Cassie leaned forward on the wagon seat, squinting anxiously into the incandescent sunrise.
Cassie, a woman as good looking as you should be used to saying no.
Cassie sent him a measured look over her coffee cup before she spoke.
Bordeaux, this saucy little peach is Cassie Rinehart.
Cassie tapped her boot toe against the footrest and shifted restlessly in the seat while the men exchanged greetings.
Cassie folded the lip of her sombrero down to protect her face from the scorching sun.
Unable to locate him, Cassie had finally agreed to leave the twins with Mr. & Mrs. Hertz, their neighbors.
Cassie glanced sharply at Bordeaux.
Cassie woke the next morning in the cool of dawn.
"And clean up the camp," Cassie added.
Cassie cooked rabbit and dumplings for supper that evening.
Cassie glanced up at him as he moved by her, but he paid her no mind.
Cassie kicked sand over the fire.
"Cassie," he said in a controlled voice.
Cassie rolled over and stood, dusting sand from her clothes.
He tipped his hat at Cassie, a glint of humor in his eyes.
Cassie, pull your wagon up beside Fritz.
Cassie could feel the color draining from her face.
Cassie, if things get rough, you find Bordeaux and stay with him.
Cassie grabbed her rifle.
Cassie opened her mouth to warn him, but no sound came out.
Cassie squinted into the darkness, searching for a target, but all she could see was dust and an occasional hoof.
He leaned over to get more coffee and Cassie pored him another cup.
Cassie had to smile when Bordeaux positioned himself in a spot less than ten feet from her and pretended to settle down for the night.
"Cassie," Pete's barnyard whisper reached out of the night.
For the first time, Cassie realized what a target they had been around the fire at night.
As Cassie mounted, she frowned at Bordeaux.
Cassie followed, eyeing the dunes suspiciously.
Cassie removed her hat and fanned her face.
Cassie, if I were the type of man to run away from responsibility, would I be here right now?
Cassie could feel them all watching her as she settled to the ground.
Pete and Davis had searched for Cassie and Bordeaux.
Cassie felt the warmth of the sun as her cloud descended to the ranch.
"I'll always love you, Darcie" His voice was tight with emotion Cassie had never witnessed.
Cassie stared at the ground numbly.
No, Bordeaux had only one reason for wanting to marry Cassie - the ranch.
Cassie slept fitfully that night and woke in the morning with a start.
Cassie turned her face to the window.
Cassie asked, trying to make her voice sound friendly.
Cassie laughed without humor.
The look of pity on Darcie's face was more than Cassie could bear.
Cassie made a face.