Billionaire and the Cowgirl

By: Ella Goode

Resentment is starting to grow inside of me. I don’t know how to deal with it, and I hate it. My father is all I have left in my life, but he’s becoming an angry old man. He gets more and more bitter with each day that passes. He’s nothing like the dad I once knew. He was never perfect, but he sure as hell wasn’t anything close to this. He changed once my mom was gone.

“Dinner?” I ask again.

“Not hungry.”

“Fine.” I shut the refrigerator door, not in the mood to deal with him being difficult tonight.

“Fine?” He spins around in his chair. “You’re not going to tell me I need to eat something?”

Normally I would push him to eat something. I’d cook something, and he’d pick at it, barely eating it. Then a few hours later I’d catch him with a giant bowl of ice cream.

“You’re a grown man. If you want to eat, you’ll eat. I’m going to take a shower.”

I don’t have it in me today. It’s been a long day, and nothing is going as it should. No matter how hard I work and push, all I do is tread water. It’s exhausting living every day worried that I’ll lose it all. Something has to change, or I’m going to end up like my father. Bitter and snapping at everyone. I don’t want to live my life like that.

I head to my room and quickly get undressed. Every inch of me aches from working the land today. I’m not only physically exhausted but mentally as well. The warm water feels good on my skin. I moan, letting my eyes fall closed. My mind drifts back to Cane holding me for those brief moments. How good and right it felt.

No matter how much time passes, I still want him. I don’t even try to deny it to myself. I’m strong in so many ways except when it comes to him. Believe me, I’ve tried to shake him, but since I was a little girl, I’ve thought Cane was my soul mate. I remember my mom telling me Dad was hers.

She’s the reason I keep on fighting for him. The doctors didn’t say he’d be stuck in the chair for the rest of his life. If he pushes himself, and works with the doctors and physical therapists, he could walk again one day. Not the same as he used to, but he could walk.

Stepping out of the shower, I dry off and get dressed before going to check on my dad. I can’t help myself. No matter how ornery he gets, I still look after him. I find him in his recliner passed out in his room with old war movies playing on the TV. I walk over, pulling his blanket over him before kissing him on his forehead. My heart squeezes when he says Mom’s name in his sleep. I flip the light off before heading back into my bedroom.

I snag my phone off the charger to see a few texts from Birdie. We met when I worked an event over at the Justice ranch. Sometimes I picked up shifts for a local catering company to make ends meet. It is easy work compared to what I am used to on a daily basis, and the pay is really good. I have to admit that I was surprised that the Justice family was having an event at their home. They have a home made for entertaining, but they never did. That all changed when Birdie came into the picture. Calder Justice does whatever he can to make his woman happy, and he tries to do as much of it out of the city as possible.

To keep Birdie at the ranch, Calder had agreed to host Birdie’s fashion show there. I was supposed to be working for the catering company, but when Birdie saw me, she begged me to walk in her show. I was hesitant at first, but eventually I warmed up to the idea. I’m glad I did. I’ve even gone back over to do a few photoshoots for her in some of her clothing. It pays well. Too damn good to say no, that’s for sure.

Birdie: I’m guessing you saw Cane tonight. He’s in a mood.

Birdie: Man is so in love with you.

Me: He had his chance.

Birdie: Good luck with that. Trust me. I know how these Justice men work.

I snort a laugh. She should. How long was she on that ranch before she was knocked up and married? Not long at all.

Birdie: You look at those contracts I sent you?

Me: Yeah, it’s a lot to understand.

Birdie: I’m no model but I do hire them. I also had Calder’s lawyer look them over. He changed a few things. The ones you have are actually the ones he revised and sent back to the agency. They accepted the changes. It’s solid, girl.

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