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In a Cowboy's Arms - Chapter 5 (Harlequin Extras)

At eighteen, all Sandi Drake wanted was out. Out of the little Texas town that suffocated her. Out of her father’s ranch that didn’t appeal to her bookish interests. And out of the influence of the sexy and irresistible Travis Moretti, the one thing she regretted leaving behind.

Twelve years later, her father’s death brings her back to the Broken T ranch. Back to Travis. Back to the sparks and to the fire that she could never deny—and in her heart of hearts could never forget.

Travis hasn’t forgotten either. Not the way she made him laugh, and not the way she hurt him when she left. Now that she’s returned, they have a second chance. But is it a second chance at love, or another opportunity for her to break his heart?

Copyright © 2008 by Harlequin Books S.A.


Catch up on what you've missed by reading the previous chapters: One Two Three Four

Chapter 5

He couldn’t avoid her forever.

Travis stood on the foreman’s porch, eyeing the setting sun as it cast a shadow over the main ranch house. Since yesterday’s lunch in town with Sandi, he’d made himself scarce. She’d blown him away when she’d all but admitted she’d trade in her career and her high–end salary for a second chance with him. He wasn’t worthy of her love, and feared that if she knew the truth about him, she’d change her mind. But if they were going to have a real second chance, then there could be no secrets between them.

He’d contemplated the risks—mainly to his heart—if Sandi moved back home. Not only had she matured over the years, but he had, too. This time he wasn’t a rough–around–the edges youth who believed he had all the answers to life—mostly the bad parts.

Dared he believe Sandi was ready to settle for a man like him—a man with a past?

He wasn’t college–educated. In fact, he’d barely gotten a GED. But he’d busted his backside to forge himself a place on the ranch. He might not have been born a cowboy, but under Ben Drake’s watchful eye and tutelage he’d grown into one. A damn fine one, if he said so himself. Travis was proud of the man he’d become. The question remained whether Sandi would feel the same way once he spilled his guts. The only thing he was certain of right now was that he loved her. He hoped to hell that would be enough for her.

With determined strides he marched down the road to the main house. As he drew close, he spotted Sandi in the rocking chair on the porch, a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. When he hesitated at the bottom of the steps, she motioned to the empty rocker next to her. "Take a load off."

Like a man headed to the gallows, he climbed the steps, the wood planks creaking ominously beneath his weight. He bypassed the chair, and instead leaned against the porch rail. Hair mussed and no makeup on, she appeared vulnerable huddled beneath the blanket. He had to remind himself that she was a strong, capable woman. "There’s something you should know about me…something that might make a difference."

"A difference?"

He kept his gaze on her face, surprised at the amount of effort it required. "On whether you stay or go." He gripped the handrail until his fingers ached, and struggled to organize his thoughts—to conceal how much he yearned for her understanding.

Read the rest of the Final Chapter of In a Cowboy's Arms here on Harlequin Extras.

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