Chance For Love (The Watson Brothers #1)(6)By: Ann B. Harrison
Chance had run away to the rodeo to deal with the pain. Luckily he was damned good at it, especially the bull riding where the top money was. It’d been fun at first, riding and winning to the cheer of the crowds. Going from town to town, winning the small points before he could take on the big guns at the IBR where the money was better. Eventually he’d made a name for himself and he’d been hooked into the lifestyle faster than a bull out of a chute.
Parties and television appearances had become second nature and for awhile he’d loved the attention and the adrenaline rush of it all. Things had eventually started to wear thin where late nights were concerned and his body felt tired and ached more than he wanted it to. Maybe that was why he’d lost concentration on his last bull ride.
Guilt at leaving his brothers at home with their father tugged at Chance over the years and he always made sure they were doing okay. His grandfather had kept an eye on them, too, but that hadn’t eased Chance’s guilt at running away leaving them behind. Chance earned good money on the tour, and it had been easy to transfer lump sums into his brother’s accounts via his grandfather, which in turn made him feel less guilty about his increasing wealth and leaving them behind.
His high profile and his business dealings identified him as a magnet for those who wanted to brush sides with the rich and famous, and he was never without either a model or a starlet on his arm. Libby Tucker was the latest in a long line of beauties who professed true love. They made the tabloids on a regular basis and of course Tyson would have seen them together. Stood to reason he’d think Chance was due to get hitched sooner or later. But she’d already shown her true colors, and Chance couldn’t bear the thought of being hurt again.
Being young and inexperienced in the ways of the world had been his excuse for falling in love, being used and then dumped when he was first making headlines and winning rodeos. Now it would sound pathetic to hear a man looking for true love had been duped by a wannabe famous actress and left picking up his broken heart when her attention moved to the next rising star. When he told them of his dream of living out his life on the ranch it wasn’t the same as what they wanted to hear and they couldn’t get away fast enough.
In the early years, he’d been quick to fall in love, desperate he’d come to understand, to make up for the love he’d been missing since his mother died. His father was already a difficult man and after Chance’s mother had passed away, his childhood had gone downhill. Bouts of heavy drinking, violent behavior colored his early years.
He turned and gazed at the top paddock closest to the barn behind the house. The big grey bull, Terror, stood beside the fence as if he knew what was going through Chance’s mind. The same beast that had thrown him into the fence at the last championship, causing him a career ending injury, chewed his grass and ignored the man standing before him. He’d pawed at Chance while he lay unconscious on the ground keeping everyone away from him while he lay bleeding. Now he was standing looking as docile as a milking cow. But Chance knew better. He knew the sudden turn of attitude that could run through this bull at the snap of a finger for no good reason. The bull was naturally cantankerous and his moods hard to read at the best of times.
He was a formidable animal, solid muscle, built like a tank, and very fast for his size. That was what made him the perfect breeder for the rodeo bulls Chance planned to specialize in. “You’d better pay well for what you did to me, you cantankerous old bastard. When I get home, you’re going out to stud again. Let’s see if you can do better than last year. Make sure you know what you’re doing and do it well, or you’ll end up on the barbeque.”
Chance turned and opened the door to his truck and climbed in, throwing the cane on the seat beside him. He started the ignition and cruised down the driveway to go and meet his wife-to-be in Las Vegas where he had already planned the wedding.
Callie looked around the room. The bellhop stood at the door and coughed to clear his throat or get her attention. She looked at him, confused and tired. “I’m sorry. Did I forget something?” She looked at her bag where he had left it on the end of the bed before the penny dropped. His tip.