She was not a shy, bumbling idiot. At least that's what Natalie kept telling herself after she bumped into Wyatt Strickland. It didn't help, of course, that she had been madly love with him ever since she was a teenager, and he had not even turned his eyes in her direction; not once in all the years she'd known him. Perhaps it might have helped if she had actually tried to get his attention? But she was too inexperienced to work out how.
This ebook is also available for purchase in Kindle format.
All of a sudden, one day, he did notice her and if she thought she didn't know how to handle that cowboy when he ignored her, how the heck was she supposed to handle him now?
"Dammit Logan, quit your bloody dallying and load the feed." Lee bellowed from the other side of the truck. "Wyatt"s doing all the work."
Logan tossed a look over his shoulder, taking his eyes from the pretty brunette for a moment, "Sure thing pa." he called before settling his eyes back on her, "Duty calls Natalie." He smirked completely unaffected by his father"s bellowing.
"No problem." She said starting to back up and casting an unsure glance at his father. Every time she met Lee Strickland he was intimidating to her. Half the time he didn"t say a word and she still felt his presence. However, when he did speak, he had this voice that was able to elicit responses from people other than his sons. Logan might not seem affected but she nearly jumped to his commands. He was an old time cowboy who raised his sons under the same traditions as he was raised. Although she knew they probably had to deal with an incredible amount of discipline growing up, they sure turned into fine men. Her eyes guided to the oldest brother just emerging from the warehouse where they kept the feed.
Wyatt Strickland was every bit a cowboy like his father. She was sure that she was in love with him. When she was sixteen she was with her father when they delivered a load of lumber out to the ranch and he was working on a fence close to the road. It was a hot day so he"d disposed of his shirt and was bare from the waist up. His horse was tied to a post close by with his shirt tossed absently on the saddle horn. She even remembered the color. Pale green.
The presence of the horse let her know that he rode out to fix the fence and didn"t take the truck. It was admirable to her that he did things that way. Most men checked the fences by vehicle.
At least she thought they did.
Nothing could erase that memory from her mind. He was incredibly tan, muscular and coated with a layer of perspiration while he concentrated heavily on the task at hand, not even seeming to notice the truck go by. He wore his cream Stetson pulled low over his brow to protect his face from the sun and the vision was incredibly sexy.
Her eyes watched him in the side mirror until he was out of sight. To a young na?ve girl at the time, it was an incredible sight and she never forgot it. Even now she was remembering that day as if it happened just yesterday until Logan"s voice pulled her back to the present.
"Tell Missy, I"ll phone her later." Logan said giving her a charming grin that worked quite well on the opposite sex when he wanted it to. Yet, Natalie"s eyes were drawn to something else past him but she nodded that she heard him.
As he turned to do as his father asked, he saw what drew her attention. He spotted Wyatt coming out of the warehouse with a fifty five pound bag of feed on each shoulder.
Because he wore a sleeveless t-shirt his thick arms were clearly visible as they surrounded each sack revealing the size of the muscles that he possessed. Muscles all earned from hard work. Not once did he break stride or slow down showing that it was no effort at all to tote such weight and he"d already made half a dozen trips.
Logan shook his head. When his brother was around women didn"t notice him at all and he was quite conceited where his looks were concerned. Logan knew he had charm and the looks to back it up, but Wyatt had that thick, hard body and although he wasn"t ugly he had a quiet strength about him that attracted women. Yet, he didn"t indulge as often as Logan did.
Logan wasn"t soft and flabby by any means because he"d worked alongside Wyatt since he was five, but his older brother
had a good forty five pounds of muscle on him he was sure of it. It wasn"t that Logan was lazy, it was just that his brother worked like a bloody machine and Logan needed a social life.
As Wyatt turned to go back to the warehouse Logan fell in step beside him, "Natalie Taylor is watching you."
Wyatt shrugged as he entered the building "She"s not my type."
Logan smiled as Wyatt tossed another two bags on his thick shoulders. Natalie Taylor was the daughter of the General store owner that also sold bulk feed and lumber. It was the only store like that to serve their community of around twenty-two thousand including the surrounding ranchers and farmers. She was quite pretty, but young. He was sure she wasn"t even twenty yet, and Wyatt was twenty seven, two years his senior. However, if he thought she was a little freer with her affections, like her older cousin Missy, he would have gone out with her years ago. Still, there was that other thing. She wasn"t interested in him.
Missy on the other hand gave him what he wanted, when he wanted. She was the daughter of a lawyer and her family was quite well off. She liked to play the deviant child and go against her parents, so Logan snatched her up. She certainly wasn"t a virgin when they had sex for the first time, but he definitely wasn"t complaining. He picked her up in the bar and rocked his truck for almost three straight hours. Ever since then it had been a routine to get together. He liked her because of what she could do, but he certainly didn"t love her and she definitely wasn"t a girl you"d take home to mom.