The Lady Shoots


Here’s an excerpt from my current WIP, The Lady Shoots.

***

Stepping out of the cool evening breeze and into the brightly lit barn, Noel found herself surrounded by several dozen dancing couples. Many of the people recognized her and gave her a loud welcome. Blushing at suddenly being the center of attention, Noel began to turn away, but Ryker gently urged her forward.

“I can’t dance,” she whispered to him hastily.

“Nonsense, there’s nothing to it,” Ryker promised. “I’ll show you.” He lightly pressed one hand against her side and took her other hand in his own. Whispering instructions to her, Ryker led her through a slow two-step dance without any difficulty at all.

Excitement bubbling up inside of her, Noel giggled and spun around in a silly little circle. “I can dance!” she cheered.

“You did very well!” Ryker commended.

The fear of tripping and making a fool out of herself quickly dissipating, Noel found that she enjoyed dancing. She caught on very quickly to the steps that Ryker taught her and in no time, the two of them were whirling across the floor, braving even the liveliest of tunes. Lost in each other’s eyes, Noel couldn’t remember a time when she’d enjoyed herself more.

At one point, Ryker borrowed a guitar from a member of the band and began to play. Tapping his toe and chuckling to himself, Ryker ran his fingertips over the strings experimentally. Finding the instrument to be perfectly tuned, Ryker began to play in earnest, his skilled fingers thrumming across the strings with ease, bringing to life a vigorous melody. Looking deep into Noel’s eyes, Ryker grinned and began to sing.

Noel stared openly. Never would she have imagined such a glorious voice could belong to a tough, range-roughened cowboy such as Ryker. That sweet, deep, twanging voice was something that only an angel should rightly possess. She thought she could never tire of watching his flashing white smile transform his tanned face into a strange object of beauty as he laughed and sang. Noel stood with a group of girls from town, her hands clasped together, and her eyes bright as she watched him.

***

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