“That goddamn goat was a bad idea. We shoulda talked about buyin’ it first.”
“You’re the one who’s always bitchin’ about me talkin’ stuff to death, Trev.”
“That is true,” Edgard added.
“Shut up, Ed.” Trevor traced the area around the bandage that looked a little worse for the wear. “Does it hurt?”
“Actually, yeah. I forgot my painkillers and antibiotics here because I didn’t expect to be at the McKays’ that long.” Chassie nestled her face into Trevor’s chest. “I wanna shower and then I wanna crawl in bed.”
Edgard grabbed her hand and rubbed his mouth over the inside of her wrist. “Missed you. I’m glad you’re home and I won’t let Trevor kill Greta. I’ll make certain he treats her with kid gloves while you’re resting up.”
Tires crunched and a big white Dodge Dually crept up the driveway. It wasn’t a vehicle Chassie recognized until she saw the big winch sticking out of the front. She muttered, “Shit,” under her breath.
“Who is it?” Edgard asked.
“Colt McKay,” Trevor answered. “What the hell is he doin’ here?”
“I hope it’s not more bad news about Cam.”
The truck bounced as Colt stepped off the chrome running board. He’d taken to wearing ball caps rather than cowboy hats during the workday. Chassie thought Colt seemed more accessible, not a larger than life drop-dead gorgeous cowboy in his prime who hid his eyes and emotions under the brim of a big black hat.
Colt thrust out his hand to Edgard. “If it ain’t the Brazilian. I heard you were around these parts. Nice seein’ you again.”
“You too, Colt.”
Edgard knew Colt? Then Chassie realized Edgard must’ve met Colby’s family members at various rodeo events in the years they traveled together.
After Colt shook Trevor’s hand, he faced Ed again and asked, “How long you stayin’, Edgard?”
The moment of truth. A collective pause hung in the air as Chassie waited for someone—anyone—to answer.
Trevor clapped Edgard on the back. “Ed’s decided to move here with us. Ain’t that great?”
Relief so profound swept through Chassie she almost crumpled to the ground and wept.
“Sure is.” Colt smiled. “I’ll look forward to seein’ you around. I suppose with you partnerin’ up with Trevor again there ain’t a chance in hell that Kade and I will ever win the team ropin’ championship at the Devil’s Tower Rodeo, eh?”
Edgard grinned back. “You can try.”
“That you can bank on.” Colt turned to Chassie. “Thanks for comin’ over yesterday.
I didn’t get a chance to say thank you this mornin’ with all the hullabaloo that’s goin’ on.”
“No problem. What’s up? Something new with Cam?”
“No. My folks are already workin’ on gettin’ Cam transferred to the VA hospital in Cheyenne.”
“How’s he doin’? Have you talked to him?”
Colt frowned. “No. He ain’t talkin’ to nobody. Anyway, the good news is Macie had the baby about an hour ago. A boy named Parker. They’re both fine.”
“And you drove all the way out here to tell me that?”
“Yeah. No. Hell.” He paused. “The other reason I’m here is ’cause you left before I got to talk to you about something else.” Alone was heavily implied.
Dammit, she didn’t want to talk to Colt. She wanted to talk to Trevor and Edgard.
Trevor frowned. “Will this take long? ’Cause Chassie’s exhausted.”
“Not to mention she’s injured and she needs to get some rest,” Edgard said.
“Won’t take long at all.”
“We’ll be back in about ten minutes, baby.” The men headed to the machine shed.
“Trevor’s real protective of you, ain’t he?” Colt said.
She squirmed, not sure how much she should reveal.
“That’s good, Chass. Real good. You’re lucky you’ve got two good men watchin’ out for you. You deserve it. Don’t ever let nobody tell you otherwise.”
Chassie’s stomach pitched in a mixture of fear, exhaustion and emotional turmoil.
“Colt, why are you here? What’s really goin’ on?”
Colt took off his hat, crumpled it in his hands and looked over Chassie’s left shoulder. “Last night when we were talkin’ in Ma’s sittin’ room, something you said started to bug me.” Colt ran his fingers through his hair before he settled his cap back on his head.
“It’s been eatin’ me up all damn day, that’s why I followed you out here. The only excuse I can give you for forgettin’ is that…well, I was a drunk. There’s a whole helluva lot I don’t remember.” Colt reached in his inside jacket pocket and shoved an envelope at her. “Here.”
“What is this?”
“Open it and I’ll explain.” Colt jammed his hands in his front pockets and rocked back on his heels.
Chassie loosened the flap, reaching inside the envelope for a piece of paper. She pulled it out, gaping at it before she glanced up at her cousin in complete shock. “What the hell? This is a check for twenty-five thousand dollars!”
“I know. It’s ah…yours.”
“Mine? What? It can’t be.”
“It is. The money belonged to Dag. Over the years he, ah, sent me some of his rodeo winnings too.”
Skeptical, Chassie said, “Oh really?”
“Uh-huh.” Colt focused on the upper bedroom window above the porch—anywhere besides her face. “See, Dag and I were gonna…start a bar when he retired from the circuit. He knew if he kept the money with him or in his bank account where he could access it, it’d be gone in a New York minute. So he mailed it to me and I deposited it for him.”
“And you just remembered this?”
“Only when you mentioned the bank account Uncle Harland didn’t know nothin’ about, I realized I probably was supposed to’ve been puttin’ the money in there. Instead I deposited it in my own account.” Restless, Colt shifted his stance and studied the tips of his boots. “An honest oversight and one I’m sincerely sorry about. So since Dag is dead, I figure the money is yours now.”