Hayden Thorne’s heart was still pounding a little hard, her breath a little shallow, and her palms still hurt from scratches she’d received when she’d climbed over the rail to avoid death. Had she really jumped into an arena to challenge an angry bull? A little half-hysterical giggle escaped her as she collapsed onto the small twin bed in her cheap motel room in Walnut Springs, tugging her red dress down her thighs. Her hands still shook from the adrenaline.
Yeah, she had actually done it.
She’d saved Fenn Lockwood’s life. The missing boy in the pair of twins kidnapped at age eight, twenty –five years ago. Emery, the younger of the twins, had miraculously escaped, but never spoke of what might have befallen his brother Fenn. The world had assumed his silence meant Fenn was dead. How wrong they’d all been. He’d been here in Colorado all along, living as a rancher. He was alive. A fact that still shocked her and filled her with a sense of wonder and excitement. Bringing Fenn home could do so much—for him, for his family, for his brother. Fenn’s loss had devastated so many people, including her brother, Wes, who was Fenn and Emery’s childhood friend.
She reached down and tugged off her Jimmy Choo pumps. The black leather was badly scuffed. She’d have to get another pair soon. They were probably ruined by the crowd during the panic following the accident when the stupid bull had thrown Fenn like a sack of potatoes. Why couldn’t he just play polo like his twin? Why did he have to be a bull rider?
She let the shoes drop to the floor. She still couldn’t relax. She was too keyed up for anything else. What she wanted to do was find Fenn and tell him everything. She had tried to find him after she’d gotten out of the arena with the help of a couple of riders.
They had enjoyed leering at her chest before she’d gone to find her heels. They’d even trailed after her, making all sorts of comments that would have made her blush if she hadn’t had other things on her mind.
Once she’d found her shoes, she’d asked around again for where Fenn had gone after he’d left the arena, and she’d been pointed toward the medical tent. By that point, it had been empty except for a polite middle-aged doctor who was busy packing up his supplies. A couple of giggles, a smile, and she’d earned decent directions to a place called The Broken Spur, a place where Fenn worked.
She slid her hand into the tiny, almost hidden pocket of her dress and touched the slip of paper she’d scribbled the directions to Fenn’s ranch on. Fenn’s residence at the ranch was not something she had shared with her older brother Wes. He could try to bully her into going home all he liked, or into staying out of the way, but she didn’t care. This was her mission and she wasn’t going to give up without a fight. She wanted everyone back home to take her seriously.
Being a daughter of one of the richest families on Long Island’s Gold Coast was not the perfect dream most people might think it would be. She was a bargaining tool, a pawn for her parents to gain political power and influence. She was marriage material, nothing more. She wanted to shake her parents up, get them to open their eyes and see that she wasn’t just a frilly dressed ninny, but a woman who could actually change the world.
Bringing home the long-lost golden boy might just change their minds about her, and doing so would also make sure the people she cared about were finally safe. It wouldn’t be easy, either. Someone wanted to kill Fenn Lockwood and she would not only bring him home but save his life. Just like she’d done tonight—even though tonight she had not expected Fenn’s potential killer to be a damn bull.