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Lydia's Twin Temptation(Divine Creek Ranch 8)(22)

By:Heather Rainier

“What about the house?” She had serious home-management skills as well. That was something he probably didn’t know about her, but she figured she might as well ask for the whole enchilada.

“The house?”

“Yes. I can handle the house for you as well.”

He looked at her quizzically and nodded. “It’s a big house.”

Lydia loved a challenge. “I can handle it. I’d need one helper to start off with. I can train them, but they need to be a hard worker.”

“We can take care of that for you.”

“Okay. What do you like to eat?” They talked for a few minutes, and she realized that he seemed to have withdrawn slightly. He looked out over the view, and the warm wind ruffled the short hair at his nape peeking out from the back of his cowboy hat. “Chance, what’s wrong?”

He turned his gaze to her and said, “Lydia, you know that I’m not just trying to hire a cook and housekeeper here, don’t you? I’m not looking for hired help with fringe benefits. That’s not what I want and I can speak for Clayton when I say that’s not what he wants.”

“Oh.” Lydia nodded, realizing she might have hurt him by plunging in to the business aspect of what he wanted. She’d never meant for him to feel like she was purposely overlooking the underlying current between them. She’d been responsive to his kisses and his attention, but she hadn’t gone out of her way to let him know how she felt this morning. She vaguely recalled telling him she was attracted to him and possibly to his brother as well. Her fingertips drifted to the turquoise pendant at her throat. “I’m sorry. I felt comfortable discussing the details of what you’d need from me as a chef, but I’m not sure how to begin with…”

“Me wanting you?”

Her cheeks flooded with heat, and she nodded. “Tell me what you want.”

Chance took her hand in his and enclosed it between his palms and said, “I don’t want a fling with you, if you’re even remotely worried about that. You occupy my thoughts when I’m away from here. Baby, you occupy my dreams, for that matter. If I had my way, I’d woo my way into your heart and sleep cuddled up with you every night, just like last night. I haven’t slept that good in…”

Lydia smiled. “Forever?”

Chance chuckled and nodded. “Yeah. In forever. I’m usually all over the bed and sleep really light. Last night I slept like a rock.”

“I was afraid you were uncomfortable, sleeping on top of that scratchy bedspread, without any covers of your own.”

“I would have thought so, too, baby. But you generated enough heat to keep me warm, I guess. It will be nice to eat good food at home for a change but what I really want is for you to be there. Be with us.”

“What about Clayton?”

Chance smiled and said, “Clayton hopes that once you get to know him as well as you know me that things might work out for him, too. If you can’t handle the thought of two men adoring and taking care of you, then he doesn’t want to press the issue.”

Lydia giggled and said, “Well, when you put it like that, handsome, it sounds very appealing.”

Chance’s eyes twinkled, and he gave her an irresistible, playful grin. “I’m putting my best foot forward here, baby. I’m sure he’ll go out of his way to make the idea very appealing to you. He can be pretty persuasive but he wanted me to have this chance with you at the very least. The bottom line is this. You’d have carte blanche in the kitchen and the house, if you want it. You can have whatever or whoever you want. And there is no rush, from either of us. We know this is very unconventional, asking you to come and basically live with us without knowing us as well as you’d probably like. I would let you set the pace, baby.”

“It’s very unconventional from other points of view as well. What about the people in Divine? How much will they know?”

“Our ranch is a little farther out from the town but there are other relationships like what we hope for, in the area. I’m not sure we ever would’ve voiced that both of us were attracted to you except that we see how well these relationships work with the right woman in the mix. Two of our ranch hands and their brother are planning to marry another woman, who is new to the area as well. Her name is Maya and she’s a real sweetheart. You’d probably like her a lot. She’s known them for a long time and things just sort of developed between them on a visit to Divine, a month or so ago. There are others, as well. The woman who sold me your jewelry,” he said, indicating her pendant and bracelet, “and the other gifts I gave you is involved with—Well, you’ll meet her real soon, I’m sure. That is if you’re interested.”