Home > Bounty (Colorado Mountain #7)(12)

Bounty (Colorado Mountain #7)(12)
Author: Kristen Ashley

“Yes, Max, sorry, of course,” I said, and went on to explain my rudeness, “I’m not a morning person.”

When he replied, he sounded like he had a smile in his voice (and I’d noted in our meeting where I engaged him to finish the work that he was a pretty happy dude on the whole, in a tall, dark and hot way, of course), “Sorry, Justice. But I’ve got some news that may be good for you and thought you’d wanna know right away to see if you wanna run with it.”

Oh God, I hoped one of his clients backed out or delayed or ran out of money.

This wasn’t nice to hope but I had a mini-fridge in the garage, one working sink, no on-site laundry, a furnace installed that didn’t work (and the nights were getting straight-up chilly) and not much livable space.

I’d been in my house for three days and I was already wondering if I should try to find a local VRBO to rent for a couple of months because I needed space. I needed a washing machine. I needed silverware that wasn’t plastic that I got with my takeout that I’d eat sitting in my bed.

What I didn’t need was to die of exposure inside my newfound oasis because there was no way to turn on my furnace.

But then I’d make coffee in the coffeemaker that sat on top of the mini-fridge in the garage and sit out on my personal deck outside my bedroom and I’d lose all thought of VRBOs.

“I’d love to hear this news, Max,” I told him.

“Got a guy who’s a temp for me. He’s back in town, looking for work,” Max replied. “Since he’s told me he’s in town for a while and he’s not scheduled out on any of my other contracts, I could send him to you.”

I pushed up to sitting, exclaiming, “Oh my God! That’d be great!”

“He’s just one guy, Justice,” Max warned. “The progress would be slow, but there’d be progress.”

I could be happy with progress. I could make coffee in the garage and clean the pot out in the bathroom sink for a month if I had a working furnace (not to mention a washing machine).

Before I could share that I wanted this dude to start in the utility room (after hooking up my furnace, of course), Max kept talking.

“More good news, this guy does it all. Electrical. Plumbing. Carpentry. I’d have him as a foreman if he wasn’t a travelin’ man.”

This just got better and better.

“Awesome,” I said.

The goodness kept coming from Max.

“He’s also down with doing overtime. So that progress will definitely progress.”

“Hallelujah, God’s answered my prayers,” I praised the heavens in reply to Max.

Another smile in Max’s rocky voice. “Overtime for just a few hours a day, two, three. Hard labor, don’t like asking more from my men and they get beat, don’t want the work to suffer.”

“I’ll take it,” I accepted instantly.

“Gotta pay that overtime, Justice. And it’s you that has to approve it since it’s your money I’ll be payin’ him.”

“Consider it approved.”

“Great,” Max said. “I’ve got some time late this morning, so does he. Wanna meet him there, show him around. He wasn’t on the build when we started it so I gotta give him the lay of the land. Also gotta tell you, there’s gonna be roadblocks he’s gonna hit because he can do a lot but there’s stuff at your place that’ll be multiple-guy jobs. That said, he comes up to hitting that, he knows the job well enough he can give me a heads up and I can see if I can adjust some schedules to get guys out to your site so they can do what they gotta do to keep him moving.”

“I’d be so appreciative,” I gushed. “Really, Max. This is awesome.”

“You good with us being there around ten, ten thirty?”


“Right, we’re set. See you then.”

“See you then, Max. And thanks again.”

“Not a problem, Justice. Later.”


I dropped my phone to my lap and smiled at the blank wall across the vast space from my bed.

Finally, things were looking up.

On that thought, earlier than I’d done since I’d had to do it for press tours, I threw back the covers and shot out of bed in order to go make coffee in my garage and get a shower.

* * * * *

I was out on the deck, wearing my beat-up, too big but super-comfy overalls. I’d paired these with a tight, army-green tank. And my hair I’d decided not to wash was up in a massive messier-than-usual messy bun at the top of my head (meaning lots of long tendrils were hanging down and I didn’t bother to secure them).

I was enjoying cup of coffee number three, the quiet and the view, when my phone sitting on the arm of my Adirondack chair rang (the chair I was in, painted a distressed sedate yellow, the one opposite, a mellow, deep purple—the first furniture purchase in my life and I’d done it before I’d even closed because I’d fallen in love, they rocked!).

I looked at the screen and hesitated not even a second before taking the call.

“Lacey!” I cried.

“Yo, babe,” Lacey replied. “What’s shaking?”

“Absolutely nothing,” I answered, finding myself in that moment weirdly (or perhaps not so weirdly) glad this was true.

“So Bumfuck, Colorado is working for you,” she noted.

“So far, mostly. Just got news the construction to finish the house will start six weeks sooner so now that mostly is even more mostly,” I shared.

“Awesome, Jussy.”

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