Roping The Virgin (Cowboys & Virgins #2)(9)

By: Alexa Riley



“This is really beautiful,” I say, looking at the stone fireplace.

“Thank you. I built it myself,” he replies. I glance over at him, not sure if I believe that. “I swear.” Something about that does something deep inside me. He's built a home. Not only a home for himself, but a home for a family. Showing me a part of who he is. What Blake wants out of life.

He laughs because he must see I’m skeptical about him building it. The place has a homey vibe to it, but it feels so spacious. I shared a room with my sister most of my life, and then moved to the attic when she got married and started making babies. Living with six other people in a house is cramped. All of a sudden, a wave of homesickness hits me. I miss the loud sounds of the kids and everybody yelling. This isn’t forever, but it feels like a big step away from the life I knew.

“Hey,” Blake says, coming up in front of me and taking my chin in his hand. “You okay?”

“Yeah. Sorry. Just the first time I’m away from home.” I feel comforted by his touch and the wave passes. I feel silly for reacting childishly, but it’s part of the reason I’m doing this. To grow up and experience the life I’ve always dreamed of. I'm so used to being home and surrounded by people, by family.

“Hopefully I can make that as easy as possible. Let me give you the grand tour.” His steel-blue eyes sparkle with delight, and I can’t help but smile at him in return. He seems delighted to have me here. Excited even, like he's bursting to show me his home. Wanting me to like it.

He takes his hat off and tosses it on the couch, then runs his big hand through his dark locks. God, I didn’t think he could get any hotter, but damn I was wrong. His hair is longer than I expected, and it falls into his eyes as he takes my hand again and leads me to the kitchen.

“This is the place I know nothing about. Apparently food comes out of it, but it only works for me if someone else is doing it.”

I shake my head and laugh as I walk into the space and see how big and new it is. This is the kind of kitchen my mama would have killed for. I’m already thinking of all the breads I could roll out on that huge island.

“Dr. Long said I’d be here working with the animals until I reached my clinical hours. Then you’d possibly have a full-time position for me. Or at least enough work in this area to keep me from having to go back into town and to keep him from having to travel out this way so much.”

“That’s right,” Blake says, leaning a hip on the counter. “I have two brothers and a sister, and we all have land out here with animals that need looking after. We need someone to do vaccination, well checks, and be on call if something goes wrong. We've had a couple of instances before where Dr. Long couldn’t get here fast enough and we lost some animals. We don't want that happening again. It would be nice if we could do it all in-house.”

I nod, understanding that it's a long way from town, and seconds count in emergencies. With this much land and this many animals, I could see why they’d want their own vet.

“Let me show you to your room and we can talk some more. Help you decide.”

His big body pushes away from the counter and he walks over to me. He surprises me by taking my hand again and leading me down a hall. As we pass a few doors, he explains they are empty rooms needing to be filled, bathrooms, and an office. His bedroom is at the end of the long hall, and there’s a door beside it. He opens it and we step inside. It's full of light with a daybed against one wall. There are white pillows and soft blankets laid on it and it looks like someplace you’d want to lie down and take a nap. The room is cozy and smaller than I imagined.

“Sorry about the size, but the other guest rooms aren’t done yet. I built this one as a nursery since it’s close to the master.”

“A nursery?” I ask, looking up at him. “Do you plan on kids?”

The thought of him having a baby with someone makes a little green monster rumble inside me. I hadn’t thought about him having a girlfriend, and suddenly I’m not liking the idea. But I was right. He’d built this home for a family. His family.

“Someday,” he says, reaching out and tucking my hair behind my ear. “As soon as I can.”

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