret Gordon had slammed in his face as if he were a leper and she couldn’t get away from him fast enough. Just what the hell was the matter with the woman, anyhow?
She had always acted as though she had a stick shoved up her ass. All through school, she’d gone out of her way to avoid him, though she had mile-long legs that he had often pictured wrapped around him. Her long, thick, dark hair framed the most gorgeous smoky brown eyes and a cute round face. To top it off, she had a light smattering of freckles on her nose and cheeks that she never tried to hide with a pound of makeup. Her skin was flawless, and those lips—he dreamed of taking them for a test drive.
It was obvious the woman thought he was lower than a dung beetle. To tell the truth, he was embarrassed that his son had watched that woman try to emasculate him. Just what the hell was she doing, living out here all by herself, anyway? Last he heard, she’d hopped the first bus to Seattle for medical school. He’d seen her a few times over the years, and she had always had the same snobbish, stuck-up attitude, walking around as if she was better than everyone, looking right through him as if she didn’t see him.
He’d seen her in town a few months back. She was tall and gorgeous, with a set of breasts he dreamed of running his hands over, feeling the weight of them. He had pictured what they’d look like, full and creamy with dark red nipples. Well, at the time, he’d nearly gone over and asked her out, but his common sense had kicked in, and he remembered that she had fought over money with her mother when her grandfather hadn’t even been cold in the ground. Carl Spick would’ve rolled over in his grave if he’d seen the way his granddaughter and daughter acted, like two selfish moneygrubbers. Joe didn’t need a woman like that in his life. Even now, he could barely make ends meet. With the economy in the toilet, he’d all but given up on ranching. He’d sold off the last of his cattle the year before Carl died and had started taking out trees here and there in the back, milling the lumber himself.
Here he was again, all because Stan Jerow had told him Margaret was still here. He had insisted that Margaret was who Joe needed for Ryan’s horse, that she could work magic with any animal. Her grandfather had said Margaret had a special connection to them, a certain touch. Whatever was going on with his horse, Ryan’s horse, Margaret would figure it out. When he’d driven in and seen her in that ratty old hat and wool coat, he’d felt poleaxed. He would never have believed a woman could make anything that frumpy look sexy. The way she had walked, all sexy in those faded blue jeans, along with the fact that she didn’t need to curl and primp just to step outside, had all his good sense taking a hike, which was the one and only reason he had worked her until she agreed to come and see Storm. Whatever he was thinking with, it sure in the hell hadn’t been his brain. As he bent over and picked up the broken mug, he reminded himself that he had until that afternoon to pull his head out of his ass, have her look at the horse and then send her on her way.
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