Seduction, Westmoreland Style(2)

By: Brenda Jackson

“I see.”

Casey doubted that he did. Not even her brothers fully understood the turmoil existing within her after finding out the truth. From the time she was a little girl her mother had painted this fairy-tale image of the man who’d fathered her and her brothers—the man who’d supposedly died in a rodeo accident while performing, leaving her mother pregnant with triplets.

Carolyn Roberts Westmoreland had made it seem as if she and Corey Westmoreland had shared the perfect love, the perfect marriage and had been so dedicated to each other that she’d found it hard to go on when he’d died. According to her mother, the only thing that had kept her going was the fact that Corey had left her with not one, not two, but three babies growing inside her womb. Triplets who would grow up smothered in their mother’s love and their father’s loving memory.

It hurt to know her mother had weaved a bunch of lies.

Corey Westmoreland had never married Carolyn Roberts. Nor had he known she was pregnant with triplets. Legally, her mother had never been a Westmoreland. And to make matters worse, Corey had never loved her mother. For years he had been in love with Abby, a woman he had met years before meeting Casey’s mom, and Abby was the woman he’d been reunited with and eventually married just a couple of years ago.

“And there’s another reason I wanted to move here,” she decided to add, getting to the reason for paying McKinnon a visit. “I felt a career change would do me good, and by moving I can do something I’ve always loved doing.”

“Which is?”

“Working with horses—which is why I’m here. I understand you’re looking for a horse trainer and I want to apply for the job.”

Casey tried ignoring the sensations that flooded her insides when McKinnon’s gaze moved up and down her five-foot-three petite physique. His gaze glittered when it returned to her face, as if he was amused by something. “You’re kidding, right?”

She lifted a brow. “No, I’m not kidding,” she said, crossing the floor to where he stood. “I’m dead serious.”

She watched as his jaw tightened and his eyes narrowed and immediately resented herself for thinking he looked infuriatingly sexy.

“There’s no way I can hire you as a horse trainer,” he said in a rough voice.

“Why not?” she asked with as much calmness as she could muster. “I think if you were to take a look at my résumé, you’d be impressed with my qualifications.” She offered the folder she was holding in her hand to him.

He glanced at the folder but made no attempt to take it from her. “Maybe I will and maybe I won’t, but it doesn’t matter,” he said, giving her an intimidating stare. “I’m not hiring you.”

His words, spoken so calmly, so matter-of-factly, sent anger coursing through her veins, but she was determined to keep her cool. “Is there a reason?” she asked, still gripping the folder in her hand, although she no longer offered it to him since he’d made it blatantly clear he wasn’t interested.

After several tense moments he said, “There’re a number of reasons but I don’t have time to go into them.”

Casey steeled herself against the anger that swept through her body but it was no use. His words had assaulted her sensibilities. “Now wait just a minute,” she said, her eyes clashing with his.

He crossed his arms over his chest and to Casey, his height suddenly seem taller than six-three. “Don’t have time to wait either,” he said smugly, glaring down at her. “This is a working ranch and I have too much to do. If you’re interested in a job then I suggest you look someplace else.”

Casey, known to be stubborn by nature, refused to back down. McKinnon had effectively pushed her anger to the boiling point. And when she saw he had gone back to grooming the horse, as if totally dismissing her, her anger escalated that much more.

“Why?” she asked, struggling to speak over the rage that had worked its way up to her throat. “I think you owe me an explanation as to why you won’t consider hiring me.” For a long while McKinnon remained stubbornly silent and Casey waited furiously, patiently, for him to respond, refusing to move an inch until he did.