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The Bull Rider's Baby

Written by Cathy McDavid

Trevor Bridwell's dream of winning a bull-riding championship at the National Finals Rodeo is within his sights. To celebrate qualifying for the big show, he goes to the Saddle Horn Saloon—where he met stunning Addie Gallagher almost a year ago. His night just keeps getting better when he finds Addie behind the bar!

Addie is shocked to see Trevor again. But she knows she has to tell him the truth—he's daddy to her son. She's even more surprised when Trevor wants to be there for her and Cody. But is he staying out of duty? And if he gives up his dream of winning a championship, how can she trust that he won't hate her for it?

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Chapter One

The massive bull, aptly named Orange Crush, turned on a dime and bucked with such force, the cowboy riding him didn't stand a chance. Just as the young man hit the ground, after executing a near-perfect midair cartwheel, the buzzer went off.

Trevor Bridwell smiled only when the cowboy climbed to his feet, retrieved his hat and waved to the cheering crowd. Trevor's glance then went to the jumbotron where his name, number and impressive score appeared in first place.

He'd done it! Qualified for the National Finals Rodeo. After all these years.

"Congratulations, buddy." An arm grabbed him by the shoulders and squeezed hard. It belonged to Joey, Trevor's longtime friend and fellow competitor. "I'm proud of you."

While the comically dressed bullfighters headed Orange Crush down the length of the arena and through the gate, Trevor accepted a barrage of backslaps and handshakes, and one neck choke, from the same guys he'd just competed against. No hard feelings. They all knew how long and hard Trevor had fought for this day.

"This is it," Joey shouted in Trevor's ear. "You're on your way."

He was. Next month, he'd be competing in Vegas and, with luck, winning his first national championship title.

"A darn sight better than the last time we were here," Joey remarked later when they were walking back to his truck. "You came in second from last."

"No kidding." Trevor stuffed his hand in his jacket pocket, removed the gold buckle he'd been awarded an hour earlier and reread the inscription. Not his first buckle, but it would be one of his most treasured.

Exactly one year ago, at this same rodeo, Trevor had been disqualified on the second day. And like that, his dream of going to the NFR had vaporized. Thankfully, history hadn't repeated itself.

Some would say Trevor was late to the sport of bull riding, not competing professionally until his early twenties. His career had been mediocre at best, and he'd stuck with the sport simply because he loved it. Then, after six years and just when he was considering quitting, he'd suddenly started winning.

"What do you say we celebrate?" Joey asked. "Head over to that same place we went last year?"

"Count me in."

At the mention of the Saddle Horn Saloon, Trevor suppressed a surge of excitement. Would he run into Addie Gallagher again? Though the chances were slim, he couldn't help hoping she'd be there.They'd met last year, both with friends, both nursing recent wounds. Recognizing a kindred spirit, they'd been drawn to each other and gotten better acquainted on the dance floor. The next morning, after waking up in bed together, they'd realized their mistake and parted amicably. Trevor had assumed he'd forget about Addie, only that wasn't the case. Thoughts of her had stayed with him. If not for her insisting they'd both simply needed someone for the night and there was nothing more to it, he'd have called and called and called until she agreed to see him again. But he hadn't. Not once. With memories of her playing repeatedly in vivid detail, Trevor searched the crowd for a tall, strawberry blonde beauty the moment he and Joey entered the saloon.

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About the author

I had no idea when I opened that first Walter Farley book in third gra...

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Cathy McDavid

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