Big Brass Buckle
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…
NOTE: This 7100-word erotic, Western short story was originally published under the title Cowboy, but has since been revised and expanded.
Read an Excerpt
Lightning clawed the sky with a crow’s foot, illuminating thick thunderheads that glowed yellow-green and ominous. The color the sky often turned before a tornado twisted its nasty tail. Glad to be out of the rain and safe from the jagged streaks, I shivered against the cool vinyl seat as another flash lashed out like the end of a whip, lighting the sky so intensely that for a moment the darkened parking lot was as bright as high noon.
That was when I saw the pickup roll in towing a large horse trailer. The Ford F-160 ground to a halt beside the diner’s plate-glass 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 when the end of the lightning strike flickered out, plunging the parking lot back into darkness. The driver would be soaked to the skin before he even hit the door. The distance was 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 peered through the window at the deepening night, waiting for a lull before continuing my journey home.
Earlier, I’d read the clouds as well as any West Texas native could and headed to the nearest shelter. The tiny diner with its 70’s style brick façade, split vinyl bench seats, and chipped, laminated table tops was a welcome haven. The attached string of dingy 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 customer. Until now.
The door squeaked open, and a cowboy strode inside. He pulled off his cream-colored hat and shook shaggy 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.
I straightened in my seat, eyeing his tall, lean frame, liking what I saw. Instant lust drew me, stripping away my usual reticence with strangers. He wasn’t just my type, he could freaking set the mold. I licked my lips.
Setting his cowboy hat on the table, the deeply tanned man 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.
This cowboy 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.
His glance locked with mine again, and 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.
I liked the raw texture of his voice—a scratchy rumble that started deep in his chest and scraped upward. Already I could imagine it softening to a rasp when he whispered. “Seein’ as we’re the only ones here, cowboy, 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, the corners wrinkling as he narrowed his gaze.
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. I shook my head, guessing I wanted a connection to this man that didn’t exist—something to make the plan unfolding in my mind a little less outrageous.
His eyelids dipped then widened, a subtle once-over that left my breasts tingling and my thighs tightening.
He nodded toward the window. “Storm catch you, too?”
So he was willing to exchange small talk to extend our encounter while he politely studied me to figure out where I was leading him and whether he was willing to be led.
I’d 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.