Trapped with the Maverick Millionaire(65)

By: Joss Wood

The rabble-rouser he’d been in his youth, the solitary bad boy, had been reshaped into a soldier: the best this country had to offer. He was big and dangerous and no doubt very capable. But while they may have redirected his spirit, no one would ever control it. It was that streak of wildness that made him who he was. His brothers didn’t have it. Just as their brown eyes would never be a hot icy-blue like Chance’s, their spirit would also never rival his. Chance had always been different, always found his own road. He’d found his place in life, a place he was meant to be. Unfortunately, it required him to put his life on the line each and every day, and that was something Holly wouldn’t let herself think about.

For the first time, she knew why the older girls had gone a little crazy those dozen or so years ago. It was not something Chance did purposely. It was just part of who he was. It was in his stride, his voice, his touch—in the way he presented himself. It was the way he looked at a woman, making her very much aware of her own femininity and what he could do with it.

Just being in his presence for a few amazing moments, she’d felt that silent challenge to come to him. If she did, instinct told her she would never be the same again. Before, she’d been a child and sexual attraction wasn’t even in the picture. Chance had seen her as a little sister. Now, as an adult, the look of male want in his eyes reinforced the fact that she was a woman in every sense of the word and he knew it. And her body had responded accordingly.

With a moan she rolled over onto her side. Despite the years of dreaming he would someday come back and she would be the one in his life, she couldn’t imagine this was her wish coming true. Reality had long since become her guide. Chance was home because he’d been wounded and needed a place to recuperate. Then he would once again be gone. Twelve years and her life had gone on. She needed to let go of the little-girl fantasies. The world had changed and so had they. It was sad in a way, but the happy memories from her childhood, made even better with the passage of time, would always remain close to her heart.

She couldn’t help but wonder if Chance would still enjoy working with new colts and riding out to check the fences or rounding up the calves for annual inoculations and electronic branding. Horses used to be his passion. More than likely he hadn’t had that opportunity in a long while.

He had also loved the river that ran for miles through the ranch land. Before Emma, she would often ride out to the place he loved the most, sit on the boulder that jutted out over the rushing water and try to imagine where he was and what he was doing. As the years rolled past, like fallen leaves carried out of sight by the waters in the stream, she’d had to accept she might never see Chance Masters again.

But he was here. She would see him. Tomorrow. She wouldn’t think any further into the future than that. She absolutely would not, on the day of his arrival, consider how hard it would be when he left yet again. He is here. She could touch him, talk to him face-to-face and have an opportunity to make some new memories.

She had to wonder how he was doing up in the big house. Suddenly being thrust into the lap of luxury probably wasn’t comfortable to him. While some dreamed of having even a tenth of the wealth of the Masters family, Chance had always shrugged it off, never wanting to talk about it. Holly imagined that the living accommodations he’d had for the past few years were vastly different from the mansion. Was he sleeping? Was the fact he was at the ranch making him restless? Or maybe he normally kept different hours, awake at night and asleep during the day.

If she didn’t get to sleep pretty soon, she might go down to the barn. Anything beat tossing and turning in this bed. And if Chance Masters couldn’t sleep, the barn was where he would be.

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