To Tame a Cowboy - Page 38

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Setting her black bag down, Piper unzipped it and pulled out basic first-aid kits. “It’s only a matter of time before the dissenting members come around. Besides, I think the few women who are members are strong and it’s only a matter of time before more come aboard.”

“I agree,” Kiley said, easing a hip onto the small desk in the corner. “Is there something I can help you do?”

Piper studied the damaged kits and decided to toss them all. No need in keeping items that were probably no longer sanitary.

“Actually, you can keep me company,” Piper said. “Unless you’d like to get back to that spreadsheet.”

“Believe me, I love my job, but spreadsheets were created by the devil.”

Piper laughed. “Tell me about yourself. Do you have any kids of your own?”

“I have one.” Kiley’s smile widened, her eyes sparkled. “She’s two and her name is Emmie.”

“Two years old?” Piper asked, raising a brow. “You must have your hands full.”

“I do, but in a good way. She’s my world.”

“Is your husband a member of TCC?”

That bright smile faltered, but Kiley recovered. “I’m divorced and he has nothing to do with Emmie. So, no. He’s not a member.”

Way to go, Piper. Would you like salt and a napkin to go with that foot you just shoved in your mouth?

“Sorry,” she said.

“No worries. I’m better off without him.”

Piper nodded. “My parents are divorced and my mother always said the same thing. Times were hard for her—for us—but I know we were better without my father than we would’ve been with him.”

“I won’t lie, being a single mother isn’t easy, but I’d do anything for Emmie. I’ve just never understood how anyone could walk away from a marriage, let alone a child.”

Piper swallowed. She’d always wondered the same thing.

Silence settled in as Piper exchanged the first-aid kits and put the old ones in her bag to dispose of later.

“What about you?” Kiley asked after a bit. “Is your husband a member of TCC?”

“Oh, I’m not married.”

Kiley shook her head. “Are we two of the select few in Royal who aren’t engaged or already married? People are hooking up around here like crazy.”

Piper laughed as she locked the cabinet and gathered her bag. She and Kiley stepped into the hall.

“There are a few single women left, not many though,” Piper told her.

Men’s voices filtered down the hall. Piper and Kiley turned toward the entryway where Josh Gordon stood chatting with another TCC member.

“That’s one of the members, Josh Gordon,” Piper pointed out. “I’m not sure of the other man’s name. I think he’s fairly new.”

Piper didn’t miss the way Kiley’s back and shoulders instantly stiffened, her eyes focused on Josh. Interesting.

“Do you know Josh?” Piper asked.

Kiley jerked her head around. “What? Oh, no.”

“He’s one of the members who isn’t keen on the idea of women and children on the premises.”

Kiley crossed her arms over her simple white shirt. “Really? I assume he’s single then if he’s not interested in the equal rights.”

“Yes. Also one of the few single men in Royal.” Piper glanced at her watch. “I have to go grab some more things from my car for the CPR class and for the cart in the medical room. I’ll be right back.”

Kiley smiled. “I’ll be here.”

As Piper walked away, she caught Kiley’s eyes going back to Josh. There was a story there. Piper didn’t know what, and it wasn’t any of her business, but something about Josh did not sit well with the cute new day-care manager.

Piper took her bag to her truck and pulled out another duffel with items for the CPR class. The last thing Piper needed to do was to get involved in someone else’s personal issues. God knew she had enough of her own.

She knew Ryan and there was no way he was going to allow the sexual tension between them to die down. He wouldn’t shy away from it the way she might try to. That man would tackle it head-on and Piper had a feeling if she didn’t hang on for the ride, Ryan would bring her along anyway. His charm alone was very potent.

* * *

Two days later Piper set her purse on the newly installed granite countertop and smiled.

She shook off her damp arms. The rain beat hard against the kitchen window and she wondered where the sneaky home renovator was. She hoped he didn’t think because they were growing closer that it meant he needed to go above and beyond on her home. She definitely didn’t want things to start getting awkward here.


Tags: Jules Bennett Romance
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