…Continued from Part 3

“I can’t believe I just gave my card to a cowboy who appeared out of nowhere on his horse. Am I hallucinating?” Here she was at Joshua Tree Oasis—one of the world’s best kept vacation secrets—and she was about to take yet another road less traveled.

To follow this adorable specimen with painted-on jeans to who-knows-where…and right now she didn’t even care where that happened to be. Hoping to book more time in this enchanted desert retreat from all kinds of realities she didn’t want to face, she opted to bunk next to Ponderosa pine, Screech Owls and Roadrunners. Never in a million years could she have fathomed finding at last what she didn’t even realize she’d lost—herself and a Gary Cooper lookalike—in this luxurious Mojave hideaway, Joshua Tree Oasis.

She’d learned that her cowboy was also a surgeon who worked at the clinic in town and also ran the local horse ranch in the area. He was living his dream away from big city hospitals and a long-ago first marriage with a wife who was more into Nine West than the Wild West. The idea of “breaking horses” was tantamount to breaking French manicured nails. And so he lived as he loved, he’d explain to her as they shared simmering cups of fresh brewed java in his camper waiting for road service to fix the busted crank shaft. A sudden cloud-burst spattered the roof with gently tapping droplets as the steam of coffee and newfound attraction fogged the windows. “I’m never leaving this place,” she vowed silently. Joshua Tree Oasis could very well be a mirage, but she didn’t want to find out. That’s the way fairy tales begin, right?

She’d left her Blackberry on the kitchen table and it was forever before she finally read the text from her guy in Dubai. “I’ve decided to stay here for awhile. This started out as an accident, but like you always said, `There are no accidents.’” He went on to explain that he was contracting for a business involving fashion and was struck by the beauty surrounding him. He left out the part about Miss Britain, but she read between the lines. How strange the missteps in life, she thought as she packed her bags the next day. One little miscommunication could change a lifetime. She was planning to return to Joshua Tree Oasis the first booking she could get. That bubbly warm outdoor Jacuzzi begged to be shared by one great-looking desert cowboy. And there were miles of chaparral and scrub-lined trails meant for endless horseback rides into the sunset. Dubai… and hello. This path less taken just might be the best one ever.

(The Beginning)

~ Cara Wilson-Granat