For this excerpt, Kimber meets her dog for the first time. It doesn’t sound like an interesting excerpt to read about Kimber meeting her dog, but there’s more going on here, especially after what happened earlier in this scene. Now, after this second revelation, she’ll have some explaining to do in the near future. It isn’t an explanation she ever wanted to give to anyone. Picture Kimber leaving the barn after turning out the horses this early morning. She hadn’t expected to see Zach standing there, and especially hadn’t expected to meet his brother for the first time. She’s standing in a knee-length cotton robe with a thin gown underneath. Introductions happened earlier in the scene. The guys are getting ready to leave.
She’s wary of her future. He’s burdened by his past.
Canyon Junction: Hearts in Love Series
A Double Dutch Ranch Spin Off Series.
At that moment, a dog whined. Kimber widened her eyes. “I didn’t know you had a dog, Zach. Tyler?”
“We don’t here in Arizona.” Zach headed to his truck. He opened the door and brought out a mid-size, long-haired dog. “You do.” He plopped the dog into her arms.
Tyler chuckled. “I found her on the road between here and Boulder City. The poor girl has no tags, and she looks like she’s been neglected. My mama would whoop my behind if I left her there. I took a picture and left my phone number at the nearest rest stop.”
Zach cut in, “You said you were lonely at night. Now you don’t have to be. I can’t keep her in the loft all day while I’m working, and she didn’t take kindly to Jake’s dog, Kasha.”
“You’re giving her to me?” Kimber’s gaze followed Tyler out the back door and down toward the fence where she took the horses.
“Maybe. You’re not allergic to dogs, are you? If it isn’t a problem, can you keep her here for me? It’s better for her here than locked up in the loft.”
Kimber put her down before dropping her. She tickled the dog under her white chin. “She’s so cute, but she needs a bath and a good brushing. Have you named her?” She kept one hand on her in case she bolted. “You could bring her here daily with you, but I’ll keep her here. I hope she likes horses.”
“She acted like they were no big deal over at Jake’s. I haven’t named her.” He called Tyler to leave. “Naming is your job, Red.”
The dog rolled over, and Kimber patted her gray belly. “I can’t tell what she is. Part border collie? But the gray—”
The pooch got up and shook sand from her stormy gray and white coat. “Looks a little like one. We have a couple on the ranch. She’s mixed though.”
“I’ll have a name for her by time I see you for dinner tonight. Do either you or Tyler have any food allergies?” She got a dumbfounded look from Zach.
“The reason I ask is because I’m allergic to turmeric. Weird, I know. I don’t know anyone else allergic to it. It can be a problem, but I carry an auto-injector with me.”
Zach blinked. His Adams apple got stuck trying to swallow, it seemed. He chewed at a corner of his bottom lip, snapped his fingers and pointed at her. Then he closed his hand, bringing it to his chest.
She repeated, “Do you or Tyler have food allergies?”
He cleared his throat, came closer then lowered his gaze to her lips. His eyes flicked back to hers. Usually, his dreamy orbs sparkled in the sunlight, but not now. They darkened like grass in an oil spill. Tyler headed toward them.
“Zach?” She asked again, nervous now due to his menacing glare, and she wished to be somewhere else. On the other side of the planet would work. Had he figured it out?
“Uh uh.” Zach crouched and lifted the dog, squeezing her in a gentle hug.
She looked small in Zach’s strong arms. Kimber stroked her fur, but Zach fell back a step. “Thank you for this. I’ll take good care of her for you.”
His voice changed to a somber tone. “There might be something in the tack room to tie around her neck and a rope to keep her from running off until she gets to know you.”
“I hope she’s housebroken.”
“I’m positive she is.” Zach carried the dog with him. He glanced back at her with a frown, then he and Tyler entered the tack room.
Kimber trembled as he walked away. She folded her arms, squeezing them. Something happened. A wrinkle interrupted their… Their what? Their working relationship that finally worked for a short time? The fact he was kind to the dog said something about him, but his instant melancholy veneer said the opposite.
She rushed to her bedroom to dress for the day. She’d love to have a new dress to wear tonight, but now dinner was the last thing she wanted. Tonight, she wanted to be alone, but dammit, she’d blurted out the invitation. She couldn’t back out. This business meeting was her future. Hurriedly, she put in her contacts so he didn’t have to stare at her blue eyes any longer when he brought the dog up to the house.
My dog Kasha is on the cover of Whispers of Forever. I suppose the other books in this series will have to have a dog, too. 🙂 ❤
If you made it this far, thanks for reading.