The last person Tyndal Morgan wants to see is Jared Grant and she suspects the feeling is mutual. The man broke her heart once; it won’t happen again. But when Morgan’s Walk—a horse farm they both love—becomes the target of a woman’s revenge, they set aside old wounds to work together. Though no one else has a problem with the man—including her turncoat dog—Tyndal hesitates to believe in him. Has he really changed? Knowing their past, Jared understands trust, much less love, is earned. As the lies and rumors mount, trust becomes essential. But almost impossible. When Jared realizes Tyndal is the woman he’d risk his life to defend and his soul to keep, he takes her rejection as a challenge, hoping enough love and a second chance will make two broken hearts whole again.
“If I were you, I’d stop right there. I mean it, Jared. You stand exactly where you are. I intend to finish hosing off the platform. Then I’m going to put the horses up, walk home, and take a shower. You’re not invited. After that, I’ll be working in my office. In case you’re wondering, you’re not invited there either.”
He wanted to kiss her. Or strangle her. With what he’d set out to do, he’d be lucky to keep his hide intact. Still, he could give as well as he got…
“You do that, love. But I want you to think about something. I’ve learned home is more than just a house with four walls. Life is lived there.”
His eyes fired, imagining them waking together, her body beside him, warm and soft in his arms. “Life, Tyndal, with all its passions and intimacies, is a place where lovers celebrate. It’s full of laughter and tears. It’s warm and holds steady when nothing else can.” He touched her face, stepped back. He wanted too much to pull her close. To show her. Instead, he breathed in her fragrance, wondering how he ever imagined life without this one woman. “Somebody once told me,” he murmured, keeping his voice low and even, “that without those elements, a house is just real estate.”
Tyndal glared at Jared. “Don’t start. You put all sorts of pictures in my mind and I don’t want any of them. Not one, do you hear? I like my house and my heart fine the way they are. They’re private. When or if that ever changes, I’ll let you know.”
“Overreaction, love. Over-compensation. You’d correct a horse if it reacted to you that way. So…”
“Gee, Jared. I’m not a horse. How about that? I think I have perfectly good reasons for my ‘reactions,’ as you call them too. First of all, you’re back. You’re here. I’ve accepted that much. But I won’t accept the ideas and thoughts my imagination comes up with about you. All you have to do is stand there, four feet away, and I feel you. I know what it’s like for your hands to touch me. I know what you can do to my heart. But I’m telling you right now in front of God and the whole wide world, you’re not allowed to do it again. And don’t say anything now, either, because who knows, I may have another reaction.”
She grabbed the lead rope out of his hands and tugged at Bhetami. “I’m going home and clean something. And no, I haven’t changed my mind.” She met his eyes, read the glint in his. “You’re still not invited.”
“Son,” the whisper of Chase’s voice was never far away, “you’ve stirred up the thunderstorm and she’s just like her mother. I’d enjoy it if I were you.”
Jared’s low laugh followed her steps.