Trouble in Paradise

Trouble in Paradise by Robin Lee Hatcher Read Free Book Online

Book: Trouble in Paradise by Robin Lee Hatcher Read Free Book Online
Authors: Robin Lee Hatcher
Tags: Fiction, General, Romance
her loco for certain.
    Well, maybe that’s how city folk were nowadays. Living with air pollution from millions of cars probably did something to their brains. All that traffic and all those people everywhere you turned would be enough to drive anyone crazy.
    He opened the gate to the kennels to let Bonny and Coira out. Then he fed and watered them, as well as Belle and her pups. When that was done, he entered the barn to saddle a new horse. A glance at his watch told him he’d better hurry. He was supposed to meet Ty out by the irrigation ditch in another half an hour.
    Dragging his saddle off the saddle tree, he wondered again why anyone would want to live like people did in the big cities. If it was him, he’d head for the hills as quick as he could. Maybe that’s what Shayla had done. Maybe this was where she’d come running to.
    No. That wasn’t likely. It almost always worked the other way around.
    If he was smart, he’d quit thinking about the little flatlander and get on with his day. What she did, the reasons that had brought her here, were her own business and no concern of his. Best he remember that.
    Three hours later, Shayla knelt on the kitchen floor, scrubbing for all she was worth. Perspiration beaded her forehead and dampened her underarms. Straggly curls fell forward into her face, refugees from her ponytail, and she constantly had to push them away with the back of her hand.
    She was just about finished when she heard the creak of the rear screen door opening, then closing. She sat back on her heels and glanced over her shoulder. But instead of Ian, as she’d expected, there was another cowboy standing there, this one with golden hair, brown eyes and two-day-old stubble on his jaw.
    And dirty boots on her clean floor!
    “Hey!” she shouted at him. “I just mopped.”
    He stepped backward, into the small mudroom adjacent to the kitchen. “Sorry, ma’am.”
    “It’s all right,” she mumbled, not meaning it.
    He removed his hat. “I forgot the boss said he had someone coming in to do the house cleanin’. I’m real sorry ’bout my boots, ma’am.”
    Ma’am? The word made her feel ancient. She wished he would quit using it.
    “We’ve been irrigatin’ all mornin’. Again, I’m right sorry about dirtyin’ your floor.” He looked it,too. Then he grinned. “My name’s Ty. Ty Sheffield. What’s yours?”
    “Shayla Vincent.”
    “Pleased to meet you, ma’am.”
    She couldn’t stop herself from laughing softly as she rose to her feet. “Shayla will do.” If he called her ma’am again, she was going to throw the scrub brush at him.
    “You’re the one living over at the Erickson place.”
    “It’s my place now.”
    “Well, if you need any help, all you gotta do is ask me.”
    The screen door creaked again. A moment later, Ian appeared behind Ty. Shayla felt her heart flip in her chest. Like flapjacks on the grill.
    Oh my. Now she was starting to think like them.
    “Careful, boss.” Ty held out an arm to stop Ian from going around him. “She’s likely to wallop you if you track mud all over the place. You know how women are about their clean floors.”
    Shayla supposed a true feminist would be offended by his remarks, but try as she might, she couldn’t summon indignation.
    “The kitchen hasn’t looked this good in years,” Ian said in agreement, drawing her gaze to him. “I didn’t expect you to get so much done in one morning.”
    “I come from a big family,” she answered, hoping to shake off the spell he seemed to cast over her. “You learn how to clean things fast.”
    “We were coming in for a bite to eat.” Before shecould reply, Ian added, “We’ll use the bootjack first so we don’t track up the floor.”
    Shayla envisioned how she must look, standing there with her messy hair, sweaty shirt and soapy-water-dampened Levi’s. So what was new? She always looked dreadful when he was around. It was preordained or something.

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