Taming a Texas Rascal (Bad Boy Ranch #6) - Katie Lane Page 0,1

time as Lincoln. All six boys had been troubled teens who were sentenced to one summer at the Double Diamond Ranch. But the ranch had turned out to be more a vacation than a punishment. The owners, Lucas and Chester, were two old rodeo cowboys with hearts as big as Texas. They had taught the boys everything they knew about cowboying and had given Sawyer the rodeo bug.

Lincoln laughed. “Well, I can’t deny that all the Double Diamond boys would love to have you settle here in Simple. But I think we’re all very aware of the fact that you aren’t the settling-down type, Sawyer. This really is all Dixie’s idea. Since becoming sheriff, she’s hell bent on putting Simple on the map.”

Since Simple, Texas, was only a grease spot on the highway that was a tall order. One Sawyer wasn’t about to get roped into. “I think the world of Dixie, Linc, but I’ll have to pass. Why doesn’t she ask Maisy Sweeney? She’s a damn good rodeo gal and I’m sure she’d love to help out since she and Dixie are close friends.”

“She already asked Maisy, but Maisy says she’s too busy.” There was a long pause. “I’m worried about Maisy, Sawyer.”

Lately, all Lincoln seemed to do was worry about the pint-sized saddle bronc rider. In the last few months, she had become like a little sister to him. And Sawyer got it. It was hard not to like the cute, feisty cowgirl. She was the type of woman most single men wanted as a friend—a straight shooter who wasn’t looking for a wedding band or a man to talk about her feelings with. She and Sawyer had been friends . . . until Lincoln took her under his wing.

“She’s working way too hard,” Lincoln continued. “When she’s not riding in some rodeo, she’s working a temp job to get money to pay for the fees to enter a rodeo.”

“That’s rodeo life for you. Unless you get a sponsor, you have to work other jobs to pay for your passion.” Sawyer would love to have a sponsor. To get one, he needed to win more rodeos and he’d been a little distracted lately. But this was his year. He could feel it. After the crappy year he’d just had, God owed him a good one.

“Maisy will be okay, Linc,” he said. “She’s tough.”

There was another long stretch of silence before Lincoln spoke. “You’re staying away from her, right?”

It hurt a little that Lincoln didn’t trust him, but Sawyer could understand why. In the last year, he’d run through his fair share of women. “I gave you my word, Linc. And I don’t break my word. I’ve only seen Maisy a few times since the wedding. And only in passing.”

About then, Tequila Girl started singing in the shower. She had the worst singing voice Sawyer had ever heard in his life. She was completely off-key and got the majority of words to the song wrong.

“I’ll go sky fly-in’! I’ll go rocky road driv-in’! I’ll go eight point seven seconds on a bull named Fool Man Two!”

Sawyer squinted at the door. Fool Man Two?

“Who’s that?” Lincoln asked.

“A friend. I better get going. I have a rodeo this afternoon.”

“When are you going to give this foolishness up, Sawyer? You’re getting too old to be tossed around on the back of a wild-assed horse.”

It was true. At thirty, he was getting too old for saddle bronc riding. But if he didn’t have rodeo, he had nothing. “You’re only as old as you feel,” he said. “And I’m not ready to become an old married man like you and spend my days holding my wife’s yarn while she knits.”

Lincoln laughed. “That’s not how Dixie and I spend our days, but I’ll let you keep your illusions.” He paused, and there was real concern in his voice when he spoke. “Be careful, Sawyer. I mean it.”

“I’m always careful, Linc. Give Dixie a kiss for me.”

“Hell, no. You kiss enough women. Dixie is all mine. Go kiss your . . . friend.”

Sawyer laughed as he hung up. But his laughter faded when he noticed the unopened message on the screen of his phone. The same message that had prompted the bottle of tequila. Even now, the words made his gut tighten and his chest ache. If he’d had a bottle of tequila, he would’ve taken a deep swig—rodeo today or not.

The wedding is still set for September 15. Please forgive me and come.

Sawyer deleted the

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