Home > Bound to the Bachelor (Montana Born Bachelor Auction #1)(2)

Bound to the Bachelor (Montana Born Bachelor Auction #1)(2)
Sarah Mayberry

“Lily. What brings you to this neck of the woods?” He started toward her, mopping at his chest and face with a towel.

Lily tried not to stare at the well-honed planes of his chest and belly. Beau had been a Marine when he was younger, and he still kept himself crazy fit. Just how fit she hadn’t fully realized until this moment. The man barely had an ounce of fat on his body; he was so ripped and beautifully defined.

“Um. I wanted to talk to you about something.” She dragged her gaze from his body to his face.

His short, dark blonde hair was damp with sweat, his face slightly flushed from his workout. She looked straight into his cornflower-blue eyes and knew she was not welcome here, not in the least. Nothing new there, though. Not with this man.

“Do you, uh, know Molly and Josh Dekker?” she asked.

Beau grabbed a piece of clothing off the back of one of the chairs in the kitchen zone, and she gave a silent sigh of relief when she realized it was a navy blue hoodie. Thank God she didn’t have to have this conversation staring at his ridiculously hard body. This was difficult enough already.

“Josh is the kid who had the accident up at the old mine, right?” Beau asked as he shrugged into the zip-fronted hoodie. “How’s he doing?

“He’s getting there. Slowly.” Lily wiped suddenly damp hands down the thighs of her jeans. “He’s got some pretty bad injuries from the fall, though. Incomplete paraplegia, to be exact. At this stage, the doctors are telling Molly – that’s his mom – that it’s unlikely he’s going to be able to walk again.”

Beau frowned as he stopped a few feet away, as always keeping a slightly-more-than-usual distance from her. “That’s tough news. I take it his father’s not around?”

“He and Molly are divorced. Which makes it even harder for Molly to make sure Josh has everything he needs. Which is why I’m here.” She felt a little breathless, and she willed Beau to finish dressing and zip up the front of his hoodie. Instead, he shoved his hands into the pockets and waited for her to continue.

“Money is tight,” she said, keeping her gaze on his face through a sheer act of will. “Josh is going to need a bunch of specialist treatment and equipment in order to maximize his recovery. And Molly is a school teacher, so the money isn’t exactly pouring in. Molly’s proud, but I’ve managed to convince her to let people pitch in to help out. Long story short, I was wondering if you’d be willing to be involved for a fundraiser?”

She knew it was kind of sneaky not mentioning what form the fundraiser was going to take up front, but she knew Beau well enough to know he was not going to be an easy recruit.

“Sure. What are you looking for? Donations? I’m more than happy to write you a check.”

“I need volunteers, actually. For the auction.”

Beau’s expression became wary. “What sort of auction are we talking here?”

She offered him a hopeful smile. “The bachelor kind.”

His eyebrows shot toward his hairline. “A bachelor auction? Like a meat market? You’ve got to be kidding.”

“I did an informal poll, and it was the idea that got the most interest from everyone.”

Beau was already shaking his head. “Listen, I am more than happy to hand over a nice, juicy check, but I am not interested in being offered up on an auction block like a slab of beef.”

“We need bachelors,” Lily said stubbornly. “The whole point is to put on a show, give people something for their money. Like I said, Molly’s proud. She won’t just take hand-outs.”

He ran a frustrated hand through his hair. “There must be someone else you can ask. What about Danny Martin? And what about that ex-Olympic skier guy?”

“Danny just got engaged, and I’ve already spoken to Jett Casey. He’s in, by the way. Because he’s not a big chicken and he knows a good cause when he sees one.”

“Come on, Lily. Don’t do this to me.”

“I’m sorry, but there are only so many men with their own teeth, hair and hips in this town.”

Not to mention washboard abs and shoulders to make a woman weep. If Beau came to the auction dressed like this, they’d have a stampede on their hands.

Beau shifted his weight, a frown pleating his forehead as he tried to come up with an out for himself.

“It’s one hour of your life. For an awesome cause.” She pulled her phone from her pocket and tapped the screen until she’d called up a recent picture of Josh. Like most of the photos she had of him, he was grinning, his whiskey-brown eyes full of life and laughter. His small frame was dwarfed by the wheelchair that was now a permanent feature in his life.

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