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.Raoul had explained that the grapes were ripening and becoming sweet.Cutting back the leaves to the perfect balance of fruit to foliage pushed this process forward.According to Raoul, that was highly desired.Duncan, coming back to his side after finishing his conversation, raised his eyebrows when he saw what Rob was doing."You want to work?""Sure.I've got nothing better to do.Still an hour until lunch time, right?"Duncan looked at his watch."Try two.You get bored, you come and find me; we'll finish that tour." But the man had a smirk on his face, probably thrilled to leave his rival toiling in the fields like one of the hired help.Rob didn't give that a second thought, though."Show me again which leaves to take off," he said to Raoul.By the end of the afternoon, Rob's back ached in ways he hadn't thought possible.He had always considered himself a strong man, and for all his tendencies to put pleasure before responsibility, he knew how to do a full day's work, but the repetitive process of removing foliage from the bottom of the plants – leaving just enough leaves to shade the ripening grapes from the full-on sun – turned out to be harder than he would have expected.Raoul and the other men shared their lunches with him during their short break, and only afterwards did Rob realize he probably should have sought out Morgan and eaten with her.Still, when he went to meet her in the parking lot at five o'clock, he felt the satisfaction of having worked with his hands and done a good job.Why didn't ranching ever feel like that?Maybe it was time for a career change.CHAPTER SEVEN"I can't believe you worked in the vineyards," Morgan said again as they entered her apartment."Yeah, well get used to it," Rob drawled.He'd been evasive about his intentions in helping out the Mexican field workers.She had no idea if he was trying to impress her, or get even with her for leaving him stranded in her apartment the day after they'd gotten engaged.He'd certainly confused Duncan, who'd loitered outside for a half-hour waiting for him to get bored and come back for the rest of that tour before coming inside to complain to her about her bizarre boyfriend."What do you mean, get used to it?""I'm going back tomorrow.Raoul said they could use another pair of hands, and Duncan said he'd pay me the going rate.""You realize the going rate is minimum wage." She dropped her keys on the counter and flipped through her mail."It's more than I'll get if I sit here on my ass.Hold on, phone's ringing." He pulled out his cell phone and checked the screen."It's my mom – probably for you." He shoved it into her hands and disappeared into the bedroom before she could protest.Morgan clicked it on and held it to her ear."Hello?""Morgan, is that you? I'm so glad you answered, honey.I wanted to talk to you about colors.""Colors?""We've got to start somewhere, don't you think? October eleventh isn't that far off.What's your favorite color, honey?""Um…I don't know.""You don't know your own favorite color?" Lisa laughed."Sounds like that son of mine has got you all turned around up there."She was partially right.Between Rob's sudden appearance and their whirlwind decision to spend their lives together, and his bizarre behavior at the winery today, she was a bit addled.But what truly left her speechless was Lisa's attitude.They hadn't even met yet and she was acting like they were old friends.Almost like a…mother."I really like mint green.I don't know if that helps.""That helps a whole lot," Lisa said."Now, I've started a guest list.I'm at 212 at the present.Both Holt's family and mine have lived in this area over 100 years, so we know almost everyone in the county.I'm trying not to let it get out of control.You'll need to send me your list.Do you have an estimate?"Morgan steadied her breath, but the question pierced her to the core."Maybe…maybe you can give me some advice," she said finally."I have a number of female friends in the area, but I don't expect them to spend the money to travel to Montana.Do I still invite them?""Of course – let them decide whether to make the trip or not.We've got extra rooms on the ranch, and I daresay your family does, too.We can put some of them up for the wedding.What about family?" Lisa's voice was kind and that made it all the worse."I hope my father will come.He's really the only family I have left.""Of course he'll come.He'll have to walk you up the aisle, won't he?"Morgan couldn't bear to say aloud that she wasn't at all sure he'd make the time.His wife wouldn't like him flying to Montana for such a task."Of course," she said, as firmly as she could."Now, Morgan, I want you to be straight with me," Lisa said.Morgan stiffened.Here it came – the accusation she'd been bracing herself against ever since Rob disappeared into his bedroom the previous evening when he was on the phone with his father.His parents had to be wondering if this was all a joke, or if they were being lied to.She was sure Lisa would press her for an answer."I've waited so long for this," Lisa said."I had a plain wedding – we had no money at all in those days.Just my parents and siblings and my best friend for my bridesmaid.I vowed right then that if any of my children got married we'd throw them a fairy-tale wedding.Of course, I figured I'd have at least one girl," She trailed off wistfully for a moment, "but the good Lord saw fit to give me four ornery sons.Now that I'm finally getting to throw a wedding I want to do it right.But it's not my wedding.It's yours.You speak up now and tell me to butt right out of it if that's what you want."Morgan laughed in relief."Of course not.It's going to be at your house, for one thing.""That doesn't mean I get to boss you around.The bride calls the shots; that's the way I see it.""Are you sure this isn't too much trouble for you?" Morgan said.The truth was Lisa's exuberance was overwhelming her.She'd expected anger and suspicion.Instead she was getting enthusiasm."Trouble? Are you kidding? I'm over the moon! Of all my sons, Rob's the one I've wanted to see settle down.You have a good man there, Morgan.I hope you know that.""You don't think it's too soon?" She glanced up to make sure Rob wasn't listening, but he'd disappeared into the bathroom and she could hear the shower running."The heart knows what the heart knows.There are some tricks to making a marriage work and I'd be happy to pass on what little wisdom I have, but at the heart of it are a few simple questions.Do your eyes light up when Rob walks into the room? Does your heart skip a beat? Do you feel drawn to him?""Yes," Morgan said, smiling a little."And when you're angry, are you really angry? Like, ready to blow your top angry?""That would be a good thing?" Morgan asked.She hadn't had time to be that angry with Rob yet."Yes.Passion.It's all about passion," Lisa said."When you couldn't care less if he comes or goes, and you can't muster up the energy to get truly angry at him; that's when you've got a problem.""Hmmm." She'd have to remember that."I'm going to let you go have your supper now [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]