Branded as Trouble (Rough Riders 6) - Page 58

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Still, they both knew better. Especially since her sister and his cousin had an unplanned pregnancy due to a moment of recklessness.

But hadn’t Skylar and Kade turned that oops into a happily-ever-after?

Yes.

So had she subconsciously wanted to get pregnant?

No. She wouldn’t do that to Colt. She loved him. She couldn’t wait to tell him how much she loved him. But she didn’t want to start the conversation with, “These last six weeks have been the best of my life and I love you like crazy…and speaking of crazy, guess what? I’m pregnant!”

The poor guy had no choice but to marry her. Seems that’s how the Ellison women find husbands; they trap them by getting knocked up.

Colt had suffered through enough gossip.

India sat on the floor and tried to come up with a workable plan. She had two days left of her most fertile time. If she could avoid Colt, she could avoid sex.

Isn’t that a bit like closing the barn door after the cows get out?

Yes, but it was the only option that made sense—even when it made no sense.

***

Late the next morning, Colt was standing outside shooting the breeze with Trevor and Edgard after they’d sorted cattle for the upcoming sale. “Chass said Carolyn called a McKay family supper last night?”

Trevor asked.

“I think you mean a summons,” Colt said dryly.

“How’d that go? You took India, right?”

“Yep. It went fine.”

“Really?”

“Sure. It ain’t like Indy’s a stranger to anyone in the family.”

Although she had dressed and acted like one, Colt figured India wouldn’t appreciate him sharing that tidbit.

Edgard and Trevor exchanged a look.

“What?”

“I guess Chass was worried how it played out, bein’s half of ya’ll ain’t talkin’ since Cam blew up at your brothers and Carson a few weeks back.”

Colt sipped his coffee. “Seems Cam’s been avoiding everyone in the family, ’cept for me. So yeah, conversation at the dinner table was subdued. But there was enough babies cryin’ that we all pretended we didn’t notice the strain.”

Trevor said, “What the hell did Cam say that pissed everyone off anyway?”

“Chassie didn’t tell you?”

“Chassie doesn’t know,” Edgard said. “It’s driving her crazy, which means…”

“She sent you two to get the dirt.”

Edgard grinned. “Yep.”

“You guys are such suckers,” Colt scoffed.

“Oh, she ain’t gettin’ the family dirt for free,” Trevor added.

“Me’n Ed have her repayment choices all planned out.”

“I’ll just bet you do.” Colt never would’ve thought his sweet little cousin would be living openly with two men. At first, Colt had suspected Chassie’s intimate relationship with Edgard came about only because of Trevor’s need for a sexual relationship with his former rodeo partner. Colt’d worried Chassie would do anything to keep her husband happy, including welcoming an old lover into their lives and their bed. Not that Chassie discussed Trevor and Edgard’s past, but it was obvious to him how the two men felt about each other. Yet, the more time Colt spent with the trio, the more he realized they were all truly happy together, and in his mind, that was what mattered.

“Spill the family beans, cuz,” Trevor said.

So Colt did.

When he finished, Edgard whistled. “That’s harsh, man. Does that mean things aren’t back to normal between you guys?”

He shrugged. “Define normal. It’s about the same as it was before. We’re in the slow season so it ain’t like I gotta see them everyday, which is probably a good thing.”

“What’s India’s take on it?” Trevor asked. “Even though you just started datin’, you two’ve been friends for years.”

“India agrees with Cam. In fact, we had a huge fight about it last night after the family dinner.” He told them an abbreviated version of what she’d said.

“You’d be wise to keep her. She’s a smart one.”

“No argument from me,” Colt said. “I know Cam will come around and clear things up with Cord and Colby when he’s ready.

He’s stubborn, but he ain’t the type to hold a grudge.”

“Are you?”

“Maybe. My resentment and Cord and Colby’s distrust of me has been going on for years. Workin’ my ass off like I used to before I hit the bottle regularly ain’t changed their opinion of me.

I’m at a loss on how to fix it.”

“Ain’t your responsibility to fix it. Sure, Colby and me go way back, but that don’t mean I agree with everything he’s ever done. He and Cord’ve been outta line toward you for a helluva long time, Colt, so in my opinion, they need to do a little groveling, not you,”

Trevor said.

Edgard put his hand on Trevor’s shoulder and shoved him sideways. “Way to be compassionate, Trev.”

“What?”

“Not all families love to be shitty to each other like ours did.”

“So what do you suggest Colt does, Dr. Phil?”

Colt saw the playfulness and how Trevor didn’t attempt to shake off Edgard’s touch. It meant the world to him these two gruff, private men were comfortable enough with him not to hide their feelings.

Which led him right back to the issue at hand with his brothers.

He sighed.

A big red diesel Chevy turned and barreled up the driveway.

Cord’s truck. And was that Colby in the passenger’s seat?

What the hell?

“Speak of the devils,” Edgard murmured. He ran his hand down Trevor’s back before dropping it from view. “We’d better get goin’.”

“Tell Chass thanks for the muffins.”

Edgard and Trevor chatted with Cord and Colby for a few minutes before they disappeared up the driveway.

Colt stood his ground and waited, hating that he felt nervous.

Colby climbed out first. “Mornin’ Colt.”

“Mornin’. What brings you guys by?”

The truck door slammed in response.

“Didja need something?” Did I do something wrong again?

“No. Gotta say, it’s sad the only time we show up at your place is when we need something.”

“A damn shame,” Cord added.

“You’re both welcome here any time.”


Tags: Lorelei James Rough Riders Billionaire Romance
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