Rocky Mountain Miracle

Rocky Mountain Miracle by Christine Feehan

Book: Rocky Mountain Miracle by Christine Feehan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Christine Feehan
that way.”
    Cole could feel his temper rise. No one managed to get under his skin the way she did, although he couldn’t deny her accusation. He had gone into the bar several nights running with the sole intention of sleeping with her in the hopes of getting through the Christmas season. Looking at himself through her eyes wasn’t a pretty sight, and the revelation was difficult to take.
    â€œHow do you know how I’d see anything?”
    Maia turned her attention back to him, her too-cool gaze sweeping his face. “I don’t, Cole. And I don’t want to know anything. Whatever your suspicions of me are, I’m not looking for a husband, a lover, money, or anything else. I do my job, and I get out of town.”
    Cole could feel his stomach churning. She’d given him an out. He should go the hell to bed, walk away and leave her alone. But something held him to the chair. Held him under her gaze. He wished it were sex. Wished it were the intense physical attraction he felt for her. He didn’t want it or need it to be anything else. He scrubbed his hand over his face, trying to rid himself of the demons that refused to let go.
    â€œThe first lesson I can ever remember learning was never to trust anyone at all. Not my mother, certainly not my father, not the housekeeper or any of the hands. Itdidn’t matter how nice or friendly they seemed. They would report everything to him. They would stand there watching when he killed something I made the mistake of caring for. They stood in silence when he beat me with his fists or a whip or a hanger or whatever else happened to be handy.” He waved his hand to encompass the ranch. “This was a prison. There was no way to get away from him. He had his security force, who watched our every moment.”
    He was half-angry with himself the moment he revealed one of his darkest secrets. He’d told her by way of apology for his paranoid conspiracy theories. Or maybe to prove to himself he wasn’t as far gone a human being as he believed he was. Whatever the reason, he couldn’t take it back no matter how much he wished he could.
    Maia was silent, careful to keep her expression from reflecting the horror and compassion in her mind. She couldn’t blow the moment by speaking, by saying or doing the wrong thing. Cole Steele was telling her something she doubted he’d ever admitted to anyone. He might have glossed over a difficult childhood, but he’d never spoken the details aloud to another human being. She picked up the mug of chocolate, now cool, wrapping both hands around it.
    â€œDon’t think I’m telling you this for sympathy,” Cole said harshly. “It’s important for you to know what Jase has had to deal with. I don’t want him to become like me. I want him to be normal. This is about Jase. You understand? Just Jase.”
    Maia managed to nod, blinking rapidly to keep tears at bay. Cole Steele was a lost man fighting desperately for his younger half brother. She swallowed the lump threatening to choke her. Who was going to save Cole?
    â€œHe responded to you. You’re the first person I’ve ever seen him do that with. He has that distance between him and everyone else, but he laughed with you. Actually laughed. Jase needs something I can’t seem to give him.”
    â€œYou’re giving him exactly what he needs right now, Cole. Stability and a sense of family. After so many years, you said he’s, what? Fourteen?” At Cole’s nod, she continued. “Jase is afraid to trust anyone completely. He wants to, but it’s ingrained in him not to. Time will take care of that. As long as you don’t let him down, he’ll count on you and learn to rely on your relationship.”
    â€œMen like Al’s brother-in-law, they wanted to pretend what went on here at the ranch was all right, just something they had to put up with to keep their families going, but

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