Bowden

 Bowden fumed as she rode off. Willow Hendricks had a way of getting under his skin. She was fiery and stubborn as an old mule. She’d turned into a real beauty, claiming the attention of most men who laid eyes on her. He couldn’t help but admire her curves as she bounced up and down in the saddle, her back straight and her head held high.

With her hasty departures over the years, he’d come to memorize the back side of her silhouette. He tried to no end to make his mistakes of the past right, but she would barely let him get two words in before she stormed off with a cloud over her head. She’d looked right past Knox’s involvement in the childhood prank they’d played on her and settled all her resentment on him. Knox seemed to have that way with people. Bowden knew it was his secret weapon at getting himself out of tight positions.

Shaking his head, Bowden turned to Knox. “That woman is something else. Makes me want to smile, but yet makes me want to spit fire all at the same time.” He frowned at the raised eyebrow Knox gave him, followed by a teasing grin.

“What is that look for?” he demanded, placing his hat over his dark, loose curls.

Knox gave him a friendly jab in the shoulder. “Maybe, what bothers you the most is she holds you at arm’s length when you daydream of holding her closer.” He mockingly hugged himself and swayed side to side.

Bowden chuckled, his blue-green eyes twinkling with mirth, “Oh, I admire her beauty as much as any man, but holding that girl in your arms would be like stepping into a pit of vipers.”

Knox laughed and gave him a look that said if you say so. “Well, buddy, we better head back and get an honest day of work in.” Knox clapped Bowden on the back.

“When have you ever done an honest day’s work?” Bowden laughed, admiring the man who had become a brother to him.

“I don’t need to. Do you see this physique? It will get me far in life.” He widened his stance while rubbing his chest.

Bowden cracked up as Knox posed like he was a Greek god sent to Earth to grace every living thing with his exaggerated perfection.

“Well, Zeus, I’d say you better get back to your ship docks before they find you skipped out again.”

Bowden mounted his horse and Knox followed suit.

“You will see, Bowden. I will win the heart of the fairest maiden in the land,” he said in all seriousness, sitting taller as he adjusted himself in his saddle.

Bowden recognized the jokester that lay beneath the surface. “Sure, more like a mail order bride,” Bowden shot back lightheartedly. “Race you to the road,” he yelled and he was off with a head start.

Knox let out a whoop and took off right on his heels.

Copyright © 2017 Huntson Press Inc.

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