Wyoming Heart

By: Diana Palmer


Sassy put a gentle hand on her shoulder. “You should have talked to that nice psychologist in town.”

“I can’t talk about private things to people I don’t know,” Mina said miserably. “I just can’t.”

Sassy took a long breath. She didn’t know what else to say. So she went back to work on her friend.

The result was stunning. Mina looked like a different woman, even with just a touch of makeup and her hair long around her softly tanned, bare shoulders. She looked fragile. Breakable. Lovely.

“You’ll break hearts tonight,” Sassy said with a smile.

“Not on purpose. Are you coming?”

“Yes. John, too. And a few other local people.”

Mina’s eyes blazed. “Bart’s coming, but he’s bringing that friend of his along. I don’t like the man. He’s rude and arrogant, and he looks at me as if he could see my underwear...” She stopped and swallowed, hard. She hadn’t meant to let that slip out.

“He’s a rounder,” Sassy said, confirming her suspicions. “I don’t know him, but John does. He met him at some cattle convention he went to before we married. He says the man collects women like a car collects pollen in the spring.”

“I guessed that already,” Mina said, the remark about Cort Grier at a cattle convention going right over her head. She was looking at herself in the mirror. Except for her big brown eyes, which wore an expression of perpetual sadness, she looked almost pretty. She was shocked. She’d never taken time to do makeup. She hadn’t wanted to encourage any of her mother’s boyfriends, at least one of whom tried to get her mother to let Mina do a threesome with them. Her mother had laughed and given Mina a sardonic smile. Mina had hidden outside in the woods until the man left. It was one of many experiences that haunted her.

“Bart will make him behave,” Sassy promised.

She let out a long breath. “Do I have to go?” she asked miserably.

“Yes.”

“Okay. I’ll drive myself to the guillotine, then.”

Sassy laughed. “It’s not going to be that bad. Really. You might actually enjoy it.”

“I might learn to fly.”

“Spoilsport.”

“I’d rather groom my new horse.” She smiled broadly. “He’s a palomino. He’s absolutely gorgeous! I named him Sand.” Her eyes were dreamy. “His last owner died. They said he’d been grieving, but when he saw me at the auction, he came right over to the fence and lowered his head. I knew he was mine. I couldn’t afford him but Cousin Rogan bought him for me for my birthday.”

Sassy laughed. “Your cousin is one of the sexiest men I’ve ever seen, and one of the biggest woman-haters.” She shook her head. “Aren’t you lucky that you’re first cousins? He likes relatives.”

“He hated my mother,” Mina pointed out. “Actually, so did his mother,” she added. “They were sisters, but they never spoke. Aunt Sallie died of cancer years ago, and Uncle Fred followed her the next year when he got kicked in the head by a horse he was trying to treat. I’m the only relative Rogan has left.”

“It’s like that with my family, too,” Sassy confided. “It’s just my mom and me and Selene.”

“Does she still want to be a fighter pilot when she grows up?” Mina asked with a gentle smile.

“Yes. She’s been studying every book she can find on Raptors. F-22s,” she added when Mina gave her a blank look. “She knows all about them.”

“She’ll be an amazing pilot.”

“Oh yes.”

Mina looked in the mirror again. “How did you do that?” she asked, fascinated.

“I’ll show you another time. You’d better get started over or you’ll be late. I have to go by the house and get John.”

“So I’ll see you there.”

Sassy nodded. “And don’t be nervous. Most of these people have lived here all their lives, just like you.”

“I never traveled in those circles, though,” Mina said. “High society, I mean. I’m just a cowgirl.”

“You’re a famous writer, Willow Shane,” she teased, “growing more famous by the day. And SPECTRE is going right to the top, you mark my words. I love your books, but this latest one is astonishing!”

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