- Author: Natalie Bright
Book online «Follow a Wild Heart: A Christian Contemporary Western Romance Series Natalie Bright (most popular novels .TXT) 📖». Author Natalie Bright
Follow A Wild HeartWild Cow Ranch 3
Natalie Bright Denise F. McAllister
Follow A Wild Heart
(Wild Cow Ranch Book 3)
Denise F. McAllister
CKN Christian Publishing
An Imprint of Wolfpack Publishing
6032 Wheat Penny Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89122
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means without the prior written consent of the publisher, other than brief quotes for reviews.
Copyright © 2021
CKN Christian Publishing
Characters, places and incidents are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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To the hardest working man I know, who never stops dreaming.
Thanks Chris, for all that you do for us. All my love.
- Natalie Bright
The year 2020 was life-changing for the entire world due to the pandemic.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected by the virus.
May God bless and keep you safe.
- Denise F. McAllister
Rafter O Ranch, Texas Panhandle
Shifting in his saddle, Nathan Olsen looked out over the early spring range—his father’s ranch and three grandpas before him—from the top of a hill. Red Angus spread out nibbling at bits of new growth which cast a tinge of light green onto the scene. The unbroken horizon burned bright orange and gold with streaks of purple-gray clouds.
Winter had not disappeared yet; the penetrating chill seeping under his wild rag was proof. Pulling up the Carhartt collar and tugging down on his ballcap, he loosened his grip on the reins. Nathan flexed his achy, cold fingers and yanked lined deerskin gloves from his pocket. He breathed in the scene, wanting to commit it all to memory. If he were a painter, he could preserve the scene forever.
Some people might be bothered by the silence, but to Nathan’s ears the prairie was loud and restless. Meadowlarks answered each other’s call, and the wind kept the dead weeds swaying in constant motion.
As he surveyed the scene his chest filled with pride. It always surprised him, this emotion he felt for a patch of dirt. Generations of Olsens had honored this treeless place, devoting their sweat and tears, and the land had blessed them in return.
A hawk soared across the sky, his wings outstretched to catch the updraft. At the top of the ridge Nathan watched a group of mule deer as they cautiously eased into a chinaberry grove, seeking their hideout for the day after grazing all night. He saw the beauty in the land, but the scene did not feed his soul.
Aggravation hung over his head like the patches of fog that clung to the lows with a gray shroud. Darn cold this early, but his dad had insisted they be in the saddle just after first light. In Nathan’s mind, they had plenty of time, all day in fact, to cruise through the heifers. But it seemed his father insisted on creating a list of chores before going to bed to make sure his oldest son stayed occupied. In fact, it was March; birthing season would start any day now. He or his sister Angie had already been making a pass through this group of first-time little mommas several times during the day and night.
Nathan was closing fast on thirty, old enough to know what needed to be done without his father laying out a chores list. There was never a discussion, never a chance for him to give any input. The idea that he might have made other plans for the day never came into question.
About the time he thought to dig out his phone to snap a picture, one of his sisters rode up alongside and halted her horse next to his. “What’re you doin’? Dad’ll be on your tail soon. Better not let him catch you bein’ idle.”
Despite the early hour, Angie appeared alert and fresh-faced with cheeks pink from the cold, long blonde hair in a neat braid reaching to her waist. Bright purple shirt, red wild rag, red gloves, red vest, black canvas jacket. As usual his sister was riding his favorite blue roan mare, looking like the perfect models for a Western photo shoot.
He always thought Angie was the better ranch hand. In his mind, he didn’t even add, “for a girl.” He been doing ranch work his whole life, but she was just better at everything—riding, roping, gathering, branding, and also had a head for business. Of course, he’d never tell her that. She had a natural instinct about cows and loved every minute of it. His brother, Travis, had a knack with horses. His other two sisters were gifted with talents in the ranch kitchen or branding pen. Their dad had taught all of them well about how to manage and sustain the family business.
Nathan, on the other hand, was an observer. They were his family and he loved them, but at times he felt like an outsider, hovering on the edge of every conversation—always there, but not really an integral part of the entire operation. He wondered if any of the bunch had actually admired the view from their horse or watched a sunrise. Not just an occasional glance out a window, but really studied the colors and patterns in the clouds.
“Are you listening?”
Her voice grated on his nerves. It annoyed him that his sister felt a need to interrupt the