Read An Outlaw's Christmas Online
Authors: Linda Lael Miller
Tags: #Romance, #Western, #Fiction
She was a grown woman, a mother.
had been right—it was time she started trusting herself. Hutch had always held an infuriating attraction for her, but she was older now, and wiser, and she had more self-control.
The next hour was taken up with getting ready, coming and going, table-setting and a lot of companionable, lighthearted chatter. Slade returned from the barn as he’d promised and, after washing up in a downstairs bathroom, made the whole crew promise not to pester Hutch with questions about the interrupted wedding.
Kendra thought. She probably wouldn’t say more than a few polite words to the man. If she spoke to him at all.
She felt strong, confident, ready for anything.
Until he actually walked into the ranch house kitchen, that is.
Seeing her, he tightened his jaw and shot an accusatory glance in his half brother’s direction.
“Didn’t I mention that Kendra’s here?” Slade asked, breaking the brief, pulsing silence. There was a smile in his voice, though his blue eyes conveyed nothing but innocent concern.
Hutch, his dark blond hair sun-kissed with gold, recovered his normal affable manner within the space of a heartbeat.
He even smiled, flashing those perfect white teeth and setting Kendra back on her figurative heels.
“Hello, Kendra,” he said with a nod, after taking off his hat. Like Slade, he was dressed “cowboy” and the look suited him.
Kendra replied with a nod of her own. “Hutch,” she said, turning from the chopping board, where she’d been preparing a salad, and wished she’d cleared her throat first, because the name came out like a croak.
His gaze moved straight to Madison, and Kendra read the questions in his eyes even before he hid them behind a smile. Madison, meanwhile, raised Rupert, as if presenting him to this stranger for inspection.
“Howdy, there,” he said, all charm. “Do my eyes deceive me or is that critter a kangaroo?”
Copyright © 2012 by Linda Lael Miller
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