Cowboy take me away, p.47
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       Cowboy Take Me Away, p.47

         Part #16 of Rough Riders series by Lorelei James

  declined to live at home and Carson allotted the funds for Colby to build his own place on McKay land.

  Nine months into his personal hell, Carson had swallowed his pride and asked Cal and his sons for help, as well as Charlie and his two oldest boys.

  Year two was better. Even though Cord spent months at sea working as a fisherman, he actually called to check in. But he never mentioned returning to Wyoming—even for a visit.

  At the start of year three, Cord had called to announce he’d gotten married. Carolyn, who’d kept to her word and hadn’t taken sides, lit into Carson like he hadn’t experienced since his drinking and brawling days. She told him if their son planned to make his home and his life in Seattle, he deserved their support and they’d show it by paying him and his new wife a visit.

  So they’d made the trip. Both he and Carolyn had disliked Marla, Cord’s wife, ten minutes into meeting her. If that wasn’t bad enough, Carson knew his son was restless in the big city, living in a tiny apartment when he wasn’t cramped into an even smaller space on a fishing boat. Seeing that allowed Carson to make the apology he’d owed his oldest son.

  Over a bottle of whiskey they’d made up and made plans. It seemed too good to be true that Marla was onboard for living in the “wild west” married to a real cowboy. A month after the Seattle visit Cord and Marla were back in Wyoming, living in Cord’s old trailer. But in order to make his wife happy, Cord agreed to build her a house. It’d taken every penny he’d had and then some, and a little over a year to construct the house of her dreams. Then the woman had only stuck it out for a year after Cord had slaved to give her everything she’d wanted. No one had been surprised when she’d taken off or that she’d left their baby son with Cord.

  “Mr. McKay?”

  He blinked, jolted from the memory, and turned to face the nurse. “Yes?”

  “If you want to get ready, I’ll take you in.”


  Carson washed up, slipped on the modified spacesuit, latex gloves and transparent hygiene mask that protected her, but allowed him to talk to her.

  The sound of the ventilator no longer bothered him; it meant she was still breathing. The machines surrounding the bed kept up a steady hum and the occasional blip. He sat on the rolling stool next to the bed. Setting his hand over the top of hers, he squeezed, wishing they could be skin to skin. After this he knew he’d never take holding her hand for granted again.

  “Hey sugar. I’m sittin’ here beside you. I know you can hear me. I need you to hear me. Come back to me. I need you to know that I’m right here, I ain’t goin’ anywhere.

  “My day is a whole lotta waitin’ around until I get these five minutes an hour with you. Since our kids are MIA, I spend that time twiddling my damn thumbs, wondering what’s goin’ through your head. Or I try and watch TV but nothin’ can hold my interest for more than a few minutes.

  “Anyway, Kyler visited a bit ago. He wanted to talk to me about what’s been goin’ on between him and Cord. I needed you there so damn bad because you’re so good at that talkin’ it out stuff. I listened mostly, answered some of his questions, but I don’t know if I helped him or not. We’ve always known Kyler is a good kid, but today I realized that he’s special in a way that’ll be tough on his family. Yeah, Cord and AJ are bustin’ their buttons proud of him, but Ky’s got ambition and drive…and after hearin’ him talk today about some of the college offers he’s getting, he’s got the talent. I just wish I could save him and Cord from butting heads over this. Made me wonder how Charlie dealt with Chase bein’ a star athlete. So if it comes to that I might enlist Charlie and Chase’s help in talkin’ to Cord.”

  Even on day five, Carson paused, expecting Carolyn to answer.

  “Sometimes I look at Ky and can’t believe he’s all grown up. I think about Cord’s pride the night Ky was born, presenting that bundle to us like he was handing us a crown prince.” He let his thumb sweep her knuckles, hating how still her hands were. At home her hands rarely had an idle moment. “Our little Ky. First grandson. Still the same sweet boy though. Said to tell you to get better soon because he misses you.”

  The door opened behind him. “Mr. McKay, I’m afraid your time is up.”

  He faced the nurse. “Thanks.” Looking at his wife, he said, “Come back to me. I’m right here. Where I’ve always been, where I’ll always be. I love you. Please. Come back to me.’”

  Carson walked backward to the door, keeping his gaze on her for as long as possible…

  No! Don’t go. Stay and talk to me. I know where I am when you’re here.

  Carolyn didn’t always make it to the listening place. Sometimes she’d hear the rumble of his voice, but by the time she surfaced from the murky depths of her mind, silence greeted her. Distraught, she’d find herself sinking back into the darkness, but sometimes, she fought it.

  Like now. She wanted that memory. She deserved it.

  And then the moment was right there and she jumped into it with both feet…

  Witnessing the pride and terror on her oldest son’s face after he emerged from the nursery with a bundle wrapped in blue nearly sent Carolyn into a fit of giggles. Then when he’d handed that squirmy baby boy to his father first, and the look of understanding and acceptance they’d exchanged in that moment had her bawling as much as baby Kyler.

  They’d gone home and touched base with their families after being at the hospital most of the day. Aunt Keely was fit to be tied that she couldn’t see her nephew since she was spending spring break in Denver with her Uncle Thomas and cousin Sebastian.

  Carson had broken out the good bottle of Irish, and she and Carson toasted the new generation in the McKay family.

  After she’d drained a third shot—normally she limited herself to one—Carson picked up her hand and kissed her fingers. “What’s goin’ through that pretty head of yours, sugar?”

  “A lot of stuff.”

  “Good stuff? Or bad stuff?”

  “Some of both, to be honest.”

  “Such as?”

  “Such as I worry that Marla will continue to be the same aloof, uninvolved woman we’ve seen. Babies are work and any kind of work has always been an issue for her.”

  “Yeah, I know what you mean.”

  “Cord will be an excellent father; how can he not be with you as an example—” Carson kissed her hand again, “—but he does have major ranch responsibilities. He can’t be Kyler’s primary caretaker. And then I feel guilty for assuming that Marla won’t be a good mother. I’ve tried really hard not to be a meddling mother-in-law.”

  Carson sighed. “As much as I’ve been lookin’ forward to havin’ a grandbaby, I’ve wondered how I’d approach this with Cord if it becomes an issue.”

  She threaded her fingers through his. She’d always loved his hands, and now they were very much a middle-aged man’s hands. Tough as leather, the skin wrinkled and covered in age spots. She caught him clenching and releasing his fists more frequently. Although he never complained, she knew his joints were stiff in the morning after another day spent in the elements. Sometimes she thought he wore his age on his hands rather than on his face.

  Oh to be so lucky.


  She looked up at him. “Sorry. What did you say?”

  “Just wondering where this melancholy is comin’ from.”

  “Honestly? Thrilled as I am for our son, and as happy as I am to have a baby around to spoil, it makes me feel old. Good heavens, Carson McKay, I’m a grandma! How did that happen? It doesn’t seem that long ago we were young parents. Now when I look in the mirror I see—”

  “The most beautiful, amazing woman in the world? Because that’s what I see whenever I look at you.”

  “You looking to get laid, silver-tongued cowboy?”

  He grinned. “Always. But I meant what I said. I still find you sexy as hell. I still wanna throw you over my shoulder and race up to the bedroom and fuck you until I hear them whimpering moans you m
ake when you come. Course, I’ll be movin’ a little slower as I’m hauling you up the stairs since I ain’t the strapping young buck I used to be.”

  Carolyn gasped. “No, really? You’ll start doddering around since you’re a grandpa?”

  “I’ll show you doddering, woman.” He stood and pulled her to her feet. Then he bent down and braced his shoulder into her belly before he lifted her. She hung over his shoulder like a sack of grain. He slapped her butt—hard—and made a beeline toward the stairs.

  “Put me down! You’ll throw your back out.”

  “And if I do I’ll tell everyone who asks that it was from a sex-related injury.”


  He laughed. And slapped her other butt cheek.

  Then they were in their bedroom, staring at each other, breathing hard. That sense of anticipation heightening the air around them.

  Carson lowered his head, placing one, hot, openmouthed kiss on the side of her neck in the spot guaranteed to turn her legs into jelly. His breath teased her skin, when he murmured, “So, sexy grandma, you wanna get it on with a dirty old man?”


  He clamped his hand on her behind as he brought their mouths together. His kiss was a drug that sparked her need. His kiss was a reminder that he could ignite that passion in both of them with barely a touch.

  The man was a master at removing her clothes. One second she was kissing him and the next she was naked.

  She undressed him slowly. Touching. Tasting. Burying her nose in his chest hair, hair that was now a mix of black and silver. The familiar scent of musk and man instantly readied her body for his. Her hands smoothed and stroked the strong muscles in his arms and shoulders. She let her fingers wander down the center of his torso. His waist was thicker these days, but she still loved the full weight of his formidable body on hers. She circled his cock at the root and dragged her fist up and down the shaft while she kissed his collarbones. His throat. That stubborn jaw.

  “On the bed,” he said huskily.

  Carolyn playfully bounced on the mattress, throwing back her shoulders so her boobs didn’t sag as much. Her middle was thicker too, as were her hips, butt and thighs, but the fierce and hungry look in her husband’s eyes was pure lust and that was all she needed.

  He crawled on top of her, taking her mouth in a possessive kiss. Then his lips trailed a wet path down her neck.

  And speaking of wet…he had her so hot and bothered they’d be able to forego the lube this time.

  “Carson, please.”

  “Never get tired of hearin’ you beg for it, sugar.”

  She bit his shoulder.

  He laughed. “Mmm. You know I like biting too.”

  She ran her hands down his back and dug her fingers into his firm butt cheeks. “Come on. Pin me down and pound into me.”

  “Huh-uh, no boring missionary for us.” He planted sucking kisses across the tops of her breasts. “I’m gonna fuck you from behind. Hard. And while I’m ramming into this sweet little cunt that’s been mine for thirty-three years, I’ll be pulling your hair so I can suck on your neck until you’re buckin’ beneath me and cryin’ out my name.”


  “Turn around.”

  The man eyed her butt shamelessly as she got into position.

  She groaned when her body was caged beneath his—all hot, hard excited male. And the wild man did sink his teeth into the nape of her neck as he plowed inside her.

  “Jesus, you’re wet.”

  She angled her head and bit his biceps. “Language.”

  “Shit! Sorry. But damn. It feels good.” He nuzzled her ear. “It always feels good but I love it when you’re dripping for me, sugar.”

  Carson whispered raunchy things he wanted to do to her as he made her come undone twice, before he took his own pleasure.

  It was glorious. The best celebration of new life and old love that she could’ve ever imagined.

  As they were twined together on top of the sheets, she sighed.

  “I’m feelin’ it too.”

  Carolyn propped herself on his chest. “I want this with you again.”

  He raised an eyebrow. “I’m a grandpa now. I need a little time to recover.”

  She laughed. “Not now. I mean I want us to get back to this animal-type lust being part of who we are. That need brought us together. It’s sustained us over some rough years. But it hasn’t been a priority, at least not as much as it was. I realize me showing menopausal symptoms has a lot to do with it. It’s been easier to focus on other things. I want to focus on us.”

  The kiss he bestowed on her brought tears to her eyes. The bone-deep sweetness in this man still got to her.

  “I want that, Caro, more than anything. But you don’t get to shoulder the blame. We’ve had major changes in the past six years. Cam joining the army, Cord leavin’, Colby rodeoin’ professionally, Carter goin’ to college, the stuff that goes with runnin’ a ranch this size that can occupy every wakin’ minute of my day. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy our time together, but I always enjoy nekkid time a helluva lot more.” He kissed her forehead. “So let’s plan on havin’ more of it, okay?”

  “Okay. Part of the reason I brought it up is I got invited to one of those ‘private pleasures’ parties this month.”

  He frowned. “What’s that? Male strippers or something?”

  “No. This party is about marital aids otherwise known as sex toys.”

  “No shit? Them kinda parties are popular in Wyoming?”

  Carolyn rolled her eyes.

  “So what kinda sex toys can you buy?”

  “Dildos and vibrators and the like. Probably flavored body oils. Role-playing costumes. Naughty lingerie.”

  “How about some of that bondage stuff?”

  “You’re interested in bondage stuff?”

  He shrugged. “Don’t know unless we try. And you’ve liked it when I broke out the ropes.”

  “True. But I don’t think I’m the whips and paddles type.”

  “You go ahead and buy whatever kinky stuff you want. Or you think I might want. Then we’ll try it out.”

  “Even a strap on?”

  His eyes narrowed. “Never. But I’m feelin’ a little backdoor lovin’ comin’ your way with this new kinky streak.”

  She elbowed him.

  “What? We’ve done it before.”

  “Once before, we were both drunk and it wasn’t all that fun, if I recall, which is why we haven’t done it again.”

  “That was what? Ten years ago? Maybe it’s time to give it another shot.”


  “This time we’ll both be sober. And we’ve got plenty of lube.”

  She looked up at him. “If you wanted to poke me in the rear, why didn’t you say something?”

  “I dunno. Wasn’t like our sex life was lacking. It took twenty-three years for you to want to try it at all so I didn’t push it.” He grinned. “I’m just glad it ain’t gonna be twenty-three years before you wanna try it again. Maybe you oughta buy one of them gag things too so you can’t argue with me.”

  “And with that, I’m calling it a night.” Carolyn disentangled from his arms and went to the dresser for a nightie. As she was about to pull it over her head, she noticed Carson had a strange look on his face. “What?”

  “How about you practice that wild streak and sleep nekkid?”

  “Does that mean there’s a chance you’ll wake me up with your mouth between my legs?”

  “I can pretty much guarantee it.”

  She threw the nightgown behind her.

  He laughed.

  They slipped beneath the sheets together and she admitted it’d be nice sleeping skin to skin with him all night.

  Carson’s lips brushed the top of her head. “I don’t ever want you to think the passion between us is a thing of the past. It might not be as urgent as it once was, it may’ve grown and changed and ain’t as frequent as either of us would like it to
be, but sugar, it’s still there. It always will be if I got anything to say about it.”

  “I remember you told me once that you’d still want me when you were a hundred-and-five-year-old man. At the time I thought that was sweet. As well as vaguely creepy.”

  “I meant it. I still mean it. There are folks who think a grandma and grandpa havin’ a hot sex life is creepy, but I don’t give a damn. Let them think we’re whittlin’ and knittin’ in our spare time. Only we’ll know that we’re wearin’ out the mattress and testin’ out the sturdiness of all the furniture in this old house.”

  “Guess we’d better remember to start locking the door during the day.”

  She hated that the memory didn’t fade to black like in the movies. Her head screamed as she pushed against the tide, her hands blindly reaching out to hold on to the moment only to spiral back down into that void again.

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