Rough, Raw, and Ready (Rough Riders 5) - Page 46

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Trevor tossed all the pillows to the floor and stretched out on top of Chassie, burying his face in her neck.

“Mmm.” Chassie didn’t appear to mind Trevor’s full weight on her.

It didn’t appear either noticed when he left them and snuck back to his room alone.

Chassie didn’t know how she’d fare facing Edgard, if things would be awkward or what. She took care of Greta early the next morning. She made a list of supplies and sat down at the kitchen table with her first cup of coffee when Edgard entered the kitchen.

Good Lord was the man magnificent. He rarely sported a scruffy morning beard, preferring to be freshly shaven and cleaned up, but not in a fussy, prissy way. She smiled.

“Mornin’. Would you like coffee?”

“That’d be great.” When she started to get up, he waved her back. “No need to wait on me. I’m used to fending for myself.” Edgard took a cup off the dishrack, filled it and grabbed the milk from the fridge before he sat across from her.

“You hungry?”

“I’ll let you know after I’m fully awake.” Once he’d doctored his coffee to his liking, he drank half in one gulp. “Ah. Better.” His golden eyes focused on her. “How is Greta?”

“Funny. She is the oddest little thing.”

“How so?”

“She’s curious as a kitten. Gets remorseful when your tone is stern. She’s playful and affectionate.”

Edgard grinned. “I did good in picking her?”

“Very good. I can’t believe I actually have a goat.”

“Have you checked cattle yet?”

Chassie shook her head and stood.

“I’d be happy to help since I don’t have anything else to do.”

She reached for the coffee pot, refilling both their cups. She stopped behind him and studied the sweep of his dark hair. Edgard’s words from last night had haunted her after she’d woken up in Trevor’s arms and found Edgard gone. On impulse, she set her chin on his head, wrapping her arms around his neck. Damn he smelled good. Felt good too.

“Last night was great. Thank you for…”

Shoot. Were there words to explain? Thank you for offering reassurance you weren’t trying to steal my man? Thank you for f**king my husband right in front of me and not behind my back? Thank you for making me feel sexy and like you really wanted me there and I wasn’t an annoying byproduct of getting it on with Trevor?

“Thank you for what, Chassie?” he asked hoarsely.

“Thank you for everything. Especially when you were so sweet when I was worried, you know, me having a personal crisis, freaking out last night…” Take a deep breath.

“Dammit. I’m so bad at this.”

“It’s okay. I oughta be thanking you.”

“Maybe we oughta talk about something else.” Chassie kissed his crown and squeezed his body one last time before she returned to her own seat. “So you goin’ into town to see if your truck is done?”

His coffee cup stopped midair. When Edgard looked at her she realized he’d misunderstood. She covered his hand on the table with hers, which had clenched into a fist at her thoughtless blathering. “I’m not tryin’ to get rid of you, Ed.”

“You’re not?”

“No, in fact, I’d like it if you stuck around for a while. Trevor never wants to admit we need help, but with calvin’ startin’ in the next couple weeks, and we can’t afford to hire a hand, even temporarily…well, we’d— I’d—like it if you stayed.” It clicked he had a ranch of his own to run half a world away and she amended, “Unless of course you can’t and you need to get back to Brazil.”

Edgard drained his coffee. “No place I need to be, so if you want me to stick around, I will.” He scrambled to his feet, giving her his back. “Does Trevor know you asked me to stay?”

“No. But do you really think he’s gonna complain after last night?”

He spun and gave her a smug smile. “Nope.”

After they’d let the ritual of pouring coffee settle the unease between them, Chassie said, “I’m sorry you slept alone.”

Edgard shrugged. “I’m used to it.”

“Even when you were traveling with Trevor?”

He expelled an exasperated sigh. “Chassie, is this something you really wanna hear?”

“It’s something I need to hear if you’re in our life.”

Our life seemed to jar him. “You are just as damn curious as Greta, aren’t you?”

“Worse. And I’ll warn you I’m stubborn as a mule and tenacious as a bulldog. I’ll keep pesterin’ you until your answers suit me.”

“Why?”

“Because I’ve got nothin’ to lose if I ask these questions and everything to lose if I don’t.”

A considering look crossed Edgard’s face. “You are wise beyond your years, aren’t you?”

“I feel much older than twenty-five, that’s for damn sure.”

“Yet, you don’t look a day over eighteen,” he murmured.

Chassie rolled her eyes. “You don’t need extra sugar in your coffee this mornin’, your mouth is already so damn sweet, so start spillin’ your guts.”

He smiled. “Most nights on the road, after Trevor and I hooked up, Trevor and I slept in the same bed. Unless he and Colby were out or if they were entertaining buckle bunnies in our motel room. Then I crashed in the horse trailer.”

“Were you jealous? When he was with women?”

“Sometimes.” Edgard dumped another spoonful of sugar in his coffee. “Mostly I was accustomed to it.”

“Did you ever, oh, go f**k another guy and rub it in his face afterward?”

He didn’t seem surprised by the question. “Once.”

When Edgard didn’t elaborate, Chassie waved her hand in front of his face to snag his attention. “Come on, Ed. This is juicy stuff. You can’t stop now.”

“We were at the Denver Stock Show. Somehow I ended up going to dinner with Trevor and his family. His brother Brent started talking shit about a hired hand who’d recently come out. Brent spewed all these dumb g*y jokes. Normally, I ignore that kinda behavior, consider the source and all that. But Trevor drank too much—like he always does when he’s forced to deal with his family—and he joined in, acting like a homophobic prick because that’s what his family expected.”


Tags: Lorelei James Rough Riders Billionaire Romance
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