Soft murmurs reached him and spark ran along his veins. That
was no man's voice it belonged to a woman. Low and husky it
stroked along his skin and sent lust to his cock.
What the hell?
Was there a woman hiding in here? He moved through to check.
Nothing. The only person he saw was Robert who stood
brushing down his horse.
"Did you see anyone in here?"
Robert whirled only to flick his eyes over him before
returning to his task. "Not other than you."
"I thought I heard a woman."
He noticed the stiffening of the man by the horse. Was he
hiding her here? A spear of jealously hit him and he didn't
"You know you're not allowed to have women here."
"You think I have a woman in here?" Honest incredulity
tinged the tone. "When would I have told her to meet me?"
Robert didn't face him again.
Okay, so it wasn't his smartest comment. "You're right.
Sorry, I'm…" he trailed off. What was there to say? It was
obvious Robert had just arrived and yet he couldn't help
feel possessive over…he sighed.
Over what? A feminine voice I obviously heard in my head?
Yes that'll boost confidence the men have in me. I'm hearing
He cleared his throat and out of habit rubbed the thigh of
his injured leg. "Bunkhouse is full, you'll have to share a
Now that was a definite tensing. He guessed he understood,
overall the riders didn't have color issues but there were a
few who did.
"Fine." Robert ducked under the rail, hefted the saddle with
ease, and slid it in an empty spot amongst the other tack.
Weapon in one hand and saddlebags with bedroll in the other
he strode from the barn.
Cy double-checked on the large dun then brought the next
horse up so he didn't have to chase him down when the time
came. Once that was finished, he got to his daily duties of
being a station manager at one of the more than one hundred
stations along the two thousand mile trail.
Three weeks later, a severe storm overran them. The station
was empty except for him and Robert since he'd just sent off
the last rider two hours ago. Another few should be coming
in within a few more hours, but he figured the storm would
slow them a bit. He had a big pot of soup heating and some
biscuits cooking in the oven. Cy got to his feet and went to
the door. May as well call Robert to eat with him.
The young man had changed, not that he and Robert had ever
been extremely close but since the incident with Bill, he'd
become even more distant. Respectful and hard working as
always but he kept to himself. Never participated in card
games with the guys. Slept and worked.
He pushed out the door and took a deep breath. The rainy
onslaught filled the air with a fresh clean scent. It washed
away the dry, hot air and replaced it with rebirth. He
couldn't hear the horses over the pounding rain. Nor could
he see the bunkhouse.
Immediately soaked stepping onto the ground, he hurried to
his destination. He saw one flickering light the closer he
got and he pushed through the door shaking the excess water
off his head. Running a hand down his face, he peered
around. Movement in the back corner caught his eye so he
headed there. Turning the corner of the final bunk he froze
as if he'd run smack into a wall. His jaw dropped open and
lust hit him again, a hundred times the intensity of his
reaction to the feminine voice in the barn.
Robert was a girl. No, correction, not a girl. A woman. No
man had a figure like that. Even with the bindings around
her torso—which explained how she passed as Robert—he now
wondered how he'd missed it. Although it explained some of
the differences he'd noticed.
"Where's Robert and who the hell are you?"