Cowboy’s Forbidden Nanny by Monica Bolt

Cowboy’s Forbidden Nanny

1

Prologue (Brett)

“You’ve got a good run of men this season,” I said.

Damien nodded. “Seems that way. Of course, you know we’ll lose one or two mid-season. Then you’ll be cursing at me.”

“Ha! Well, I can’t say you’re wrong. We’ve been at this long enough now I reckon it will always happen. Got any college kids helping with the foaling this year?”

“Two as a matter of fact. One of them is a friend of Carl’s boy.”

“And the other?”

He grinned. “I figured you’d have forgotten. It looks like I was right.”

I tugged at my memory, a challenge after another fourteen-hour day. Morgan Run Ranch was in the midst of the breeding season. We supplied all of Lakeview with horses plus sold outside the family to high-end clientele and competitive equestrians. Our foals were sought after, and we held the highest stud-fees in the country yet still had a waitlist.

“I’m drawing a blank,” I admitted.

“You don’t say,” Damien chuckled. “My sister is graduating from Tanner University—top of her class, I might add.”

“Ah, that’s right! Now I remember. Is she looking for a job? I bet old Doc Mickey would be thrilled to have her on board.”

“She’s got job offers from some of the best private stables in the country. Hell, even a few from different counties. I don’t think she plans on staying here past the summer.”

My brow arched. “Oh? Thanks, damn impressive.”

A small black car pulled into the driveway. Given the number of men we employed, a foreign car wasn’t out of place. It was the government tags that caught my attention. We reached the driveway just as it parked, and a portly woman climbed out with a briefcase in hand. Damien and I exchanged looks before he slipped back into the barn. The woman searched around and caught my eye, glancing down at her phone before up at me again.

“Brett Wheeler?” she asked.

I nodded. “How can I help you?”

“Sir, my name is Harriet Edwards. I am a caseworker with Texas Children’s Services. We had a call last week from our counterparts in California. Do you know a woman named Nicole Yentz?”

“I don’t—”

She flipped her phone around, showing me a picture of a cute blonde. My heart dropped instantly when I recognized her. It had been a brief encounter in Las Vegas. Damien and I had been celebrating his birthday. My mind pieced together the information, the woman’s purpose now shaking me to the core.

“Yes, I know her. What’s this about?” I croaked.

“Mr. Wheeler, eight months ago, Ms. Yentz gave birth to a baby girl. She put your name on the birth certificate.”

“Should I call my attorney?” I asked.

“That’s up to you, but shortly after giving birth, Ms. Yentz passed away. She has no immediate family. Right now, I’d like to ask you for a DNA sample to find out if the baby is yours or not. Then we can go from there.”

My head was swimming, but still, I nodded in consent. No matter what the outcome, I needed to know if I had a child out there. That weekend had mostly been a blur, but Nicole had been celebrating a new promotion that weekend with girlfriends. I didn’t even know her last name. The woman pulled out a glove and swab kit. I followed her instructions without processing what was going on. It wasn’t until she handed me her business card and pulled away that I stumbled back to reality.