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It wasn’t the lengthening shadows that turned Brianna bittersweet. The galloping horse carrying her daughter made her realize that time was passing. Maya was already eight and begging to compete in the local rodeo.
“Hey, you just going to stand there or are you going to give the cook a hand?” Andrew balanced a platter of chicken for the grill and a pitcher of iced tea.
“Hey, don’t break your back.” Brianna rushed to help.
“Twisting it is more likely.” He used a knee to save the chicken before it scattered on the dusty ground. Heat radiated from the grill.
What a simple routine and it was just the way Brianna liked it. Friday nights for the family to regroup after going their separate ways during the week. “Let me get Maya to come in and wash up.”
“I don’t think you need to.” Andrew winked. A car pulled up to the riding ring and a friend of Maya’s and the friend’s parents got out and walked to the ring.
“What are the Monroe’s doing here?” Brianna wondered but when Andrew walked behind her, and placed his arms around her waist, and pulled her close and nuzzled her ear the answer was clear enough. Maya had her friends to see so she and her husband could regroup. Brianna was pleased. “Thanks, babe.”
This is my imagined follow-up to Riding Shotgun, when Brianna’s car breaks down in California’s High Desert on her way to Tahoe for some R&R to escape the turmoil of her personal life. She meets Andrew, a handsome mechanic who has his own secrets.