“Here let me take that,” he offered and reached for her duffle.
“Thanks.” She relinquished it to him. He did a double take when he caught the flash of silver on her tongue.
“Uh, are you hungry?” This young lady was just full of surprises. “It’s about an hour back to the ranch. We can probably find someplace that stays open all night.” Preferably, drive-through he thought, hoping to avoid curious onlookers.
“I’m famished,” she said as she struggled free of her coat.
Rein dropped her bag in the back of the truck and waited to assist her into the truck His eyes fell to her backside bent over the front seat and what was left of her black mini skirt and spandex leggings. She was plenty tall, given that her legs looked to be a mile long in that outfit. She stuffed her coat up into the cab and jerked down her black hoody sporting a Guns & Roses insignia across the back. He caught just a flash of skin above her waistband, enough to make him feel guilty for wanting to see if she bore any tattoos. He’d bet money that she had one, if not more. First impression, she looked like the lead in an R-rated vampire slayer movie.
“Be careful, watch your step.” He gave himself a mental slap and hurried forward to help her in the cab.
She gingerly grabbed the bar and hauled herself up gracefully into the seat.
“Did you happen to get my text messages?” he asked.
“Nope, I’m afraid not.”
“Is there someone back home that needs to know you’re here?”
“No, there isn’t.” She narrowed her gaze on him. “Mr. Mackenzie, in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m not twelve years old.”
As if he needed to be reminded of the interest she sparked in him. He brushed it off as her eccentricity.
“Right.” He shut the door, fished for his iPhone, and frantically texted Wyatt as he walked around to the driver’s side. He wanted to make damn sure they were awake when they arrived back at the ranch.
“Going to stop for a bite to eat, then head home.” He paused at the door and rubbed his hand over his mouth, a nervous habit when he found himself perplexed by something. With a sigh, he climbed into the truck and busied himself with his seat belt.
“Who were you texting?” she queried.
“Wyatt. Just to let him know you were safe and sound with me.”
“He was worried? That’s such a big brother thing to do, how cute.” She grinned. “By the way, my name is Liberty…Liberty Belle.”
Rein glanced at the young woman who looked tough enough to spit nails. “No last name, or is it Belle?”
Her mascara-laden, coffee-colored eyes met his. She wore far too much in his opinion. But he had to give her credit, while the overall effect was a little dark, no…make that a lot dark, it was oddly sexy…on her. Rein batted away the silly notion. What? Sexy? Where’d that come from?
“No, Belle is my stage name. I’m Liberty Stenapoulas.”
He considered pursuing the topic of her vocations, but backed off deciding that it was late, he was too tired and even though she wasn’t twelve, she was nonetheless Wyatt and Dalton’s baby sister. Even though she appeared to have walked out of some late night horror flick. He kept his focus straight ahead and debated the myriad of questions that had popped up in his brain.
“Hey, are you okay?” She leaned toward him and searched his face. “Are you sure you know how to get us out of here?”
Rein blinked, snapping out of his reverie. He started up his truck with a mighty roar and shifted into gear. He knew easily how get them out of there with no trouble. But more to the point, what kind of trouble was he bringing home to the Last Hope Ranch?
“Rustler's Heart (The Kinnison Legacy Series, bk 2)”
By Amanda McIntyre
Blog Tour Excerpt #2
“I don’t have any issues with your sister, Dal, I just can’t let her push my buttons.” He started down the lane.
“Absolutely bro, unless you happen to like it.”
Rein stopped and looked over his shoulder, the flashlight illuminated Dalton’s wide smile. “For the record, I don’t.”
His brother shrugged. “Just sayin.’ Seems like you two spend an awful lot of time sparrin’ with each other.”
“You’ve had too many beers.” Rein waved away the comment. He didn’t want to think any more about this tonight. He wanted to lose himself in his work. Do something constructive. Blow off some steam.
“I only had two and I’ve got eyes, Rein. Not sure what you think, but I can tell when a woman is interested in a guy.”
He refused to entertain the thought. Not tonight. “I’m going down to cabin three and do some work.”
“Hey, Rein, for the record. You should stop up to Betty's and see what she's done with the place. New uniforms, new menu, looks pretty good. Liberty has quite a talent.”
“I’m sure she did a fine job.”
“You know, you can be as hard-headed as her.”
“Kiss my ass, Dalton. See you in the morning.”
“Sweet dreams, bro. I’ll be up here in civilization, if you need me.”
He was in no mood to tolerate Dalton’s teasing. Rein trudged past her cabin, jerking his gaze away when he saw her pass by the window. She might well be talented in many ways, but the woman was trouble, a free spirit. She did not intend to stick around and that theoretically should please him, but it only frustrated him more. Dammit. He wasn’t a loner like Wyatt. He was good with people, had friends. Maybe seeing Caroline again, realizing how enamored he’d once been of her, made him realize he wasn’t ready yet for that type of commitment. Hell, maybe that was the one thing he and Liberty had in common. He had goals, his Uncle’s dream to finish. She wanted to start a new life. Neither of them appeared to want any strings.
And that scared the hell out of him.
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eBook of either Rugged Hearts (The Kinnison Legacy #1) or Rustler's Heart (The Kinnison Legacy, #2)
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