A Wife in Wyoming

A Wife in Wyoming by Lynnette Kent

Book: A Wife in Wyoming by Lynnette Kent Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lynnette Kent
introduce yourselves. Justino, why don’t you start?”
    Standing at the end of the line, the tallest boy sighed. “You just did. My name’s Justino.” He used the Spanish pronunciation. “Justino Peña.”
    After a stretch of silence, Justino elbowed the guy next to him. “Come on, man. Don’t be stupid.”
    â€œMarcos,” the next one said in a loud, irritated voice. “Oxendine.” Shaggy black hair hid his eyes, while his bulky build predicted a lack of endurance.
    â€œThomas Gray Cloud.” The name came quickly from a shorter kid with the ruddy complexion that announced his Native American heritage. “Call me Thomas. Not Tommy.”
    â€œWill do,” Garrett assured him.
    Beside Thomas stood a boy so thin, Ford wondered if he got fed at home. Sharp cheekbones and a high forehead made him look more like a poet than a cowboy. “Nathan Bradley,” he said in low tones. “Nate is fine.”
    Dylan cleared his throat. “Glad to meet you guys.” He smiled at the girls. “Ladies?”
    The three of them giggled, of course. “Lizzie Hanson,” the blonde said, twirling a strand of hair.
    The redhead had freckles and a friendly grin. “I’m Becky Rush,” she drawled. “Pleased to meet y’all.”
    Big, dark eyes and shiny, straight, black hair spoke to the last girl’s Spanish pedigree. “Lena Smith. Why won’t my phone work?”
    Garrett laughed. “Our signal isn’t great out here. You might have to settle for email instead of texting. Or use the house phones.”
    â€œYou didn’t say we’d be cut off from the whole world,” Lena complained to Caroline. “I’m not living without my phone all summer.”
    Caroline took the declaration in stride. “You’ll be busy,” she promised. “You won’t have time to miss texting.”
    From the muttering, it was clear the kids didn’t believe her. A revolt seemed imminent.
    Ford stepped forward. “Let’s get organized—bring in your bags, set up your bunks and then we’ll have a chance before lunch to tour the barn. Phones work better up the hill.”
    â€œRight. Come get your stuff.” Caroline headed to the rear of the van. “Each person carries their own.”
    â€œSeriously?” Lena propped her hands on her hips. “With all these guys around?”
    Lizzie dropped her bag after twenty steps. “I can’t carry this all the way up the hill.” She looked over her shoulder, fluttering her mascara-coated lashes. “Can’t somebody help me?”
    Dylan smothered a laugh, while Ford bit down on a smile. Caroline flashed both of them a warning glance. “No, I told you to bring only what you’d be able to carry. Take it in stages—you’ll get there.”
    Groaning, Lizzie picked up her duffel and staggered on. Becky followed, blowing her red bangs off her forehead. Lena brought up the rear. “This is stupid.”
    Ford figured that was a phrase he would be hearing a lot of in the next couple of months.
    The guys trooped into the bunkhouse and through to the bedroom, where there was an immediate traffic jam at the door.
    â€œThe beds aren’t made!”
    â€œWe’re not maids,” someone else said.
    â€œI’ll sleep on the bare mattress.”
    â€œNo, you won’t.” Garrett stood behind them. “You guys can all learn to make your own bed, so when you’re living large as a single guy you’ll know what to do. Just choose a bunk, and we’ll get it done.”
    Marcos turned in his tracks, brushed past Garrett and stomped toward the outer door. “I’m outta here. Not spending my summer cleaning house.”
    Ford blocked his way through the door. “Chicken?”
    The boy glared at him. “’Scuse me?”
    From the bedroom, somebody made clucking noises. Ford nodded.

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