“Please don’t do that,” I said in the politest voice I could muster although I was like a volcano ready to erupt.
She looked at me blankly. “Pardon me?”
“Please don’t feed chocolate to the chickens.”
“Why not? It’s perfectly good chocolate. The best quality, actually.”
“Chickens and chocolate don’t mix,” I informed her. “Chocolate is toxic for them and other birds.”
“How come no one told me this before?”
“I don’t know but I thought I should tell you now.”
She looked at me and I could tell that she didn’t want to take my word for it. “I’ll go and ask Phil.”
“You go and do that,” I muttered.
She flicked her strawberry blonde hair over her shoulder and walked out of the barn. Minutes later, Phil came in. “
“Melissa just told me that you told her she couldn’t feed the chickens,” he said. “How come?”
“Did she tell you that she was feeding them chocolate?” I asked.
He shook his head. “No. She didn’t mention anything about chocolate.”
“I bet she didn’t.”
“You two ladies don’t like each other, do you?”
“And it’s all on account of Wade, isn’t it?”
I stared at him. “What do you mean?”
“You both have a ‘thing’ for him.”
“You’re mistaken,” I muttered, turning away. “He’s my boss, nothing more.”
Phil chuckled. “Sure. Then, I guess you don’t mind that he’s gone riding with Melissa.”
“You’re right, I don’t mind at all,” I lied. “He can do whatever he likes on his own time. As for me, I’m going to feed these chickens and then head to the study to get some work done.”
Phil shrugged and walked away.
I was bristling as I spread the grain on the ground. Phil was right. I had feelings for Wade and I was mad with jealousy that he was out riding with her. Maybe I should just move on–get another job. If he wants to be with her, fine. There are other decent men out there. I have had several show interest in me. Who was I kidding? I didn’t want any of them. I wanted Wade but…I finished feeding the chickens and went back into the house.
I was sitting at the desk, typing up a report when Wade walked in. “What are you doing?” he asked.
I glanced up from my computer screen, my heart skipping a beat when I saw him in the lime green shirt which fitted him snugly and jeans which hugged his narrow hips and well defined thighs. I was so used to seeing him in suits. Today we were working at the farm instead of at the office. “I’m working,” I muttered.
“Why don’t you take a little break and come out on the terrace with me? It’s a beautiful morning.”
“All right.” I got up from the desk and followed him out onto the terrace. He was right. It was a beautiful morning and from where we were, you could see the hills beyond the endless stretch of land. “What an amazing view.”
“I told you. Doesn’t this beat sitting in front of a computer?”
“Yes.” He leaned against the wall, enshrouded in the sunlight. His head was turned towards me and there was a slight smile on his face. I wonder what he would do if he knew how madly in love I was with him. Flustered, I looked away. “Where’s Melissa?”
“On her way back to the Big Apple.”
“Did you enjoy your ride with her?”
“It was fine. Did you want to join us?”
“No. I don’t know anything about riding a horse. I was quite happy feeding the chickens.”
“Yes, Phil told me. I can teach you how to ride. Maybe the next time we come to the farm, we can go riding on a morning like this.”
“I’m not sure Melissa would like that.”
“Why should she care?”
“Isn’t it obvious to you that she’s attracted to you?”
“And do you think I’m attracted to her?”
“No.” He moved away from the wall, and walked slowly over to me. “No, I’m not attracted to her or to any other woman.”
By now, my heart was pounding at an alarming rate and my breath had quickened. He was standing very close to me now. I could feel his cool breath on my temple. “Maybe I should get back to work,” I muttered. I started to move away when he caught my arm and drew me closer. My startled eyes flew up to his face and what I saw on it made my knees weak.
“You smell good,” he murmured.
“It’s–it’s Misty Moon Magic.”
“I bet you taste good too.” He was looking at my mouth when he said that.
“Wade…” was all I managed to say before his mouth was on mine. Groaning, I wrapped my arms around his waist and eagerly kissed him back. I couldn’t believe it. It seemed so surreal.
For several minutes we stood there in the sunlight, exchanging passionate kisses. Then, he drew back to gaze down into my face, his own flushed. “It has always been you, Valera,” he muttered huskily.
“Really? I-I had no idea.”
“I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time but I wasn’t sure how you felt about me. And then when I saw that you were jealous of Melissa I was encouraged.”
“I can’t tell you how-how relieved I am to hear that you’re not attracted to her.”
“Let’s take the morning off.”
“All right. What-what do you have in mind?”
He smiled, released me and taking my hand, he led me back into the house and upstairs to his room. We ended up not working for the entire day.