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Beth Winters had a secret. Something that she couldn't share with anyone, but when they moved to a small town in Montana, it was in jeopardy of being known, especially when her father forced her to take a job with a local cattleman.
Marshal Davis had the way of finding the truth in anything, and his attraction to Beth made him more determined to get to the bottom of things. This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only and may not be re-sold or given away to other people.
If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. This book is dedicated to all of you romantic readers that enjoy a little escape every now and then. They were sitting adjacent to the Winters in the opposite aisle, a couple of rows further back.
He knew from rumor that the man was a lawyer and had set up practice in Salt Springs, but being a cattleman was something you had to have bred in you. This man looked nothing like a cattleman in his three-piece suit. Marshal felt his lip curl sardonically. The man had money, though, and probably thought that was all he needed.
Something seemed a little odd about the three of them. However, the daughter was different. She was neither shy nor fake as she turned her head to look at everyone. Her expression seemed almost sad, but there was defiance in her eyes as they moved around the room. She was beautiful, no doubt about it. She had long auburn hair plaited in a braid that fell halfway down her back, and as she looked around, Marshal saw large almond-shaped emerald eyes that complimented her perfect skin, oval face, and high-arched brows.
She was wearing a very conservative print dress with a lace collar. It seemed too young a style for her. Shut up, Ben, Marshal answered in the same low tone as Father Davis continued the introductions and asking people to make them feel welcome.
Ben smirked and did as he was told. His uncle had a reputation for being a hard man, but Ben knew that under that crust was a soft spot for the people he cared about. After all, Marshal was raising him. People liked him because he had a quiet, confident pose about him that drew attention and he had no problem helping people out that were in need.
As far as Ben could see, those who had known Marshal for years seemed to genuinely respect him. A few years ago, Bobby, a good friend of his, told him he should run for mayor when the old one retired. He would be fair and honest, which is what every town needed. He loved ranching, and as far as Ben was concerned, his uncle was born to do just that. Ben may have been barely in his teens, but he knew a pretty girl when he saw one and Beth Winters was definitely pretty.
When the sermon was over, they were on their way outside when Father Davis introduced Marshal to the Winters. Marshal tried to evade him, but John spotted him through the crowd and waved him and Ben over. This is Marshal, John explained as Marshal and Ben approached, my older brother, and he also happens to be your neighbor.
They were opposites in many ways, but their brotherly bond was strong. As far as Marshal was concerned, he had enough friends and had no desire to gain any more. Martin Winters said in surprise, holding out his hand. His brows rose as he perked up. He knew that spread next to his and it was damn wealthy, so he knew this man had money—and lots of it.
He was eager to land clients like him. Cattleman, he corrected without humor, causing his brother to clear his throat in discomfort. Marshal oversaw everything and worked eighteen-hour days, which left no time for a love life—not that he wanted one.
He still dated, but it was never serious and the women filled his needs as much as he required. I see. Well, Mr. Davis, being your neighbor, I would hope that you would seek my business. I have a solicitor, Mr. Winters, he said as his eyes went past the man to the auburn-haired woman. Up close, the woman was more strikingly beautiful, but she looked quite young. This is my wife, Laura, and my daughter, Beth, Martin introduced his family. Beth is attending college here in the fall.
What is your major? He admired people who wanted to further their education, especially women. It was a waste of an intelligent mind. He made their mother home school Judy, and she ended up running away when she was in her teens. John and Marshal had only seen her once since then, when she came to give them Ben. He was a large man with a rough appearance, but now he was wearing his Sunday best: a dark brown suit that brought out a warm hue in his mocha-colored eyes.
When she saw him that first day, he was unforgettable. Despite his intimidating appearance, he had a stride that emanated power and confidence. An old scar ran down his left cheek and made him seem frightening, but now that she had a good look at him, the scar was nothing compared to how handsome he was. If he smiled, it would probably erase that frightening image, but she doubted very much that he smiled often. English literature, she finally answered.
She averted her gaze to try to avoid his eyes. Golden flecks were buried in that mocha stare and they actually made her knees weak. What the heck was wrong with her—had she never felt attraction for a man before in her life? If she even glanced at a man, her father would keep her at home until the man lost interest and moved on.
Marshal has a degree in finance from Yale with a minor in English, John offered with a hint of pride while shifting his eyes back and forth between the two. Is that right? He looked like he was born and raised on the range with a horse under him.
A Yale graduate, no less! Then Beth really looked at those eyes of his and saw a sharp cleverness. He seemed to be the type to chew on rawhide and swing a lasso. What was rawhide, anyway? He reached into his pocket to remove a business card and handed it to Marshal. Just in case you change your mind, Mr. He nodded and Martin led his daughter and wife away. That seem right to you, John? John shrugged. Not particularly, but then again, they are from the city. Folks from there seem a little more secretive than most.
Marshal spared Ben a glance that told him to leave it be. However, being a priest and his brother seemed to give John some extra forgiveness when he ticked his brother off on purpose. John grinned. Not all women are like that one. He held up his hands in surrender when his brother took a step toward him.
Marshal would never follow through, but he had to make it look good. Ben eyed the two carefully. It was common knowledge around town that old man Davis, his grandfather, was a drunk and used to take his anger out on his three kids after his wife left him. The oldest, his mother, had taken off when she was sixteen and no one had heard from her until she showed up with Ben one day, asking them to raise him for her.
She left the next day, even though they offered to help her. Without going into details, John said that she was in no shape to look after an infant, but he knew she loved him and it was the hardest thing in the world for her to give him up. John was sympathetic, saying that Ben had no idea what they had gone through as kids and that his mother got most of it because she was the oldest.
When she left, the brunt of the abuse fell on Marshal until he was big enough to stop their father. Neither brother went to the funeral. He knew the sacrifices the brothers made for him and never took them for granted. John may have devoted his life to God, but he knew cattle ranching almost as well as Marshal did. Marshal came home as often as he could over the four years it took to earn his degree.
Ben was five when Marshal came home permanently and started putting his education to work.
The Makings of a Good Man by Lietha Wards
Beth Winters had a secret. Something that she couldn't share with anyone, but when they moved to a small town in Montana, it was in jeopardy of being known, especially when her father forced her to take a job with a local cattleman. Marshal Davis had the way of finding the truth in anything, and his attraction to Beth made him more determined to get to the bottom of things. This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only and may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. This is a work of fiction.
The Makings of a Good Man