Daddy Wore Spurs (Mills & Boon Cherish) (Men of the West, Book 32)

Daddy Wore Spurs (Mills & Boon Cherish) (Men of the West, Book 32) by Stella Bagwell Read Free Book Online

Book: Daddy Wore Spurs (Mills & Boon Cherish) (Men of the West, Book 32) by Stella Bagwell Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stella Bagwell
Tags: Fiction, General, Romance, Contemporary
dumped the last of the syrupy black coffee into the sink. “We had an intercom system put in after Harry was born. It was rather expensive. But I can go anywhere in the house or out on the porches and still be able to hear every little sound he makes.”
    “Dad had one installed in the ranch house years ago. It was rarely used until Rafe and Lilly had their babies. That’s my brother and sister-in-law. They have two kids. A girl, Colleen. And a boy, Austin. He’s just a few months older than Harry.”
    She looked at him with interest. “So Harry would have cousins to play with. That is, if he truly is a Calhoun.”
    Obviously she was going to point out the question of Harry’s parentage at every turn of their conversation, he thought drearily. Well, if it made her feel better, then so be it. She’d have her bubble busted soon enough.
    “Six little cousins. The Calhoun family is big. And I don’t figure it’s quit growing yet.”
    “Hmm. Must be nice. To be in a big family. I wouldn’t know.” She rinsed out the coffee carafe, then placed it back on the warmer. “So tell me about yourself and your family. What do you do back in Nevada?”
    Rising to his feet, he carried his cup over to where she stood, then rested his hip against the cabinet counter. “I manage the horse division of the Silver Horn Ranch. Along with the cattle, we raise quarter horses for show, cutting and ranch use.”
    * * *
    Mariah stared at him while trying not to appear shocked. Aimee had simply told her that Finn was a horseman and Mariah had presumed he’d worked as a wrangler for some ranch, or was simply a guy who liked horses. Aimee had never mentioned anything as impressive as the manager of a horse division.
    Her head swung back and forth. “We? Uh—you have other men helping you?”
    “Why, yes. I thought—” Tilting his head to one side, he studied her. “Apparently Aimee didn’t tell you that my home is the Silver Horn.”
    Confused now, she said, “No. She didn’t. And I’m not familiar with that name. Should I be?”
    Her question put a look of amused disbelief on his face.
    “Most folks on both sides of the state line have heard of the Silver Horn. But with Aimee gone and Stallion Canyon up for sale I guess you don’t keep up with ranching news.”
    As long as her father had been alive, Mariah had been proud of Stallion Canyon. Ray Montgomery had poured his heart and soul into the land and the horses, and along the way had provided his daughters with a good home and security. But once he’d died, everything had taken a downhill slide. As the burden of debt had grown heavier on Mariah’s shoulders, she’d started to resent the place that had been her home for twenty years. Yet now, hearing Finn speak as though the ranch was done and finished left a hollowness inside her.
    Resting her hand on the cabinet counter, she turned so that she was facing him. “So this Silver Horn where you work—it’s a big outfit?”
    He nodded. “I don’t just work there. I live there, too. It belongs to the Calhoun family. My great-grandfather started it many years ago. These days my grandfather Bart—I call him Gramps—is the director of the whole shebang. We run a few thousand head of cattle and usually have two to three hundred horses on hand.”
    Mariah was stunned. Why had Aimee kept something like that from her? Had her sister gone after Finn because she’d known he was wealthy, then later changed her mind about pursuing a relationship with him? Dear Lord, it was all so strange, so mind-boggling.
    She tried not to sound as dazed as she felt. “Your ranch must cover a lot of acreage.”
    “We own several thousand acres and lease that much more from the BLM—the Bureau of Land Management,” he told her.
    Mariah felt like a fool. Not only because Aimee had kept her in the dark, but because she hadn’t looked into Finn’s background before she’d called to tell him about Harry. At least she would’ve known what sort

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