Big Man's Wife - Page 11

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“It is to me.”

“What are you, eleven?”

“Sometimes.” She spins around in the chair on her own. “But aren't we all a little childish at times?” She stops herself so she's facing me, gripping the edge of the desk.

“Are you coming home tonight?” I ask, changing the subject. I'm not having this conversation with her. I love my sister, but sometimes I can't deal with her.

“No, I'm here until one and back at eight. I'll probably just grab a room and spend the night.”

“All right, but call me tomorrow.”

“Yes, Dad,” she says sarcastically.

Shaking my head, I say goodbye and head back to my truck. My sister is a good kid. Melody's responsible, determined, and smart as hell. I feel bad she had to grow up so quick.

After our mother got ill, my father and I still needed to keep the farm running. We couldn't just drop everything. Melody really stepped up, she became our mother's caregiver, helping her with everything up to the day she died.

She had just turned fifteen when our mother passed away, and six months later she finds our father in the barn. He had a heart attack, something none of us saw coming. My sister thinks he died of a broken heart, but I don't. He worked his ass off for years, the stress of everything finally got to him.

But I hate that she found him. That kills me the most.

It should have been me that found him, not her, but I went into town to run some errands. Errands that weren't really necessary, but I wanted to escape for a bit. It's my fault. Maybe if I had been there, he would still be with us. Maybe if I hadn't been so selfish, Melody wouldn't suffer the pain from that memory.

I'm going to do right by my sister. She's going to get to live the life she wants, not the one that's been forced on her. I want her to go to college. I want her to travel the world and create her space out there somewhere.

I want her to do the things I never got the chance to. But I always want her to be able to come home. To her home. To the home we grew up in. I won't take that from her.

Which is why I'm never selling this farm. This place will always be ours.

Sitting in my truck, I'm not ready to go home. I'm not ready to be in the same house with Jenna. I can feel the desire and lust building inside me. It's clawing up my spine with its sharp talons. I need to get my shit together before I go back.

Pulling out my phone, I text my best friend Mark, and he agrees to meet me for a drink. Mark and I go back a long time. We've been friends since we were nine. Born and raised two farms over, he's the only other person I ever hung out with aside from Jenna.

He's someone I can count on. An incredible mechanic and handyman, Mark's a country boy with talent. He can rebuild a carburetor with his eyes closed. Anything that needs fixing, he can do.

I'm at the bar working on drink number two by the time he shows up.

“Hey asshole, you started without me.” Mark slaps my shoulder and slips onto the stool beside me. “A beer and two shots of your choice for me and my friend,” he says to the bartender. “So, what's going on?”

“Man, you have no idea what happened to me today.”

Mark looks at me, his face falling flat. “You all right? Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, yeah, everything is fine. It's just someone came to try and make another offer on the farm today.”

“And I'm sure you told them to fuck off, right?” The bartender slips his beer in front of him and he picks it up to take a sip. “Same as always.”

“Of course I did. You need a job still, too. Whose tractors would you work on if I wasn't here?” Mark nods in agreement and laughs. “But that's not the crazy part,” I say. “The crazy part is it was Jenna who showed up.”

He almost spits his beer out of his mouth, forcing himself to swallow it fast. “Are you shitting me? Jenna? The Jenna from when we were kids?”

Shaking my head yes, I add, “And to top it all off, she's staying at the farm while she's here.”

“Wow. I didn't see this coming.”

“Me either.” Hanging my head, I sigh. “I feel like an idiot. I don't understand what the fuck is going on with me. She left when we were kids. We were too young to really know or understand things like love. So why the hell does her being here twist me up so much inside?”

Mark shrugs his shoulders. “I don't know.”

Tags: Penny Wylder Romance