To Tame a Cowboy - Page 18

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His brows pulled together. “You’re still shaken up over that, aren’t you?”

She stared at the descending numbers above the door. “More than I wanted to admit.”

Ryan kissed her on the top of her head. “That’s for caring so much, Red. You’d be lost without me.”

Piper laughed, elbowing him in the side. “Shut up.”

Ryan gasped and grabbed hold of his ribs. “Wrong side, Red. Damn, you got them.”

Piper jerked around to see him smiling.

“Kidding.” He laughed. “My other side is the one that’s hurt.”

“I’m going to poison you next time you whine at me to make chicken soup,” she joked. “Don’t scare me like that again, you jerk.”

Her threat didn’t hold much merit considering she laughed her way through it.

He laced his fingers through hers as they stepped off the elevator. “Wouldn’t dream of scaring you again.”

* * *

Several days after the accident and Alex’s reappearance, Ryan stepped into the Texas Cattleman’s Club and took in a deep breath, which was getting easier as his bruised ribs healed.

The fact that he was now a member of one of the most elite men’s clubs in all of Texas never failed to thrill him. He’d traveled all over the country competing and winning titles some cowboys only dreamed about. Since retiring and moving back to Maverick County six months ago, he’d wanted so badly to settle, to start planting roots here. What better way than to be part of a century-old club?

He’d made a name for himself on the rodeo circuit and he’d made a crap-load of money through wise investments, and he was accepted as part of this elite few.

The club was more than one hundred years old and for most of that time had seen few changes. That was, at least, until a new set of members took hold of the reins and decided to update the facilities with a tennis court and a child-care center—after they’d allowed women to become members.

And it was those decisions that had some of the long-term members sitting up a little straighter in their seats and complaining about the changes taking place to their club.

But Ryan was on board with change.

Ryan passed the old billiards room, which had been turned into the child-care facility and was now being repaired after last month’s break-in. Ryan headed to the meeting room, eager to talk to the others to get their take on Alex’s return.

Ryan greeted the other members as he stepped into the room. Only five days ago Alex had been discovered and Ryan knew this meeting would be like no other they’d had thus far. Most of the other members would be excited to have Alex back.

Chance stood against the wall where various hunting plaques and trophies were displayed against dark paneling. Next to him was Paul Windsor, Cara’s dad. The two men were in deep conversation about something and Ryan would bet his entire ranch that something was the return of Alex Santiago.

Paul had made it no secret that he wanted Chance and Cara to be together. But Cara’s heart belonged to Alex... At least that’s how it had looked each time Ryan had seen her at the hospital. You couldn’t fake that emotional bond.

Within minutes the members were seated around the table. The club president, Gil Addison, stood at the head of the long gleaming table and called the meeting to order.

“As I’m sure you all know, Alex Santiago was found alive a few days ago,” Gil stated, looking around the table. “I went to the hospital yesterday to see him. He’s suffering from amnesia. The doctors are still unsure if it’s short or long term.”

“So far he recognizes no one and even names aren’t ringing a bell,” Ryan interjected.

Paul Windsor grunted. “I haven’t been, but I hear the prognosis isn’t good.”

Ryan listened, not a bit surprised that Paul hadn’t visited Alex. Paul was one of those high-society men who felt no one was good enough for his little girl. Added to that, Alex didn’t come from money—he was a self-made millionaire. Paul Windsor turned up his nose at nearly everyone, but at Alex in particular, since the younger man had his sights set on Cara.

“Actually, he was just released from the hospital and the prognosis is neither good nor bad,” Ryan countered. “The doctors aren’t sure if this is long-term or short-term memory loss. They’re all just taking it one day at a time.”

“I visited him.” Chance spoke up. “He’s frustrated, but he’s confident he’ll get his memory back. The doctors are telling him to take it easy because of the trauma to his head, but you know Alex.”

Tags: Jules Bennett Romance