Cowgirl Up and Ride (Rough Riders 3) - Page 61

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“Skylar? What the hell are you doin’ here with my brother?”

Her eyes were black with rage when they connected with his again. “Kade, I presume?”

“Look. I can explain. When I found out what a dick Kane was to you on your date that night—”

“You took it upon yourself to pretend to be him that lunch date in Moorcroft? And then all the times after that?”

“Yes. I mean, no. Shit. I wanted to show you I’m not him. Just because we’re identical twins doesn’t mean we have identical behavior.”

“Unless you want them to, purty lady. These guys fulfilled quite a few women’s fantasies of bein’—what’d Jazz call you that night she f**ked both of you at the same time?—a twin beefcake manwich.”

“Colt, shut your f**kin’ mouth,” Colby snapped.

“I’ll bet you’re having a big goddamn laugh about this, Kade.”

“I ain’t laughin’, Sky, ’cause it ain’t a joke. I planned to tell you—”

“Right after you screwed me in the parking lot of a honky tonk not an hour ago?” she hissed. “Was it all a lie? A trick? See if I’d notice the difference between you two?”

“No!”

“Aw, sweet darlin’, there’s plenty of us McKay men around if you wanna give me a shot. I’m up for anything.” Colt ran his fingers down Skylar’s arm.

Kade jumped up and clocked Colt in the jaw. Colt stumbled but remained upright.

“Don’t you ever f**kin’ touch her. Don’t you even look at her, you drunken piece of shit.”

“At least I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not in order to get some pu**y.”

Kade lunged for him again and Colby held him back as Colt hit the ground.

He noticed everything and everyone in the bar came to a dead stop.

“Come on.” Colby and Kane each had one of Colt’s arms as they dragged him outside.

Somehow, Kade found the balls to face Skylar’s justifiable fury. He boxed her in so she couldn’t escape until he’d said his piece. “No matter what you think, I was me when we were together. Me. Kade McKay. Everything I did, everything I said, every damn time. None of it was a lie. The way I feel about you ain’t a lie either.”

She whispered, “Just go away and leave me alone.”

“I’m takin’ you home.”

“No. Just go.”

“But—”

“Don’t humiliate me any more than you already have. Go.”

Miserable, he walked out.

Colt had passed out in the parking lot. The three of them threw him in the back of Kane’s truck with more force than necessary.

“How’d you track him down?” Kade asked.

“The bartender called me. We’ve put the word out to all of Colt’s regular waterin’ holes that we’re lookin’ for him.”

Colby was pissed and as close to losing it as Kade had ever seen him. “What the f**k am I supposed to do with him? I can’t take him home. Ma is already a mess over Dag’s death and she’s worried sick the same thing is gonna happen to Colt.

“If I leave him by himself to sleep it off, he’ll disappear again, or I’ll find him dead from chokin’ on his own vomit. You guys can’t stay up all night and babysit him because we’ve all gotta work tomorrow. We’re short-handed since Cord’s been gone and Colt ain’t been around to pick up the slack.”

“Colt ain’t done shit for months, Colby. None of us are happy about that.”

Colby paced. “My pregnant wife is f**kin’ hysterical because she’s afraid my stupid brother will do somethin’ to get me killed. Now she refuses to let me work anywhere around him. How am I supposed to tell my folks that? When Colt and Cord can’t work together anymore either.”

Softly, Kane said, “She’s right.”

“Well, what the hell am I supposed to do? We’ve got a goddamn ranch to run! None of us can spend our time worryin’ about soap opera family shit like this.”

They remained quiet, lost in their own thoughts.

“I’ll stay up with him at the Boars Nest tonight,” Kade said. “I’m too wound up to sleep anyway and Ma will know somethin’ is wrong with me if I go home.”

“Guess that gets you outta mornin’ chores,” Kane said.

“Talk to Uncle C about this. I’ll talk to my dad. We’ll come up with somethin’ because far as I’m concerned, tonight was the last straw for Colt’s employment anyplace on the ranch.”

Kane retrieved the keys from the bartender and drove Colt’s truck home, then helped Kade get Colt into the house.

After they’d dropped Colt fully clothed in his bed, Kane said, “About what happened with Skylar—”

“Not talkin’ about it with you now, or ever, Kane. Let it alone.”

He nodded and Kade heard the door to his brother’s room close.

It was a long night.

***

Colt stirred around eight o’clock when Kade dumped a bucket of cold water on him.

“Get up, ass**le.”

Colt rubbed his jaw and wiped water from his face. “What happened last night?”

“I hit you.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re a drunk and an ass**le and an embarrassment to this family.”

Colt leaned over and threw up in the bucket on the other side of the bed. When he got to the dry heave stage and finally sat back up, Kade tossed him a bottle of water.

“I don’t remember nothin’.”

“You’d be the only one. It’s sure to be all over Crook and Weston Counties today.”

“Shit.” He closed his eyes. “Am I really that far gone?”

“Afraid so.” Kade paused. “You remember Dag is dead?”

He nodded. “What else has happened?”

“Channing doesn’t want Colby to work with you because she’s afraid you’ll get him killed.”

“Great. My sweet sister-in-law f**kin’ hates me.”

“Not hate, she’s scared, Colt. We all are. Then there’s the situation between you and Cord.”

Colt’s eyes opened. “What situation?”

“You got into a fistfight with him at the Golden Boot.” When Colt continued to have that same blank stare, Kade filled him in on everything else up through last night.

His head drooped to his chest in absolute shame. “I’m sorry. I’m so f**kin’ sorry.”


Tags: Lorelei James Rough Riders Billionaire Romance
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