Copyright © 2017 by Betty Shreffler
This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real places are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and events are products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I looked in the mirror. I’d done a decent job of cleaning up. I showered, actually blow-dried my long, sun-kissed hair, put on a little gloss and mascara, a newer pair of jeans with only slight wear, and a fitted red flannel over a cream camisole. I didn’t get out much these days with all the work on the ranch and thought it might feel good to get out of my everyday work clothes. It did. I actually felt pretty.
I walked into the bar and scanned the area, looking for Rick. He hadn’t arrived yet, so I pulled up a stool by the bar and ordered my first draft.
Halfway through it, I checked my phone and then the entrance of the bar for the umpteenth time. Still no sign of Rick. I figured he was running late or had to bail for some reason.
The tall bartender with a kind smile and large hands asked if I wanted to order anything. I did. I was plenty hungry, but I wanted to wait for Rick. I glanced at the door again, and my tongue stuck in my throat.
A tall, broad-shouldered man with a narrow waist and round thighs strolled through the entrance. He flicked his cowboy hat and I got a glimpse of the short, dark hair underneath. His shirt appeared too thin to cover the bulging muscles of his chest and arms. A hefty breeze looked like it would blow it off him, and well, I wouldn’t have minded seeing it do just that, just so I could have a peek at what laid beneath.
I giggled at my own girlish thoughts. It’d been far too long since I’d had a man’s touch and apparently, the added beer on an empty stomach was fueling the sexual tension warming between my thighs.
I turned away so I didn’t get caught staring. I tipped my beer toward the bartender.
“Larry, I’ll take another. I’ll take a menu, too.”
The air around me suddenly grew thick, and my body warmed with electric heat as the man from the entrance neared my stool and took the one right next to me. I stared at him like he’d just caught my hand in a cookie jar. He winked at me and smiled and, good grief, his smile was beautiful and so were his stunning hazel-green eyes.
“All right if I sit here?”
Words, what were those things, something starting with a letter, a vowel or two, along with some syllables. Oh, yes. I knew those words.
“Yeah, that’s fine,” I stammered.
Yeah, it had been too long since I’d seen an attractive male. No, not attractive, this man was carved from some kind of toned, golden-skinned statue and magically given life. There were no words for how gorgeous he was. As sparks went off like the Fourth of July from my hips down, I turned to my beer and swallowed with great enthusiasm.
I set down the empty beer. From the corner of my eye, I could see him staring at me.
I turned and looked at him. It was almost painful to stare too long. Not because I found him so ridiculously handsome, but because the longer he stared at me, the more intense the heat between my thighs burned.
“No, I’m actually waiting for a friend, but I don’t think he’s coming.”
The stunning male sculpture next to me seemed disappointed. The corner of his mouth creased into almost a frown. Seeing it made me want to do anything to make it go away. I needed that smile back.
“It’s his loss. You’re a gorgeous woman. He’s a fool for not being here.”
He nodded to the bartender, and I adjusted to stay upright in the stool. His words hit me like a freight train. Was I in that much need of a man’s affectionate words?
He glanced back at me, and I dug a smile out from somewhere.
“Not a date. He’s my employee. We were meeting here for a drink.”
My phone buzzed in my pocket. “Speaking of…”
I pulled it out and glanced at the screen. Sure enough, Rick had canceled on me. My shoulders dropped.
“He just canceled.”
A beer was slid into this mystery man’s hand. “I’ll take his place, if you’ll let me.”
I looked up at him, surprised. Was he hitting on me? A little shiver of excitement trolled over my skin.
“Well, I was about to order food. I suppose some attractive company alongside it wouldn’t be so bad.”
Even after a beer, I was still rusty, yet his lips curved upward into that infectious smile.
“My name’s Brock.” He tipped his hat at me, and that slight gesture tickled from my sex to my toes. Brock. Even his name was sexy.
His smile widened. He grabbed the menu. “What are you gonna have?”
“Probably burger and fries.”
He closed the menu. “I’ll have the same.” Larry took our orders and brought two more beers on Brock’s request.
He handed me one.
“Thanks.” I seized the beer and brought it to my lips. His eyes clung to the bottle, and his jaw flexed.
From the moment I walked in, she caught my attention. Her golden brown hair glowed like a halo around her thin, fit frame. When I caught the attraction in her eyes, I couldn’t stop myself from hoping she was here alone. I filled the stool next to her before any other man could. When her eyes did a strip-search over my body, my cock jumped inside my thankfully loose jeans. My gaze swept over her, too. She had soft baby-blues under thick long lashes, sun loved skin, and curves I was sure would fit perfectly in my hands.
I could tell right away she was down to earth, not a lot of fuss and make-up. Shy eyes, worn jeans, and her tight flannel over a toned frame told me she worked hard for that body but didn’t know just how beautiful she was.
Only a few minutes in and I was already dying to know more about her. Relief filled me when she let me join her for dinner. Even her attempt to flirt was cute. As was her smile. It seemed she wasn’t used to wearing a smile, and beneath those shy eyes, I sensed something more.
A bit of pride filled me when she ordered a burger and fries. She was my kind of girl already. I watched her nervously take the beer I ordered for her. Her attraction to me was apparent, and the sweet way she avoided staring at me too long made my mind fill with thoughts I tried hard to suppress. Her breasts clung to her tank top as the beer bottle met those full, pink lips. It was all over for me then. I had never wanted to be a beer bottle so badly in my life. She licked those perfectly plump lips, and my groin ached. I had to adjust in the stool so she didn’t see the semi growing in my jeans.
I couldn’t stop wondering what the ass in that stool looked like in her tight, worn jeans either. I took another swig, eyeing her sideways. Her eyes simmered a slow burn over my back and arms. I adjusted again, swigging more beer and hoping the food would arrive soon to keep my hands busy instead of putting them where I really wanted to. Even though my mind was working like a teenage boy, I needed to keep the rest of me acting like the gentlemen I could be.
“You said you were meeting your employee. What is it you do?”
“I run a horse therapy ranch, Flanders Ranch.”
A sudden familiarity hit me. I had to pull it out of a distant memory cabinet, but I remembered the whole town talking about it a couple years ago. I was away on a contract job building a new house, but the news still reached me via the gossip train of women in my family. There’d been an explosion, some kind of machine overheating on the Flanders Farm, and the woman left behind had started a horse ranch. Now, I understood what I saw behind those baby-blues. She’d known the kind of loss that no one should have to suffer, especially not this young and sweet.
“Amy Flanders?” I asked, confirming my suspicion.
Her proud smile spread wide. “Yes. That’s me.” She took another sip of her beer, and her eyes lingered over me a little longer this time. I gnawed on my lip to control the tension building in my lower abdomen. Finally, the food arrived, and I peeled my eyes off her rosy cheeks and kiss-me lips.
“What’s your last name?”
“What do you do?”
“I own a contracting company. I build houses all over Kentucky and surrounding states.”
“Are you from here?”
I nodded, swallowing down a mouthful. “Yeah. Grew up here. When I’m not working, I’ve got a little place of comfort I like to call home. Nothing special, but it sits on a lake and it’s just far enough outside of town to enjoy the woods.”
“It is. Maybe you could come by sometime.”
She seemed to clam up at the suggestion. Damn, I was coming on too strong. There was no backing out of that one.
“How’s your burger?” I tried to change the subject.
Her shoulders lowered, and my chest loosened.
“Want another beer? You’re almost dry.”
She nodded, and I waved the bartender over and ordered us a couple more.
As insanely gorgeous and kind as Brock was, I couldn’t help the nerves that bunched when he’d mentioned seeing his place. That meant he wouldn’t mind seeing me after this encounter, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. Actually, it made me sweat and an uncomfortable knot to form in my gut.
Thankfully, he’d changed the subject and ordered me another beer because I needed it to shake off this strange sensation running through me. The beers came, and I tugged a little too heavily on mine. His hand came up and lowered my bottle.
“Slow down, gorgeous. I don’t want to have to carry you out of here.”
I should’ve been embarrassed, but his joking tone made me smile.
“Don’t worry. It takes five to plaster my face to the floor.”
He let out a light, airy laugh that rolled across his stomach and chest and escaped his full, kissable lips. I glanced away as my cheeks grew warm.
He pushed our finished plates away and left cash on the bar, paying for both of us.
“Want to play some pool?”
He pointed to the corner of the bar behind me.
“As long as you’re prepared for how terrible of a player I am. Haven’t played since college.”
He slid off his stool and nodded toward the pool tables. “I’ll help you out. C’mon.”
I stood in front of the pool cues, eyeing them unskillfully, then settled on one that seemed like it would work for me. I turned and caught Brock eyeing my ass. An unfamiliar sensation of flapping butterflies danced in my belly. The corner of his mouth tilted into a mischievous grin. He clearly wasn’t ashamed I’d just caught him ogling me.
With three beers and good food warming my body, I didn’t mind the attention. With ease, he racked and shot, dispersing the balls across the felt and sinking two stripes in.
“You can be stripes.”
I laughed and shook my head. “No way. No special treatment. I want to try my best to beat you.”
He grinned. “All right, gorgeous. Let’s see what you can do.”
He leaned over the table, and I took a step back—not only giving him more room to sink another ball in, but to admire the way his jeans fit him. Oh and they hugged him like they loved him. His ass was as firm, toned, and gorgeous as the front. As he leaned over, a tattoo peeked out under his shirt. The dark ink on toned, solid muscles sent heat shooting right between my thighs. I let out a breath.
He turned too soon and caught me admiring him. That same mischievous grin spread over his face.
“Come here.” He nodded for me to come to him, and my legs followed his command as easily as my horses follow mine.
His hand gently took a hold of my hip, and that light, sensual touch electrified me. Thankfully, my bra covered how hard my nipples had become. With his large hand, he tucked me into him and bent me over the table with ease. My breath caught when my ass grazed over his package. Against my ear, a low grumble escaped his lips.
His hot breath teased my sensitive skin, and I bit down hard on my lip, fighting the fire scorching between my legs. It’d been so long since a man had touched me intimately, and it seemed my body was desperate for the contact.
His hand left my hip and showed me where to place my arms and hands on the cue.
“Like this…” he whispered in my ear.
The stick slid through our joined hands, and the ball slammed into the pocket. I didn’t even see it sink in. I stood, inches from his chest—my breath heavy and arousal aching in my sex.
He bent his knee, and with one swift motion, he turned my ass against the pool table, pinning me between him and it. His hands gripped me fiercely with shocking control, and then those kiss-me lips landed on mine.
Even when we were close to finishing dinner, I knew I had to have more time with Amy. I had to explore the desire that simmered just beneath those hungry, shy eyes of hers. To keep the night fun and lasting, I stopped her from drinking too much too fast. A little body like hers could only take so much beer.
When her ass left the stool, I watched it walk the whole way to the pool tables. It was incredible—the best ass I’d ever laid eyes on—and I didn’t want to stop staring at the perfect round curves tucked into a jean cloth platter. When she caught me staring and gave me a look that begged for me to bend her over this pool table and take her here and now, my cock jumped to life. I tried to ignore the thoughts swimming through my head and focused on the balls on the pool table instead of the blue ones in my jeans.
I made the mistake of showing her what to do, and when her ass grazed my growing hard-on, I nearly lost it right there. She stood and those lusty blue eyes and plump lips begged for me to claim them. So, I did.
His kiss was electric. Sparks detonated from every nerve in my body, and he was the power source. My hands fisted his shirt, pulling him into me, devouring his lips, his kiss, his touch. My body charged to life. It vibrated with thunderous need. His tongue slipped in between my lips, and I couldn’t get enough. I moaned into his mouth and lost all sense of where the hell I was.
He eased off our kiss and I fell forward, pulled by his magnetism.
His hand gripped mine as his gorgeous hazel-green eyes stared down at me, a fierce hunger in them that left me wet and starving for his lips to claim mine again.
“I’m taking you home with me. I want more of you, so much more.” His hunger vibrated out of his chest and lips. I didn’t respond. My brain was mush, and my body had taken over for me.
He held my hand tightly, nearly putting us into a run out of the bar.