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A truck pulled up behind her and came to a stop, but she didn’t turn to look. She knew it was one of the Henshaw’s workers and she had no desire to talk, even if she did appear rude.

An undeniably male presence appeared beside her and rested his elbows on the fence. “Watcha staring at?” the man asked.

Cecily nearly fell off the fence in shock, but she covered her surprise and spoke calmly. “Hello, Marcus.” She hadn’t expected Marcus Henshaw himself to come.

He tipped his hat to her. “Cecily.”

“Did all of your ranch hands run off or die?” she asked.

He gave her a wry smile. “Believe it or not I occasionally do some work myself.”

She nodded. Everyone knew Marcus was a hard worker. Ever since he graduated from college, he had a passion to make his ranch even more of a success than it already was. “Sort of like the guy who owns Boardwalk buying up all the rest of the board,” she said.

“My favorite piece is the car,” he said.

She was surprised he had picked up on her Monopoly reference. Lately she had been blurting whatever crossed her mind without running it through a filter first, and when it happened, most people stared at her in silent confusion.

“I like the dog,” she said. Her mind conjured the image of the little metal dog, and she looked off toward the distance as she remembered afternoons spent playing Monopoly with Kitty and Dante. She never won. It’s like a metaphor for my life now. The stakes are higher, and I’m still losing.

“Are you ready?” Marcus asked. His gentle tone grated on her nerves. She didn’t want pity, especially not from one of the high and mighty Henshaws--the highest and mightiest Henshaw, no less.

She nodded curtly.

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