Curves and the Rancher
he happens to be single. ”
    “ He
lives on a ranch outside town, ” Sarah
added. “ Which is why he doesn ’ t
come in toooften. ”
    “ Oh. ” Cassie hoped her blush had faded. Even if Luke was a nice guy, that
didn ’ t mean he was interested in her.
In her limited experience with men, not many seemed to like curvy
women. Except Phillip - at first.
    “ So
where are you staying? ” Libby asked
curiously.
    “ At
the motel down the road. ” Libby ’ s
enquiring gaze encouraged her to elaborate. “ My
car broke down a few days ago while I was passing through. Bob said
it would take a couple of weeks to get the part. ”
    “ Where
were you headed to? ” Sarah asked.
    Cassie hesitated. “ I
hadn ’ t really made up my mind, ” she finally said.
    “ And
you wound up working here. ” Libby
smiled at her.
    Cassie
couldn‘t help smiling back. “ Betty
offered me a job when I came here for lunch one day. ”
    “ Betty ’ s
great. ” Sarah ’ s
eyes sparkled. “ And she makes the
best cherry pie I ’ ve ever tasted. ”
    “ I
know, ” Cassie and Libby said at the
same time. All three girls laughed.
    “ Hey,
I ’ ve got an idea. ” Libby sipped her coffee. “ Instead
of staying at the motel, why don ’ t
you stay with me until your car gets fixed? I ’ ve
got a spare bedroom and I live four blocks away, so you could walk
to the diner, or I can give you a ride in the mornings when I start
work at the library. ”
    “ Oh
no, I couldn ’ t. ” Cassie felt flustered at the offer. “ It ’ s
kind of you, but I couldn ’ t impose on
you like that. ”
    “ It ’ ll
be fun. ” Libby grinned at her.
    “ What
if it doesn ’ t work out? ”
    “ Then
we ’ ll say no hard feelings-- ”
    “ And
I could move back to the motel. ” Cassie slowly warmed to the idea. Although clean, the one and only
motel in Coldwater Springs was a little drab. Alone with her
thoughts every night, she couldn ’ t
stop thinking about how long her money would last and if Phillip had
tried to track her down.
    “ We
could move you in after your shift finishes, ” Sarah suggested.
    “ Are
you sure, Libby? You don ‘ t even know
me. ”
    “ Betty
hired you. ” Libby smiled. “ That ’ s
good enough for me. ”

    ###

    Smiling, Cassie unpacked
her clothes. Her new bedroom was a small, rectangular room decorated
in soft peach colors and a twin bed. It would be great if she became
friends with Libby and Sarah. But then she remembered that once her
car was fixed, she needed to get back on the road. Her smile
vanished.How long would she have to keep running? Surely
Phillip wouldn ’ t be able to track her
to Coldwater Springs? A total urbanite, he hated even getting dirt
on his shoes. Would he really travel all the way to Wyoming to find
her?
    “ Cassie, ” Sarah called. “ Come and have some
coffee with us. ”
    Cassie shook off her
troubling thoughts and walked down the hall to the kitchen. As she
reached the threshold, she overheard Libby. “ I
think Cassie and Luke would make a cute couple. ”
    She peeked around the
doorjamb and watched Sarah stir creaminto her coffee. “ Maybe, ” the brunette murmured.
    Libby almost snorted. “ More than maybe. I think they ‘ d
be perfect for each other. ”
    “ Libby, ” Sarah cautioned. “ Cassie has barely
been in town for a week. And we don ’ t
even know what her plans are. ”
    “ I
bet if she got together with Luke she ’ d
want to stay. ”
    Cassie ’ s
stomach fluttered as she unintentionally eavesdropped. After the
fiasco with Phillip, she didn ’ t know
if she wanted another boyfriend - ever. Let alone a husband. Once
she ’ d moved in with Phillip, he ’ d
started to find fault with just about everything she did. Taking a
deep breath, she deliberately pushed away the disturbing memory and
entered the kitchen.
    “ Hi, ” she said brightly.
    “ Hi. ” Libby offered her a cup of steaming coffee, embarrassment crinkling
her brow. Cassie decided to

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