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Title and Copyright Page

Curves for the Cowboy

Cowboy BBW Romance

Author: Geneva Varghese


© Copyright 2017 by Geneva Varghese

All rights reserved.

In no way is it legal to reproduce, duplicate, or transmit any part of this document in either electronic means or in printed format. Recording of this publication is strictly prohibited and any storage of this document is not allowed unless with written permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.Respective authors own all copyrights not held by the publisher.


This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person,

living or dead, is purely coincidental.


From the Author:

2 Special Bonus Stories INSIDE!

Thank you for purchasing this book.



Table of Contents


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Curves for the Cowboy

Description

After a bad break-up with her boyfriend of five-years, Desiree Faust decides to come up to her grandparents’ ranch in Wyoming and hide from everything she has gone through with her abusive ex-boyfriend, Rob. What she did not expect to find is Blake Morgan, a half-dressed devilishly handsome cowboy drinking water in her grandparents’ kitchen. Emotionally unstable, Des knows she should not be attracted to any male—including Blake. But how long can she suppress the mounting attraction between them when Blake does everything to make her yearn for him more?

Blake has always known what he likes. And he likes Des desperately, even more than any of the women he has known. Of course, those women have nothing that Des has—a beautiful face and curves that men would kill just to sink into. But more than that, he can sense a vulnerability that calls to him. He knows he is the man for her. She just needs to discover that herself.


Chapter 1

Looking at the wide land covered in soft green grass and muddy soil, Des knew she had come to the perfect place. Wyoming—the place where her mother grew up and where her grandparents still resided. It was peaceful and silent, which was exactly what she needed after her messy break-up with Rob, her boyfriend of five years.

Yes, definitely messy, Des thought. She threw everything she was able to put her hands on at Rob’s head after she caught him in bed with another woman. No, not a woman. A teenager. An eighteen-year old girl who was tan, skinny and slender, green-eyed and blonde.

So unlike her. Definitely unlike her.

She was fat with ugly brown eyes and frizzy brown hair. When she was in school, they often call her “mousy.” Her skin was so pale some people thought she was a ghost. Unattractive—at least, that was how she viewed herself. Her friends said she was beautiful and that they would give anything just to have her curves. They just did not know how hard it was when thin, slender women looked at her and laughed at her for being chubby. As if that was a crime.

Well, she had learned long ago to just smile at them as if what they were saying was not insulting. She would hold her head high and smile, walk pass them, then pretend she did not hear a thing. They called her timid. They just didn’t know how aggressive she could be when poked more times than she could handle.

According to the GPS on her phone, she was almost to her grandparents’ property. She just had to turn left and drive about five more miles. To be honest, she had never been to her grandparents’ ranch. She hadn’t even met them. Her mother had told stories about them and how they loved raising horses and cattle. But they never visited Wyoming before. Her mother was afraid of returning here. She said she was disowned after running away at age eighteen.

She knew coming here was like knocking on a stranger’s door, but she had nowhere else to go. Her mother had died three years ago of cancer and the only place she called her home—the house she and Rob had leased—was nothing like home now. Not after what she saw Rob doing to that teenager. In the kitchen, no less.

Turning left, she drove a few more miles until she saw a sign that said, “Welcome to the Callaghans” with a black horse in its background. When her mother was still alive, she used to tell stories about this ranch. She said she missed the quiet and peaceful life. She said if given the chance to turn back time, she would have never left this place. She thought she wanted the grandeur of city life only to regret leaving when she saw that there is nothing special about being in the city.

Driving through the open wooden gates of the ranch, she saw a two-story house at the end of the drive. Like the gates, it was also made of woods. It looked homey, just like her mother said. However, it also looked empty. Like no one had lived there for months.

Stopping in front of the house, Des climbed out of her car and walked to the porch. It was locked.

Shit, Des thought. I should have at least called before coming here.

Rounding the house, she noticed that the backdoor was open. She heard sounds coming from the inside of the house. She knocked, but no one answered. Curious, she entered through the open door and came to a sudden stop when he saw a shirtless man with his back turned to her drinking water like it was the last glass he would drink for ten years.

The first thing that came to Desiree’s mind was how hot his back was. It was sculpted, all his muscles defined. He was hard, no visible fat anywhere. And that was just his back.

Des swallowed, becoming thirsty herself.

Finally finishing his glass of water, the man turned and almost dropped the glass when he saw her. Their eyes met, him frowning and looking at her from head to foot, and her swallowing, assessing his body.

Dear God, Des thought. How could a man be this perfect?

He was the most gorgeous man she had ever seen. If his back looked really good, that was nothing compared to his muscled chest. His body was really sculpted, his muscles, the abs most definitely, were all defined. He was tanned, obviously from working under the sun. He had a really handsome face. His lips were bow-like, the perfect lips for kissing. It was obvious his nose had been broken a time or two, but it only added to his face’s character. It made him somehow—dangerous. He had golden brown locks. His eyes—his most striking feature—were between grayish and bluish. Stormy. They captured you whenever he looked at you intently. Like he was doing now. Good Lord.

“Who are you?” he asked and Des almost closed her eyes. Even his voice was sexy. It was husky and low, almost caressing. Damnation.

“I… I—”

“Did you lose your tongue, girl?” He was smirking now. He knew he had this effect on women. He even got some more water and drank, some of the water cascading freely down his chest.

Des swallowed. Again.

“I - I am looking for David and Agatha Callaghan,” she finally said. The man’s brows furrowed.

“Why?” he asked, his face turning serious.

“I am Desiree, their granddaughter.”

This time, he almost cracked a smile. Almost.

“The Callaghans do not have a child so it would be impossible for them to have a granddaughter. Now, get out before I call the sheriff and have you removed from this property by force.”

He was really serious now. Des could see that it was not an empty threat.

“Wait, I really am their granddaughter. I have a photo in the car. Wait, I will just get it,” she said, running to her car like the devil was behind her. And maybe he was. The man was following her.

She opened her car and looked for the photo she stashed in her dashboard.

“Here, look. This is David and Agatha Callaghan. The child between them is my mother, Lily Callaghan.” She desperately shook the photo in front of the man. He took it, analyzed the photo, then looked at her.

“Yes, this is David and Agatha. They were younger here. Please wait here while I make a call,” he said before going back inside the house. Des was left watching him walk away with the picture still on his hand.


Chapter 2

Blake still does not know what to make of the woman waiting outside in her car. Looking at the photograph, there was no denying that the couple was David and Agatha, only younger. However, he did not know that they had a child. He thought they never had one.

He decided to call David, not sure what to do with the woman outside. While waiting for him to answer, he could not help but think of her. Desiree, she said her name was.

She was gorgeous. No, not just gorgeous. She was hot, very hot. Smoking. She has curly brown locks that framed her heart-shaped face. Her skin was creamy, making him itch to touch her, test whether she was as soft as he imagined. She had plump lips, daring any man to kiss her. And he would, of that he was sure. Her eyes looked innocent, but when he did not believe her, he saw a fire in her. She might appear timid, but Blake knew she could not be tamed. She had more fire in her than any woman he knew.

Then there was her body. Damn that body. Blake could not help but imagine her without her clothes. She was curvy, very sexy. She had the body that a man would kill just to sink into. Damn, he was here having a boner while trying to make a call to an old man who might or might not be the grandfather of the woman who caused the said boner.

How pitiful.

“Blake?” came the man’s voice on the other end of the line. Blake snapped out of his fantasy and focused on the issue at hand.

“Hey, David. How is everything?”

“Boy, just spit it out. I know you more than your mother, so stop acting as if you cared about everything,” David said. Blake just chuckled, shaking his head. The man and his sharp tongue.

“Someone came here claimin’ she’s your granddaughter. She has here a photo of you and Agatha with a little girl that she said was her mother.”

The line went silent. Blake did not know what to make of that. He did not know what to make of anything right now—ever since Desiree came here claiming that she was the old couple’s granddaughter.

“David?”

“Yes, I heard you loud and clear, boy. Did she say what her name is?”

“Desiree.”

“Desiree what, boy?”

“Desiree Faust,” the woman said, taking Blake by surprise. He did not notice her enter the house. He almost gasped at the sheer beauty of her. And the worse thing is, she acted as if she did not know she was beautiful. No, not beautiful. Breathtaking.

“Is that her?” came David’s voice from the other line.

“Yes,” was Blake’s answer, looking intently at the woman. “She said her name is Desiree Faust.”

“Let me talk to her, boy,” David said. Blake frowned but gave the phone to Desiree. He did not go far, however. He wanted to hear their conversation. Desiree looked pointedly at him, silently commanding him to go away, but he just shrugged. He even made himself comfortable by sitting in a chair closest to her.

“Hello?” Desiree said, frowning at him. She had a soft voice. Angelic even. He could just sit here and listen to her talk about anything and everything all day and he would be happy.

Wait, what? Blake thought, shocking even himself. He did not do relationships. And what he just thought bordered on one.

“What is the name of your momma?”

“Lily Callaghan, sir.”

The line went silent again. Then, Blake heard David asking, “How did you know to come there? Your momma never came back. Why did you come?”

The question came down harsh, but Blake heard some hitch to the man’s voice. He was being emotional, and David Callaghan did not do emotion. He was a hard man. And the way he talked, as if he really knew who this Lily Callaghan was, almost confirmed Desiree’s claim that she was David’s granddaughter.

All his life, Blake had known the Callaghans. He was the son of the owner of the neighboring ranch east from here. When he was young, David used to chase him out of his ranch for stealing some fruits. Then when he grew older, he used to help the old couple by fixing broken fences and training their horses. They became his grandparents, and him their grandson.

“My mom used to tell stories about you. She said she loved it here. She said I could come here whenever I wanted and you would accept me,” Desiree paused, breathing deeply. “She died three years ago, sir.”

Again, there was silence on the other end of the line. Then he heard Agatha sniffing on the background.

“She asked me to tell you she’s sorry for running away and for disappointing you,” Desiree continued.

Blake heard David clear his throat, on the verge of crying himself. Then he said, “Give the phone back to Blake.”

When Desiree turned back to him, there was sadness in her eyes. She gave the phone back.

“David?” he asked.

“That is my granddaughter. Give her the room upstairs, and look after her while we are away. We will be back as soon as we can.”

“Are you sure? Maybe she was just making everything up and—”

“That is my granddaughter, Blake. Do as I say, boy.”

“Yeah, sure,” Blake answered. When the call ended, he turned back to Desiree. She was now sitting on the chair he just vacated.

“All right, David believed you are his granddaughter. He said to give you the room upstairs.”

“I heard,” Desiree replied. “And I really am his granddaughter.”

“Whatever you say,” Blake said before going out to the woman’s car. He popped the trunk and lifted the bags there. “Is this all your stuff?”

“Yes.”

Blake did not say anything after. He just helped Desiree settle into the only room upstairs, the one he had never seen before. Now, he understood why. It was Lily Callaghan’s room.


Chapter 3

Des had never been attracted to many guys before. Maybe that was because she was an ugly fat awkward child before. She could even count on her two hands the times she had dated. Her last one was with Rob—the night before she caught him with the blonde teenager.

But she knew she was attracted to Blake. He was way too hot that any woman in a five-mile radius—single or even married—would gladly swoon in front of him if he demanded so. So her attraction to him was justified. She was, after all, a woman within his five-mile radius.

However, she could not act upon the attraction. There were many reasons why she couldn’t.

First, he was excessively hot for a woman like her. He could have any woman he wanted, so why settle for a timid mouse like her?

Second, she just came out of a relationship. And that relationship had a nasty ending. She might be attracted to him because he was nothing like her ex. Maybe her mind was just plotting ways to forget Rob. What better way than to hook up with a man opposite his ex?

Third, the way she understood things, he was like her grandparents’ grandson. He was very close to them – almost making them siblings. And she couldn’t be attracted to her sibling.

Fourth, he was so hot.

Fifth, did she mention he was hot?

Oh, damn. Now she was thinking of his body again. That swoon-worthy sculpted chest, well-defined abs and broad muscular shoulders. He even has the V.

“Hey, what were your plans for coming here, anyway? Were you thinking of just sitting here all day, waiting for the Callaghans to arrive?” The main character in her fantasy materialized in front of her, leaning against the door with his arms crossed. He was looking at her intently, brows furrowed and lips set on a straight line.

She noticed it was his signature face when looking at her. Whatever she did, this was the face he would use. As if he disapproved of her. She was here a few days now, and she never saw him smile. Never.

Maybe he’s got issues. Des thought. Bad break-up like me, or bad childhood. Whatever.

“What do you suggest I do, then?” she challenged, not the least bit intimidated by his rough attitude toward her.

“Why not help me with ranch works?”

“Like what?”

“Feeding the horses would be a start,” he said before turning his back and walking down the porch. She followed, unable to let him have the last words. Again.

He had been doing that since she came here. Whenever they were having a conversation, he would always be the one to end it. He would always have the last word.

“But I am afraid of horses,” she yelled. He was getting farther and farther, his long legs no match for her short ones. “Will you wait?!”

Blake turned, irritated. Well, that was a first. At least there was a face different from the one he usually sported. “Then you better start liking them. Otherwise, just leave. We need someone who can help, not someone who was looking for a free pass.”

“I am not looking for a free pass!”

“Then start working.” With that, he turned his back and continued walking toward the barn.

“Who are you anyway? At least I know who I am. I am their granddaughter. You are just the hired help!”

Without missing a beat, Blake turned 180 degrees and started walking toward her, his face furious. Now that was another first. But this one was scary. She stood where she was, however. She did not want him to see her cower.

When he was just a couple of steps from her, he stopped.

“I was the one who grew up with them. Not you. I was the one helping them while you were in some fancy city, living some fancy life. I was the one helping them when they thought they had no other family. They never spoke about your mother. I never even knew she existed until you came here, claimin’ that you were their granddaughter. Now, tell me. Who am I?”

When she did not say anything, Blake turned back and started walking away from her. Des was left rooted in her place, mouth agape. He just let him have the final words. Again.

Blake had to get away from her. Fast. When he got too close to her, about a couple feet to be exact, he could smell her. Vanilla and sunshine. The best kind. And he had to restrain himself from getting even closer and sniffing that heavenly smell right from the source.

Good thing she got him furious enough to not kiss her. Damn, how could a woman make him desperately want to strangle her and kiss her at the same time? Had he gone mad? He knew he wanted her. And he was a man who goes after what he wanted. So what was stopping him from going after her? He knew she wanted him as well. Of that he was sure. He could sense it from the way she looks at him when she thought he was looking elsewhere. Even her body seemed attuned to him.

The Callaghans, that’s who. He had too much respect for them. They trusted him to look after her, not molest her while they were away. Damnation, ever since she got here, he had to take cold showers morning and night. The coldest shower he had ever had in his entire life.

He went back to his room at the back of the barn. The Callaghans insisted he use their house while they were away but he declined. His quarters in the barn were serviceable, after all. He had his own room and comfort room so he had nothing to complain about.

Entering his room, he started shredding his clothes. He was almost naked when he heard knocks coming from the door of his room.

Desiree.

Without bothering to put on his clothes again, he opened his door to the gaping woman.

“Y-You could have put on some decent clothes, you know,” Desiree said, her cheeks turning red.

Blake looked down at his body, then grinned at Des. “These are decent clothes,” he said, talking about his jeans, the zipper gaping. “And I am within my private quarters. I am free to do what I want here.”

Desiree just shrugged, pretending that she was not affected by the state of his undress. She came in and sat on his bed. The room had no chairs.

“Why are you here, Desiree?”

“Des.”

“What?”

“You can just call me Des. Short for Desiree.”

Blake’s brows rose up. Just what was she playing now?

“Why are you here?”

“I realized that you are right. I have to earn my keep. So I will start by feeding the horses, as you suggested.”

“And?”

“Will you teach me?” she asked, all innocence and sincerity. Blake shook his head, almost laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation. Here he was, almost naked and seducing the granddaughter of the ranch owner, and she was interested in learning how to feed horses. Whoa, wait. He was seducing her?

“Wait for me in the barn. I’ll be there in a minute,” he said, gritting his teeth. She had to get away. Now. Otherwise, he would not be responsible for whatever happened here, in this closed quarter, with a bed.

Damn it.

“Fine,” Des said, standing and going to the door. “Thank you.”

She walked out, letting him breathe much needed air. He almost did not dare to take a breath. He would just smell her vanilla-sunshine flavor. At least, she went without him asking twice. Unconsciously, she let him have that cold shower he desperately needed.


Chapter 4

Des did not know how to face Blake after seeing him almost naked. She knew it was his room and she should have waited outside, as was her first plan. Then, she found herself knocking on his door.

She went inside the barn and looked at the stalls. The horses were huge, like beasts waiting to kick her. She had heard stories about people dying because they were kicked by horses. Would she be the next victim?

In the stall near the entrance to the barn, she heard a horse neigh. She stepped back, fearful of the sound, only to bump into something hard. When she looked back, she saw Blake’s hard chest directly in front of her.

“Careful. You wouldn’t want to be injured before you meet your grandparents,” Blake said, holding her by her shoulders. He emphasized the word grandparents and Des instantly felt ashamed of the things she said a while ago.

“I’m sorry about what I said,” she said, jerking from his hold. “I shouldn’t have said that.”

“You shouldn’t have,” he agreed. He walked to a corner of the barn and got a sack of something.

“I am being serious here,” Desiree said.

“I know,” he answered. He walked back to her and gave her an apple from the sack he was holding. “Here, give this to Sunny,” he said, pointing at the black horse nearest to her. “Be gentle. Horses can feel when you are afraid of them.”

Des took a deep breath, stretching her hand with the apple, inch by inch toward the horse. When she made a mooching sound, Blake laughed so loud she got frightened and dropped the apple. The horse neighed.

“What?” she asked Blake who was still laughing so loudly every ranch in Wyoming might have heard him. The horse could have taken the apple by now if Blake had not frightened it off.

“That is a horse, Des. Not a puppy. You do not need to make that sound.”

“Oh,” Des said, grinning now. Thinking about it, she probably looked like an idiot.

“Yes, oh. Now, give this to Sunny again. Without the mooching sound,” Blake said, still laughing. He gave her another apple. Des nodded and slowly reached out her hand with the apple in it. The horse sniffed her hand. She did not dare take a breath.

God, please do not let this horse bite my hand, she chanted.

After a few seconds, the horse chomped on his treat. Des was finally able to breathe, her smile so wide. She did it.

The smile she wore was blinding. The moment the horse ate its treat, she looked at him with wonder and excitement, as if waiting for a compliment. It was one of the most beautiful things Blake had seen. She was like a child who did something good and waited for her parents to pat her on her head.

“Good,” he said, giving her the compliment she was seeking. “Now, off to the next horse.”

She did so with enthusiasm, seemingly unafraid now of the huge beasts. She was enjoying herself, giving each of the horses their treat. By the time they were finished, she was jolly and happy around him. And he found himself laughing with her.

“What will be my next task?” she asked, full of enthusiasm. Blake thought for a moment, then shook his head.

“I don’t think you are ready for heavy work yet. I’ll think of something more tonight.”

Des just shrugged, finally standing and stretching. As if what she did was tiring enough.

“Okay then. I’ll go back to the house.”

“Yeah,” Blake answered, busy tidying the sacks they used. He felt Des leave.

“Blake?”

Blake looked at Des, who was now standing at the barn’s door. “Hmm?”

“Thank you for today. I had fun.”

“Sure.”

“And uhh… would you like to have some dinner… at the house? I can cook but—”

Blake did not know what to say. He definitely was not against a home-cooked meal. However, eating dinner would mean being with her. Alone. In a big house.

Making up his mind, he nodded. “Sure, girl.”

He wanted her. And he always got what he wanted.


Chapter 5

Just what was she doing? Des silently berated herself. She knew she should not have invited Blake over. It was a spur of the moment decision and they seemed… friends when she was feeding the horses. Surely, no one would say anything about two friends having dinner, right?

But were they friends? Nah, Des answered. He just helped me. Nothing special about it. Friendship cannot be built from that. Then what were they?

Frustrated with herself, she started chopping the vegetables harder for her casserole. She knew why she invited him over. She wanted him. Even though she did, it did not erase the fact that she had just come out of a bad relationship. She could not just end one relationship and start another. What would that say about her character?

“What did those vegetables do to you?” Blake said from behind her, easing the knife before she hurt herself. Des looked at the vegetables. They were now cut into very tiny bits.

Great. Blake might think she was a psychopath now. Embarrassed, she tried to explain her behavior.

“I-I did not notice I cut them too small. I was just—”

“Relax, Des. I know what you feel. I am nervous, too,” Blake said, getting fresh vegetables and rinsing them on the sink. Then he proceeded cutting them himself.

There was nothing sexier than a man who knew his way around the kitchen. Des watched him for a few minutes, thinking how sexy he was with his button down shirt and apron. Then snapped out of her fantasy and tried to help. But Blake shooed her away.

“Why are you nervous?” Des finally found the courage to ask.

“It ain’t every night that a man gets invited to dinner by a beautiful woman,” he said, winking at her. Des laughed.

“Well, it isn’t every night that a handsome man accepts the invitation for dinner by a fat woman,” she returned. The chopping suddenly stopped and Des was again the focus of gray-blue eyes.

“Who said you are fat?” Blake slowly put the knife down then walked toward her.

“The men and women I know. Everyone actually. Whenever I go somewhere, they would look at me and laugh—”

“You are not fat.” He was stalking her now. For every step she took back, he would match with a step forward.

“I am,” she said firmly.

“No, Des. Believe me. You are sexy as hell. The women are jealous of you for having such a great body. The men,” Blake closed his eyes, “they lust after you, Des. The man who would not is not a man at all.”

Des did not know what to say. She took another step back only to find that the wall was already at her back. She was trapped.

Blake was already upon her.

“You are so sexy, Des.”

“No, I am not!”

“Why did you invite me here?” he asked, completely off of the subject. Des frowned, her head spinning by the sudden change in the conversation. She was also breathing hard. She could now feel the sudden tension.

“T-To h-have dinner.”

“No, Des.”

“What?”

“You invited me here for this,” he said before kissing her roughly. It was a kiss meant to punish, but at the same time, Des could feel the mounting frustration and desperation.

He was desperate to have her.

When his tongue came gliding on her lips, she moaned and opened for him. He played with her tongue, seeking her out to play. She felt her knees weaken. Good thing Blake was now holding her against the wall, supporting her.

“You are not fat,” he whispered when he came up for air. “Just feel what you do to me.”

She felt him all right. He was hard and angry, frustrated for being confined to his jeans. Des swallowed.

“Now tell me you are fat,” Blake said. Des closed her eyes and moaned when she felt him again against her belly. Hearing the sound, Blake kissed her again—even harder and rougher than before, if that was possible.

Unable to control his lust anymore, Blake lifted Des and walked to the couch in the living room. He lay her there, panting and waiting for him. She was blushing, and that just added to Blake’s lust.

“You are so gorgeous,” he said, slowly caressing her with his eyes.

Des closed her eyes. She did not intend to, but she saw Rob’s face staring at her, smirking while he was banging the teenager right on the kitchen island.

“No one would want you. You are fat and ugly. You would just have to watch this and do it with me later,” Rob said, his face contorted as if he was in pain while fucking the teenager. He was mocking her, as if seeing him with a younger and more beautiful woman was not enough.

That was when she had had enough. The first thing she threw at Rob’s head was a figurine they got in Singapore. Then a vase. Then everything that happened became a blur. She was so angry she did not remember how she ended up in a hospital right after. She needed seven stitches for the wounds caused by broken glasses.

“Des?” Blake stopped moving above her. Somehow, he felt her inner turmoil. He was looking at her intently, watching her face for some signs or hint of what she was feeling.

“I – I am so sorry. I can’t.”

“Shhh,” he comforted her, sitting beside her on the couch and hugging her. That was when he noticed the tears coming from her eyes. “I’m sorry. I should have stopped before—”

“No, it was me. I’m not ready yet,” Des said, hiding her face from him.

“Yeah, okay,” he said, taking deep breath. “We will not rush this. We will take this slow. Until you are ready.”

“But—”

“No buts, Des. I know you want me. I want you, too. Even more than I wanted anything in my life. Let’s just take this one step at a time and see where this leads us.”

“Okay.”

“Okay,” Blake returned, smiling now. They sat side-by-side for a few minutes, no one dared to break the silence that enveloped them.

“Do you still want to have dinner?” Blake finally asked. “How about going to the pub?” she suggested when Des just shrugged.

“Pub?”

“Yes, pub. You know, a place where people gather around, drink a few beers or whiskey, dance, sing and—”

“I know what a pub is. I just didn’t know there was one here,” Des answered, standing up. “I’ll just go and change. Show me where cowboys like you spend your nights.”

“Nah, you’re fine,” he said, reaching for her hand and pulling her to him. “You’re perfect.”


Chapter 6

It was a loud place. Des could hear the loud music miles away from the pub. When they stopped at a wooden establishment with the sign, “The Boots” in neon colors, she almost laughed. It looked like a fun place. Even outside the pub, some men and women are dancing to the tune of a cowboy song from the inside. They were laughing, enjoying their night.

Everyone was dressed like them. Women were wearing short jeans and tank tops beneath toppers and long boots, and men with their Levi’s and shirts. Everyone had cowboy hats on. They seemed to be having fun, and that was exactly what Des needed. Fun. To forget Rob’s smirking face and ugly words.

“Come on,” Blake said, holding her hand and pulling her inside the pub. As soon as they entered, she saw more people than the pub could accommodate. It was packed.

“Blake!” someone called from the crowd. Blake raised his other hand, the one not holding Desiree’s, in greeting. They moved to the bar where a gorgeous woman wearing a top where her flat midriff was on display was mixing the orders.

“Blake!” she said, stopping what she was doing to meet Blake, the counter in between them. As soon as she was close enough, she leaned against the counter and kissed Blake on the cheek. “It’s been a long time. What angel brought you here?” She looked behind Blake, smiling when she saw Des. “Her?”

“Actually yes,” Blake said, grinning. Des realized he was comfortable here, carefree. He was smiling and grinning ever since they came here. Blake and the woman seemed… close. Very close. Des could not help but get jealous over the fact that another woman kissed Blake. Although just on his cheek. Still.

Stop it! Des scolded herself. He is not yours.

“Christina, this is my… girl, Desiree. Des, ugly girl here is my sister, Christina,” he said, putting his arms around her. She instantly felt comforted.

Wait… sister? She almost bet they were lovers or something. They would have been the perfect couple!

The girl, Christina, almost had her eyeballs out. She stared at Blake as if waiting for him to say that he was just joking or something. Then she looked at her from head to boots. Des did not know what to make of that.

“Holy… Molly! I can’t… Oh My God!” Christina exclaimed at last. Des looked at Blake, who just rolled his eyes at the antics of his sister.

“Come on, Chris. We need some boost,” Blake said, effectively snapping his sister from gawking at them. “Besides, the fellas are all waiting for their orders. Now work your lazy ass and fix their drinks.”

“Psh, don’t mind them. What do you want to drink?” Christina asked Des, obviously familiar with Blake’s regular.

“Coke?”

Blake choked and Christina gawked again. “Girl, you realize you’re in Wyoming, right?”

“Yes?” Des answered, unsure. “What would you suggest?”

Christina grinned before going back to her station and pulling bottles off the rack. She started fixing drinks that she assumed would be Blake’s and hers. When she came back, she was grinning from ear to ear, her perfect teeth on display. She was holding two glasses of clear liquid.

“Here ya go,” she said, sliding the glasses in front of them. She even winked at Des before going back to her station to fix the drinks of the other customers.

Blake picked his glass, clinked it to hers, then winked.

“Cheers,” he said before drinking the clear liquid. Des did the same, only choking when the drink burned her throat.

“Oh, shit! What was that?” she asked, choking. Her eyes had gone watery. When Blake started laughing, she slapped him on the chest. “You should have warned me, you jack ass! What was that anyway?”

“Whiskey. Straight,” Blake answered. He reached for Desiree’s hand and pulled her to the back of the pub. “Now, this is the real fun,” he said before opening the backdoor leading to a crowd outside.

Blake watched as Des took in the scene before her. It was fascinating how different emotions could play on her face—confusion, astonishment, excitement. The smile she gave him made something inside Blake twitch. He could not help but return that smile.

Outside the pub was a wide clearing. They created a big bonfire in the center of the clearing. The crowd was dancing and singing, drinking and laughing around the big bonfire.

“This is so amazing!” she exclaimed, watching in fascination as they dance to the tune of a cowboy song.

“You think?”

“Yes! It is like a scene out of a movie! I didn’t know they have places like this in Wyoming.”

“Well, here it is. Welcome to Wyoming, Des,” he said, laughing as she squealed and hugged him. He took her hand and drew her to the crowd, introducing her to those he knew.

He took her to the grassy makeshift dance floor, urging her to dance as the other people there did. She did, and she did it well. Other people, especially the men, were taking notice of her. Blake did not like it one bit.

There were catcalls and whistles from the men. Des seemed oblivious to it all as she continued dancing to the beat of the old cowboy music. However, Blake’s dislike was mounting to another level. He was becoming jealous.

When one man dared to dance with Des, coming too close even though Blake was there looming over her, that was when he snapped. He came behind the man and whispered, “Back the fuck off.”

“You back off,” came the man’s reply and Blake’s fist connected to his jaw before he was able to finish the sentence. People scattered like scared chickens, creating yet another clearing for the two men. The music stopped and everyone stared at them wide-eyed, including Des.

The man stood, spitting blood and was as angry as a bull. He surged, but Blake was bigger. He gave another punch right to the man’s stomach. He fell, gasping like a dying pig.

“Blake, stop!” He heard Des beg but all he could see was this man getting too close to her. She pulled him away from the commotion, begging him to calm down.

Des drove the car to the ranch. Neither one dared to say anything after that.


Chapter 7

Des was desperate to talk to Blake after what happened that night. It was three nights ago, and Blake hadn’t said a word to her ever since. He just did what he had to do in the ranch and disappeared. He acted as if she was invisible.

At first, she let him just ignore her, thinking that this was his way of thinking things through. However, as the days passed, she became irritated. He was shutting her out.

Walking the half mile from the main house to the barn, she went to the back and saw that his door was open. She did not bother to knock. She was still furious and irritated at him.

“Blake?” she called but no one answered. She did not find him in his room, however. She could hear the shower going though, so she assumed he was taking a bath. Opting to wait for him, she sat on his bed and looked at the sparse things in the room. His cowboy hat, a small television, and the picture she gave to him the first time she came here—the picture of David, Agatha and her mother, Lily.

“What are you doing here, Desiree?” Blake’s baritone voice filled the room. She turned and saw him with only a towel covering his lower half.

“I – I came to talk to you.”

He seemed bigger inside this small room. His presence commanded all attention.

“About what?” he asked. He went to the small closet in the corner of the room to look for his clothes.

“Why were you so mad that night?”

He stopped what he was doing and looked at her. “You do not know?”

“I would not ask if I knew,” she said, shrugging. Blake’s eyes turned into slits.

“You want to know?” His voice was lower, even more dangerous.

Did she want to know?

“Yes,” she said, looking him in the eyes. His face became more serious. He stalked toward her, like a predator stalking its prey. Des could not help but watch him as he came for her.

“You really want to know?” he asked again. He was so close now she could practically smell him. He has a very distinct smell—musky and masculine.

“Yes,” she said, now sure of her answer. She wanted to see him lose control. She wanted him. Fuck just coming from a relationship. Fuck Rob. She wanted Blake. Now.

As soon as she said yes, Blake kissed her so hard she gasped, unprepared to the mounting lust and frustration he just unleashed. When his tongue swiped across her closed lips, she opened for him. Their tongues dueled, making each of them moan.

“I don’t want any man getting too close to you,” Blake whispered as soon as they came up for air. He started kissing her neck, licking her and biting her softly. “You’re mine,” he said. “Only mine.”

Des was so mad with lust that she did not care what he said. As long as he did not stop what he was doing, she would gladly follow him and believe whatever he said.

When he started to take off her clothes, he paused, looking her in the eyes. He was silently asking her if what they were doing was fine. She nodded, giving her assent. As soon as she did, he growled, removing her clothes. Every inch of skin he revealed, he kissed. Her neck, shoulders, down to her breasts. She was writhing underneath him, seeking for more.

When he removed the towel covering him, she gasped. He was the largest she had ever seen. She was not sure if she could take all of him.

“Shh… do not worry. I will be careful. We’ll take this slow, okay?” He could see that she was having doubts now. He had to calm her, or he would lose his mind. He could not wait any longer. He had to have her. Now.

Looking at her, naked and panting, waiting for him with all her curves on display, he could not help but want her more.

“You are so damn sexy,” Blake whispered, looking reverently at her. She was completely naked now and panting, waiting for him. That was when she made up her mind. She wanted him. All of him. Now.

“Blake, please,” she begged, holding out her arms. Blake growled. He could not control his lust anymore. He gave her what she needed, all of him. Blake had been with numerous women before, but nothing compared to being with Desiree.

She was everything he was looking for, and everything he needed. The past women were like a blur now. All he could see was the ecstasy in Desiree’s face as he brought her the pleasure she was seeking.

It was the first time he made love to someone. And he would do everything to keep her with him.


Chapter 8

Des was still asleep when Blake woke up. Feeling her soft body against him, he instantly got hard. He wanted her again, and they just had their last round two hours ago. She was exhausted. He had tired her enough. She needed to rest.

After their first round, they decided to move to the main house. They were now in her room, hugging each other as tightly as two human beings could hug.

Damn, she was the sexiest woman he ever laid his eyes on. The most unbelievable thing was, with her innocent face and sinful body, she has no idea of her effect on men. She acted as if she thought she was ordinary.

Damn her innocence. It made him want to teach her how to be bad. In a good way. Maybe teach her a few things with her body. Now, that would be fun.

He was watching her sleep when he heard the engine of a car approaching. Then it stopped in front of the house. Blake frowned, instantly alerted. No one would come visit at, he looked at the clock on the wall, two o’clock in the goddamn morning.

Silently getting up so he would not wake Des, he climbed out of the bed, put on his pants and shirt, and then went out. There was a man climbing out of a red Mercedes. He reeked of alcohol and arrogance. Blake instantly did not like him.

“Callaghans’ Ranch?” the man asked, swaying slightly and holding on to the car’s open door for support.

“Yes. Who are you?” Blake asked.” If you want to buy cattle or horses, better come back tomorrow.”

“I am not here for your ugly animals!” the man shouted. “DES!! DES, I KNOW YOU’RE HERE! YOU CAN’T GET AWAY FROM ME THAT EASILY, YOU BITCH!!”

“Say that again and I’ll kill you,” Blake warned, now furiously walking toward the swaying man.

“WHY, YOU HER NEW TOY?” the man smirked. “THAT BITCH HAS THAT SINFUL BODY, BUT SHE DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO USE IT! COLD BITCH! SHE’S LUCKY I CAN EVEN STOMACH TO TOUCH—”

Blake’s fist connected hard to the man’s face, making him fall to the ground. Then he straddled him and punched him again. And again. He did not stop, not until he felt someone tugging him away from the unconscious body of the man who insulted the woman he loved.

The realization took him by surprise. Yes, he loved her. He did not know when or how it happened. He just knew she was the one for him. He would not let anyone much less this scumbag insult her.

Des was crying so hard now. She was holding onto Blake’s arms, trying to move him away from Rob’s unconscious body lying on the dirt road.

She woke up when she heard someone shouting below. Noticing that Blake was no longer beside her, she climbed out of bed, put on her clothes, and went down. That was when she recognized the voice of the man who was shouting. Rob.

She stopped, freezing on the spot where she stood. All she could hear was his harsh words while he was fucking that blonde teenager in the kitchen. How that teenager smirked at her, moaning and smiling, laughing at her for being fat and unwanted. How he said Des should watch as he fucked another woman, then submit to him after. How she was lucky he could even stomach to touch her.

When she heard Blake’s voice, she closed her eyes and talked herself to calm down. Blake was here, and she knew he would protect her no matter what.

Breathing hard, she walked out and saw Rob’s bloody face and Blake’s furious one. He was scary, as if she does not even know him. He was completely different.

“Blake?” she called, her voice guttural. She was crying. When he did not seem to hear her, she ran to him and tried to move him away from the man he was trying to kill.

“Shhh… I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” Blake said, framing her face with her bloody hands and kissing her on the forehead. She was still crying so hard she just hugged him so tight while he whispered his comfort to her ears.

He looked one last time at Rob, and then led her inside the house where he called the police. They sent for an ambulance for Rob, but they promised to arrest him after his medical care.

When the police officers left, Des was still shaking. Blake put his arms around her, comforting her and apologizing for scaring her.

“When I was a kid,” Des started, “people tease me a lot. They said I was ugly and fat. I have friends, but I can count on two hands the ones I actually trust.

“During my junior year in high school, one of the most popular guys in school asked me out. I was shocked and flattered. Turned out it was just a bet.

“Then I met Rob. He made me feel so special. He was good to me, treating me like no one ever did. He was right beside me when my mother was fighting for her life. He even cried with me when she died.

“Then he started to change. At first, he would just yell at me, but say sorry afterwards. Then he started saying words that would hurt me. He hurt me physically a time or two. The last time, I caught him cheating on me with an eighteen-year old girl. Right in our kitchen.”

Des was crying again. Blake did not say anything, just tightened his arms around her. They were silent for a long time. When Blake saw that Des had gone asleep, he carried her to bed.

“I would never do that to you. I love you, Desiree Faust. With all my heart,” he whispered, kissing her on her forehead before going to sleep himself.

That morning, Blake and Des had to go to the town’s precinct to file a formal complaint against Rob. He was in one of the cells with the other detainees.

“Des? Come on, Des. You cannot do this to me. I just came to fetch you. I am so sorry about what you saw with Sheila. I was drunk, you see? Please, baby. I love you,” Rob begged, holding the bars and trying to look pitiful to Desiree.

Des closed her eyes, not wanting to see Rob in that place. He had been good to her once. They loved each other. They just did not work out.

“Can I talk to him, officer?” she asked, wanting to clear things with Rob. When the officer nodded, she felt Blake stand with her. She shook her head at him.

“I want to talk to him alone.”

“Are you sure?” It was obvious he was doubtful. No one could blame him though. Not after what Rob did last night.

She nodded. Blake stood where he was while Des walked closer to the man he once loved.

“Des, come back to me, please? I am sorry. I am so sorry. It will never happen again. Just come back to me. I love you,” Rob said, reaching out his hand to touch Des. She stepped back, shaking her head.

“I will not file a case against you, Rob,” she stated. “But please, do not bother me anymore. What we had was wonderful. I loved you. And I love you still. Just not the same love I felt for you before. I just… I care for you.”

“Des… please? We were good together, you and me. Please don’t do this to me.”

“I’m sorry. Do not dare to bother me again or I will let you rot here next time.” She turned her back and went back to the officer, Blake behind her.

“I’m sorry, officer. I will not be filing a case against him,” she said.

“Are you sure?” the officer asked. He looked skeptical.

“Yes.”

Assessing her, the officer finally nodded. “Well then, he will still have to stay here for a while. He was driving under the influence, after all.”


Chapter 9

They were sharing a late lunch after helping a mare give birth to her foal all night. She had been having a hard time giving birth, and the closest veterinarian was in the next town over. By the time the doctor arrived, the mare would be dead. So Blake did everything he can to help the mare. Des helped too, fetching anything he needed.

As they were finishing, they heard the unmistakable sound of an engine approaching the house. Brows furrowed, Blake stood and looked outside the window.

It was an old beat-up truck. The one ranchers use to deliver cattle and horses to dealers. It was rusty and old, maybe even older than the owner was. It was a miracle that truck was still serviceable.

It was one Blake was too familiar with. It stopped outside the house, bringing with it a cloud of dust and the ear-piercing sound from its machine.

It was the Callaghans. He used to drive that truck when he had to deal with buyers for David. Damn.

“Who was it?” Des asked, peeking outside the window. She looked at Blake questioningly when she saw a couple get out of the truck.

“Your grandparents, Des,” was all he said before going out and helping the old couple.

“David!” he called out, ecstatic to see the man who helped raise him. However, when he saw Agatha, he went to her and hugged her first.

“Nice to see you, boy,” Agatha said, kissing him on both cheeks.

“Beautiful as ever, Agatha. I missed your goose pie.”

“I will make one for you tomorrow,” she answered before raising her head and looking at the woman leaning against the doorframe of the house. “Is that…”

David, alerted by his wife’s obvious distress, looked at the house, too. When he saw Desiree, Blake swore he saw the hard man’s eyes mist.

“Damn, girl. You look just like your momma,” David said, opening his arms for Des. Des ran to him and hugged him.

Agatha was bawling now. When Des went to hug and kiss her, she even cried harder.

“We never heard from Lily. We missed her so much but we did not know where to find her. I wish I could kiss her one more time,” she said, crying her heart out on Des’s shoulder.

“She wanted to come back here. Even when she was dying, she always said she wanted to come back. She said to tell you she was sorry for disappointing you,” Des said, also crying now.

Blake never felt like an outsider with the Callaghans before but at that moment, he felt like he was intruding on something so sacred. He was happy for Des. She finally met her grandparents. He wished that she would have all her heart’s desires. He wished he could be one of her heart’s desires.

When the women decided to continue their chat inside the house, David and Blake were left watching them laugh and cry at the same time.

“Women,” David commented, shaking his head. “They are too emotional. There was no sayin’ when they will cry and when they will laugh.”

“Yes,” Blake agreed, watching the women disappear inside the house. “But I swear I saw you shed a tear or two.”

“Then you must need my glasses more than me, boy,” he said. Blake just laughed and helped him with their bags. When all the bags were brought inside, David asked Blake to show him the new foal.

Safely away from the women, David gave Blake his most stern face.

“Tell me what’s happenin’, boy.”

“What?” Blake asked although he knew what David was talking about.

“I have roughly forty decades on you, boy. I am not a fool. Something is goin’ on with you and my granddaughter.”

“I…” Blake looked away, trying to formulate his words. “I love her, David. I did not plan to, but I do. You can scold me or kick me out of here but I promise you I will come back for her. I will do anything for her.”

David was silent for a minute, watching him. Then finally, he patted Blake’s shoulders.

“I trust you, boy. But try to hurt her and you will never see the next sunrise again, you hear me?”

“I would rather lose an arm than hurt her, I swear,” Blake said, smiling now. David nodded, pat Blake’s shoulder again, and then proceeded to talk about ranch matters.

“You love that boy,” Agatha stated, watching as Des tried to get a glimpse of Blake outside.

“What?”

“You love Blake Morgan. It is clearly written in your eyes,” Agatha repeated then laughed when Des blushed. “Does he know?”

“I haven’t had the chance to tell him yet.”

“I can tell he loves you, too.”

Des nodded, thinking of his whispers every night. “Yes, he tells me he loves me when he thinks I’m asleep.”

“Ahh… to be young and in love,” Agatha said, laughing. She also looked at her husband. After all these years, she was still as in love with him as when they were in their twenties. She hoped Blake and Agatha would have the same good life together, if fate decided they were perfect for each other.


Chapter 10

Des woke up before Blake. She just watched him sleep, curious as to why this gorgeous man would be attracted to her. She always heard him whisper to her every single night after the debacle that Rob had created. He would always whisper how he loved her and that he would protect her from anything that might hurt her. Now, thinking of the words he uttered made her heart soar.

He loved her. He said so himself when he thought she was asleep. Des knew she loved him as well. She did, even before Rob came and her grandparents returned. She just could not tell him because she was unsure of his feelings for her.

“Stop it,” Blake growled at her, shielding his face with a pillow.

“What?”

“You’re staring at me,” he said, laughing. He opened his eyes and stared at her. “God, you are so beautiful. I wouldn’t mind waking up to such beauty all my life.”

Des laughed so loudly Blake had to kiss her to stop. Coming up for air, Des was still smiling while touching his face. He had grown some stubbles. It was her favorite thing to do every morning, feel his stubbles on her hand.

“I didn’t know there is a poet in you,” Des teased, then laughed when Blake started tickling her.


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