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Samantha studied the store window for a minute before starting inside. She’d traveled about ten feet from the door and realized that Trent hadn’t moved from the entrance. She sighed, turned around and backtracked to him.
“What are you doing? You said we could go shopping for new back-to-school clothes.” She couldn’t keep the edge from her voice, and the frustration from her face. “You said you’d look at them with me. I won’t make you shop for bras and stuff.”
Trent rolled his eyes skyward but then nodded. “All right, all right. I told you I’d go. At least I don’t have to deal with Danny too.”
“Oh, please. Danny’s easy. Get him a new pair of Ropers and a stack of Wranglers and you have him set for the year.”
Trent perked up. “Wranglers makes girl’s jeans.”
She scowled at him. “I am not living through my junior year of high school in jeans.” With that declaration she turned to disappear into a sea of pink.
“You realize it’s a lost cause. Right?”
Trent turned to find a man whose hair was the color of carrots smiling at him. “Excuse me?”
The stranger tilted his head toward the pink-filled store. “They aren’t coming out soon.” He stepped closer and held out his hand. “I’m Troy. My husband is around here somewhere. He wasn’t getting off the hook.”
Trent relaxed, having prepared himself for muttered profanity. He let himself smile. “Josh didn’t get off the hook. Not really. He’s at a junior rodeo with our son who thinks he has balls big enough to be a bull rider.’
There were a few glances in his direction and Trent’s face heated as he shrugged. “Sorry. Josh tells me all the time about using my inside voice. It’s kind of hard to remember when all I talk to most of the day are cows and horses.”
Troy waved his hand in Trent’s direction. “So this is all real? Not an urban cowboy thing.”
Offended for a moment, Trent gauged what he was wearing. Scuffed boots, a pair of Wranglers with the outline of his wallet on the back pocket, a cap from the co-op they bought feed from and a plaid shirt with snaps. He fit the stereotype right now. Trent chuckled and pushed up his shirt sleeve.
In a few second his sleeve was as high as he could slide it. But it was enough for the tattoos that covered three-fourths of his arms, but that the material had covered, to show. He held them out like he’d never seen them before. “How about now? Less redneck cowboy than before?”
Troy cocked an eyebrow and grinned. “I didn’t said anything about redneck. Be sides, calling someone a redneck around here isnt a big deal. Besides…” Troy pulled up the sleeves of his shirt and displayed an impressive set of tattooed sleeves. His pale skin showed off the intricate colors to amazing effects. He leaned in and studied the interplay of koi that looked like they were swimming down his arm to disappear beneath his watch.
He looked up and grinned. “Cool effect. It must have been a pain to lineup everyting.”
Troy twisted his hand a couple of times before confiding. “It was a complete accident. But I pretend it was this great planned thing.”
The pair found a seat and were lost in the conversation when Samantha emerged from the store to find Trent chatting with someone she’d never seen. It didn’t take much to get Trent to talk about his tattoos from the Northwest tribes.
“Let me guess. That’s your dad?”
Samantha glanced beside her to find a blond girl about her age. “Hi, I’m Lynn. Dad will show anyone who is the least bit interested his tattoos. You don’t even have to be interested. Not running works too.”
Samantha chuckled, liking the girl more with each passing second. “Same here. But he’s had them for years. You’d think he wouldn’t be so freaky about them.”
Both watched for a minute before a smile grew across Samantha’s face. She snickered and turned to Lynn. “How much guilt do you think we could accumulate if we wandered off ?”
Lynn’s lips curled into a mischievous grin. “At least a nice pair of shoes and maybe a new top.”
“My thoughts exactly.”
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