Tonight I’ll be chatting live at Writerspace—at 8 PM ET with the Ellora’s Cave Authors, then at 9 PM ET with the After Midnight Authors! Join me if you can!
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This excerpt is from the first short story I wrote for publication. Something short, sassy and in first person. It was released by the Wild Rose Press in 2007.
Caught in a sudden thunderstorm on a lonely stretch of Texas highway, I pull into a dingy little diner to wait out the rain, never dreaming the cowboy of my dreams would follow me inside. Now I have a couple of choices, play it coy and safe? Or go for the big brass buckle…
Lightning clawed the dark like a crow’s foot, illuminating thick thunderheads that glowed yellow-green and ominous. The color of the sky before a tornado twisted its nasty tail.
Glad to be out of the rain and safe from the jagged, streaking light, I shivered against the cool vinyl booth as another flash lashed out like the end of a whip, lighting the horizon so intensely that for a moment the darkened parking lot was bright as high noon.
That was when I saw the large pickup roll in, pulling a horse trailer. It ground to a halt beside the diner’s plateglass window. The driver wasn’t going to bother trying to park it in the flooded lot.
I heard the muffled slam of the truck door, but the end of the lightning strike flickered out, plunging the parking lot back into darkness. The driver would be soaked before he even hit the door. Only twelve feet, but the rain was coming down in sheets. I’d been lucky, arriving before the worst of the storm struck. Mostly dry, I’d peered through the window at the deepening night, waiting for a lull. I’d read the clouds as well as any West Texas native and headed to the nearest shelter. The tiny diner with its 70’s style brick façade, split vinyl bench seats, and peeling, laminated counter tops was a welcome haven. The attached string of motel rooms was part of Plan B if the storm didn’t wane before midnight.
My arrival had been nearly forty minutes ago. Except for a bored waitress smoking a cigarette at a far table, I was the only occupant. Until now.
The door squeaked open, and a cowboy strode inside. He pulled off his cream-colored hat and shook dark brown hair like a dog, sending droplets of water lashing against the glass door. His white T-shirt, soaked almost to transparency, clung to the hills and hollows of sharply defined muscles along his chest and abdomen.
Setting his cowboy hat on the table, he sank into a booth near the door, his expression a study in irritation. Dark brows drawn in a fierce frown, his lips crimped in a thin line.
The man needed a reason to smile.
I pursed my lips and let out a low whistle.
His green gaze sliced my way, taking away my breath. One dark eyebrow rose, his gaze sharpening, giving my face and chest a quick sweep.
When his glance locked with mine again, I figured I didn’t look exactly Coyote Ugly. Feeling brazen as hell, I smiled. “‘Fraid you’ll melt?”
The corner of his mouth curled—just a slight easing of tension I found promising. “I’m not that fragile,” he drawled.
“Seeing as we’re the only ones here, wanna join me?”
With a nod, he gripped the top edge of the bench seat to haul himself up, giving me an interesting view of flexing biceps. He set his cowboy hat back on his head and sauntered my way. The easy roll of his hips and the dull clap of his boots on the tiled floor heightened the little flame of awareness growing inside me. The man certainly filled out a pair of blue jeans.
My gaze dipped only a moment, taking in the oversized belt buckle and the equally impressive bulge at the front of his pants before sliding up to cling to his mossy-green eyes.
Something about him seemed familiar, like maybe we’d met once a long time ago. Only I knew I’d never forget someone like him.
His eyelids lowered then widened, a subtle once-over that left my breasts tingling and my thighs tightening.
He nodded toward the window. “Storm catch you, too?”
I never considered myself especially easy, but I was quick to make up my mind when I saw something I wanted. Something I had to have—and this cowboy, I definitely had to have. “I needed a break anyway,” I said, trying to keep our conversation light.
He continued to stare—at my hair and my breasts—until I warmed past the need to be cool. “You change your mind? Or you gonna have a seat?”
His soft snort, so typically male, plucked at my nipples. But he slid into the bench opposite me, stretching his bare arms wide across the top of the vinyl. All that lovely muscle and the shadows of his small male nipples came into prominence with the stretch of thin, opaque cotton. “Travel far?”
“From Atlanta,” I murmured.
“Much farther to go?”
“Home’s just down the road a piece.”
He cleared his throat. “My name’s Da—”
“Cowboy,” I interrupted him, setting the rules of this game.
He nodded slowly and lifted his hat from his head to rake thick long fingers through his black-brown hair. “Am I gonna call you girl?”
I gave him a cheeky grin. “My name’s Carly.” My middle name. I’d used anonymity before when I’d been on the prowl—a little mystery to heighten the arousal. “I saw you pull up with that horse trailer.”
“I took a string of horses to auction. I’m headin’ home now.” He sounded tired, but his steady stare told me he was waiting to see how this game played out.
I hated the awkward silence that followed, as though we’d run out of polite conversation. Time for cowards to cut and run. I cleared my throat. “So, it looks like we’re both stuck here for awhile…” I let my voice trail off.
“Look…” He glanced around. “I don’t know what you have in mind, but our options seem a little limited.”
“You don’t appear to be a man with a lack of imagination.”
“Not something I’ve ever been accused of. But I generally like a little comfort for my partner…” He leaned over the table, and whispered, “…something soft underneath her back or her knees.”
Day-um! My nipples spiked, and I stretched my own arms across the back of the bench seat, giving him a clear view of just how aroused those little points had become.
“Sounds like you can be a little rough,” I said, kicking off one sandal and lifting my foot to reach beneath the table.
I slid my toes along the inside of one booted calf, trailing up his thigh slowly, skipped his crotch and teased him with a glide along the opposite thigh. I found his cock nestled there and squeezed it with my toes before settling the bottom of my foot between his legs.
He drew in a deep breath, his eyelids falling to halfmast as he eased down in his seat and widened his legs. “I’m just a cowboy,” he said, his voice tightening. “I tend to ride my horses and my women hard.”