Copyright © 2011 by Marteeka Karland All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or shared in any form, including but not limited to: printing, photocopying, faxing, recording, electronic transmission, or by any information storage or retrieval system without prior written permission from the authors or holders of the copyright. This book is a work of fiction. References may be made to locations and historical events; however, names, characters, places and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination and/or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons (living or dead), businesses, events or locales is either used fictitiously or coincidental. All trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, and registered service marks are the property of their respective owners and are used herein for identification purposes only. Published by Beautiful Trouble Publishing, LLC PO Box 61 Colfax, NC 27235 www.beautifultroublepublishing.com Cover Art: Marteeka Karland http://www.marteekakarland.com/ Editor: Cindy Davis, http://www.fiction-doctor.com/ Proofreader: Novellette Whyte http://authorgurunovellette.blogspot.com/ Proofreader #2: Legacy Editing http://legacyediting.com/ Formatter: Jim & Zetta, http://www.jimandzetta.com/ E-book Conversion: Jim & Zetta, http://www.jimandzetta.com/ ISBN: (ebook) 978-1-61788-245-6; (print) 978-1-61788-249-4

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Julie Ann groaned. “Just came to make sure everything was alright. if not as much as there were before she’d sold nearly everything to make the interest payment on the loans six months ago. “What do you want. but she wasn’t about to 6 . but sturdy. Just as she hooked up the taillights for travel.” She had no idea how. She reflected on her happy childhood as she attached the trailer loaded with hay to the big four by four.” It wasn’t a lie.” His smile was just a bit too wolfish to her. James? I’ve got chores to finish. He slid from the vehicle and swaggered to her. “I’ve still got two days. Julie Ann. There was more than a small sense of pride in the place. the white Escalade stopped a few feet from her beat up. she heard the noise of an approaching vehicle. You’ll get your money. He looked like he’d been let into the henhouse after a good long winter fast. placing one foot on the trailer rail and leaning over to rest his arms on his bent knee. Sure enough. The land here in Colorado had been bought by her father and passed down to her and her brother. She’d bet that load of hay she knew who the visitor was. James. He’d worked hard and the land and house had been the first anyone in his family had owned. Ford.” Julie Ann scowled.Chapter One Julie Ann stared at the vast expanse of pasture land in her valley. “Mornin’. And to remind you the interest payment is due along with a ten percent principle payment. There were plenty of things she needed to do.

there were two days left to find a miracle and it wasn’t looking hopeful. especially when James’s jaw twitched in his own attempt to hide a smile. and field mouse she could and still she was in danger of foreclosure.” Julie Ann muttered under her breath. I’ll also square Brady’s other.” Julie Ann tried to hide her scowl. let me know if you need anything. I won’t sell myself to keep this ranch. my offer of marriage still stands. “Well. you’ll have your money in two days and not a second sooner. “I’m sure you will. He pushed up the brim of his Stetson and managed to look genuinely concerned. The man gave her the creeps. I seriously doubt you could handle me. Now leave. He actually took a step backward under the force of her gaze. chicken. You can marry me and I’ll pay off the ranch as my wedding gift to you. pig. She’d sold every horse. “I told you already.” James was a handsome enough man. a cold shiver ran the length of her spine. Besides. before I call the cops. “As I said. She was in danger of losing it all. No one was willing to lend her the kind of money needed to pay off James. he’d come down on her hard and fast. but she doubted she pulled it off. Julie Ann doubted it would be a good idea to clue him in on how ridiculous he looked in the thing.” James managed a semblance of a smile. The only thing 7 . but every time she looked at him. “You know.” She gave him her most contemptuous sneer.Cowgirl Up show weakness in front of James. If the man smelled blood in the water. Could this day get any worse? She’d been to half a dozen banks in Colorado Springs and even Denver in the past week. I’ll be in touch. less savory loans. Now.

He’d also mortgaged the ranch heavily. and that hurt almost as much as her own brother betraying her. Brady had always been highly intelligent and computer savvy. it was too late. Her father had always been proud to be a cattle rancher. Hell. She’d been lucky enough to sell everything else to family friends who would gladly sell most of it back to her should she manage to pull a rabbit out of her hat. however. all to feed his gambling addiction and that. As usual. she’d been loath to sell the herd until she absolutely had to and only when she could get top dollar for them. she made good money. but nothing like the amount needed to bail them out. Even the bank seemed hard pressed to tell her how it had happened. but all she cared about at the moment was tallying 8 . she wasn’t certain she could pull it off. Because of that. As one of the best graphic designers in the country. It was just a shame he hadn’t used his talents to help himself rather than ripping her off. Julie Ann was left to clean up the mess. Julie Ann enjoyed it too. She was sure she had yet to uncover the full extent of Brady’s debauchery.Marteeka Karland she had left was about a third of the cattle. The ranch had always given her a sense of freedom nothing else ever had. Even though Brady was really brilliant. He’d loved the hard work. they weren't convinced she hadn't been a party to it. This time. she wished her brother hadn’t been such a moronic ass of a man. He’d also managed to get into her savings and gone halfway through it before she discovered what he was doing. Brady had squandered every dime in his trust fund and had gone through enough of hers that the remainder was of little consequence compared to the tremendous debts. she might never forgive him for. Now.

Julie Ann couldn’t even keep her mind on the things around her. even to the point of courting Julie Ann before he realized it was a losing battle. To the best of her knowledge. With a heavy heart. The men had done fabulous work. Colorado or the surrounding areas.Cowgirl Up up the loans against the ranch. and that concerned her. let alone run the whole thing by herself. Jonas. And that was on the land only. only coming to her on payday or if they needed her okay to buy material that wasn’t readily available. They were powerful men. but mostly kept to themselves. Men who had no need of her money or the hard labor they seemed to dive into with gusto. Julie Ann caressed the rail of the front porch. So far. How could he have done this? James happened to own the bank that held most of the loans Brady had taken out. This was their home. and very hard working. That didn’t count the houses or equipment. but unknown in Westcliff. They weren’t some random ranch hands sent by her father’s friend. though. “Miss Julie Ann?” 9 . she figured he was in for well over two million. These men were wealthy in their own right. she was lucky he hadn’t borrowed against the livestock. all three men were honest to a fault. She’d hired three field hands to take care of the hay and mend the fences to keep the cattle from wandering off to neighboring spreads. She deserved to lose the ranch. Hell. Julie Ann hadn’t been fooled. She just wasn’t certain exactly what they wanted at this point. The wily banker had been trying to get his hands on their land for years without success.

but something in Wyatt’s eyes told her differently. meaning it. You startled me. Christ! “I’m so sorry. He’s just reminding me I have business with him Saturday. and I do need a few small items that won’t be able to wait. It wasn’t a secret.” she said. “No. the small smile lighting up his weathered but handsome face that was partially concealed by the Stetson. We were getting ready to head home for the evening and wanted to see if you needed us to pick up anything in town for you before we came out tomorrow. after all. I really didn’t want to go back into The Springs before Saturday.” Wyatt nodded in the general direction of James’s departing truck. Why couldn’t she find a man like Wyatt for herself? “Thanks.” It didn’t really surprise Julie Ann that he knew. But it still irked her that the hired help knew her personal business. he would offer.” she stammered. “He giving you trouble?” It was said innocently enough. Wyatt.Marteeka Karland She jumped and swung around. 10 .” She tried to sound as nonchalant as he had. Wyatt was thoughtful like that. “Not a problem. “The loan your brother took out on the place.” The brawny cowboy grinned briefly. usually on Thursday so she’d have supplies for the weekend. almost like small talk. Funny how the same style hat looked so goofy on James. “I’m ashamed to admit I made a list for you.” Julie Ann couldn’t help the smile. but she wasn’t sure she’d pulled it off. yet only added to the rugged good looks of this man. “I was off in a dream world. Once a week.

Julie Ann had never realized how much those names had hurt. Broad shoulders blocked out the setting sun and seemed to strain the mud-streaked t-shirt he wore. she-male. Her expression must have been more transparent than she’d thought. For the first time. She didn’t dare linger on those jeans for fear of embarrassing herself. deliberate movements. A man’s body. Wyatt approached her. She didn’t expect gratitude or sympathy. In that moment. or domme. Letting 11 . “I’ve not been nosing around in your business.” His piercing blue eyes met hers and seemed to bore straight through her soul.” Never “classy. taking what life dealt without fussing about it and playing her hand as best she could. Julie Ann wasn’t the emotional type. she was struck by how really large the man was.” Julie Ann started to reply. “I don’t say things I don’t mean. He had a body honed in hard labor.” Until that moment. All her life. With slow. He seems to think he’s getting you too. though I had my doubts about that from the moment I met you. I swear.” she managed. You’re too classy a lady for the likes of him. but his words wrapped themselves around her heart and squeezed. frigid. not the gym. It had been a while since she’d had the attentions of a man. He had several inches in height on her and she had to tilt her head to meet his gaze. Faded jeans hugged his lean hips and muscled thighs like a jealous lover. James has been bragging to his inner circle how he is finally getting this place. “I appreciate you saying that. she felt more vulnerable than she ever had in her entire life. she’d been called “tomboy. even bitch.Cowgirl Up Wyatt put his hands up in a defensive gesture. accenting his masculine beauty. and never had.

She wanted him. For several moments. Then she’d have some 12 . If she could find a buyer for the remainder of the cattle. would be as bad as letting James know it. One lesson she’d learned the hard way was that the only man a girl could count on was her daddy. she could make the necessary payment to hold off James for another six months. to rely on his strength. Good Lord. nothing more. Worse. Julie Ann could no more look away from him than she could walk away from the ranch without a fight. she was pathetic! Shaking herself out of the pool of self-pity she was wallowing in. She’d been through hard times before. but she knew better than to hope any of them was her Prince Charming in a Stetson. Julie Ann gave herself a mental slap. Unfortunately. Immediately. which she would. Wanted him like she’d never wanted any other man and she was pretty sure he wanted her right back. they simply stared each other down.Marteeka Karland Wyatt know that. but nothing else. It was time to cowgirl up and do this. charging to her rescue on his white steed. but knew better. “The list?” he prompted her gently when she continued to meet his stare. Wyatt and his buddies might be an invaluable asset to her on the ranch. the sexual attraction between them seemed to fairly crackle with life whenever they were close. she had the feeling Wyatt would act on that knowledge where James would be afraid she’d do something really nasty to his privates. She wanted to lean against him. He her ranch hand. Her breath caught. just as she’d always done. He was a man—a very strong. She was his boss. heat suffused her face. handsome man.

Given enough time. I’ll be right back. “Oh. 13 . right. she could save the place.Cowgirl Up breathing room to figure out what to do next.” Before he could say another word—or give her one of those small smiles so filled with male amusement—she fled into the house to get her supply list and compose herself.

Colorado’s most eligible bachelorette. Jonas originally approached the four of them for a recommendation as they had their own ranch and many workers they were more than willing to loan out. It reminded them where they'd come from and how they'd gotten where they were today. they wouldn't return the money until they knew what happened and it left Julie Ann in a bad position. dark-skinned beauty that took his breath. The thought of anyone else aiding her just didn’t sit well with him— mainly because a couple of his own men had been said drunken cowboys. actually seen her in action a time or two when the occasional drunken cowboy tried to manhandle her at the local bar. None of them needed the money she was paying them and Wyatt put back every cent into an account in her name. The little spitfire was the equivalent of Westcliff. However it had happened. They all did. He and his partners. He and his buddies. Wyatt “volunteered” all four of them to help out. There was something about the spunky. Dominic. He’d heard of Julie Ann's fiery spirit. As far as he knew. and Matthew had been informed by her father’s best friend Jonas that she needed workers to help out. the bank’s lawyers were still trying to work out how Brady had hacked their system.Chapter Two Wyatt knew the trouble Julie Ann was in. He and his friends enjoyed the time they spent together working on her ranch. John. 14 . When Jonas had told them of her brother accessing the trust funds and the huge mortgage he’d taken out on the land.

none of them had built a reputation in Westcliff. “Just a few things. Steel ran in her veins. This woman called to him on more than a physical level. not wanting to scare off the local ranchers before they’d made sound business relationships. but if there are any problems. Joe won’t be open when we pass through.” she said. though Lord knew that particular pull was strong. Not once had he seen her crack. and neither was he. Watched the last few weeks as Julie Ann had sold two thirds of the cattle. giving her the ability to do what needed to be done to hang on to her family’s legacy with both hands. “A couple of things. The only sign that any of the selling of animals or equipment bothered her was the clenching and unclenching of her fists at her sides. “Are there any perishable items? I’d planned on being out here at the crack of dawn tomorrow.” Julie Ann bit her lower lip. to either Jonas or one of Jonas’s friends. They’d purposefully kept their business in Westcliff and Colorado Springs on the down low. I can live without milk and 15 . Something deep inside him made him want to scoop her up and hold her to him so nothing could harm her. He and his buddies had helped her fix up the place. Payment is taken care of. but in Wild Creak. as much as anything. handing him a slip of paper. just call.Cowgirl Up being newcomers. Texas they’d been a force to be reckoned with. was a huge aphrodisiac. “I’ve already called Joe and he should have everything ready for you. He also knew she’d never allow it and that. She wasn’t giving up without a fight. There was a strength she possessed that went to the bone. a nervous tell. Just pick up the rest of it.” Wyatt nodded in acknowledgement.

” she smiled.” Wyatt couldn’t help the silly grin that sprang to his lips at her words.” She smiled. It was a new look for her and one he was certain she wouldn’t appreciate him admiring. or tried to. You’ve been a lifesaver. Glad to help. The woman was in desperate need of some emotional pampering. She obviously had no idea how to deal with him. “No trouble at all.” Wyatt sized her up. He 16 . She needed him and he was damned determined to make her see it. he wasn’t about to take it back. right?” He always asked that question before he left for the day. “I’ve been looking after myself for a long time. “Of course. but Julie Ann needed a man. “Thanks. She actually looked vulnerable. Him.” Her response was typical. Wyatt wasn’t a man to take advantage of a woman. which gave Wyatt the advantage. Immediately. He met her shocked stare unflinchingly. that fleeting vulnerability was burned forever in his mind. No. She blinked. “Is everything okay?” He knew she wouldn’t open up to him. you know how to get hold of me. but almost hesitant this time. but having done so.” She smiled as she shrugged.” Wyatt wasn’t sure why he said it. but I’ll be fine. but still. “I…yeah. “If you need anything. he had to ask. “I really appreciate all the extra trouble you guys go to for me. “Maybe that needs to change.” As Wyatt turned to leave. Miss Julie Ann.Marteeka Karland butter until after I take care of business Saturday. any vulnerability gone in an instant. Wyatt couldn’t blame her. she stiffened.” Wyatt almost smiled. The lines of worry and strain seemed more etched into her face the closer she got to the deadline with the bank. She was on the verge of losing not only her home but her heritage. “I’ll see you tomorrow then. Not just any man.

but she would never settle for being a trophy wife and would dismember anyone who suggested she should. scrimping and saving. Since then. and she had some of the best Angus in the area. When they’d turned eighteen.” As he headed back to Colorado Springs. he’d finally found a woman he wanted to give money to and she didn’t want it. As the years went on. shrewd business practices. Wyatt had seen more than his share of women come and go. it also 17 . She wanted to get everything the old fashioned way. I’ll see you tomorrow. and livestock until they had one of the largest ranches in the area. Julie Ann might be many things. making successful lives for themselves. Christ! Wyatt got hard just thinking about that temper of hers. and force of will had made them all very wealthy. “Good evening. James wanted her ranch for the money. Wyatt knew what it was like to fight and scrap for any and everything a person had. What man wouldn’t? The land was perfect for cattle. equipment. They’d worked the land with cattle until the combination of intelligence. Wyatt thought of Julie Ann.Cowgirl Up touched the brim of his hat. Growing up in an orphanage had brought them closer than most siblings. He and his buddies were as close as brothers for a reason. they left. all of them with the same thing in common: they wanted his money. but they’d finally managed to buy a small spread near Wild Creak. then. It had taken tons of hard work. they added to the ranch in land. Julie Ann wanted to work for it. How could such a force of will come in so small a package? It was no secret James Cameron wanted her ranch— and her. In Julie Ann. Texas. but he wanted Julie Ann as an arm ornament for social functions. While Wyatt admired that.

Everyone knew James was a slimy son of a bitch. If he made a move on her. “Wyatt Davis.” It was a damned good thing his truck offered a hands free option for his cell or he’d have dropped the phone. Wyatt loved her inner strength. Every time he saw her. Julie Ann had sass. 18 . It wasn’t the sexy sway of her hips when she walked. no matter how sincere and genuine. though he’d fantasized about that particular portion of her anatomy many times. But it wasn’t the perfection of her frame or the wild hair that made her look like she’d just been thoroughly loved. He adjusted his grip on the steering wheel. He was adjusting himself to keep the seat belt from cutting into his dick when his cell trilled. or. He just wasn’t sure she was ready to take him on. She was the strongest woman he’d ever met. Christ. Julie Ann he wanted for himself. he’d demand her heart as well as her body.” he answered. she was likely to misinterpret it as an attempt to buy her affections. worse. he lost himself in her beauty. Wyatt didn’t have any reason to warn him off Julie Ann. Wyatt. Wyatt had never had anything he hadn’t shared with his brothers. this was complicated! Especially with James Cameron sniffing around her. but other than being a creep with poor business ethics. make her feel like a prostitute. He was a demanding lover and with her. yet he sensed there was a softer side to her. No other woman had come close to affecting him the way she did and he hadn’t even touched her.Marteeka Karland complicated matters enough to give him a headache. She was special. “I— Hello. Not yet anyway.

” she said without hesitation. headed back to Westcliff and Julie Ann. I need your help. probably to herself. There’s a man here who claims to know my brother.” Julie Ann sounded flustered. “I’m okay.” 19 . Still. Could you come back?” “Absolutely. Are you safe?” “Yeah.” she muttered. but you’re much closer than the cops. Julie Ann would never ask him for help unless it was life and death. I really hate to ask. He stayed quiet. and the guy isn’t in the best of moods. “Wyatt. he’d already pulled off the road preparing to turn around.Cowgirl Up “Julie Ann? Is everything all right?” Funny his first thought was that something was wrong. “But I’d prefer not to shoot the guy. Then that warped sense of humor kicked in and his heart just melted. and she sounded too calm for that. but. “I’m sorry. “Dammit. The paperwork would be murder and I don’t particularly feel like cleaning blood off the carpet tonight.. His heart pounded as he made a U-turn. though he wanted to demand she tell him what was going on..it’s just—” She stopped abruptly and Wyatt heard what sounded like someone banging on the door.

trying to keep from losing her mind. Apparently. Whoever this man was. I’m not sure I can fix it this time. but really didn’t want to have to use it. 20 . Julie Ann hated like hell calling Wyatt back and getting him involved in this mess. but he was the closest person available.” She bit her lower lip. the more violent the man would become. This ranch is practically gone and it’s his fault!” “I couldn’t give a damn about this place. It was a pattern she’d seen many times in the past. but it was an all too familiar situation. He’s already got this place mortgaged to the hilt for you guys. Julie Ann had seen Brady’s friends like this before and it was never a good thing to get in the way. Julie Ann. “Go away. and Julie Ann seriously doubted she could talk to the nameless man. Not by herself. Julie Ann!” The angry voice shouted through the door. She didn’t know the guy. It sounded as though the man was quite capable of harming her. and if he can’t pay me. her brother’s cronies had found out she’d cut his access to her part of the trust fund as well as his rights to the ranch. I want my money! Your brother owes me. “Like hell! You stole my money. and they were furious. Julie Ann had her shotgun at the ready. you little bitch!” “I kept Brady from squandering my part of our trust fund and the ranch. you will!” The longer this went on.Chapter Three “Let me the fuck in. and you can tell Brady that. he was furious.

Cowgirl Up She was just about to call Wyatt again when the distinctive sound of his big diesel pulled into the driveway. there were heavy footfalls moving up the porch steps. Knowing she’d pulled Wyatt into the middle of this made her feel that much worse.” She had no doubt she could defend herself. but she wasn't certain she could actually shoot someone unless she was certain her life depended on it. and the sound of flesh hitting flesh. Wyatt was a ranch owner in his own right. her hired hand. He wasn’t unconscious. Instead. What the hell had she been thinking? She had no right dragging him into this mess. Julie Ann squashed it. It was all she could do not to sag with relief. and rightly so. Like it or not. She raced to the door and flung it open. followed by a bone-rattling thud as a body hit the front door. Butt the fuck out!” Julie Ann expected more arguing. As soon as the thought entered her mind. “Who the hell are you? This is between me and that bitch. At least for now. but Wyatt had definitely 21 . but she was a little afraid of her brother and his “friends. but he was new to Westcliff. technically. According to her dad's friend Jonas. He’d probably hate her. Julie Ann would never admit it to a soul. but there was none. the one thing she knew for certain was Wyatt would make this all right. Julie Ann. Brady’s friend slumped against the wood but fell backward when the door moved. He was also. That meant she was likely to get hurt before she actually made use of the damned gun. Muffled words in a male voice—definitely Wyatt— followed by the stranger’s furious response caught her attention.

22 . and stalked away without a backward glance. Glancing at her. moaning. Opening the gun. he noted the shells seated in the barrels. “Brady and his buddies are pissed because I cut them out of the rest of my trust and prevented him from using the ranch as collateral for more high risk loans. but you will leave her the hell alone. He moved into the house.” Wyatt didn’t raise his voice. I just really didn’t want to have to shoot anyone. “You okay?” Wyatt's voice was gentle. Wyatt never took his eyes from Brady's “associate” until he was in his truck and headed down the dusty road. “I’m fine. and I knew the situation was too far gone for me to talk sense into him. “I don’t know who you are or what you think you’re doing. He laid half in half out of her home. gently removing the weapon as he went. but his eyes hardened when he saw the shotgun in her hands. Wyatt unloaded the thing before placing it high on the gun rack above the closet door. not a question. It’s all fun and games until someone gets his nose broken. but the look in those icy blue eyes—and the fact that the man’s nose was spurting blood down his shirt—conveyed more menace than Julie Ann knew the bully was prepared to deal with.Marteeka Karland knocked him silly.” It was a statement.” “This is about the mortgage your brother took out on the ranch. Just like any bully. mumbled something under his breath. there was complete silence for several heartbeats before the man got to his feet. he turned and ran.” She shrugged. Sure enough. when someone bigger and stronger got involved.

Well.” He moved to the couch and sat next to her. as if she were the most important woman in the world.” Wyatt gave her a slight smile. right?” “I figure that’s why he sent that guy here today. did a funny little roll.” Julie Ann sighed and sank onto the couch. knowing she revealed far more than she was prepared for him to see but unable to help herself.”  It was a good thing she’d been sitting down. otherwise Julie Ann was certain she’d have fallen on her ass. Not from the shock of his proclamation that he was invading her home— which she needed to nip in the bud—but because of her reaction to his forcefulness. “I know you could have. Wyatt. Brady will send someone else if he can’t get more money.Cowgirl Up “He keeps racking up debt with the people he’s dealing with and he will get hurt.” She looked at him. and her heart pounded like a jackhammer. sweat erupted over her body in anticipation of what the night would bring. no matter how much she needed to stand firm to not selling herself 23 . Just like that. God. it’s that you can handle yourself in just about any situation. but there was something about his eyes when he smiled at her. “But I’m still staying here with you tonight. but not without shooting him. “I could have handled it. and that would have only made things worse. “I really appreciate you coming back. he was handsome anyway. tucking a stray tendril of hair behind her ear in a curiously intimate gesture. Their sky blue depths seemed to gleam just for her. he was handsome when he did that. Her stomach flipped. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about you over the past few weeks. You know that. No matter how much she knew she needed to do.

Try as she might. God help her. Julie Ann. Give me one night. give yourself to me. Burned! “What makes you think you have a choice? If you won’t let me stay inside. Sinfully sexy. And. she knew if he stayed. this time twirling it around his finger. “You will. she simply couldn’t deny herself the pleasure. it would be in her bed. she was suddenly so nervous she couldn’t say a thing. Pure and simple pleasure.Marteeka Karland to keep her home. How the hell did he do it? He’d reduced her to a pile of shivering female hormones in the space of about thirty seconds. You have to know that. Potent. she would never be able to look him in the eyes again. Again. Wyatt met her gaze then. “I’m won’t trade myself for this ranch. She was taking a hell of a lot for granted. Direct.” It was said so matter-offactly Julie Ann had to replay it in her mind a couple of times to be sure she’d really heard him correctly. Wyatt. If she were wrong about Wyatt’s feelings. Wyatt didn’t seem so much to contemplate her words as to be fascinated by that one curl he played with so intently. He wanted her.” Julie Ann wasn’t sure why she felt compelled to say it. She burned for him. “I never thought you would. “What makes you think I’m letting you stay?” Again. I’m willing to bet you’re not mean enough to make me sleep outside.” he said absently. I’ll just camp out on your doorstep. however. that heart stopping smile set her on fire. “Not for money or to save your ranch. he found a stray tendril of hair.” Julie Ann’s hands shook. I promise you won’t be disappointed. She knew it in her very bones. For pleasure.” 24 . she wanted him right back with an intensity that should have made her blush.

If he and his partners mended fencing on the south end. she mended the fences or worked in the hay. they would always see her driving the cattle to the north side. Julie Ann was one of the hardest working people he knew. He knew she wanted him. which was a good thing. He knew her work ethics and tried to spend a couple of hours with her every few days on the pretense of going over the week’s work. He always saw her around the ranch doing a man's share of the work. His cock was so hard he wasn’t certain walking away from her was even an option. She absolutely could not perceive this as him wanting her to trade sexual favors for her ranch. If they took time to put a new roof on a barn. Wyatt could fool himself about that as much as he wanted. but it had always been an excuse to get to know her better. If Julie Ann thought that. And that wasn't even taking into account the emotional attachment they'd formed since going to work for her. It didn’t change the fact that he’d grown to love the little spitfire. Staking his claim now would be a risk. Though she voiced her denial. Wyatt was surprised at his feelings for her. Wyatt knew she didn’t think he was in the same class as that slime bag Cameron. Her eyes gave her away.Chapter Four Wyatt could see her warring with herself. His dick actually hurt with the building pressure. but there was no denying they were there. she’d have tossed him out 25 . Having spent so little time actually in her company.

” she said.” 26 .. I’m doing this because.. “Before we do this. Julie Ann's strength of will was just one more reason Wyatt loved her. Emotions flitted across her face. Her words were brazen. knowing he wanted to put her at ease and needing to be clean so he didn’t worry about anything but Julie Ann.Marteeka Karland on his ear.” he started. “Okay. but she was still nervous. The only question was. not the least of which was lust. rubbing her hands along her jean clad thighs.” Her voice trailed off as her gaze swept him up and down. “But I want one thing absolutely straight. He couldn’t help the lopsided smile. no matter what. could he let her go in the morning? It took her less than thirty seconds to make up her mind. “Absolutely. She definitely wanted him as much as he wanted her. Wyatt probably should have been embarrassed by her blatant perusal. she’d take her chances alone before selling herself.. His little Julie Ann might believe in taking what she wanted. When it’s over. “Because you’ve got to be the sexiest man on the face of the earth and I get hot just thinking about what you look like under those tight T-shirts that cling to you like a second skin when they’re damp with sweat. “I want to take a shower. “You think I’m sexy?” She licked her lips absently as her gaze continued to roam his body. but he wanted to puff out his chest and do a Tarzan yell. it’s over.. She left a faint dark smudge on her jeans where she continued to rub her palms over her thighs. then looked him straight in the eye.” She hesitated.” she breathed. Even with her brother hovering around. but her hands still shook.

Wyatt stood. that’s the 27 .” Julie Ann withdrew from him. Say you want me. he burned for her! He’d wanted her for too long without making a sexual move. but emotionally. just this slight contact was setting his blood boiling and his cock throbbing. holding her flush against his muscular frame. maybe that was wishful thinking. but up the stairs to the master bedroom. When he was done. “The bathroom is down the hall on the left—” “No. Not with me wanting you so damned much. clearly starting to regret her decision. At least. Wyatt had to keep her wanting him or there was no way he was getting out of here without begging for this woman's favors. She led the way to the bathroom. Julie Ann was his woman. His arms went around her easily. she’d never want to let him go. His! He would make love to her until the break of dawn. “Oh! Of course! I’m so sorry. catching Julie Ann's hand and tugging her up beside him. to be sure. Julie Ann.” Wyatt knew he was pushing it. “You’re coming with me. Her hesitation was miniscule at best. but the idea of another man in her bed cause a red haze to cover his vision and he had to blink several times and take a few deep breaths to steady himself.Cowgirl Up She blinked up at him. “You can’t back out now. confused.” he clipped sharply. then wake her up to more lovemaking. Too damned bad.” She swallowed. Her bathroom. He was willing to bet he was the only man to ever invade that sanctuary. Okay. Not the one down the hall and to the left. If he left her alone. but dammit. Good thing he had no intention of leaving her alone. she’d talk herself out of this. Then she blushed. Maybe not physically. Now. That would do wonders for his ego.

“You’re so beautiful. Wyatt’s hands came to rest on her hips.” “Too late. but this. every line of his torso almost absently. her eyes wide. holding her to him. I’ve seen you filthy dirty working with the cattle and dressed to kill going out to the 28 .Marteeka Karland way it played out in his mind. yet experienced enough to drive him wild. He didn’t acknowledge her.. putting a finger to her lips. maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. They entered her bedroom where the small bathroom was off to the side.” she breathed. “Undress me.” Her throat worked as she swallowed her nervousness.. Her exploration was innocent. obviously trying to ease the nervous tension. her hands finding the heavy muscles of his chest and shoulders. Julie Ann. Julie Ann.” Again.” He chuckled. The soap isn’t girlie soap so you don’t have to worry.” he pressed. He absolutely could not blow it. “You’re not about to proclaim yourself less than perfect. She grinned at him. preferring to get things started before she could back out. Her hands slid up his chest to circle his neck as her gaze met his. I’ve watched you for weeks now and I know you’re perfect. She gasped when she looked at him. This was his chance.” “Maybe I don’t want you to. “Wyatt.” “Shhh. Wyatt had to get himself together. “Help yourself.” he said. “Take off my clothes. “I knew you were fit. She traced every hollow. I’m not. Julie Ann gestured to the open door with a shaky hand... Get the rest of my clothing off so I can unwrap you. she hesitated a couple of heartbeats before stepping toward him and lifting the hem of his shirt and peeling it over his head. “You’re so good for my ego.

“Do you know how many rowdy cowboys almost lost their lives because they took too many liberties with you on the dance floor?” Finally.” She raised one elegantly arched eyebrow.” If his declaration frightened her. his thighs. Though I’ve never had any experience. she laughed. He kicked out of the jeans. it warms my heart. and dirty as he was now. Only a woman who worked just as hard as he did could truly understand. “What is it?” “Go start the shower. and pulled her to her feet before she could do more. sweaty.” She smiled in understanding.Cowgirl Up bar. He was sweaty and there was no way she was doing anything that intimate until he was clean.” He gritted his teeth at the last remark. his lower legs. that’s my job.” “Then. I need to be clean so I can do all the things I’ve fantasized about since I met you. “I should be freaked out because you’ve been watching me. she reached for his waistband and undid the button on his jeans. putting the sodden pile of clothing in the corner of 29 . Wyatt knew she came home just as hot. Julie Ann knew. thank goodness. “You going for the father figure? ’Cause that's a little weird. Wyatt removed his socks and underwear.” “Oh. I’m pretty sure I can pull it off. Sliding them down his hips. but no one has ever looked out for me except my daddy. that thought made him even harder. the tension seeming to drain from her. Fuck. While she ran the water. she didn’t show it. from now on. hell no! I’m going more for the jealous husband. but I swear Wyatt. Instead. I might be an idiot to say so. she caressed his buttocks. or made her uncomfortable.

He’d wear her out and put them in the wash while she rested. We’ll muddle through the rest together. His arms went around her to close securely around her waist. but it was taking everything he had not to simply rip the clothing from her body and ravage her. That was very good. Wyatt had never felt so possessive in his life. reveling in the ability to hold her. She wasn’t used to being touched. They were meant for each other. Good. Julie Ann trembled slightly. Later. Wyatt knew in his heart she was his.” she admitted. He might not have known her as long as he should have given the depth of his feelings for her. but then this was his Julie Ann. obviously trying to find her comfort zone. sweetheart.Marteeka Karland her bathroom. though she leaned against him. She was so damned beautiful! Until that 30 . She stiffened.” Wyatt almost choked on that one. you don’t have to worry about being good. Just be with me. He met her gaze as he lifted the shirt over her head and tossed it to the floor. Their slight weight filled his palms and he just stood there. but he knew he sounded strained. Wyatt came up behind Julie Ann as she leaned inside the shower to adjust the water. “Are you afraid?” He tried to keep his question mild. Her bra followed and his hands found the perfection of her breasts. “Trust me. Wyatt wanted to smile. but he couldn’t help it. “A little. His hands rested lightly on her hips. to encourage her as much as he could. He turned them both until they faced the mirror already clouding with steam. “I haven’t done this in a while and I was never very good at it.” She rewarded him with a smile and straightened from the shower.

yet curvy in all the right places. The soothing scents of her bath soaps and light perfume only served to heighten his pleasure and fuel his lust for Julie Ann. begging for entrance into her feminine channel. “Damn. Wyatt felt as if he’d been punched in the gut. If he didn’t get his thoughts under control. Electricity seemed to arch between them to settle deep in his groin. I’ve never wanted anything in my life as much as I want you. He gripped her hips and pulled her more fully against his throbbing cock. The second their lips touched. 31 . baby. Wyatt was certain he could have just stood there and looked at her in the mirror all day. sensual assault. sleekly-muscled thighs…all perfect for him. nestling between her soft cheeks as if he’d found a home there. Better yet. he wanted to draw them into his mouth. Wyatt hadn’t been aware such perfection existed. but it was the only way to vocalize his need of her. One at a time. Small waist. Everything around him was her. Her nipples peaked in the cool breeze coming from her bedroom through the open door. encouraging her to step out of them. You’re so damned beautiful!” He wasn’t a poet. Suckle her until she cried out his name and begged him to do more. His balls were heavy with need and his cock pounded insistently between them. She was slim. He peeled her jeans from her legs. Her panties went the way of everything else and finally she stood in front of him naked and beautiful. he was going to lose it and frighten her off with the fierceness of his need.Cowgirl Up moment. Christ! This wasn’t going to be a slow. making him want to take them between his fingers and roll them gently. flared hips and breasts. Knowing it was a losing battle he turned her in his arms and fastened his mouth to hers.

He grabbed it and broke their kiss to gently wind her hair up and tuck it securely into the cap. so sweet and tempting. Wyatt saw the shower cap hanging from a hook at the back of the stall. 32 . her fingers flexing against his skin as she took what she needed. This time. he had lost his heart completely and he wasn’t certain he wanted to reclaim it. were you eavesdropping on me?” “Anything to give me an advantage. but I know from hearing you talk to your girlfriends at the bar you don’t like getting your hair wet. Almost too late. they made it to the shower. She sighed and opened her mouth. His arms came around her as easily as his mouth found hers again. accepting his invading tongue. As far as I’m concerned. Her mouth was a haven that seemed to consume him as he kissed her. honey. “I might be acting like a cad. “Wyatt Davis. All he knew was that. she giggled. For the life of him. felt their connection and eased into it without resistance. nothing is out of bounds. Julie Ann whimpered into his mouth and Wyatt almost melted in a puddle right there. Wyatt wasn’t certain who was claiming whom. sliding her arms around him once more. as if she.” She looked as if she couldn’t decide whether to be flattered or outraged. too. Somehow. Instead. in the space of a few brief seconds.Marteeka Karland He was surrounded with Julie Ann as surely as if he’d buried himself deep inside her. It was heaven to taste her like this. the move felt natural to Wyatt.” He grinned as her expression turned from shocked to annoyed. She’d wound her arms around his neck and clung to him.

she wanted to melt at Wyatt’s feet. yet at the same time. placing little butterfly kisses over her nose.” He grinned wickedly before kissing her once more. They burned too hot! His strong arms held her to him with such force she couldn’t breathe. but because of the trembling of his body and the huskiness of his voice when he spoke. His strength could have easily intimidated her. Whatever it was. Julie Ann’s body was coiled and ready to spring. Wyatt pulled away. He put just enough force behind it that she had to submit to him.” Julie Ann giggled.Chapter Five Julie Ann wouldn’t have been surprised if the shower stall went up in flames. “Wash me. her fingers trailing over his chest to shape the heavy muscles she found there. her cheeks. Or maybe. she knew he was just as affected as she was. I don’t intend to take you in the shower our first time. and chin. The man was lethal. One thing was certain. He could melt a woman at a hundred paces with that voice and that 33 . I make no promises about the second time. yet she wasn’t overwhelmed by him. Finally. it was simply the adrenaline coursing through her body. “Though. “I’d better get washed if we want to continue this. That fact alone gave her strength and courage.” His husky command sent shivers over her body and her cunt wept with need. Wyatt handed her the soap. the man could kiss. There was no way the heat she and Wyatt generated could be contained by the scant spray of the water.

wanting to see his reaction to different stimuli. clean smelling soap between her palms until the lather was rich and thick. Julie Ann rubbed the bar over his body this time. memorizing the layout in case she never got to do this again. She was such a goner. She lathered the soap between her hands once more before gripping his shaft tentatively. For her. Her hands roamed over his chest. massaging the soap over his thick erection and taut balls. and that body! Julie Ann groaned inwardly. Standing here in the shower with Wyatt.. He was kind and gentle. she rubbed the fresh. she was putting her whole heart into it. his shoulders. the water cascading over his hair. Obediently. The fact that he’d insisted on staying—even if he did have ulterior motives—meant the world to her. Not for the memory of her family. She’d take care of the ranch herself. not to mention sexy as hell. She traced every ridge and hollow of his sculpted torso. The way he’d stood up for her before had only solidified his place in her heart. She 34 . It jumped in her hands and Wyatt took in a sharp breath. she knew in her heart he wasn’t the scoundrel James Cameron was. Taking the soap once again. And lower. He wouldn’t have helped her as much as he had otherwise. but his eyes were closed and his head back. As long as he understood it wasn’t for money. she was fine with it. The thought was distressing. If she was going to do this. Heaven knows she couldn’t fault him for wanting to have sex with her. Julie Ann slid her soapy hand down his cock. She rubbed the smooth bar over his chest and stomach. She needed this man in her life. She looked at him. Wyatt was a good man. Lower.Marteeka Karland smile. She wanted the same from him.. This was for her.

He actually growled. With his groin still mashed against hers. “Christ!” Wyatt pulled her hands away from him. She wiggled and maneuvered. he hastily dried them before tossing her shower cap aside and stumbling to the bedroom. Water sluiced over them like a lover’s caress. A small sound escaped her as she met each thrust of his tongue with one of her own. She wanted this—wanted him—and she was woman enough to take what she wanted. urging them to circle his neck. rinsing the soap away along with Julie Ann’s last ounce of self-preservation. The persistent pushing of his cock against her bottom let her know he was just as affected as she was. He lifted her and Julie Ann wrapped her legs around his waist instinctively. She fused her mouth to his. When the spray stopped. Wyatt fumbled for the faucet. Julie Ann wasn’t certain she could make it out of the shower. Wyatt turned them so the spray hit between their bodies. he stepped out of the stall with her still wrapped around his body.Cowgirl Up marveled at the size of him even as she brushed her finger over the tip where the soap mixed with a pearly drop of pre-cum. spearing her tongue deep in an effort to inflame him more. but Julie Ann was barely aware of it. 35 . He rested her on the vanity. thrusting his tongue into her mouth just like Julie Ann wanted him thrusting in and out of her body. trying to bring her sex in line with Wyatt’s dick. seeking his cock with her pussy. They fell together in a heap on her queen sized bed. Every move he made brought her that much closer to her goal. reaching for a towel at the same time. Wyatt kissing her with a fierceness she’d never experienced.

By the time he got around to kissing. but she knew she’d never forget this as long as she lived. rubbing the sensitive peak between his tongue and the roof of his mouth. unfortunately. Wyatt moved to her other breast. “We have all night. whimpers. When his greedy mouth finally covered her sex. holding him close. “I need you. Julie Ann came with an intensity she hadn’t known herself capable of.Marteeka Karland Wyatt maneuvered them further up on the bed. Julie Ann was almost screaming with pleasure. Their lovemaking was accompanied by their moans. Julie Ann was certain she would die before he ever got around to taking her. He found one nipple with his mouth and sucked gently. “Patience. took her body places it had never been and made it his own. She had no idea what the future held. hooking one of her legs over his forearm and giving him better access to her. for all his fierce kisses and shaking body. Wyatt!” Her cry was a plea for mercy. lavishing it with the same maddening attention. I plan on enjoying you while I have the chance. She knew it was. His cock rubbed over her sensitive clit with each movement of his hips.” was his husky reply. didn’t seem to have gotten the message because instead of surging into her he moved down her body. but Wyatt. sweetheart. holding him to her. Electricity zinged from her nipple straight to her pussy. and nipping his way down her torso to her cunt. Julie Ann tugged at his hair. and cries as Wyatt touched and kissed every inch of her body. Her vision narrowed to Wyatt’s head between her thighs. She rode 36 . Sex had never been like this. Wyatt consumed her. didn’t seem interested in rushing things.” When he finished speaking. Wyatt. her fingers bunched tightly in his hair. The musky scent of their sweat and sex permeated her bedroom. licking.

The friction on his dick was maddening. sweetheart. tears streaming from her eyes. Wyatt began to move.Cowgirl Up his face as best she could. wasn’t the type to sleep with just any man. every emotion. pressing against her before the spasms stopped. It was all so beautiful. “Look at me. Tears of pleasure. All he wanted to do was close his eyes and let go. looking at the ceiling as Wyatt sucked and flicked her sensitized clit. of joy. When her orgasm claimed her. wailing her pleasure in a sure. Don’t look away. needing the pleasure he brought her like she needed to breathe. I want to see every expression. It only made her cream for him all the more. she still felt love in every touch of his mouth. all Julie Ann could do was lay there. his body. Her responses were 37 . loud scream. But watching her come apart under his mouth had been like watching some carnal angel in heaven.  Wyatt wasn’t sure how long he could hold himself together. “Keep your eyes on me. stars actually danced over her field of vision and she screamed his name until her throat was raw and hurting. With one smooth stroke. she couldn’t help herself. I want it all. stretching her deliciously. He was a big man and Julie Ann. Wyatt was over her. his hands. while not an innocent. Even amidst the savagery of his possession.” When Julie Ann nodded. She obeyed. he plunged into her. The burn from the way he stretched her cunt only added to the pleasure and excitement. Look at me!” His voice was gruff in command. Julie Ann. She closed her eyes and threw her head back. She was so hot and tight. For a few moments. He didn’t give her a chance to recover.

Little spasms of delight rippled through her and threatened to squeeze the life out of him. and now his dick. Julie Ann arched her back. sweet merciful heaven. Her body was a haven he’d never thought to enjoy and he intended to keep her. “Oh. It was a good thing he was stubborn. using it as leverage to push herself onto him. pulling with her hands on his hips. Julie Ann braced her free foot on the back of his calf. wanting her to ride out her pleasure before he took his. jet after jet bathing her insides. When she came. He could see it all in her eyes. With a primal scream. Wyatt realized he 38 . Hot seed burst into her. centering on the place where their bodies joined. When he moved.Marteeka Karland genuine. Her body trembled beneath him. Wyatt gave himself the go ahead and let himself be consumed by the fire arching between them. I’m coming!” Her muscles clamped down on him and the sensation was too damned much for Wyatt. not planned to boost his ego or to get the act over with as soon as possible. otherwise he would’ve exploded the second he entered her. but he held on to his control with every ounce of willpower he possessed. Fire raced through him. Faster and faster she urged him. With a moment of panic. Wyatt! I’m coming! God. She panted out her breath and sweat slickened her skin so their bodies glided together with ease. she clamped even tighter around him. Gasps escaped her lips and her eyes lids slid halfway closed. Forever. clenching around his tongue. their chocolate amber depths seemed to glaze over and darken. Each surge forward brought him closer and closer to his own orgasm. He held off as long as he could. but she still kept eye contact with him.

She was beautiful beyond measure. he’d have given Julie Ann anything in the world. 39 . that was all you.” He chuckled. her eyes were wide in wonder.” Her giggle poured over him like warm honey. still buried inside Julie Ann. and spunky as hell. With a groan. Julie Ann clung to him. her heart pounding so hard he could feel it through her breasts. everything he’d always wanted. He’d be happy to stay like this forever. he couldn’t bring himself to stop now. “Wow. When he looked at her. Wyatt. her breathing was deep and even. Hell. he crawled beneath the covers and pulled her close to him. gasping for breath. giving her a quick kiss on the mouth before heading to the bathroom to get a cloth to clean them both.” she breathed. Julie Ann put her hand over the one he had resting on her belly. I just went along for the ride. he levered himself off the bed. Still. “Thank you. if the smile on her face was any indication. Moments later. melting his insides so that.” She stroked his cheek with her fingertips. All Wyatt could do was lay there. but seemed happy. He intended to marry Julie Ann so protection wasn’t at the top of the priority list. “Honey. Once he was certain she was comfortable. She was drowsy. She was the woman for him. he should have thought to ask her. his own heart hammered almost unbearably hard. Sex has never been like this for me.Cowgirl Up hadn’t used protection. honest to a fault. Never in his adult life had he made that mistake. “I’ve never experienced anything so wonderful. in this one perfect moment. nuzzling her head with his lips and chin. Unfortunately. more caring than anyone he’d ever met.

Moments later. 40 . all he wanted to do was drift off to sleep with his woman wrapped securely in his arms. that’s exactly what he did. but never had he even considered spending the night with a woman. End of story. Now. He had had sex with many women over the course of his adult life. When he was ready for sleep. he went home. Not unless they’d had sex all night anyway. He couldn’t remember a time in his life when he’d felt so contented.Marteeka Karland Wyatt sighed.

Wyatt made love to her in every room of the house. She’d leaned against the railing and he’d pounded her from behind until neither could stand. she realized that the ranch might have been her father’s legacy. but you couldn’t buy love. but what she’d found with Wyatt was far more important. 41 . there’d been panic. much to her dismay. They’d laughed over that one. wrapped securely in Wyatt’s arms. She was beginning to realize she might have a chance at true love with Wyatt. never to return. And she’d never been a woman to settle for second best. blue eyes and she couldn’t find it in her to care. A house could be rebuilt. Never once did they use protection. She knew there’d never be another. just like her mood. but only until she’d looked at him. Not true love. If Wyatt left the next day. It was what her father had always said: love was more important than anything material. Saturday morning dawned overcast and gloomy. likening themselves to careless teenagers. One look into his gorgeous. another ranch could be purchased. Even on the front porch. Wyatt had then proven he still had a voracious appetite—at least when it came to her—by carrying her upstairs to bed and continuing where they’d left off on the porch. At first. no other man could ever compare to him. She wasn’t any closer to figuring out how she would pay James. Lying in her bed.Chapter Six The next day and night were the happiest of Julie Ann’s life.

He found her desirable. He liked her smart mouth. Then his cock was seeking entrance to her. “I’ll take care of everything. I’d have given it to you just to keep him from getting his hands on anymore land in West Cliff. Love. other than her father. sweetheart. “Don’t worry. laughing at her as she ordered him around when he’d flustered her by taking her on the dining room table. made her feel beautiful where no one else. With a happy sigh. Julie Ann wound her arms around his neck. James Cameron is such a sorry son of a bitch. He feathered kisses along her jaw to her ear.” Julie Ann opened her mouth to protest. as if he was taking his time and savoring the moment. then down to her neck and shoulder. The fact was. but he silenced her by rolling over lazily to cover her body with his. With an easy. ever had. and maybe it was all in her head. he even liked her saucy attitude.Marteeka Karland His hold tightened on her as if he could read her thoughts. She’d never believed love happened this fast.” Normally. so don’t get all defensive. “I’ll go with you to the bank and we’ll take care of this together. And that’s what it was. Hell. lazy move of his hips. she would have insisted on doing it herself. I’ve got more money than my grandkids will ever be able to spend. only to slide over his heavily muscled arms and back 42 . no one had ever made her feel as special as Wyatt did. Not because you slept with me either. so it’s really no big deal to me. His movements remained slow and easy.” he murmured drowsily. Wyatt made love to her. but it would be nice to have Wyatt there so she didn’t have to be in the same room alone with James. Hell. Wyatt treated her with respect.

you plan on staying around a little while. “Oh. caressing with the lightest of touches. I’m merely saying he’s your brother and you love him. not wanting to give too much of herself away. their bodies still joined. Me. bending once more to claim her lips. he’s not so sure about. too. She grinned at him. Wyatt sat up. she pushed until he gave in and she rolled them over and sat up. She’d much rather put that energy into making love with Wyatt. curling his muscled arms around her like two tight bands. Besides. Wyatt. Wyatt’s hands immediately went to her hips. To her relief. capturing her gaze and not letting go. they’d have sent someone else if they thought they were dealing with Brady’s little sister. “It has to me.” Julie Ann tried to pout. I’m so glad you called. “Are you saying I’m a pushover?” He chuckled. it will be good to have a shield between me and him.Cowgirl Up again. “Not at all. that is. Much as I don’t like physical violence.” He answered her smile with a heart stopping one of his own. It just wasn’t worth the effort. She shoved at him to put a little distance between them.” he said. gliding over her hips and thighs. I prefer to keep it that way. “I have no intention 43 . “I prefer it that way too. I like knowing you came to me when you had a problem. “I know this is a bit premature. I’m betting he knows that. I’m glad you called me back Thursday night. straddling Wyatt’s legs. Shoving at him hard. Much as I love my brother.” She said it flippantly. If. make no mistake. but this weekend has been so special to me. but her body was coming to life again and she didn’t care about her brother at the moment.

Julie Ann couldn’t help but smile. A man who guarded his integrity zealously and never said anything he didn’t mean. He was an active lover. the position giving him a little more leverage to surge into her. Wyatt was a man of his word. Wyatt lay her down on the bed. He gripped her waist and pounded into her. all the while doing a little shimmy on his cock. hard working. Wyatt broke the kiss to bend her back to allow him access to her breasts where he lavished each nipple with the pleasure of his tongue and teeth.Marteeka Karland of going anywhere unless you tell me specifically you don’t want me here. though. Yes. trying her best to return all the pleasure he’d given her all weekend. but because of him. The slight pain only enhanced the pleasure. He was her perfect man. Finally. Her mouth found his and she poured her heart and soul into her kiss. It was funny how much it mattered to her that he wanted to stay. She wanted this man in her life. 44 . her thighs over his. not one to sit back and let her do all the work. He was kind.” The breath she hadn’t even been aware she was holding expelled in a great sigh of relief. Over and over he moved. his fingers digging into her delicate flesh with almost painful intensity. Julie Ann didn’t mind. He maneuvered himself so his legs were underneath him and he sat back on his heels. and made her feel like she finally had a place in the world and it was at his side. But it did. Not for protection or for what he represented to her home. Julie Ann melted into him. and her orgasm was building faster than she thought possible.

” But he didn’t look hurt. Her body must have taken him with her because his hips jerked as if out of control and he let his head fall back and roared his release. “I most certainly can. At the first touch. No way can you still want me. It’s just been a while for me and I’m sure I’m easily satisfied. 45 . If she knew James. For a moment neither of them moved.Cowgirl Up As if sensing how close she was. but she loved the way he made her feel. She embraced the orgasm.” She shook her head. letting it consume her as she screamed his name. “Don’t get it in your head you’re some kind of stud. I don’t plan on letting you out of this bed for the entire week. Julie Ann fell. Wyatt used his thumb to stimulate her clit. hoping everything went smoothly. very smug Cheshire cat. I want this bank business over with so I can bring you back here and make love to you the rest of the day. however. that was cruel! You cut me to the quick.” She threw a pillow at him as she got up to shower.” “Wyatt! No. Julie Ann couldn’t help but laugh at him. “Oh. God. Shower and get ready. He looked completely and utterly sated. their breaths coming in ragged gasps. laughing in pure joy at her new found sexual freedom. things would be anything but smooth. Then Wyatt eased out of her.” He laughed outright at her. “Come on. Cords of tendon and muscle stood out against his neck as he emptied himself inside her. He looked like a very satisfied.

Wyatt was bound and determined he would get neither. he wanted Julie Ann. Two things he’d learned about the man were that he hated losing. Julie Ann sat across the desk from James.Chapter Seven “Let me get this straight. It might have been a little crass. not just two friends doing business together. He wanted Julie Ann’s ranch. “Why would you do that? What is she to you?” Julie Ann started to open her mouth. but he had a pressing need to make sure everyone who saw them knew they were a couple. “Everything. Buying out her mortgage to save her family’s legacy is the very least I can do. replaced with a need to smash his fist into the face of the money hungry banker. “She’s everything and more to me. It was obvious she was very uncomfortable even being here. especially if it means she’ll grace me with one of her smiles.” The good humor Wyatt enjoyed while alone with Julie Ann had vanished. and.” With every word.” Wyatt answered. James’s face grew redder and redder. The fact that she kept silent told Wyatt she had no desire to fight this battle. her hand firmly in Wyatt’s. Had she wanted to confront the little bastard. but Wyatt squeezed her hand. and he had the temper of a 46 .” James Cameron pinched the bridge of his nose. she’d have done it. a pained look on his face. more importantly. Wyatt had met James when he and his friends had moved to West Cliff a couple of years ago. “You’re paying off the loans against Julie Ann’s ranch? All of them?” “Yes.

James turned his wrath Julie Ann’s way. Davis. She tried to let go of his hand. She’ll take what she wants from you then get rid of you and move on to the next softhearted bastard. I want this taken care of today and then I don’t ever want to see you on Julie Ann’s property again. “She’s nothing but a whore.” The other man seemed to weigh his options. but Wyatt cut him off. least of all by marrying you.” “You had no problem offering to marry her yourself.” James opened his mouth to reply. As expected. but Wyatt held her firm. “I never insinuated I’d be willing to be with you in any way. Wyatt deliberately placed himself between Julie Ann and James so she could make a run for the door should James forget himself and completely lose it.” He looked back at Wyatt. “I though you said you wouldn’t sell yourself for that ranch? Yet.” Wyatt held on to his anger by his considerable force of will. He wanted nothing more than to pound the other man into oblivion. Wyatt had seen the man fly into a rage on more than one occasion and had no intention of Julie Ann being anywhere in the vicinity should Wyatt have to smash James’s face.Cowgirl Up maddened grizzly bear. “She was going to marry me until you came along. then pulled out a folder with all the paperwork. I’m barely off the property before you spread your legs for someone with just a little more money. Because of that.” “When did I ever agree to marry you?” Julie Ann looked almost as furious as Wyatt felt. “Just show me the figures. I’m just a little concerned she’s playing you like she played me. “What changed your mind?” James looked ready to explode. The figure for the pay off 47 .

carefree and sounding happy. With any luck. But seriously. How in the world am I ever going to repay you for this? I have no idea why I let you talk me into letting you square the mortgage with the bank. but it would be a lie. but it was still more than Julie Ann could have hoped to pay even the interest on at the late date she’d gotten wind of it. Wyatt took out his checkbook and wrote it for the amount. what can I do to repay your kindness? I don’t believe in freeloading.” Raising a delicate eyebrow Julie Ann replied. Calmly. then he pulled Julie Ann to her feet. I think you seduced me into it. Wyatt wasn’t sure he could be civil if he ever saw the man again. I wove my spell around you and you were helpless against my considerable charms. “Not to worry. I’ve got that part figured out too. really? What did you have in mind?” 48 .” Julie Ann laughed. Julie Ann let out a sigh of relief. but we’d both know it would be a lie.” Wyatt grinned. his mood lightening the second they were outside of the bank.” He stared at James until the other man backed down. even from someone with so much money that—how did you put it?—your grandkids would never be able to spend it. I’m so glad you came with me. James handed them their copies of the paperwork and Wyatt ushered Julie Ann out without another word. “I’d deny it. “Oh. “I’ve never been so uncomfortable in my whole entire life.Marteeka Karland wasn’t as much as Wyatt expected. James wouldn’t act stupid and bother Julie Ann anymore. Once they were in Wyatt’s truck and the doors safely closed.” He waved a dismissing hand. “I wish I could say it was a pleasure doing business with you. “Absolutely.

Be my wife and stay with me forever. Give me at least four children and we’ll call it even. and tears filled her eyes. set in a band of yellow gold. her mouth opening in shock and surprise. He flipped back the cover and revealed the most beautiful diamond and emerald engagement ring Julie Ann had ever seen. “Marry me. This was way too soon. Wyatt’s heart pounded. It looked to be a full carat for the main stone. God forbid. What if he left his dirty underwear lying in the middle of the bathroom floor? What if. she’d hoped one day maybe they’d get here. It was put together delicately. “What did you say?” Her voice was almost a whisper and her hand fluttered to her mouth. but the personal stuff was just too new.Cowgirl Up Despite the lightness of the mood. Julie Ann.”  Of all the things she’d expected. he squeezed his toothpaste from the middle of the tube? Would those things drive her insane? And what was that thing about at least four kids? 49 . but not this soon. She might have known the man in a professional way. Up until that moment. Her mind was telling her to back off. “You heard me. Oh.” Wyatt opened the console of his truck and pulled out a tiny box. but wasn’t gaudy. it had only been a pleasant fantasy.” Julie Ann sucked in a breath. “Marry me. sweetheart. Wyatt took it out of the box and slid it easily onto the ring finger of her left hand. He’d debated on this since he’d gotten up this morning and hadn’t been sure until this very second he was actually going through with it. this wasn’t even in the cards. There was no way this could possibly work. She stared at the ring on her finger shining in the sunlight.

but he was already so smitten with her he doubted he could ever get her out of his skin. but it would have to wait until they got home. And after the previous night. she’d witnessed a lot. “You’re such a cry baby!” She laughed. How do you think it will make me feel to have to take this back and tell her you didn’t want me? It would completely unman me. I’ll marry you. Will you marry me?” With a burst of something between laughter and tears. Wyatt. stroking the way he wanted to do with his cock deep in her pussy. what’s it going to be? Will you marry me or embarrass me by making me return this beautiful ring? You know I bragged to the sales lady about how I had the most gorgeous and intelligent woman in the world. sweetheart. Julie Ann nodded her head. Wyatt.” “I know. that simple gesture was the most sinfully erotic thing she’d ever witnessed. Julie Ann flashed one of those killer smiles he was growing to love every second he 50 . “Well? I need an answer. For some reason.” Wyatt pulled her to him for a kiss. Wyatt brushed them away with the pads of his fingers.” she whispered. I wouldn’t want your reputation to be ruined. They’d only spent a couple of days together in an intimate way.” Julie Ann wasn’t fooled for a moment. His tongue slid easily into her mouth. Her surrender to him was as sweet as ever. “Yes. He wanted to do more.Marteeka Karland “You’re out of your mind. bringing his fingers to his lips and tasting her tears. So. “Completely insane. When they broke apart reluctantly. The damage to your fragile ego might be more than you can take. The tears spilled over and ran down her cheeks.

take me home. “I simply meant you’re not the kind of woman to agree to marry someone unless you were in love with him.” “I know.Cowgirl Up was in her company. his handsome face looking almost boyish in delight.” They both laughed and Julie Ann was happier than she could ever remember being.” Marteeka 51 . So she punched his arm.” “I definitely love the way you think. “Now that that’s settled.” He smiled at her. too smug for her liking. I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t love you right back. I don’t want to jump into this any more than we already have. “Wait. “All the same. “I’m all good with a long engagement. I’d really hate to kill anyone here in Colorado. honey.” Wyatt laughed.” he laughed raising a hand to ward off her blows. I’d like a bit of an engagement. I’d like us to get to know each other a little better.” Julie Ann’s heart fluttered and her stomach did a crazy little flip at his words. but I really do love you. “I didn’t say it before because I felt kind of silly given we’ve not even been on a real date. I have some riding I want to do. And just so you know. cowboy. I won’t have you squeezing the toothpaste tube from the middle. I just want that ring securely around your finger so no one else tries to move in on me. They’re not as forgiving about such things here as they are in Texas.

Marteeka Karland 52 .

marteekakarland. Marteeka Karland works really hard to drive everyone in her life completely and totally nuts.com. Her love of writing blossomed throughout her teenage years until it developed into the totally unorthodox and irreverent style her English teachers tried so hard to rid her of.Marteeka Karland Erotic romance author by night. You can reach her at mkarland@gmail. . Want to see what’s up with Marteeka? Check out her website at www. She has been creating stories from her warped imagination since she was in the third grade. Marteeka always welcomes e-mail from her readers. emergency room tech/clerk by day.com or join her Yahoo! group at marteekakarland-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

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