Aidan's Arrangement(The Langley Legacy Book 4) - Peggy McKenzie

By: Peggy McKenzie

The Langley Legacy, Book 4







About the Book



Langley’s Legacy - 1933



Can an arranged marriage between two feuding families create a new beginning and help them survive the catastrophic financial devastation of the Great Depression or will secrets and betrayal doom them all to failure?



Maura Jackson has heard about the feud between her family and the Langley’s since she could walk. Her papa made certain she knew every despicable detail. She wanted to hate Aidan Langley. She needed to hate him. It was her duty to her family to hate him. But, ever since that hot summer day when she and Aidan caught each other swimming nude, she has had a hard time convincing herself what she feels for Aidan Langley is hate. It feels like so much more. Now, her parents have agreed to a business arrangement with the Langleys. She and Aidan will marry and have a child—the link that will bind the families together. But can she keep her part of this arrangement without losing her heart to the handsome enemy?



Aidan Langley’s life had been pretty good up to this point. But when financial setbacks threaten to rob his family of everything his parents and the generations before them worked so hard to claim, he was agreeable to do just about anything—even when his parents asked him to marry Maura Jackson, the great niece of the man who accused his dad of ruining him and caused a black mark on his family’s name. Could their union   truly unite these two feuding families, or will their animosity toward each other tear them even farther apart? Aidan wasn’t convinced it could work but he would do his duty to his family’s legacy. One thing was for certain, his heart would never belong to Maura Jackson—and as soon as he lived up to his end of the bargain, he would set her free.



A story of perseverance and discovering love in the last place you expected to find it.



“Beare and Forbeare”





Dedication



This book is dedicated to the human spirit and its ability to persevere in the face of hardship and heartache. There is no greater force than the single-minded determination to follow our dreams and to create a legacy worthy to pass down to our children, our children’s children, and all the generations that come after.



“Beare and Forebeare” is an Irish motto that means be patient and endure—a human condition all people have in common without regard to borders.







Chapter One



July 1933

The Legacy Ranch

New Dawn Springs, Oregon



Aidan Langley rode his horse over the rise and down to the creek winding its way through his family’s ranch. The creek ran year-round thanks to the snow melt of the mountains to the north. A great location for raising livestock. And a family—the very reason his great-grandfather, Finn Langley, chose this spot to homestead when he first arrived in Oregon from Ireland in the 1850s.

Frisco, the appaloosa gelding he rode was thanks to his grandfather, Patrick Langley, who bred the spotted horses until the day he died. He had loved his Grampa Langley, who let him name the old appaloosa stud when Aidan had been about three years old. To everyone’s chagrin, Aidan named him Pokey Dot.

He urged the muscled short-barreled horse down the gulley and into the brisk flowing water. Frisco stood in the middle of the creek chest high and pulled at the reins, stretching his neck to drink his fill of the cool, clear water. After the horse had his fill, Aidan guided him on to the wet sand-covered bank and dismounted, careful to keep hold of the reins. The last thing he wanted to do was walk back to the house on a hot day like today. A glance at the bluebird sky gave every indication it was going to get hotter.

He studied the movement of the creek. A stick about a foot long floated by, gently bobbing in the dappled shade of the trees lining both banks of the water. “Hell, why should you get all the fun, Frisco?” He spoke to his horse and patted the big horse on his rump. “Work is done. How about I tie you up here next to this green grass while I dip a toe or two?”

Aidan pulled his lead rope off the saddle horn and tied Frisco to a tree a few yards away from the edge of the creek. He could cool off and keep one eye on his ride home.

He pulled off his boots and socks, jerked his sweat soaked t-shirt over his head, and pushed off his jeans and underwear down his long, muscled legs. A faint breeze bounced off the water and nipped at his nakedness. Goosebumps pebbled his skin when he slipped beneath the waist deep, snow melt frigid water flowing around him.

He grabbed a fist full of tree root jutting from the creek’s bank to keep himself from drifting down stream. His body adjusted to the cold water and he lay back in the water, his eyes closed, clinging to the root, the sun beating down from the cloudless sky. This was heaven.

The gentle rocking of the flowing water lulled him into a state of semi-consciousness. He was vaguely aware of the sounds of the outdoor surrounding him. Meadowlarks chirped from every tree branch. He heard crickets in the tall pasture grass growing to the edge of the creek banks. He heard water trickling off rocks and roots lining the creek. And he heard laughter. A sweet and joyful sound. It made him smile—wait. Laughter?

He sat up in the water and listened closer. There it was again. Aidan faded into the shrubs and saplings lining the creek bank. Someone else had sought relief in the cool water of the creek that ran through his family’s property. But who? No one had permission to access this creek except his family and their hired hands—and there weren’t many of those left since the stock market crashed in twenty-nine and reversed everyone’s fortunes.