Cowgirl up and ride, p.11
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       Cowgirl Up and Ride, p.11

         Part #3 of Rough Riders series by Lorelei James
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Page 11


  “Wrong. I was done by the time I was your age. ”

  “Well, la-di-fuckin’-da. I think you’re pissed off because Jasmine didn’t invite you to join in the fun and games the other night because you’re old and cranky. ”

  Furious, Cord jumped off the tailgate. “I’ll show you old. I’m gonna kick your smart ass, punk. ”

  Colt tossed the pitchfork aside. “Come on up here and try it. ”

  Just about that time, Colby galloped up on his horse. He reined between the two pickups and the two angry brothers. “What the hell is goin’ on here?”

  “Ask Colt. Better yet, why don’t you ask him what he’s done today? Or yesterday?

  Or all goddamn week?”

  “Accordin’ to Cord, if you ain’t workin’ twenty-four hours a day, you’re a fuckin’ slacker. ”

  “You’d know all about bein’ a slacker, Colt. ”

  “Enough. Both of you. ” Colby’s horse stuck his head in the back of the truck bed to sniff for food.

  “Fine. I’m done anyway. ” Colt climbed in his truck and roared off.

  Cord stared after his shithead brother, mentally cataloging half a dozen crappy jobs for him to do tomorrow.

  “What’s really goin’ on with him? Why’s he bein’ so damn ornery?”

  Cord relayed what he’d seen in the Golden Boot. “Only thing he cares about is gettin’ laid and gettin’ drunk. And if you think I’m exaggeratin’, ask Dad. He knows what Colt ain’t been doin’ around here. ”

  Colby sighed. “I did. That’s why he sent me. He says you’re workin’ too hard. ”

  “Dad said that? He oughta talk. I ain’t doin’ any more than what I usually do—which just proves that Colt ain’t been doin’ his share. Not just this week, either. Ever since calving season. ”

  “Didja try talkin’ to him ’bout it?”

  “Yeah. I even talked to Kade since he lives with him, see if he noticed anything.

  Kade don’t see nothin’ wrong, so I dropped it. ”

  “You done here?”

  “Was ’bout to head home. Why?”

  “Channing told me to ask you to supper. ”

  “She feelin’ better?”

  “Nope. Still sick as a dog. Doc says it’ll pass next month. Ma says it’ll pass next month. ” He scrubbed a hand over his jaw. “Hard to be excited when she’s so miserable. ”

  “It gets better. And I’ll bet she’s happy even when she’s throwin’ up. ”

  Colby smiled. “True. Anyway, she knows you’re missin’ Ky, we’re missin’ him too.

  So you wanna come over?”

  “Nah. Tell the mama-to-be thanks and I’ll wait ’til she’s feelin’ up to company. ”

  “Good enough. You care if I hang around tomorrow and keep an eye on Colt?”

  “I’d appreciate it. I’m runnin’ behind. Again. ”

  Cord threw his tools in the back of his truck and started the drive home. The summer air was heavy with heat. Gnats buzzed around his head. Burrs stuck to his clothes. He was hungry. Dirty. Still, this was his favorite part of ranching, gazing across his spread, knowing he’d accomplished something important during the long hours he’d spent outdoors.

  About this time he looked forward to cleaning up. Having a bite to eat with his son.

  Playing games or watching TV before wrestling Ky into bed.

  But after he’d tucked Ky in for the night…that’s when he felt lonely on occasion.

  Not a constant ache, more along the lines of a distant memory of the throb of a broken finger. Seemed he’d been alone so long he was used to it.

  Yet, Cord wouldn’t be alone tonight. AJ would be rolling in. AJ with her big silver eyes. AJ with her sweet smile and inquisitive nature. AJ with her hungry kisses and look of wonder.

  How could she be both innocent and daring? Why had she picked him, a cranky old man with no life, according to his brother, to initiate her into the pleasures between the sheets?

  Why hadn’t AJ chosen Colt? He was closer to her in age. More charming. Probably had a lot of experience breaking in virgins.

  But Cord knew if his brother so much as looked at AJ with lust in his eyes he’d beat the living shit out of him.

  Lord. Part of him was plain nervous. Just how was he supposed to pop her cherry?

  Candlelight, soft music, champagne and a slow seduction? Did he have the patience to create an elaborate scene?

  No. But what if that was how she’d dreamed it would be?

  He’d never been a romantic guy. Maybe he oughta take her hard and fast in the heat of passion. Then they could try some of the more interesting scenarios he’d been thinking up when he’d been alone out on the range all day.

  No matter what cues she gave him, Cord knew tonight was the night and he better get a move on.

  Chapter Nine

  After Cord returned home, his dad swung by. They talked about the worsening situation with Colt. Discussing plans for the rest of the workweek. Ranch stuff Cord lived and breathed. Usually Cord convinced his dad to stick around for another beer, but tonight he couldn’t wait for the man to leave.

  And didn’t that make him a selfish bastard? Did it make him a nancy boy that he’d spent extra time on his appearance? Trimming his mustache and goatee. Giving himself a close shave. Plus he’d changed the sheets on the bed, cleaned the bathroom and generally tidied up the rest of his house.

  So where was she?

  The phone rang and Cord was half-afraid to answer it, thinking AJ might be calling to cancel. But it was his mother, grilling him on Colt. As he listened to her chatter, he saw dust plumes on the main gravel road. AJ had arrived.

  “Ma. My cell is ringin’. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. ” He hung up and watched AJ’s metallic black Jeep park in the hidden alcove next to the barn.

  His heart kicked into double time. He’d never been the type for unbridled affection with anyone besides his son. Why didn’t he rush out to meet her? Swing her into his arms, pepper her sweet face with kisses just to hear her laugh?

  Because you’ll appear too eager. Too desperate.

  So instead, he slouched against the newel post at the bottom of the staircase, waiting for her to come to him.

  Light footsteps echoed across the porch and then two solid raps on the screen door.

  Cord counted to ten and walked to the front entryway.

  He smiled and opened the door, giving her a hot head-to-toe appraisal. Short pink skirt, skin-tight white T-shirt proclaiming “Cowgirls Ride Better Dirty” and rhinestone dotted flip-flops. He experienced a twinge of guilt because she looked so young and innocent. But the guilt vanished when he saw the lust brimming in her eyes, making them as hot as liquid mercury.

  “Hey, baby doll. Don’t you look good. ”

  AJ stared at his mouth. “Thanks. ”

  “Can I getcha a beer?”

  “Ah. Sure. ”

  “What’s wrong?”

  “Nothing. But aren’t you gonna kiss me hello?”

  Cord bent down to press his lips to hers, gliding over the plump softness of her mouth a couple of times and retreated to lick his lips. “Mmm. You taste like lemons. ” He gauged her disappointment. “If I start kissin’ you proper, I won’t wanna stop and I ain’t gonna maul you in the foyer. ”

  “I wouldn’t mind. ”

  “Playin’ with fire, AJ. I’ll grab the beer and be right back. ”

  “Don’t you want me to come into the kitchen? I could help. ”

  He spun back around and shook his finger at her. “You stay right there. We get into trouble in the kitchen. ”

  “I’m hoping we get into trouble everywhere else too. ” AJ smiled coyly and wandered away.

  Cord popped the tops on two Budweisers and tracked her to the living room. Damn, she was a bright spot of color against the dark wood and formal furniture. “Here. ”

; She grabbed the bottle from him. “Thanks. So, what did you do today?”

  “Fixed equipment. Hauled water. Dumped manure. Chewed Colt’s ass. Everyday ranch stuff. ” He sat on the couch and put his beer on the coffee table. “What about you?”

  “Dealt with Jenn after she went to the lawyer’s office. ”

  “She’s really goin’ through with it?”

  “Apparently. She talked to Alan this morning. He doesn’t seem too upset about the divorce, which is upsetting to her. It’s upsetting to me too. ”

  Several minutes passed and she didn’t say another word.

  “C’mere. ”

  AJ abandoned her spot by the floor-to-ceiling picture windows and moved to the couch. As she attempted to plop down next to him, Cord tugged her on his lap.

  “I said come here. ”

  She twisted until their bodies were matched pelvis to pelvis. She draped her arms over the back of the couch behind his head. “Now that I’m here, what’re you gonna do with me?”

  Fuck you until you scream my name.

  He took her mouth like he wanted to take her body—a slow build up, then wham! A no-holds-barred, hot, wet, hard swamping of her senses until she couldn’t breathe.

  AJ rubbed her chest to his, returning his demanding kiss—her enthusiasm a contradiction to her innocence.

  Cord slid his palms up the back of her sleek thighs and found only bare skin. The little minx hadn’t worn panties.

  He clamped his hands to her butt and lifted her slightly, changing the angle of her hips. His middle finger traced the seam of her ass down to where she was wet. He circled the opening to her sex and pushed his finger deep, feathering his thumb over her clit.

  Her sexy whimper reverberated in his mouth.

  As much as he loved hearing her muted surprised sounds of pleasure, he needed more. Cord moved his hand to the small of her back, scraped his teeth across her bottom lip and broke the kiss. “I’m gonna put my mouth on you. I wanna feel you come against my tongue. ”
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