No More Goodbyes

After losing her parents in a car crash, Brooke Heathman decides to take over their ranch, leaving her job from the Chicago PD. She had loved being a police woman, but her parents home meant much more to her. She moves there and reconnects with her old crush Alexander Kincade. After six months, he proposes. She says yes even with her doubts niggling at her mind. When her college friend Shelby Winzlow comes down from New York, those doubts are put to rest when Brooke finds Shelby and Alex doing the dirty.

Jackson Dudlie just received the news that his older brother Ben died of alcohol poisoning while at home. The decision to leave his ranch in Wisconsin and move to Texas was pretty easy. He introduces himself to his neighbor, pretty little gal named Brooke, and gets her to help him on his ranch.

Can Jack help Brooke get past the loss of her parents, fiance and best friend when they finally let the fire between them combust?

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Brooke Heathman hurried around, trying to get everything ready for when Shelby finally arrived. That Shelby Winzlow was her best friend from college, who was coming to visit to meet her fiancé of two months, meant that she was going to have the house spotless by the time Shelby got there.

She had called Shel a week ago to tell her of her engagement a few months ago, then Shel called Brooke to tell her she was coming down to meet her handsome hunk. But since Shelby was the editor of a fashion magazine in New York, she had to get everything organized before she could even visit. That was about a week ago, and yesterday Shelby had called to tell Brooke that she was coming in today, around seven p.m. and would need to be picked up. Well, Shel thanks for the warning, Brooke thought as she finished stripping the guest bed of its sheets.

She walked down with the linens in her arms, piled up, and set them in a basket with clothes and towels in it before walking through the living room, trying to find her fiancé.

"Alex?" Brooke yelled as she threw dirty clothes, towels and sheets into the laundry room. "Could you come help me real quick? I need to go check on the horses and cows."

Alexander Kinkade, her fine dirty blonde fiancé, hurried from upstairs into the kitchen where Brooke was starting to clean off counters and the table. "Oh, do you need help with something? I could finish doing that, then start supper."

"No, no. But would you go to the mart and get something we could make quickly? I'm not going to be able to start that chicken. I'm going to go change my clothes after I feed the horses and check on Meri then head to the airport ," she kissed his cheek. "It'll take about half an hour to get there and I'll be waiting at least forty-five before we're able to start back home. But something light from the mart will work just fine."

"Okay. I'll go and get something." He kissed her cheek then grabbed the keys. "I'll be back before you get back here with Shelby. I might just get T.V. dinners, just to forewarn you."

Brooke laughed and shook her head as he left the house. She finished putting laundry into the washer, then walked outside.

Their cow, Meri, was about seven months pregnant and needed some special care so that she wouldn't have the baby too early. It seemed she was still too young to handle a pregnancy very well. At four years old, Meri had been impregnated when their bull had gotten free and Brooke was going to wait a couple more years before she would have let Meri even in the same pen as the bull. But the stubborn Andre had escaped his pen, breaking through the once wooden fence. So now poor Meri had to have a vet visit every week and special corn meal, to make sure that she wouldn't miscarry or deliver the calf too early. So Brooke made sure that some of the meal was in the tray and she rubbed down Meri. The young cow mooed softly, moving away just a little bit. Brooke smiled, and moved on to the horses.

~

Running up the stairs and flipping the light on, she stripped after she turned on the shower. She jumped into the shower and relaxed as her muscles started to loosen. She cleared her head of all thoughts as she scrubbed her body and shampooed her hair. As soon as she was sure the conditioner was out, Brooke turn off the water and hopped out of the shower stall.

As she walked to her room, she dried herself vigorously. Glancing at the clock, Brooke grabbed her clothes and quickly put them on before slipping into sandals and running to the car. She pulled out and got onto the interstate, not even looking at the scenery.

The airport was busy, airplanes lifting off or landing almost twenty-four seven. She hopped out of the car and ran into the building. Shelby's plane should have landed by now right? Brooke looked at her watch. Yep, should have landed. It was seven o' five, and she couldn't see her red head friend. She walked closer to the gates so that she would have a better view to find her friend, but kept getting knocked in the shoulder and once in her back as she walked. The crowd was gathering around, people moving around others, trying to see if they're friends and/or loved ones had gotten off the plane yet. But Brooke wasn't going to get denied access to the gates, and pushed and shoved right back to get close to the front.

When she saw her friend, her bright red hair easy to find, Brooke waved and pushed to the front. Shelby immediately saw her. They grinned and hugged each, chattering all the while of how each looked a little different from when they had last seen each other. They both were talking over each other as they went to get Shelby's bags, but each knew exactly what the other was saying because early in their friendship, they had learned to talk over each other while listening to the other.

"New York is so crazy-"

"You should totally check out the ranch-"

Laughing, someone came up behind them. "I can't believe how you two can actually understand what each other are saying. I'm not even sure if you're talking about New York or your ranch, Brooke."

Brooke turned around at the familiar voice and grinned. "Well, you could just say we've known each other long enough to actually understand who's saying what. How are you Linc? Haven't seen you a while, since I haven't been by the bar for about a week or two. But you haven't visited either, and the road works both ways."

They both chuckled at the old saying they loved to tell each other.

"Well, introduce me, would ya?" Linc grinned charmingly at Shelby, who blushed but grinned back. "Now, aren't you a pretty woman."

Not a question, but a statement. Brooke rolled her eyes.

"Shelby, this is Lincoln Wess. He owns the small bar in town where I spend some nights singing. Linc, this is my best friend from college, Shelby Winzlow." Brooke winked at him. "She's an editor for a very famous fashion magazine up in New York. She was just telling me how some new fashion designers who are really hitting it off, are contacting her to get their designs into the magazine. Shelby can't wait to actually get to meet with them when she goes back."

Linc made a face. "Now, hunny," he drawled, "New York is just far too dangerous for a beautiful young thing like you. Why don't you come down and live here for a while? It'll grow on you, and I'll even put you up for a night or two."

Brooke laughed at the small twinkle in Linc's eyes. "Down, boy. You're not as interesting as some of those rich Yorkies. Why don't you go to the bar and we'll meet you there? And how about a free one for us, since it's Shel's first day here and all."

Linc narrowed his eyes at her. "You just don't want to pay for some fine beer. You can have a beer as long as you sing tonight. And before you start arguing, it's either that or you're paying for all of yours while I pay for Miz Shelby here."

"Fine! Geez, you drive a hard bargain. Am I getting paid tonight, or is this just a free concert?" Brooke sighed.

As Linc started to walk away, he grinned at her. "Aw, hunny, it's just a free concert for some free beer. Since it's both you and Shelby."

She shook her head as he walked away, then turned back to Shel. "Sorry for him. He just doesn't know when to be nice, I guess. Even though I know his mama drilled some pretty deep manners into that man. I guess they're not helping."

They both laughed as they walked through the busy airport. Shel told her everything she'd been doing in New York, and Brooke told her everything about Alex, but left out the fact that she'd been getting doubts lately. No reason to bring that up when she was about to hang out with her best friend after not seeing her in forever.

 

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ALRIGHT! Please give me your thoughts on this book! It's an older work of mine, and I like it, but I want to know if the public would.

Thanks! ~Dj

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