Good Enough (Meet Me in Montana 3) - Page 17

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“What are you doing here, Mama? I thought Greg or Jimmy was bringing up the food for us.”

“They both needed to run into town to pick up some fencing supplies for your daddy, so I offered to bring it up.”

Timberlynn walked up to the spread of food and moaned. “Oh my gosh, this looks so good! I’m starving!”

My mother stood a little taller and smiled proudly.

So that’s where Blayze gets that from.

“I made my famous chicken salad and put it on homemade rye bread. I noticed neither of you ate breakfast this morning, so I was sure you’d both be hungry and wouldn’t mind an early lunch. I’ve got a fruit salad here with some dip.”

Timberlynn took a strawberry, dunked it into the white creamy dip, and then closed her eyes and let out another moan. “That is so good.”

“It’s our mama’s secret weapon,” I said as I took off my cowboy hat and set it down on the table by the door.

“Cream cheese mixed with marshmallow fluff,” my mother said with a wicked grin.

Timberlynn’s eyes widened in pure delight. “I could eat the whole bowl.”

I laughed. “You wouldn’t be the first.”

With a grin, Mom started to pack up a few things. “About six years ago we were hosting a huge Christmas Eve party for the ranch hands and some friends of ours. I made two batches of that dip. Two very large batches. When it came time to set out the food, it was nowhere to be found. I asked all the boys if they knew what happened to it, and all four of them claimed to have no idea. Two weeks later, I was in the barn when I stumbled upon the two bowls I had used for the dip. Licked completely clean.”

Timberlynn smiled wide and looked at me.

“Beck, Brock, and I snuck out to the barn and ate all the dip, even after Ty warned us not to.”

“Tell her about the black eye,” Mama said.

Timberlynn cocked her head at me.

I couldn’t help but chuckle as the memory came back. Plus, it was nice to hear my mother talking about Beck so casually. “Brock was, of course, older, so he got one bowl, while Beck and I had to share the other one. He wanted to lick it clean, and so did I. Brock told us we’d have to fight over it.”

“No!” Timberlynn gasped as she covered her mouth to keep from laughing. One look at my mother showed me she wasn’t the least bit sad that I was talking about Beck. She smiled in delight at the memory, and that warmed my heart. How crazy it was that Timberlynn and I had been talking about him.

“Yes. Needless to say, we fought, and I won. Beck walked around with a black eye our whole Christmas break, and when we got back to school, he told everyone he’d been kicked by a horse he was trying to break.”

My mother laughed softly. “God forbid he told anyone his younger brother had bested him.”

“Y’all had to have been sick as dogs!” Timberlynn stated.

“Let’s just say I didn’t eat that stuff for at least two years.”

“The joys of having boys,” Mama said as she walked up and kissed me on the side of the cheek. “You enjoy the early lunch and be sure to bring me back the dishes, please.”

“Thank you, Mama.”

She tossed a smile back over to Timberlynn. “Enjoy your lunch!”

“We will, thank you so much.”

When the door shut, I turned back to see that Timberlynn was smiling too.

“Sorry about that,” I said as I made my way over to the table and grabbed a plate.

“Don’t be. I adore your mom.”

“And she clearly adores you. Kaylee must have told her you were thinking of moving here and she’s trying to tempt you to vote for Montana. She doesn’t make her homemade chicken salad for just anyone.”

Her cheeks turned a slight pink. “I’m honored she thinks so highly of me.”

We settled onto the sofa, each of us with a plate piled high with food.

Timberlynn took a bite of her sandwich and then smiled as she chewed. “Okay, if your mom made me this chicken salad every day, I’d totally move here.”

“I’ll make sure she stocks up.”

I watched Timberlynn take another bite. Fucking hell, this felt so damn right. I could do this every day for the rest of my life and feel content. Was that what falling in love was like? Could I really be falling for this woman after a few days? I frowned as I stared down at my food.

“So, Tanner Shaw, I want to know more about you, other than what your jilted ex-lover has to say.”

I shot her a smirk. “I’m an open book, Ms. Holden. Ask away.”

“Okay, why don’t you bull ride?”

“Because I’m not stupid.”

She lost it laughing and caused me to laugh as well. “Good answer. But give me the honest one.”

“Okay, I tried it once, and when I got thrown, I decided I liked my body and my face too much to risk a bull hurting it…and, did I mention that I’m not stupid?”

I loved the way she was looking at me. Her smile was so natural and carefree. This was a side of Timberlynn I thoroughly enjoyed.

“Why roping?”

“I don’t know any little boy who grows up on a ranch who doesn’t want to rope a cow. Rope fence posts, rope a pretty girl.” I winked, and Timberlynn shook her head at me.

“That last one doesn’t surprise me.”

“You’ll be happy to know I have yet to rope a girl.”

“Why not?”

I shrugged. “Haven’t met one yet I wanted to.”

Her brows raised slightly. “Not interested in settling down then.”

“If you had asked me six months ago, I’d have told you there was no way in hell I wanted to settle down, at least not anytime soon.”

She tossed a strawberry into her mouth, and I watched as she chewed it. “And now?”

My eyes bounced back up to meet her inquisitive gaze. Was she flirting with me? “When I figure it out, I’ll let you know, but it doesn’t seem like something I’d be afraid of doing now.”

“Fair enough,” she replied with a soft smile.

“What about you? Are you ready to settle down, get married, have a couple kids?”

Her smile faded slightly before she pulled out her phone and looked at it. “Crap, I told Kaylee I’d call her about going shopping with her and Lincoln. She mentioned wanting to show me something today.”

I didn’t say anything as I motioned for her to make the call. She clearly didn’t want to talk about marriage and kids, but I was patient.

She frowned as she stared at her phone. “I don’t have a signal.”

“You might have to stand by the window.”

Timberlynn got up and walked over to the window and then gasped. “Tanner! I thought you said it was going to be warm today.”

I stood and made my way to where she was standing.

“It’s snowing!” she exclaimed. “Oh my gosh, look at how beautiful it is. Wow.”

I turned to look at her and felt my chest squeeze. She was practically shaking she was so giddy. My feelings for Timberlynn hit me all at once so freaking hard that I nearly jumped back from her. I wanted her, that much I knew, but not in the usual way. I wanted to wrap my arms around her, have her lean back against me and simply watch the snow fall together.

Hell, this was confusing and exciting all at once.


Tags: Kelly Elliott Meet Me in Montana Romance
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