Love Under Two Cowboys - By Cara Covington

Chapter 1
Carrie Rhodes had always thought the smartest thing she could do was to lose herself in the anonymity of a large city. But just lately she'd begun to wonder if this small town wouldn't prove to be an even better place to do that, instead.

She'd never even heard of Lusty, Texas, until she'd answered that want ad nearly two months ago. She'd scanned the Waco paper, hoping to find a position in that city, having decided it was time to move out of Dallas.

But she had answered that ad, securing the position of cook at the only restaurant in town, Lusty Appetites. She really liked her boss, an uncommon occurrence in her experience. Kelsey Benedict was actually the best boss Carrie had ever had. The lady was also five months pregnant.

Carrie frowned. There seemed to be an awful lot of that sort of thing - pregnancy - going around in this small town, particularly at the restaurant.

I hope it isn't contagious.

Carrie pushed aside the irreverent thought. In all likelihood, if Kelsey hadn't been expecting a baby, then she, Carrie, would never have been hired in the first place, and certainly wouldn't be here now.

She'd only been on the job for about six weeks, but already she felt something she'd never felt anyplace else before.

Carrie Rhodes felt at home right here in Lusty, Texas.

Maybe, all things considered, that wasn't such a good thing. She had to stay on guard. She had to be ready.

And to hell with that kind of thinking. Really, was she going to let that deviant son of a bitch destroy her entire life?

Carrie nodded to herself once. She could let herself feel at home and still remain vigilant, and that bastard could just...just...go piss up a tree.

"You look pretty fierce, there, Carrie. Is there something about the setup you don't like?"

Carrie mentally shook her head, put a grin on her face, and turned to one of her coworkers, Michelle Grant. It wasn't just the boss of Lusty Appetites Carrie liked. She liked everyone she worked with.

Michelle, Carla, and Ginny were not only very efficient waitresses, they were easy to get along with. Tracy, who'd started out as Kelsey's sous-chef, but had taken over the dessert end of the menu, was a real sweetheart.

Today was Ginny's wedding day, which was why they were all here at the community center, setting up the buffet. It totally floored Carrie that Kelsey would close the restaurant for the day. Apparently, she did so every time there was a family wedding in town.

Guests had already begun to arrive in advance of the ceremony that would take place here in - she checked her watch - just under an hour.

"Everything looks fabulous here, Michelle. I let my mind wander to an unhappy place, that's all."

Michelle took on a grin Carrie already recognized. It was her teasing grin. "Near as like your thoughts wandered to those two pesky cowboys who've been flirting with you ever since you hired on."

Carrie laughed. She didn't want to talk about what she'd really been thinking about. No one knew about her past, and as far as she was concerned, no one needed to.

Those two outrageous cowboys might as well serve as her personal red herring. She figured it more than her due considering all the times they'd been teasing her and flirting with her since she'd come to town.

"There you go," Carrie said. "But I'm not going to think of them anymore, at least not for the next little while. I'm just going to live in this moment, and help everyone celebrate Ginny and Adam and Jake." This was a happier place for her mind to be, despite the fact that she still didn't quite get the whole menage marriage thing.

Michelle sighed. "Me, too. I was thinking back, earlier, about when Ginny Rose first came to work at the restaurant. She was so...wounded. Yet with everything she'd been through, she was still so sweet and nice to everyone. And shy! I'd never met a woman as shy as her." Michelle grinned. "That little boy of hers, on the other hand, certainly made up for his momma's shyness." Michelle sighed. "Everyone could see, right from the get-go that Benny was the center of Ginny's universe. Still is, come to that."

Michelle blinked and Carrie realized she was blinking back tears. Then she continued with her reminiscences. "When I think of the way that Adam and Jake fell for the both of them, the way they courted's just so romantic.