Hot Westmoreland Nights(2)

By: Brenda Jackson

“He’s the one I want, Lucia,” she said with both determination and conviction in her voice. “And since you know him, then just ask him. He might surprise you and not turn you down. Of course he’ll get paid for his services.”

Lucia laughed and shook her head. “Getting paid isn’t the issue, Clo. Ramsey is one of the wealthiest sheep ranchers in this part of Colorado. But everyone knows what a private person he is. Trust me, he won’t do it.”

Chloe hoped she was wrong. “But you will ask him?”

“Yes, but I suggest you move on and find another man.”

Chloe glanced back out the window. The man was the epitome of what she was looking for in her “Irresistible Man” issue and she was determined to have him.

“Um, I don’t like that look on your face, Chloe. I’ve seen it before and know exactly what it means.”

Chloe couldn’t help but smile. She could only blame her smile on her father, Senator Jamison Burton of Florida, the man who’d raised her alone after her mother died of cervical cancer when Chloe was three. Her father was the one man she most admired and he’d always taught her that if people wanted something bad enough, they wouldn’t give up until they got it.

She glanced out the window and watched as Ramsey Westmoreland ended his conversation and entered the feed store with a swagger that almost made her breathless. She would be seeing him again.


“I can’t believe you’re not posing for the cover of that magazine, Ram.”

Ramsey Westmoreland didn’t bother to look up from arranging a bale of straw in the lambing stall. He’d figured his youngest sister Bailey would show up sooner or later, because news traveled pretty fast within the Westmoreland family. And of course, Bailey made it her life’s work to know everything about her five brothers, down to their every heartbeat.

“I’m not going away, Ramsey, until you tell me what I want to know.”

He couldn’t help but smile at the threat because he knew if he gave her an order to leave that she would follow it. She might like to express her emotions and display her defiance every once in a while, and God help him when she did, but when it was all said and done, Bailey knew how far to take things with him. He would be the first to admit that she had tested his limits plenty, especially during those years when she and their cousin Bane had been almost inseparable. The two thought getting into trouble was a way of life.

Since then Bailey had finished high school and was now attending college, and Bane had surprised everyone with his decision last month to join the military with the goal of becoming a Navy Seal. All was quiet on the Westmoreland front and Ramsey would be the first to admit, but only to himself, things had been a little boring.

“There’s nothing to tell,” he decided to respond. “I was contacted about doing that cover and I turned them down.”

“Just like that?”

“Just like that.” He figured she was probably glaring at him right now.

“Why, Ram? Just think of the exposure.”

He finally decided to look up and the gaze that sharpened on Bailey was so keen, had it been anyone else they would have had the good sense to take a step back. But not twenty-one-year-old Bailey Joleen Westmoreland. Of his three sisters—Megan, who was almost twenty-five and Gemma, who was twenty-three—Bailey was the boldest and could test the patience of Job, so to try the patience of her oldest brother was a piece of cake.

“I don’t want exposure, Bailey. I think the Westmorelands got enough exposure all those years when we had to deal with the trouble you, Bane and the twins got into.”

Not an ounce of regret flared in her eyes. “That was then. This is now. And this would have been good exposure.”

He almost laughed at that one. “Good exposure for who exactly?” he asked, getting to his feet.

He had a lot to do and little time for chitchat. Nellie, who’d had the responsibility of preparing the meals for him and the ranch hands for the past two years, had to leave suddenly yesterday when she’d gotten word that her only sister back in Kansas had emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix. She intended to stay and help out and it would be at least two weeks before she returned.