Choosing the Cowboy (Grape Seed Falls Romance Book 1)

By: Liz Isaason

Grape Seed Falls Volume 1

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you;”

Matthew 7:7


Maggie Duffin worked the figures in her head, only tapping the calculator a few times as she balanced the till and filled out the books for the night. The numbers kept her mind from wandering an hour down the road to Three Rivers, where her sister now lived with her new husband.

And Chase Carver has nothing to do with it, she told herself in a stern voice, writing the final total at the bottom of the page. Daddy had stopped checking her work months ago, something that made Maggie feel more grown up despite still being months away from her twentieth birthday.

She slipped the books in the top drawer below the cash register just as the door chimed. “We’re closed,” she said as she reached for the dust mop so she could sweep the aisles.

A pair of cowboy boots walked toward her and she looked up. Looked up, right into the beautiful, crystal-blue eyes of Chase Carver.

“I just need a couple of things,” he said, swiping his chocolate-brown cowboy hat from his head to reveal his sunny blond hair. His strong jaw twitched, and Maggie’s gaze slipped across his handsome face to his lips.

She hadn’t kissed him in so long. Her fingers drifted to her mouth as she remembered the love she’d felt in his touch, as the faint taste of mint tickled her taste buds, as the scent of his cologne hit her in the nose.

“Chase,” dripped from her lips. She blinked and straightened her shoulders. She wouldn’t go all soft at the sight of him. Her father had made it clear that he was too old for her, and Chase hadn’t done anything to fight for their relationship. He’d just gone on back to Three Rivers Ranch. At this point, Heidi saw Chase more than Maggie did, a fact that made her heart sink every time she considered it.

“We really are closed. I’ve already done the books and everything.” She positioned the dust mop between them so she wouldn’t somehow leap into his arms.

“I’m not gonna buy anything.” He looked at her with all the emotion he always had. He seemed older, though only five months had passed since she’d stopped driving from Amarillo to Three Rivers, since he’d come to Christmas dinner and made the mistake of mentioning the word “marriage” to Daddy, since he’d started shopping at another farm supply store.

“Oh? Did you already stop by Palmer’s? I bet they appreciate that.” She couldn’t help the acidic bite in her tone.

Chase flinched but recovered quickly. “I just have two things to do before I go back to Three Rivers.”

“Do them, then.” Her heart raced as he stepped closer.

He took her effortlessly into his arms despite the dust mop. Leaning his mouth close to her ear, he whispered, “I’m sorry. I want to see you again. The summer dances start up again in a couple of weeks, and I want to dance with you.” He swayed now, and the song they’d first danced to almost a year ago started up in her head.

Maggie melted into his embrace, the way she always had. She’d dreamed of this day, and now that it was here, she wasn’t sure how to react.

“I’m miserable without you.” His lips landed on her neck, and she couldn’t help herself; she leaned into his touch and held onto his broad shoulders to keep standing.

“I don’t know, Chase.” He voice was made of air and heat, and Chase certainly heard it.

“I don’t care about how old you are,” he said, pulling back. “We belong together.”

Maggie took a deep breath, getting a noseful of Chase’s masculine scent mixed with the smell of feed and plastic from the supplies on the shelf nearby. Daddy had said there was a wide ocean of fish to choose from, that she shouldn’t sail off into the sunset with the first man who came along.

Maggie had tried dating in the last five months, but no one held her interest for longer than one night. Only Chase. It had always been Chase, despite him being six years older than her.

“I can’t lie to my parents again,” she said, though a tiny part of her deep inside wanted to do exactly that. And she hadn’t technically lied the first time. She just hadn’t told them about Chase. Even after they’d found out, they hadn’t forbidden her from dating him. Things had progressed for a few more months until Daddy had put his foot down.