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The breeze caught the line of clothes and tangled the sheet around her. Grace slapped it down and shoved a pin over the line. The sheet curled around her again. Grace grabbed a fistful and tugged. The line snapped. A full morning's work lay on the grass. Now she'd have to start all over again.
She glanced around. Still alone. No one would know the difference. It was grass, for crying out loud, and she had a lot more work to do.
She plucked the heavy cording from the ground. Weighed down with wet wash, it took two hands to haul it over her shoulder. Stretching on tiptoe, Grace tried to thread the end into the hole on the wooden brace. It might as well have been a needle. The line was too heavy. She was wasting as much time trying to tie the dagblasted thing than she would if she'd taken the wash down in the first place.
A pair of hands covered hers. Dark, long-fingered, callused. Startled, she jumped, then craned her neck backward. Jake Tanner. He tied the cord off with nary a blink, standing so close Grace could count the whiskers in his growing beard.
"Ma'am." He tugged the brim of his hat her way, and swung back into the saddle.
He was almost out of hearing range when Grace finally remembered her manners and hollered a thank you. Without turning, he raised his hand in response.
Grace allowed herself a smile. He was just about the best thing she'd seen in Sleepy Eye ... ever. She'd be thinking about him for a long time to come. Oh, yes ... a long time.