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Feel-Good Fiction Books

Book 5: Wyatt (Seven Sons Ranch in Three Rivers Romance™)

Book 5: Wyatt (Seven Sons Ranch in Three Rivers Romance™)

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Meet the Walker brothers at Seven Sons Ranch!

About WYATT: To get her inheritance, she needs a husband. He's wanted to fly with her for ages. Will Wyatt and Marcy be able to stop playing pretend when the feelings get real to find a true happily-ever-after?

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Read Chapter 1 Now!

A groan hissed from Wyatt Walker’s mouth as he tried to sit up. He got his legs over the side of the bed and paused, taking a long, deep breath. If he didn’t stretch before he stood up, it would be a very bad day.

And today was already a very bad day, so he didn’t need his back acting up on him. Because today, he needed to be strong for Marcy, as she was burying her father in just a few hours.

His heart hurt as he stretched his right arm up and over his head, reaching toward the wall until his fingertips pressed against it. Breathing in and out, he held the stretch, finally releasing it. He repeated the motion on the other side, and then twisted side to side as much as he was able.

With the pins in his spine, he didn’t have great range of mobility, but he did what he could. The last surgery was nearly five months old, but he’d endured major back surgery, and that didn’t heal overnight, despite his pleas to the Lord.

“Help me today,” he prayed as he got to his feet. “Help Marcy be strong.” He already knew Marcy Payne was a strong woman. One of the strongest he’d ever met. But he also knew she had a soft side, and she suffered behind a mask of confidence. She’d let that down in front of him several times over the past year, and the memories from last week, when he’d found her sobbing in her father’s house after he’d passed away, moved through his mind as he showered.

They’d communicated a little bit since then, but she’d been surrounded by family members, and she’d had a million things to do to prepare for the funeral. Once Martin Payne had been diagnosed with colon cancer, he’d started planning everything. But having the floral arrangements chosen didn’t mean they’d be ready without phone calls and follow-up.

Wyatt had stayed away from Marcy’s house, her father’s place, and the hangar on the west side of town. If Marcy wanted him to come visit, bring food, or anything else, she’d call or text. She always had in the past.

Once out of the shower, he stood in front of the mirror and shaved, keeping the edges of his beard trim and neat. He brushed his teeth and got dressed slowly, making sure all the right pieces were in the exact right place.

Black slacks. White shirt. A burgundy, navy, and white tie knotted precisely at his collar. The navy blue colon cancer pin to show his support. He’d just pulled a pair of black, shiny church shoes from his closet when someone knocked on his bedroom door.

“Yeah, Micah,” he said, as he knew his brother’s knock by now. Micah had moved to the ranch and Three Rivers just before Wyatt’s surgery, and he was Wyatt’s best friend.

“Just checking on you,” he said, entering the room. “Looks like you’re ready.”

Micah was too, right down to the red and white paisley tie around his throat. “I’m ready,” Wyatt said, inhaling the scent of coffee and sausage floating down the hall from the kitchen.

“How’s the back today?” Micah asked, his keen eyes missing nothing.

So he saw the slight limp in Wyatt’s step, though it evened out after only two strides. “Not bad,” Wyatt said anyway. “I just want to make it through this day.”

“Momma would say you need a hearty breakfast to do that,” Jeremiah said, leaning into the doorway. “We’ve got eggs, sausage, and coffee out here.”

“Yep.” Wyatt smiled at Jeremiah, who welcomed everyone to the ranch, made them whatever food they wanted, and got them to stay awhile. At least that was how Wyatt had felt when he’d come to Seven Sons last year.

“How are you today?” he asked, following Wyatt down the hall. Wyatt swallowed a sigh, because he knew his brothers meant well. But there had been a reason he hadn’t told them about his injuries for almost eight months. At the same time, he was glad he didn’t have to try to hide his bad days anymore.

“I’m okay,” he said, turning back once he’d reached the kitchen.

“Really?” Jeremiah asked, moving past him to pick up a plate. “Because it’s okay to not be okay.”

Wyatt glanced at Whitney, who lay on the couch, her phone up in front of her face. She’d had a scare about three weeks ago with her pregnancy, and Jeremiah didn’t let her do more than walk a few steps at a time.

“If you keep badgering me,” Wyatt said as he took the plate from Jeremiah. “It’ll be a double-funeral we go to in a couple of hours—and not mine.” He cocked his eyebrows at his brother, who only laughed at him.

“I hear you,” Jeremiah said. “I just want to make sure you’re doing all right.”

“I am right now,” Wyatt said, but he wasn’t sure what would happen when he saw Marcy. She had a couple of cousins in town, and Wyatt assumed her brother would come from back east. He couldn’t remember where her brother lived, but it was a big city on the Eastern Seaboard, where he worked as a corporate attorney.

The Payne’s were a Three Rivers generational family, and Wyatt expected the whole town to be at the funeral. He wanted to see Marcy today, make sure she knew he was there and available to her.

She knows that, he told himself as he put food on his plate and took it to the kitchen table.

He had the very real feeling he wouldn’t be able to spend much time with her today, at least not the way he wanted to.

Tomorrow, everyone else would go back to their regular lives. They’d get up with their own problems and go about their business. Every once in a while, they might think of Martin Payne and the daughter he left behind, but the thoughts would be fleeting and momentary. Nothing would come from them.

Wyatt didn’t want Marcy to be alone tomorrow, either, and he already had an alarm set on his phone to call her tomorrow morning to check in.

The back door opened, and Liam, Callie, and their daughter Denise came inside. “See?” Liam said to the three-year-old. “I told you Uncle Jeremiah would have breakfast.”

The little girl had tight, dark curls, and they bounced as she ran toward Jeremiah, who scooped her up into his arms. They both laughed, and he asked her what she wanted.

“Toast,” she said, and though there was no toast on the counter, Jeremiah set about making her what she wanted.

“Dressed already?” Liam asked, glancing around. “Looks like we’re the only ones not ready for the funeral.”

“We have time,” Callie said. “I just hope Vicki doesn’t go into labor today.”

Wyatt looked up from his plate, glancing between Liam and Callie. “It’s that time already?”

“She’s due in four days,” Liam said. “So yes, any time now.”

“Hopefully not today,” Callie said again, and her nerves radiated off of her in every direction.

Wyatt didn’t want to sit around the house, and a viewing for Martin had been scheduled for that morning. Though he’d gone last night at the funeral home, he cleaned up his breakfast dishes and said, “I’m headed out.”

“Already?” Jeremiah asked, still nursing his coffee while he held Denise on his knee as she ate bits of toast.

“Already.” Wyatt took his keys out of the kitchen drawer where he kept his stuff and met Micah’s eye. “You want to come with me?”

“Sure thing.” Micah downed the last of his coffee while Wyatt ignored the concerned looks on his family’s faces. He didn’t need their pity. Didn’t even want it.

The moment he walked out the front door, the weight of all those eyes lifted from his shoulders, and he felt like he could breathe normally. At least for a minute. Micah joined him on the porch, the front door closing loudly behind them.

The oak tree looked forlorn without all the Christmas decorations it had worn so festively for the past six weeks. Jeremiah loved their Christmas traditions, but he wanted the ranch to “get back to normal” after the holidays too. All of the ranch hands and brothers had worked for the better part of a day to get all the ornaments off the front fence, all the tinsel out of the tree—though the Good Lord had sent plenty of wind last week to help finish that job—and all the decorations snugly in their boxes and in the storage shed out back.

“Where do you want to go?” Micah asked, his keys jangling in his hand as he went down the front steps. He didn’t pause and look behind him to see if Wyatt needed help, and he appreciated that. Sometimes the way Rhett or Liam wanted to steady him by holding onto his elbow made him feel infantile. And he didn’t need to deal with that on top of everything else.

Wyatt pocketed his own keys and followed Micah to his truck, as it wasn’t worth the argument with his youngest brother over who drove. Wyatt would get to go where he wanted no matter whose truck they were in or who sat behind the wheel.

“The bakery,” he said, using the runners on the side of the truck to get himself into the vehicle. He sighed as he settled into the seat and pulled his seat belt into place. “And that new hot chocolate shack.”

Micah fired up the truck and got the heater blowing, the heated seats warming, and the radio volume adjusted.

“Sorry,” he said, grinning. “I like the music loud.”

“You always have.” Wyatt’s head hurt, and he should’ve taken some painkillers before leaving the house. He thought about asking Micah to run back inside and grab some, but he didn’t. Micah was good at letting Wyatt take care of himself, but if he went back inside, everyone would know why.

“Will you open that glove box and see if I have any pills in there?” Micah nodded toward Wyatt’s side of the truck. He turned onto the lane and headed toward the highway. Wyatt did as he asked, thrilled when he found the little bottle of ibuprofen.

“Can I have some too?”

“Of course.”

Wyatt shook a few pills into his hand and swallowed them dry. “How many do you want?”

“Three.”

Wyatt counted them out and handed them to Micah, who drank from a half-full water bottle to take his pills.

“This is a terrible thing,” Micah said.

“It sure is.” Wyatt didn’t usually mince words, and he wouldn’t today either. He let Micah drive him to the bakery, through the lane to get caramel hot chocolate, and to the church where the viewing and funeral would be held.

He didn’t see Marcy as he went through the line for the viewing, but he shook her brother’s hand and moved into the chapel. They saved seats for everyone in the family, and Wyatt’s heart leapt and jumped and rejoiced when the Payne family finally walked in.

Marcy wore a floor-length black dress, enough makeup to hide the fact that she’d been crying, and a bright white rose on her wrist. She held her head high and her brother’s hand, and she didn’t even glance at Wyatt as she walked past him.

He wanted to reach for her. He wanted to reach out to her. He kept his hands at his sides and sat with everyone else. He wept through the songs, the talks, the advice from Pastor Daniels. He wished he could be the Savior in that moment, and take upon himself all of their sorrows, their grief, their pain.

He watched Marcy more than anyone, and she wiped her eyes several times and bowed her head once. She leaned against her brother, and Wyatt wished it was him. He had so many wishes when it came to Marcy Payne, and hardly any of them had come true.

The funeral ended, and after employing his patience once again, Wyatt left the chapel with his brothers and their wives, their children, and everyone else in Three Rivers.

“Are you going to the cemetery?” Micah asked.

“Yes,” Wyatt said, deciding on the spot. He shed his jacket as he left the church, as he ran hot almost all the time, and the sun was out, albeit a weak, early-January light and warmth from above. “I can go alone,” he said. “If you want to go back to the ranch with someone.”

Liam and Callie were going that way, as were Jeremiah and Whitney, and all their ranch hands. Someone would have a seat if Micah wanted it.

Micah said, “I’ll come.”

Relief filled Wyatt, as he didn’t really want to go alone. He didn’t function at his best while alone, but he could do it. He’d usually traveled with other cowboys, a trainer, and his manager while he ran the rodeo circuit, but he sometimes had to go by himself. He could stand near the back of the crowd at a cemetery.

Marcy’s brother dedicated the gravesite, and four planes flew over the cemetery. Wyatt looked up at the crop-dusters, a sense of peace filling him. Martin had dedicated his life to flying and dusting the fields, farms, and ranches surrounding Three Rivers, and the fly-by was a nice tribute to him.

He didn’t dare talk to Marcy at the cemetery, and he and Micah left as soon as the family started putting their corsages and boutonnieres on the casket. He wept openly on the way back to the truck, his heart so full.

“You okay?” Micah asked as they got in the truck.

“Fine,” he said, wiping at his eyes. “Thank you, Micah.”

“Of course.” They drove back to the ranch in silence, and Wyatt beelined for his bedroom the moment they stepped inside the homestead. He just wanted to be alone.

No, what he really wanted was for Marcy to call him. He knew she was having a late lunch at her house after the ceremony at the cemetery, but he didn’t want to go. He didn’t want to comfort her in front of everyone. He wasn’t even sure she wanted him to comfort her.

Frustration filled him over the situation, and he shed all of his fancy clothes and lay down in bed. Maybe a nap would clear his head. Maybe then he’d know what to do about the beautiful blonde who’d crawled into his heart the moment he’d met her, over a year ago.

What Readers are Saying

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “The Three Rivers Ranch Series. Beautiful written. Planning to order in paper back. Great characters with strong family and community ties. Each story has it own little twist and turns while they search to protect their hearts while searching for true love.” ~Geoffrey S.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Wyatt and Marcy are great together. Great storyline and characters through the series. Good, clean stories with great characters. Love reading Liz Isaacson!” ~Kim M.

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The Walker Brothers have moved to small-town Three Rivers...and refused to date.

Oh, boy, do the women of this town want a piece of these cowboy billionaire brothers! And you can read all about it in the Seven Sons Ranch in Three Rivers Romance books!