Authors: Desiree Holt
The Sons of Dusty Walker
Lexie and Killian
Lexie and Killian
Copyright 2015 by Desiree Holt
Published by Desiree Holt
Copyright 2015 Cover Art by Diana Carlisle
Editing and Formatting Services by Wizards in Publishing
All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the author.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
The Sons of Dusty Walker
Lexie and Killian
Lexie Choate and Killian Walker are still floating on a cloud of newly wedded bliss. Little did Killian know that an inheritance from his father would lead him to the love of his life. Now he’s living in Red Creek, Kansas, a place he’d never heard of before, building up the stock on his newly established Appaloosa breeding ranch and enjoying every minute of every day with the love of his life. After a disastrous romance that ended her artistic career, Lexie had never thought to find real love again. Of course, she hadn’t been prepared for Killian to walk into her safe little coffee shop, either. Now she’s wrapped up in wedded bliss and, with Killian’s encouragement, painting every spare moment she has. For the two of them, life could not possibly be better.
Until Killian convinces her to apply for entry into the prestigious Savannah Art Show—the very show that three years ago sent her running back to Red Creek. The show where she learned exactly how devious and selfish her boyfriend was. When one of her pieces is accepted for the competition, she returns to the scene of betrayal and deceit, hoping to finally put all of that behind her.
An unexpected confrontation with the man who betrayed her nearly turns her life with Killian upside down. What will it take to turn the Savannah trip from disaster to success? With Christmas approaching, will they be celebrating the holiday together…or apart?
Table of Contents
Killian Walker sat in the D. Walker Mineral Company’s small conference room with his brothers and their attorney, Stanley Benner, Esquire. It was the start of the week they were all to spend together here in Red Creek, Kansas, and so far they’d just been sitting there jawing on about every little detail of the company. Who the hell knew there was so much crap to get through? It seemed they each had their own idea of how to distribute Dusty Walker’s duties as owner and CEO, but none of them showed any interest in the traveling portion. Not when every one of them had a honey living and loving right here in town. Especially Killian, newly married and loving every minute of it.
They’d been there for a couple of hours when he noticed Jackson look at the wall clock for the seventieth time. Killian frowned. Only five past ten and the lawyer had only gotten through a tenth of the files stacked in front of him. This might just kill him, and his brothers, too.
Dylan stared at a spot on the wall behind Jackson. His baby brother had to be feeling the same exhaustion. Rogue stared fixedly at his lap. Was the guy texting or—more likely—playing poker at some online site? Killian passed the time by drawing small squares on the little notebook he held. Benner finished speaking at last and closed the folder he’d been reading out of. When the man reached for another file, Jackson rose from his chair.
Killian stared at him then noticed his other brothers and Benner staring also.
“Mr. Benner, I think me and my brothers, here, have gotten enough information for the time being.”
A slow grin spread on Dylan’s face, and Killian wanted to stand up and cheer.
Jackson hitched his thumbs in his front pockets. “I’m feeling like it’s time we four had a sit down to discuss everything before we try to take in any more.”
Killian clicked his pen closed and stuck it in his pocket. “I think you’re right, Jackson.”
Across the table, Rogue glanced at each of them then stood. “I’m in favor of a break.”
“But, gentlemen….” The attorney set his pudgy hand on the stack of files he hadn’t gone over yet. “We only have a week, and there’s at least—”
“All in favor?” Dylan got to his feet.
“Damned right.” Rogue stepped to the door and pulled it open, gesturing for his siblings to precede him. “Gentlemen.” He said the word with more than a little sarcasm.
Killian couldn’t move fast enough. With Benner’s voice echoing something about when they would return, the four of them made it out onto the sidewalk in front of the building in seconds.
The sun warmed them as they strode toward the company parking lot. Warm, but not too hot, with a soft breeze blowing a few puffy clouds around.
Jackson stopped in the parking lot, looked up at the sky, and said, “Fishing.”
Killian stopped to stare at him, Rogue beside him, as Dylan pulled car keys from his pocket.
“Huh?” Dylan spoke first.
“Let’s go fishing.” Jackson grinned at them. “Meet at the dock in front of Dad’s house in half an hour, and we’ll take the boat out. Wet a line.”
Dylan spun back to face them. “Yeah, why the hell not? We can talk about all this crap there as well as anywhere.”
Killian narrowed his gaze, not sure how good an idea this was. “You know what you’re doin’ out on a boat? I mean, for any of these boys who don’t have the skills to land a fish?”
With a loud laugh, Rogue shook his head. “Which means, brother Killian is gonna need you to bait his hook.”
Killian pointed a finger at his brother. “Rogue, sounds like we’re gonna have to have us a contest. Biggest fish wins.”
Dylan stepped forward. “I’m in. But it’ll be hot out on the lake today, supposed to get up into the 90s.” He looked down at his jeans and boots. “I don’t have swimming trunks and shit.”
Jackson looked down the line of buildings set like railroad cars along the street. “I’ve never been in the clothes shop, although I’ve walked by it a hundred times. We can try there, see what they have.”
Rogue shrugged. “Better than sweating to death in denim.”
The brothers crossed the street and headed for Plinees Fashions. Jackson opened the glass door, setting a tinny bell ringing overhead, cool air blasting at them. The term fashions was probably a mislabel. Racks of serviceable T-shirts, polyester pants, and a few women’s blouses filled the area.
“Ah…” Killian stopped and looked around. “You sure this isn’t a chick store?”
A petite blonde who looked as if she belonged in high school came out from the back room carrying a handful of hangers. She stopped and looked at the brothers, her eyes opening wide as her cheeks turned bright red.
“Hi.” Dylan poured a mountain of charm into that one word. “Y’all have men’s clothes here?”
Her gaze shot back and forth from one to the other for a few seconds. Red Creek was a small town, and everybody made everybody else’s business their own. She had to know who they were. Right? Was she startled speechless to have all four of them right in front of her?
Rogue chuckled and pointed left. “I think I see a sign back there.”
She glanced that way then back at them. “Yes. Yes, menswear. It’s that way.” She clutched the hangers to her chest and looked down.
“She’d probably faint if we asked her to help us with sizes,” Jackson whispered to Killian.
The brothers marched toward the sign and found a surprising selection of shorts and swim trunks. They each quickly chose one, grabbed rubbery sandals from a display rack, and headed to the checkout counter.
The young employee stood texting manically but set the phone down at their approach.
“Did you find what you were looking for?” She managed a smile.
“We sure did.” Killian set his items on the counter. “My treat, boys.” He pulled out his wallet and chose a credit card.
“I’ll take you up on that.” Jackson set his plaid trunks and blue flip-flops on the counter.
Dylan set his down, too. “Bet that’s the first time that wallet has been opened in a long time.”
“Watch your manners, young gun.” Killian gave the kid a glare, followed by a smile.
Halfway through the ringing-up process, the bell on the front door tinkled and two young women came in, looked at the brothers, then laughed behind their hands as they ducked behind a rack of dresses.
Rogue caught Jackson’s eye and winked. “Looks like the place is doing pretty well.” He glanced at their cashier. “Is it always this busy?”
The girl’s eyes shifted to where the two newcomers giggled and held up their cameras, evidently taking pictures of the Walker boys.
“Sorry,” she told the men as she shook her head for the benefit of her friends.
“We’re used to it.” Jackson took the bag from her. “New in town. I suppose it always raised a little interest.”
She blushed again and gave him a sweet smile. “This town is dull as dirt most days. It’s good to have a few new faces to…um…” She glanced at her friends.
“Stalk?” Killian signed the credit card receipt, gave their cashier a killer smile, and the brothers wandered out.
“That was awkward.” Dylan led the way back to their company’s building.
“Gonna be like that for a while.” Killian slid his sunglasses on.
Jackson slowed and Killian saw him look into Rori’s storefront. She was in there but had customers. When he caught her glance, he winked.
Pulling her phone from her pocket, she typed.
His phone bonged as a text came in. He pulled it from his pocket and opened her message.
“What’d she say?” Rogue asked.
Jackson looked at his phone and laughed. “She says we’re a pack now. Out stirrin’ up the females.”
Killian and the other two grinned and puffed out their chests, changing their fast walks to manly swaggers. Jackson joined the fun, and they strolled across the street. True to Rori’s warning, people—mostly women—stopped to stare.
“Watch out, Red Creek.” Jackson grabbed his truck keys from his pocket. “The Walker boys are here to stay.”
His brothers laughed. But Jackson turned somber, and Killian heard him mumble under his breath.
“I hope like hell that’s true.”
The fishing trip turned out to be more exciting than they’d expected, what with Jackson getting a lure embedded in his hand and the unexpected trip to the local emergency room. Yup, they’d certainly made a lasting impression their first day here together. Although they’d bonded over the situation in a way fishing might not have done.
But Killian believed they still needed a brothers-only get-together where they could sit around, drink a little, and hash out all the bullshit. He and Lexie had cut their honeymoon short because he’d gotten a line on a ranch for sale dirt cheap. The man hadn’t even had a chance to stock it before his bride decided she didn’t want to live in Kansas. He’d sold the land and his brand new house to Killian at an unbelievable price. What a mad whirl that had been, closing the deal, moving into the house, trying to get everything organized. He’d wanted to be set at the ranch when all the brothers were in Red Creek for the week they’d agreed to spend together.
He and Lexie had come up with the idea of the barbecue as a way for him to show off their new place and spend some quality time with his brothers.
Now, as he waited for his brothers to arrive, he watched his wife leave the house and head for her car. He couldn’t take his eyes from her as she moved with that little hip swaying walk that he loved so much. God, she had the most magnificent ass. He still couldn’t get over the good fortune that had come to him when he’d been hit with a total shock to his life. His world turned upside down when his father died and he learned he had three half-brothers. But dragging his heels to the little town of Red Creek had brought him to Lexie, the woman who enriched his life and made every day better just by loving him. One thing for sure—he’d never take his good fortune for granted.