Chance For Love (The Watson Brothers #1)(4)

By: Ann B. Harrison

“No, I can’t. I’m not qualified to do anything other than run a station, as much as we might like to think differently. I’ll be okay, I promise. I’m twenty-six years old for goodness sakes. Probably time I left home anyway. I might even be able to catch up with some of Mum’s family while I’m over there.”

“That would make this old man feel better. At least you have a job to go to anyway. Better than rocking up with nothing planned.”

Oh, Grandpa, if only you knew what I have planned. You’d hog tie me to a fence and not let me go. But I have no other choice if I want to clear the debts on this place and make a future for my sisters.

How could she tell him she knew they would struggle on their pension to bring up two teenagers let alone have the money for them to go to university? His pride would be damaged beyond repair. Losing his only son and his wife had been bad enough, finding out the debt they left behind had forced her to sign up to marry a stranger because she felt backed into a corner with no choice would kill him. She wouldn’t do that to her grandfather.

Her sisters were relying on him to keep them safe while Callie tried to bring home the money that would keep them out of the poorhouse and lift their parent’s reputation out of the dust. And she was relying on the wages she brought in to make a nest egg for the girls. They’d get enough education to enable them to qualify for a decent job.

Chapter Two

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. I don’t see why you can’t hire on Jethro. He’s been asking you for a job for ages. And I’m sure there’re plenty of guys local who’d love to work here for the great Chance Watson.” Tyson followed his older brother up the stairs and slowed his steps to match Chance’s battle with his cane.

“It doesn’t concern you, understand?” Chance hobbled to and fro in the walk in wardrobe, riffling through his clothes rack, looking for something suitable for his upcoming Las Vegas wedding. He chose a plain black jacket and trousers, a black shirt, and walked out to throw them on the bed. Then he went back and chose a pair of boots and a thin tie to match. All black like doom and gloom. Perhaps he should change the tie, try for a slightly more cheerful theme?

“It does. He needs the job and you need him.”

Chance turned on Tyson. “I refuse to leave my ranch in the hands of that cowboy. Have you even seen what he’s done to his grandfather’s place?”

Tyson looked down at his foot, tapped the floor with his boot.

“Yeah, you have. That old man is desperate for help on the ranch and what do his grandsons do? Nothing apart from drink and get into bar fights in town. Silly, old fool should have given them their marching orders years ago. Last time I saw, the stock was poorly, the pastures a mess of tumbleweeds and scrub, and fences down all over the place. If you think I’m leaving my ranch, the one that our grandfather built from scratch, to a lazy, beer guzzling, immature—”

Tyson held up his hands. “Okay, okay.”

“So now you know why I’ve employed my own kind of worker. I don’t want to hear anymore about it.”

“You’re only doing this so we don’t have to help you out. For crying out loud, Chance, we’re all brothers. We help each other, that’s how families work.”

Chance turned around, a red necktie in his hand, and stared at Tyson. He was prepared for the attitude about bringing in a new manager but not the passion his younger brother was showing or the negativity that fairly oozed from his skin. “You all have your own lives, and you have your own ranch. I need help and I’m sick and tired of leaving my place in the hands of someone who claims to know what they’re doing because they spent a summer on a dude ranch and doesn’t have a freaking clue how life really works out here. It’s time I hired someone who knows the job and if I have to import them from overseas, so be it.”

“What, so you’re bringing someone from Australia to run it for you? I don’t believe you can’t hire somebody local. Not all are useless out here.” Tyson ran his hand through his thick, black hair and cursed again. “You know I don’t mind keeping an eye on things. Just can’t be here every day, but now you’re back home, you should be able to get by with just a couple of hands.”

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