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Ive been waiting and waiting for you to move back. Oh, Meg.
She cupped her cheek. I love you so. I love you, too. Its wonderful to see you. You doing okay? Very well. My, you look beautiful in that suit. She scanned her from head to toe. Where are your shoes? In the kitchen. Arent your feet cold? Nope, perfectly fine. Sadie Jo took hold of Megs hand with her knobby one and led her to the kitchen table, where the others were already passing the food.
Once everyone had been served, Sadie Jo Undeniably Yours spoke a blessing over them, then talk and easy companionship circled the table. Meg stilled, struck by her love for Sadie Jo, Lynn, and Mr. She didnt know the other two women well at all, but in this momentwhy not? She might not have a mother, a father, a sibling, a husband, or a boyfriend, but she did have these people.
At this precipice-like point in her life, they were blessedly familiar. They were hers. Eat something, dear, Sadie Jo coaxed. You must be hungry. Since toddlerhood, thered been nothing Sadie Jo liked better than to see Meg stuff herself. Have you decided which bedroom youll be moving into? Lynn asked her. Theres the master suite.
No thanks. Meg couldnt even contemplate moving into her fathers room. Your old room, then? Shed stayed there last night, but she had no desire to move into it again permanently. It was full of kid memories.
I dont think so. There are a total of ten bedrooms to choose from, Mr. Son pointed out. Actually, Ive decided that Im going to use the guesthouse while Im here. Every face at the table regarded her with arrested surprise. All self-respecting tycoons had free-standing guesthouses adjacent to their mansions. A person could reach the guesthouse at Whispering Creek via a short walk from the big house across the garden and along the length of the pool.
Im going to have the furniture thats in there now moved out and my own furniture moved in. They all continued to stare at her. Welcome to the Reign of Meg, she thought. All of you know good and well that Im an oddball of an heiress. Would that be all right, Lynn? You can do anything youd like, hon, Lynn answered. You own the place. Two days later Bo was walking along the central first floor hallway of the mansion when Megan Cole rounded a corner ahead of him, bringing them face to face.
After thinking of little but her and his farm, his farm and her since their first meeting, the reality of seeing her again came as a shock. All his senses sharpened in a rush. She looked slightly confused. Is there something I can do for you?
Something you need? He realized that she didnt know what he was doing in her house. No, I I stopped in to do some paper work, and now Im on my way to the farm. Oh, I didnt realize you had an office in the house. Right next to Lynns and Mr. I see.
The little black glasses had disappeared, but shed dressed in another expensive-looking suit and still smelled like roses. Even in high heels, she stood a good five inches shorter than him. Man, she was pretty. He hadnt forgotten, but as he looked into her light brown eyes, the power of it hit him afresh. Do you have time to come out and visit the horse farm today, maam? You can call me Meg. You can call me Bo. Undeniably Yours All right. He watched her closely. Im afraid I cant make it out to the farm today.
He could tell by her face that she regretted that shed agreed to visit at all. Im headed to the office downtown. Maybesorry, Im just trying to remember my schedulemaybe Friday? What time? Late afternoon? Thatd be good. Ill have someone call you if I have to reschedule. They said their good-byes, and she moved past him. He forbid himself to glance back. For the entire rest of the day, hour after hour, he could not get her out of his mind. It was a reaction way out of proportion, and one that concerned him.
He liked most people and usually felt the same level of lazy interest in everyone who came across his path, even the nice-looking ones. But her. Something about her had taken hold of something inside him.
And try as he might, he couldnt shake it loose. It was only Thursday of Megs first week at Cole Oil, and she already wanted to fling herself out a window. Shed woken this morning to formless, inexplicable fear.
It had been percolating inside her all day, constricting her lungs with an imaginary iron belt that kept notching tighter, tighter, tighter. Go away, stress, she thought frantically. Let me breathe, eat something, relax, sleep. Youre doing fine, Meg. Her uncle regarded her from behind Hed just spent thirty minutes explaining an oil and gas exploration deal that Cole Oil was in the middle of negotiating.
Im trying. Uncle Michael, her fathers younger brother, strongly resembled her father. He had a head full of impeccably cut gray hair, a lean build, a closet filled with dark gray power suits, and a squirm-inducing stare.
Meg had read articles by reporters whod used words like powerful, brutally smart, and distinguished to describe the Cole brothers. All accurate. I know its difficult for you to take all this on.
His eyes missed little. Id spare you from it if I could. I know. But were all bound by the way Cole Oil is structured. We all have our roles. Ive had more practice at mine than you have, thats all. His cell phone vibrated, and he glanced at it. Excuse me for a second?
He went to work typing a text message. Behind him, through a long bank of windows, the skyscrapers of downtown Dallas shimmered in the afternoon light. When her great-great-grandfather, Jedediah Cole, had been thirty-five years old, hed struck oil in East Texas. Endless barrels of black gold, untold riches, and ceaseless hard work had flowed from that original lucky hit.
Jedediah had been determined that his legacy, the Cole Oil empire, would withstand the test of time. Hed not wanted the decision-making power that would drive Cole Oil forward to be fractured more and more with every subsequent generation as one mans shares were passed down and split among that mans Undeniably Yours children.
So hed decreed that 51 percent of his company would always be passed down intact to the oldest child.
The one who held that 51 percent also served as chairman of the board and president. The other 49 percent of the company belonged to the remaining shareholders, who were still to this day Cole family members.
Since every previous generation of Cole men from Jedediah on down had had oil-loving oldest sons, the responsibilities had passed along in happy fashion. Until now. Thankfully, they werent about to appoint her as either chairman of the board or president. But her uncle and her other relatives certainly did expect her to spend the next twenty or thirty years working to earn the right to attain those positions. Meg caught herself nervously twirling her earring back and returned her hand to her lap.
She glanced at her uncles profile.
Clicking sounds filled the silence as he continued to tap out letters on his phone. Michael had followed a parallel path to her fathers. Both had gone to the University of Texas, both had been trained up in the ways of the company, both understood the innermost cogs of the oil business. Theyd spent their lives working in this towering building side by side.
But because Michael had been born second, he and his two sons had always known that while they would be important men, indescribably wealthy, well respectedthey would never inherit the controlling share of Cole Oil. That fact had always blanketed Meg with guilt, more so since Michael had brought her here to Dallas. She could believe that hed made his peace with her father as the head of Cole Oil. But she knew it must be difficult for him to have to accept hera woman far his junior in years, knowledge, and experienceas the companys majority shareholder.
What a joke! She didnt even accept herself as the majority shareholder. Shed done nothing to earn that kind of power. Her uncle set aside his phone and returned his attention to her. I want you to know, she said, that Id give all this to you if I were able. Not going to happen. Youre my only brothers only child, Meg. Determination marked his tone and expression.
Ill help you. Im going to look out for you and your best interests, no matter what. She didnt have anything to say to that. In the whole of her life, shed never had anything to say in the face of her uncles will.
Its quite a birthright. Youll see that soon enough. I only wish youd come to work with us years ago, so that this process could have gone more smoothly. My father and I had a deal. That shed had to fight very hard for. He agreed that for the first ten years after college I could choose my own career And when those ten years were up, then youd come to work here. Shed always suffered from a lack of interest in Cole Oil, a sense that she was meant for something more and different, and a longing to live her own life.
Meg could see now that shed been impractical and selfish to bargain with her father for the right to follow her heart. Following her heart had only ever led her down steep and icy pathways that she bitterly regretted later. The deal no longer stands, Meg.
He died, and because he died, we need you here now. He flicked his fingers. I never liked that deal. She could see a twinge of condemnation in his eyes. Undeniably Yours The iron around her chest drew tighter, and her pulse picked up speed. She needed to escape. Quickly, she made her excuses and let herself out, her uncles attention pursuing her. As she approached her fathers office, her two executive assistants rose to their feet. They watched her with the intensity of well-trained dogs waiting for a treat, clearly hungry for her to give them something to do.
They were extremely qualified, organized, and fabulous in every way. Meg was having difficulty liking them. I need some time alone, she murmured, then slipped inside before they could begin firing questions. Within her fathers office, Paniccapital Pswooped down and seized her from head to toe. She released the buttons on the front of her suit jacket and kicked off her shoes. She went to the desk, rummaging through it with shaking hands in search of her sudoku.
She couldnt do this. How did they, any of them, think that in her inexperience and ignorance she could do her fathers job? She didnt deserve the money shed inherited or the position here. Shed been born, as simple as that. And her birth had sealed her fate. Her heartbeat thundered. I dont know what Im doing. I cant pretend Quit it, Meg!
Think about something else before you lose it. She shuffled to her current puzzle and forced herself to sit quietly and concentrate.
God, come. Please, come. For long minutes, she tried very hard to do nothing but take deep breaths and think about numbers and squares. It helped a little, but not enough. Her breathing grew shallow, and she started to feel like she couldnt get enough air.
Pins and needles pricked the ends of her fingers, and her whole body began to quake as if she had chills. Stubbornly, she wrestled against the anxiety. She kept working the puzzle and making her muscles soften until eventually, her symptoms began to relax their grip on her.
As soon as shed reached a rudimentary level of calm, she pulled her little book of Bible verses out of her purse.
The verses were grouped together based on theme. Shed not had a lot of cause for the chapters on marriage or parenting, but shed just about memorized the section on worry.
She read through several of the familiar verses, some of them over and over, letting them sink into her mind. Then she went into the adjoining private bathroom and dangled her wrists and hands under a stream of cold water.
Feet planted on hard tile, she stared at herself in the mirror. Her face looked white and bleak. With sudden, aching intensity, she missed her father. Gripping the edge of the sink, she started to cry.
Sobs wracked her body and tears streamed down her face, falling off her chin into the basin. Her relationship with her father had always been distant and difficult. Hed been an infrequent visitor to her childhood, and when they had been together theyd mixed like oil and waterthe bullheaded man obsessed with his career and his quiet, sensitive daughter.
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Shed last seen him over Christmas, and even then theyd stuck to their roles: Regardless of all that, hed still been her father, the only parent shed had, and shed loved him. Meg wasnt certain if hed loved her back, but at the very least hed protected her. According to their deal, hed even sheltered her from Cole Oil. My fathers gone. Undeniably Yours In response, she could almost sense the presence of the Holy Spirit drawing near, comforting, reminding her that even though shed lost William Cole, God remained.
I dont know what to do, Lord. I cant see my way forward. Please show me. Shed been a lukewarm Christian for most of her life. But after the devastation shed gone through five years ago, shed thrown herself on Gods mercy and discovered that He had a lot of grace to offer.
Enough even for her. Meg understood with absolute certainty that whatever strength she possessed came from Him. On the days when she hadnt wanted to get out of bed in the morning, Hed rescued her.
Shed been doing so much better, feeling so much stronger and more sure of herself in recent years. Then her father had died, and now she was falling again. A worried Christian. That defined her current state. Two words that shouldnt have gone together. An oxymoron. She knew very well that God was holding out His hands to her through this situation, asking her to trust Him completely.
She was trying! But she must not be doing it right. He hadnt given her a spirit of fear. This wasnt how He intended her to be. And yet here she was anyway: Im so sorry, she breathed, then mopped at her face with a paper towel. Her cell phone rang. When she saw Sadie Jos name on the screen, she answered immediately. Sadie Jos sweet and reassuring voice flowed through the line. Shed called to check on Meg and offer support.
Meg squeezed the phone, thankful. God had led her through Just when she was about to have a meltdown, a neighbor would knock on her door, a friend would invite her out for dinner, a loved one would call. Then and now she recognized these small interventions for exactly what they were: God throwing her a lifeline through the words and hands of His people. Meg arrived at the farm on Friday afternoon ten minutes early.
Even so, she found Bo waiting outside for her, standing alone in the little car park area wearing jeans, boots, and a pale blue cowboy-cut shirt. Meg winced inwardly.
Apparently the people out here even had their own shirts. He held her door open for her as she got out.
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How are you? Im glad you made it. Thanks for coming. The nervousness and pressures of the week had frazzled her badly. She longed to sink into a hot bubble bath, chomp antacids, and drown her sorrows in the biography of Claude Monet she was reading.
Shed seriously toyed with the idea of having her assistant call Bo and cancel. But in the end, So this is the horse farm. This is it. One of our barns, anyway. Meg paused, shielding her eyes so that she could take in the details of the place.
Thered always been a barn on this site, and her father had always kept horses here for him and his buddies to ride. But the structure that stretched across the land in front of herredbrick with white trim and a gabled gray metal roofwas entirely new. A short wing that held the front double doors protruded toward them from the center.
Otherwise, the structure formed a long east-west rectangle. How many barns are there? She glanced at him with surprise. All this large? Theyre spread out around the property so we can keep the horses separate.
Dutch doors evenly marked the front of the barn. The upper sections of some of them hung open. Three horses had stuck their heads through and were regarding them with interest. As they approached the entry, tall-reaching trees shaded their progress. Blue pansies lined the base of the barn and also surrounded the two posts that supported a white sign that read Whispering Creek Horses in tan letters.
Like everything her father had touched, the horse farm oozed quality. This barn here, Bo stated, holds broodmares. I see, she said, though she wasnt precisely certain what that meant. How many acres does the entire farm take up?
Over four hundred. Another surprise. She hadnt realized that her father had given up a third of his ranch to the farm. Bo held open one of the front doors for her.
She passed Undeniably Yours through, grateful that shed stopped at the house to change. Shed decided on an ivory wraparound sweater and a pair of skinny jeans that tucked into her wedge-heeled suede boots.
Shed have felt laughably overdressed touring this place in her suit and heels. The interior of the building welcomed her with the smell of hay, horses, and leather. When they arrived at the main corridor that ran the length of the building, she glanced to her right and came to a halt, startled. At least twenty people stood quietly in a semicircle, all looking at her, all wearing light blue shirts that matched the one Bo had on.
Her emotions veered downhill. These were the people shed fired. Would fire in six months. Everyone, Bo said, this is Megan Cole. They answered with murmured greetings.
Meg pasted on a smile and tried not to fidget over being the center of so much attention and, worse, the person whod axed their jobs. Do you mind if I take you around and introduce you? Bo asked. She wanted to say Yes! Not at all. Bo led her to the closest person. This is my brother Jake. Hes the trainer here. Jake took off his cowboy hat and shook Megs hand with a firm, muscled grip.
Nice to meet you. You too. Jake and Bo shared similarities. Same height, same work-hardened body, same shade of brown hair, though Jakes was longer. But they also shared a glaring difference. Jakes face held a prominent scar that started at the slope of his nose, ran along his cheekbone, then curled under his jaw. Meg made an effort to look him in the eye while pretending not to notice it.
Bo guided her along, telling her each persons job title. He used terms like rotating man, groom, yearling manager, and night man. His employees, four women and the rest men, ranged from a sweet elderly gentleman who looked like he ought to be spending his days in a convalescent home, to a teenage boy who must have come straight over in his moms car after sixth period.
She hadnt felt good about firing these people to begin with. She felt considerably less good about it now that she could attach faces and names to each of them. These people had real lives, and she knew that they counted on real paychecks. Despite that they must be harboring caution, disappointment, or downright hostility toward her, every one of them welcomed her with courtesy. When Meg had met the final person, the room fell silent.
They watched her, waiting, as if they expected her to say something. Why had she agreed to visit? Goodness, what a mistake. Ah, thank you for having me for a visit this afternoon. I appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule to come and meet me. This is a beautiful facility, and its clear that you all take a lot of pride in it, which you should. The air writhed with hidden resentments. Megs stomach gnawed. I know my father would want me to express gratitude to you on his behalf. As all of you know, he was very passionate about his horses.
So thank you More painful silence. Thats it, Bo said to the group. Yall can return to work. As his employees moved off, Bo drew Meg over to one of the stalls. Undeniably Yours Are the shirts some kind of uniform? His lips quirked. No, we only wear them on special occasions. Like when a potential downloader comes to look at a horse.
You wore them for me today? Of course. Because having you visit is a special occasion for us. Her forehead furrowed. Surely not so special that it merited assembling all the employees in their matching shirts?
He must have known that meeting the staff would tug at her heartstrings and fill her with guilt. She re-cinched the tie of her sweater and straightened to her full height. Did you ask me to come out here today so that you could try to change my mind about closing the farm? Jul 2, - This is an all-consuming, soul-crushing, tear-your-heart-into-pieces story.. Download Kowalski Family series 1 to 6 by Shannon Stacey [epub. Download torrent. Kowalski Family 2 - Undeniably , Undeniable Always 3 by Cherie M.
Hudson — Free eBooks Download. Description: Sit still for a moment. Close your eyes. Just listen. However, things are a little different with Bo and so she gives him six months before shutting down the farm. Will that be enough time to prove her the value of the place and that he is worth her trust? This book had the same effect on me as Bo had on Meg: relaxing! I had a great, relaxing time reading it. Every time I picked it up I knew I was going to spend minutes ahem That was a positive thing because I always like this kind of books.
Although there are angst, struggle, problems to face, in the end there is always a happy ending for everyone. That is so reassuring! As I often say, it is very hard to find a good man nowadays, especially if you are a single woman with trust issues like Meg, but Bo Porter made me think that somewhere definitely far from me there might be someone worth the wait, for whom you might be willing to do the impossible, and that is such a beautiful and powerful hope that you cannot ignore.Undeniably Yours No.
Jul 2, - This is an all-consuming, soul-crushing, tear-your-heart-into-pieces story.. In the whole of her life, shed never had anything to say in the face of her uncles will. Over the next few months he could take her out on rides, escort her to the owners box at the track for races, tell her stories about the history of racing, explain to her why her father had liked it so much, show her the farms earning projections over the next decade.
Something about her had taken hold of something inside him.
Undeniably Yours by Mallory Funk
Just as they were finishing, Mr. Shed grown up here. And overseas?
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