Champagne & Chaps(8)

By: Cheyenne McCray

With a nod he said, “It’s a nice day.”

He walked with her to the front door then held it open for her and she stepped out onto the porch. She picked one of the armchairs as opposed to the futon this time, her glass in one hand.

Instead of sitting, he leaned one hip against the porch railing and took a long drink.

“Is your ranch near here?” she asked after a sip.

“About fifteen or twenty minutes or so east of here,” he said.

A truck passed by on the street, the sound of its engine fading as it drove away. When she looked at Wyatt he was frowning.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

He shook his head. “Just thought I saw someone I know.”

“Judging by your expression, it was someone you don’t approve of,” she said.

With a shrug he said, “Let’s just say the man’s not at the top of my buddy list.”

“I get it.” She found herself wanting to know more about him. “Do you raise cattle?”

He nodded. “Hereford.”

She tilted her head to the side. “Those are the red ones with white faces and bellies, and white socks?”

A grin tugged the corner of his mouth. “That’s about right.”

She pushed her hair behind her ear. “Have you always lived out there?”

“Born and raised.” He took another drink of lemonade. “Grew up ranching. It’s in our blood.”

“Why did you want to see me?” she finally blurted out.

“How about dinner tomorrow night?” His gaze held hers. “If you haven’t been there before, we’ve got a great steakhouse up the road in Sonoita.”

Dinner? Sabrina took a deep breath. She wasn’t surprised to realize that she really wanted to go with him and spend some time with this tall, sexy cowboy. Not a good idea at all if she wanted to protect herself from the possibility of pain down the road.

But what the hell. “Okay,” she said, and he smiled. “What time tomorrow?”

“Seven.” He took one more drink of lemonade and she saw that his glass was empty.

“I’ll be ready.” She set her own glass aside and returned his smile.

“I’d best be getting back to the ranch.” He gestured with the empty glass. “Where would you like this?”

“I’ll take it.” She set his glass beside hers then walked with him to the top step.

“See you tomorrow night,” he said.

She nodded, feeling both excited and a little shy. “See you.”

He touched the brim of his hat then headed down the stairs and she watched him climb into his truck. When his vehicle disappeared around a corner, she picked up the lemonade glasses then walked back into the house, wondering if she was crazy for saying yes.

Chapter 3

“Dammit.” Sabrina tried turning the key in the ignition again but the darn thing wouldn’t start. She’d come to into Patagonia to the little general store to pick up a few things for Carly. Sabrina didn’t know what she was going to do if she couldn’t get her SUV started, much less get back to Carly’s in time to have dinner tonight with Wyatt.

Frustrated, she climbed out of her SUV and pushed her hand through her hair. The summer sun pressed down on her and a droplet of sweat trickled down the side of her face. She propped her hands on her hips and glared at her vehicle.

“Need some help?” The male voice came from behind her and she turned and faced a handsome man with dark blond hair and gray eyes. He was lean and trim and she smelled light cologne on him.

“I don’t know if you can help.” She was too frustrated to give him more than a half smile. “It won’t start. It’s under warranty, but I may have to have the thing towed to Tucson and that will take a chunk out of my summer vacation money.”

“Let me take a look.” He paused then extended his hand. “I’m Derrick Harper.”

“I’m Sabrina.” She accepted his hand. He had a firm handshake and a nice smile. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“What’s it doing?” He popped the hood of her vehicle and propped it up then took a look under the hood.

“Absolutely nothing.” She sighed. “I’m not even hearing a click when I turn the key.”