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Finding Her Cowboy

Broken Rock Ranch - Book 1
© H.C. Bentley 2024
Prologue
Gatlinburg, TN

Greer McCoy was late.
Being late for anything was anxiety inducing to someone as punctual and precise as Greer. But this kind of late had Greer’s anxiety dialed in to ten.
She was late. As in missing her period, possible bun in the oven, having a baby kind of late.
Under the right circumstances, she’d be thrilled at the possibility of a baby. But, considering she was single and her last serious relationship had ended nearly a year ago, it was safe to say the circumstances were less than ideal. Especially if you factored in how she managed to get herself into her current situation in the first place.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” she muttered to herself as she snagged the bag holding the newly purchased pregnancy test and headed for her bathroom. Once there, she closed the door behind her, set the bag on the counter, and gripped the sides of her sink as she hung her head.
“Okay, Greer.” She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “Whatever it is it’s going to be whether you pee on this stick or not. May as well suck it up and be sure of what’s going on here.”
On another deep breath, Greer took the box with the twin pack of pregnancy tests, removed one from the wrapper, and did what she needed to do. She eyed the box and after a moment of internal debate, used the second test as well. After washing her hands, she set the timer on her phone and began to pace the small width of her bathroom.
How the hell had she gotten here? 
Well, she thought, she knew how she’d gotten here. 
She’d spent the night-one single night-with an extremely sexy cowboy. The cousin of her best friend’s boyfriend. A man she’d only met hours prior to their night together.

Their one hot and steamy night together. Possibly one of the best nights she’d ever spent with a man.  she’d snuck out in the morning while he was still sleeping.
Shaking her head, Greer tried to focus. 
If she really was pregnant, and all signs so far seemed to point in that direction, she had to figure out what she was going to do.
She had no family in the area. In fact, the closest thing she had to family at all were the Kincaids. Her best friend, Jayde, and her sisters had accepted her as one of their own when Jayde and Greer were still in high school. But, as close as they were, she couldn’t see asking any of them to help her raise a baby she’d conceived during a one-night stand.
There was also her job. While she knew it was illegal for them to fire her for being pregnant, she also knew that her contract was up for renewal soon and they could opt to not renew it. Which, if she was having a baby, presented a problem. A source of income was needed to, you know, provide a roof and food and all the things a baby needed. Not to mention doctor’s visits for both her and the possible baby. And the hospital bills.
Greer squeezed her eyes closed at the thought of what it was going to cost to deliver a baby, much less raise it. She tipped her face up toward the ceiling as she ran her hands through her shoulder length blonde hair and continued to pace. Doing her best to not hyperventilate, Greer concentrated on keeping her breathing slow and steady.
That breath hitched when the phone signaled the end of the timer she’d set. Inhaling , Greer stood at the 
counter and peered down at the sticks she’d set there.
Both had two lines. Two lines meant positive.
She was pregnant.
“Oh, God.” She choked the words out as she sat on the lid of the toilet and put her head between her knees when her vision started to go gray around the edges. Greer could feel her hands shaking and the cold line of sweat snaking its way down her back. She also felt the burn of hot tears as her eyes welled.
Her phone let out the same little trill, a reminder to turn off the timer. Picking up the phone, she stared at it blankly for a second as she tried to remember what to do. Once she’d silenced the timer, she simply sat staring at the now-dark screen as her mind raced and her body went numb.
What was she going to do?
More out of habit than anything, Greer hit the button that had her screen lighting up again and noted the time. How could it still be so early when it felt like days had passed since she’d crawled out of bed instead of just a couple of hours?
It was still early. Early enough that she could catch Jayde before she headed off to work. She thought of her best friend, now settled into the apartment she shared with her boyfriend, Dalton. The man who, God help her, was the cousin of the man who’d fathered her baby.
With trembling hands, Greer pulled up Jayde’s name in her phone and dialed. As it rang, Greer stood to pace again.
“Hello?” Jayde’s voice, a little breathless, came across the line.
“Jayde?”
“Greer?” The breathlessness turned to concern. “It’s awful early. Everything okay?”
“Um.” Closing her eyes, Greer stopped in her pacing. “Not really. Got a minute.”
“Barely, but for you I’ll make two. What’s up?”
“Dalton isn’t around, is he?”
“No, he left before dawn to do some sunrise shots up around the Chimney Tops. Did you need to talk to him?”
“No.” The single word came out more forcefully than Greer intended. “I just wanted to make sure he wasn’t around to overhear anything.”
“Greer, what’s wrong?” 
“I’m pregnant.” The words came out in a rush. And now that she’d said it out loud, Greer felt the need to resume her place on the toilet seat and cover her eyes with her free hand.
“Pregnant?” Disbelief and surprise ran together in Jayde’s voice.
“Yeah, you know. Bun in the oven. With child. Knocked up.”
“I know what the word means, Greer.” Even as she sighed, Jayde gave a little chuckle before she sobered again. “When? And more importantly, who?”
“Do you remember a certain wedding not all that long ago?”
“No.” Now Jayde gasped. “You don’t mean--”
“Yes.” Greer all but wailed the word. “Nash Pierce.”
“You never told me that you two hooked up.”
“It’s not something I’m particularly proud of, Jayde.”
“Maybe you should be.” Jayde paused for a moment. “He’s hot.”
“Jayde.” Greer’s tone was one of scolding. “Can you focus please?”
“Ok, fine.” Blowing out a breath, Jayde asked the question of the day. “What are you going to do?”
“Well. First, I think I need to go to the doctor and confirm the home test results.”
“And then? If it’s positive?”

“And then,” Greer echoed, “I have to find a way to tell Nash.” She felt the stone of dread drop down deep into her belly. “I don’t want to tell him over the phone. It wouldn’t be right.” Drawing in a deep breath, Greer laid a hand over her eyes. “Jayde, I think I have to go to Texas.”

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