Life After Wife

Life After Wife by Carolyn Brown

Book: Life After Wife by Carolyn Brown Read Free Book Online
Authors: Carolyn Brown
it’ll do the work in half the time, but I hear they make your arms pretty darn sore.”
    Elijah walked away from Sophie without another word and joined the men at the truck. Sophie motioned for the woman to follow her and stomped toward the ranch house, the dirt billowing up behind her cowboy boots.
    The woman had to hurry to catch up and was out of breath when they reached the house. Sophie opened the back door and stood to one side to let her enter first.
    “Would you like a glass of iced tea or a soda? There’s Pepsi and Dr Pepper,” Sophie asked.
    “Dr Pepper, please. It’s too hot to run,” she sputtered.
    Sophie grinned as she removed one of Elijah’s sodas and handed it to the girl. “Honey, that wasn’t even jogging. That was just a good old, angry fast-walk.”
    “Well, I live in air conditioning, work in it, and even when they talk me into a delivery, I ride in it. And to top it all off, I work out in a gym that is air-conditioned. I do not run in the heat,” she said.
    “Oh, I thought you were here to use the power washer. At least give us a demonstration,” Sophie said.
    The girl gulped down several drinks of the cold soda pop before answering. “No, ma’am! Not me. I’ve seen the guys at work use one of those things. It’ll wear you plumb out in a hurry. Let your husband do the washin’, honey. You just stand back and tell him what a good job he’s done.”
    Sophie almost choked. “He’s not my husband!”
    The girl grinned. “Your significant other?”
    “No!” Sophie filled a glass with water and drank deeply.
    “Then if he’s fair game, I might ask him out. How old is he?”
    Sophie set the glass down so hard that the remaining water sloshed out on the cabinet. Why did she care if the woman asked Elijah out for ice cream or to dinner?
    You’ve been talking about getting back into the dating game and moving a trailer out on the backside of the property so that Elijah wouldn’t know who you went out with and when, so why the sudden green streak in your heart?
That niggling little voice inside her head wouldn’t hush.
    “How old are you?” Sophie finally asked.
    “Nineteen,” she said with a brilliant smile.
    “Then, honey, he’s old enough to be your father,” Sophie answered. “Office is back here. Come on and bring that invoice so I can write your check.”
    “Really.” The girl followed Sophie into the dining room and down the long hallway with doors opening on either side.
    “He’s forty,” Sophie said.
    “Well, dang it! I thought he might be about thirty, and that’s my top limit,” she said.
    Sophie took the invoice from her hand and sat down behind the desk. She opened the business checkbook and wrote out the amount on the bill, tore it off, and handed it to the girl.
    “What’s your low limit?” she asked.
    “Seventeen to thirty. No older. No younger. I might make an example with Elijah. I even like his name. Sounds like an old western. I bet he’d be a good dancer. Oh, well.” She sighed. “Got to stay with my rules.”
    “Might be a good idea,” Sophie said as she opened the back door.
    Miz Blondie Rules sucked in air when the blast of heat hit her square in the face. “I’m going to the lake tonight. Put on my bikini and stay in the water until dark,” she said.
    “Have fun.” Sophie led the way to the barn, remembering back when she was nineteen and had life all figured out. She’d find a wonderful man at college; they’d fall in love and live happily ever after.
    Yeah, right! That only happens in the movies and romance books. So enjoy your youth, sweetheart. It will end, and reality will hit you between the eyes so hard it’ll knock your socks off.
    Elijah and the hired hands were in the barn, sweeping furiously with more dust blowing around them than was being swept away. The delivery gal waved at them,her Dr Pepper can high in the air, before she crawled up into the pickup and drove off.
    Elijah threw his broom down and met Sophie at

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