Courtship of the Recluse (Chapter Four, page 1 of 10)


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Gradually winter released its grip and flowers erupted from the ground in celebration of spring. Even Scruffy seemed to acknowledge its arrival, allowing Cynthia to remain on the porch when he ate the table scraps. Eventually her attempts to tame him paid off, and he allowed her to touch him - provided she was careful not to move too quickly. Not unlike another male on the ranch.

Cade was trying to be accommodating, but sometimes he was as skittish about conversation as the cat was about being touched - and likely for the same reason. Neither of them had a clue what was on her mind. In Cade's case, that was probably a blessing at times. Hopefully he had no idea how her heart beat double time occasionally at the strangest things. Like the way his broad shoulders swayed so gracefully with each step as he strode to the corral - or the way he lounged in a doorway, coffee in one hand, one long leg thrown carelessly over the other. And lately her curiosity had been going beyond the usual questions about his mysterious family tree - beyond the questing of his vast knowledge of the ranch. Was it normal to have sudden flashing questions like...what would it be like to kiss him? Was it simply loneliness? Most important, did he ever suspect her foolish thoughts? If he did, he gave no indication. Although at times she caught him watching her thoughtfully. Thankfully it had never been one of the times that she was thinking about him though. Otherwise her expression might have revealed her torrid thoughts. She sighed and wandered through the spotless kitchen. She needed something else to do - something creative. She paused in the kitchen doorway, envisioning the family room redecorated. It wasn't the first time she had done so, but this morning she had run across some curtains and rugs in the attic. Should she ask him about putting them up? So far she had never mentioned her excursions to the attic, but when things got too dull around the house, she went up to explore. The discovery of a second room in the attic had provided more hours of entertainment.

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