The Sheriff Catches a Bride (Page 47)

The Sheriff Catches a Bride (Cowboys of Chance Creek #5)(47)
Author: Cora Seton

They reached an intersection in the center of town and stopped for a red light. Cab took advantage of the situation to lean over, tilt her chin up and give her a long, searching kiss. Rose answered him with equal ardor, placing a hand on his shoulder to steady herself. She leaned into him, letting him lead the way and when he slid a hand under her blouse, she moaned, letting him know she’d missed him as much as he’d missed her.

Cab pulled back an inch. “We could eat at my place,” he suggested. “Or skip eating all together.”

“That sounds good,” Rose said. “Real good.” She kissed him again, and he slipped his hand higher, cupping her breast underneath her shirt. He knew he should wait until they got back to Carl’s place, but suddenly he didn’t want to wait another minute.

“Or we could pull in behind the gas station and get it on right here.”

Rose giggled. “Better not. What if we get caught?” She slid a hand down his back and into the waistband of his jeans. If she were any closer to him she’d be in his lap.

The car behind them beeped and they both jumped.

“Whoops. Better keep my eyes on the road,” Cab said, chuckling. “Don’t want to cause an accident.”

Rose guided his hand back down to her thigh and wriggled to let him know she wanted him to stroke her again. He did so with pleasure, making the left-hand turn toward the highway. “You sure you don’t want to grab dinner first?”

She sat up and glared at him. “You’d better not stop this car until you reach Carl’s.”

Cab grinned. “Yes, ma’am.” He gave her thigh a squeeze.

Rose went rigid and gripped his wrist.

Cab glanced at her as he turned the wheel and pressed on the accelerator. “What’s wrong?”

She stared out the windshield across the intersection as they turned. Cab saw a taxi at the far corner. A man leaning over it. Then they were past.

“Rose, what’s wrong?”

“I… I don’t feel so well. Can you please take me to Carl’s as fast as you can?”

Chapter Twelve

Over Fila’s protestations, Jason handed the cab driver several bills.

“This oughta cover it. Right, Alan?”

She’d been surprised he knew the man by name, but she quickly realized Chance Creek was a lot like the village she’d left behind in Afghanistan. Everyone knew everyone, and when Jason told Alan to take her to the Cruz ranch, Alan seemed to know just where that was. Darkness had fallen, but the streets of Chance Creek were lit up by streetlights. She shivered a little in the cold, but her journey would be over soon.

Once Jason knew she was heading to Chance Creek, he’d taken over her travel plans. When they disembarked from the Greyhound bus in Billings, he organized their switch to a small shuttle bus heading to the town.

When they reached Chance Creek, he insisted on finding her a taxi. There was an awkward moment when Alan Higgens—a man in his late twenties, Fila estimated—had pulled up to the corner and spotted them there. He seemed unable to look Jason in the eye and Fila wondered if she was the cause of it. After all, Jason had recently been engaged, so his arrival with another woman might raise an eyebrow or two. After she’d taken her seat in the back, Alan asked Jason through the open front window, “Does Rose know you’re in town?”

“Not yet,” Jason bent down to answer him. “Why?”

A pause—just enough to tell Fila something was wrong. “No reason. Just… nothing.”


“I must be confused, that’s all. I thought…”

“Spit it out, Alan.” Fila could tell Jason was getting angry. She’d grown comfortable with his presence on the bus, but now his features hardened, and she realized he was a man like all other men—not to be crossed.

“A minute ago I saw her and…” Alan trailed off and looked through the windshield at a truck that had pulled to a stop across the intersection ahead of them. Fila made out two people sitting inside it. A large man with short dark hair was behind the wheel. Beside him sat a petite brunette. As she watched, the man leaned down and gave the woman a sensuous kiss, which she returned just as passionately.

Jason followed Alan’s gaze and swore. “That’s Rose right there. What’s she doing riding with Cab? Why is she kissing him?”

“I don’t know,” Alan said, but Jason disappeared from the window and in another second the passenger’s side door opened and he slid into the front seat.

“Follow them.”

“Jason, look…”

“I said follow them, or I’m going to open your door, shove you into the street and drive myself.”

Alan swore but started the car and eased into traffic.

“Hurry up—you’re losing them!”

“I can tell where they’re going,” Alan said. “Look. Out to Carl’s. That’s where Cab’s staying these days.”

“And she’s going home with him? Is she sleeping with him?” Jason’s voice raised and Fila cringed back into her seat. When men raised their voices, trouble quickly arrived. Alan picked up speed, followed the sheriff’s car through town and turned sharply onto a road that quickly wound into the countryside. She clutched the armrest with one hand, used the other to brace herself against the vinyl seat. Jason’s angry tone scared her. She’d seen too many angry men. She knew what they were capable of.

“I don’t know,” Alan answered Cab finally.

“How long has this been going on?”

“I don’t know.” Alan sounded miserable.

“Shit. Go faster.”

Dark fields stretched away on either side of them and Fila spotted the hulking shapes of houses and barns in the distance.

“Step on it,” Jason said.

“I know where Cab lives,” Alan said. “No sense killing ourselves getting there a minute sooner.”

“My fiancée is sleeping with the town’s sheriff. I want to get there now!” Jason banged his fist on the door and Fila shut her eyes. How had she thought she’d be safe in America? How had she hoped the men here would treat her any differently than her Afghani captors?

“Hey! You better not break anything!”

“Go. Faster!”

Fila buried her head in her hands. Her dream was turning into a nightmare. Any moment they’d catch up to the sheriff and Jason would find his woman. He’d kill the sheriff, shoot him dead on the spot, then haul the girl home, truss her up and drag her to the town square. Would he stone her to death? Behead her? Douse her in kerosene and light her on fire?