Misplaced Princess (Foreign Affairs, Book One)

Misplaced Princess (Foreign Affairs, Book One) by Lexxie Couper, Mari Carr Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Misplaced Princess (Foreign Affairs, Book One) by Lexxie Couper, Mari Carr Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lexxie Couper, Mari Carr
Tags: Erótica
could voluntarily eat anything so vile. Dylan had mailed her some Vegemite a month ago. She’d taken one bite and spit the shit out, passing the jar on to Monet, who for some strange reason loved the stuff. Not wanting to be rude to Hunter’s mother during her first breakfast in Oz, she’d forced herself to take a bite of the stuff on toast and swallow. Hazel had taken great pleasure in her discomfiture then complimented her for “hanging in there”, swearing the flavor would grow on her, but Annie had no intentions of making a third attempt.
    She entered a shed made almost entirely of corrugated iron. It was a far cry from the fancy wooden barns she’d seen during her travels in America. She’d mistakenly referred to it as a stable last night over dinner and Hunter had set her right once more. Stable, shed. Ranch, station. Cowboy, stockman. Potato, potahto. She’d never keep it all straight. Despite her exhaustion over dinner, it had been a comfortable, fun meal. Hazel and Hunter were hospitable and gracious.
    Annie followed the sound of male voices toward the back wall. Hazel told her a cow was giving birth and Hunter had come down to help. She’d learned over breakfast that Hunter was less of a stockman than he’d led her to believe. According to Hazel, Dylan did more of the hands-on work around the property, while Hunter handled the business end. Where Dylan had a talent for buying stock—according to Hazel, he had a brilliant eye for picking prize cattle—Hunter spent most of his time in negotiations with banks and other buyers. Annie idly wondered why Hunter would keep that information from her.
    She peered around the corner of a stall and found Hunter and another man kneeling by the laboring cow, who appeared to be in serious distress. The poor creature was breathing hard and every now and then she gave a low bellow. There was a slight odor in the air. Annie tried to place it.
    Blood? Ick.
    “Is she okay?”
    Hunter glanced over his shoulder. He was wearing long plastic gloves that were covered in something shiny and gooey-looking. “The calf’s a breech.”
    Annie knew the term, but wasn’t sure what it meant in regards to cattle. “Can you do anything to help her?”
    Hunter nodded. “Yeah. I’m trying. Do me a favor, Annie, go sit by her head and try to comfort her. We need to get the calf turned so he comes out. She’s been laboring too long.”
    Annie placed the sandwich on a nearby stool then slowly dropped to her knees by the cow’s head. She wasn’t entirely sure what to do. She’d grown up with a couple of cats, and once, for her tenth birthday, her father had given her a toy poodle that she’d loved dearly. Reaching out, she stroked the cow’s neck. It was a huge animal in comparison to Annie’s small house pets or even Dylan’s Mutt, but the cow acknowledged her touch, her chocolate-brown gaze taking in Annie’s face.
    She began to murmur soothing sounds as Hunter and the other hand conferred on what to do.
    “Hush,” she said softly. “It’ll be okay.” At least she thought so—until she watched Hunter put his hand inside the cow.
    “Holy fuck.”
    Hunter glanced up at her exclamation, grimacing as he continued to reach around inside the cow. He was elbow-deep. Annie felt lightheaded.
    “Sorry,” he said through clenched teeth. “This calf’s not going to come out without some help. This would be easier to do if the mother would stand, but she’s worn out. That’s why we need to move quickly.”
    “What are you doing?” she asked.
    Hunter continued to work and Annie swallowed against the bile gathering in her throat. The sight of blood had always made her queasy, but this…
    A bead of sweat rolled down the side of Hunter’s face. “I’m trying to get the calf’s front legs facing forward. If I can do that, she may be able to push the babe out herself.”
    “She’s having another contraction,” the other man said. “You think we need to consider pulling

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