Cowboy’s Pride by Morgan Blaze
Cowboy’s Pride by Morgan Blaze
Kindle Price: $0.99
4.2 out of 18 reviews
Genre: Contemporary Romance
“No matter how angry or conflicted she felt, the sight of Cam still took her breath away.
He was dressed all in black—black button-down shirt, black jeans, black boots. He carried a black cowboy hat in his hands. It was a surprising show of respect, considering he didn’t seem to have much of that for anyone. His stance was stiff and completely straight, as if he couldn’t stand the idea of relaxing enough to possibly come into contact with another person. And his eyes blazed like fire.
“Sydney.” A bitter smile crossed his lips. “It figures.”
Damn it, why did he keep saying that? She wanted to demand an explanation, but what came out of her mouth was, “What are you doing here?”
“Selling bibles. Have you accepted Jesus as your lord and personal savior?”
He grinned, and her heart performed a mad, scrambling flip. She’d forgotten how amazing he looked with a real smile. “I’m having a drink,” he said. “That’s what you do at a bar, isn’t it?”
“Well, yes. But…”
He came over to stand right next to her and placed his hat on the bar counter. The crowd had climbed back up to full volume, apparently done discussing the spectacle of the town hermit walking into the bar. “Listen, I’m sorry about earlier,” he said. “It’s none of my business. I keep telling you that, so I should practice what I preach.”
She surprised herself by saying, “That’s all right.”
“Sure. You were just trying to help.” She offered a smile she didn’t feel as Stephanie’s assets flashed through her mind. “It was probably a misunderstanding,” she said.
His brow furrowed, and he looked like he’d say something more. But before he got it out, Jim came over with the mojito. He set it down and turned a cool stare on Cam. “Get you something?” he said, the friendliness gone from his voice.
Cam’s jaw twitched. He dug in a pocket, produced a rumpled ten-dollar bill and laid it on the counter. “A draft and a shot of Beam,” he said. Then, as an afterthought, “Please.”
When the bar owner turned away without a word, Cam bowed his head and let out a sharp breath. “Apparently, you also piss off the entire town at a bar,” he said in tight tones. “At least if you’re me.”
Sydney’s throat clenched. People assumed that Cam acted the way he did because he’d rejected the town and everyone in it—but just now, it felt like things were the other way around.
“Thatcher. Did you get tired of sleeping with your sheep?”
She knew that cold voice belonged to Tommy, but she couldn’t believe it. Even when she looked up and saw him and Luka standing there. He sounded disgusted, mocking—almost threatening.
Cam faced him with a sneer. “If I had any sheep, I’d prefer their company to yours.”
“Well, I’m not going anywhere. So I guess you should leave.”
In the yawning silence that followed, Sydney barely heard the clink of glass as Jim set the drinks on the bar. She was busy staring at Tommy like she’d never seen him before. Where did all this venom come from? She knew they hated each other, but this was beyond even hatred. This was a death wish.
Cam was still standing less than an inch from her. So close, she felt it when he jerked to attention. “It’s a free country,” he said, his voice dangerously calm. “So I guess I’m not going anywhere, either.”
Tommy’s lip curled. “Get away from my girl, farm-boy.”
The words shocked her motionless. A scream lodged in her throat and wouldn’t go further. Then Luka grabbed her hand with both of hers, trying to pull her away from the bar. “Come on, Syd,” she whispered hoarsely. “We’d better get out of the way.”
“Stop!” Sydney yanked her hand free and glared at Tommy. “He’s just having a drink,” she said. “Let him be.”
But Tommy wouldn’t. “I mean it, Thatcher. Step off.”
Cam went still. Without looking away from Tommy, he reached back and grabbed the shot of whiskey. He tossed it down in one swallow, slammed the glass on the counter. Then he stepped forward. “Come outside and make me.”
Some of Tommy’s bravado drained, but he held his ground. “Not a chance,” he said. “You’ll just shoot me.”
“Backstabbing son of a bitch! I should shoot you.”
The whole bar got quiet again with those ringing words. Tommy’s mouth opened and closed once. When he didn’t say anything more, Cam snarled and pushed past him—only to stop and look straight back at Sydney. “You have a nice life,” he said, his voice dripping with bitterness.
He turned and kept going, and people practically dove out of his way as he stomped through the bar and into the night.
Hot tears pricked Sydney’s eyes. She clapped a hand over her mouth to stifle a sob, ignoring both Luka and Tommy’s calls as she pushed her way to the ladies’ room so she could fall apart in private.”