The Cowboy Meets His Match

The Cowboy Meets His Match by Leann Harris Page B

Book: The Cowboy Meets His Match by Leann Harris Read Free Book Online
Authors: Leann Harris
well today.
    â€œI did get Norman’s copy of the rodeo financials for the last year. Since he’s the top board member in Harding it will be interesting to see how it compares with the book Mel dropped off after lunch yesterday and the one I’ve looked at here.”
    Erin turned to him. “Mel brought the notebook by yesterday?”
    Sawyer carefully searched her eyes. “Yes, and I glanced at it last night, but I didn’t see any final numbers.” He shrugged. “I wanted to see if Norman and Mel even have the same estimates.”
    The sound of a car in the drive drew their attention. Moments later, the doors slammed and Tate appeared. He took in the situation. Betty was slow getting out of the truck.
    Sawyer stepped away from the fence. “I had an urge to ride this afternoon.” He knew that both Erin and her brother would understand. They were all horse people.
    Tate rubbed his neck. “Ridin’ sounds good to me, and since I’m being supervised, you can’t object.” Tate aimed his comment at his sister.
    Sawyer inwardly cringed. Tate’s heavy-handed approach invited trouble. “Since I don’t know your ranch, a guide would be a good idea, if that’s okay with you, Erin. If something happened to me while riding here—” he shrugged “—people might think it was your way of getting rid of the competition.” He grinned, hoping his light tone would ease the tension between brother and sister.
    She caught the teasing mood. “Well, you’ve got a point. I wouldn’t want to be accused of letting our new rodeo wrangler get lost.”
    â€œNo one would accuse you of ignoring your duty,” Tate snapped.
    Her brother’s irritation at being driven to and from school was showing.
    â€œWell, it’s a good idea for you to accompany Sawyer.”
    Tate started toward the other horses.
    â€œJust know, brother,” Erin called, “we’ll have a talk later about school today.”
    Tate froze. “Okay.”
    As they walked away, Sawyer gave her a nod of approval.
    Erin smiled.
    * * *
    â€œWhen I drove up today, your sister was practicing her barrels,” Sawyer told Tate as they rode past the practice corral. Sawyer wanted to get Tate’s mind off school.
    After several moments of silence, Tate replied, “She always practices. Both Sis and Dancer love it. Sis took Dancer with her to the university. I don’t know how she practiced, but she did. I understood her wanting to ride, but others didn’t.” Tate’s shoulders straightened with the pride that rang in his voice.
    â€œI did the same and took my horse, Rescue, with me to school and rode on the weekends. You can relax and let problems melt away on the back of a horse. Life seems to come into focus.” And no better place to pray than on the back of his horse. “It was only after I graduated and took jobs in different cities that I left Rescue at my brother’s ranch. I do miss Rescue. When I call my brother, I ask about my horse before his wife.”
    â€œReally? You should use FaceTime to talk to your horse. It’s what Sis uses every night to talk to Mom about Dad’s condition.”
    â€œThat’s a good idea. I think I might try that the next time. Question is, will my brother take the tablet into the barn? But that won’t replace riding my horse.”
    â€œTrue. Sometimes things aren’t the way you want them.” The comment trailed off.
    There it was. Tate’s cry for help.
    â€œYes, but things happen that we don’t have a say in. When my dad had a heart attack, he didn’t survive.”
    Tate remained quiet.
    â€œSo what’d you do?” he finally asked.
    â€œThere’s nothing you can do but survive. I had my big brother and we got through it together. Got closer.” Sawyer wouldn’t tell Tate the other ugly part of his story. Tate needed to be encouraged,

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