“Hey, Hoss! How long you going to wait for our homecoming queen, Miss Remington Caulder?” heckled Steve Sanders from across the parking lot. “Did you really believe that uptight snob would be seen with the likes of you?”
Morgan Bishop, commonly called Hoss by those who attended their high school, shook his head and watched them go in. With Morgan being the team’s heavily recruited center and Steve being the quarterback, a good working relationship between them was important, but they rarely spoke outside of football. Steve’s father was the president of the yacht club, where this year’s senior prom was being held. Hoss came from a family that had been on their land since before Texas was Texas. On the weekends, Steve and his friends sailed and partied. Hoss gathered cattle, fed stock, rode fences, and just generally kept their place going.
He felt foolish standing next to his vintage pickup with a corsage, waiting for his date.
Hoss had been surprised when Remi Caulder had agreed to attend the senior prom with him. Granted, she’d been trying to avoid attending with Steve, but he’d often thought it was only serendipity that his appearance when she’d turned Steve down had led her to say they were going together.
Steve had cornered the pretty freshman. “Rumor has it that the homecoming queen doesn’t have a date for the senior prom.”
“I don’t hold much with tradition,” she said. “Morgan already asked me, and I told him I’d be happy to go as his date.”
Hoss had done no such thing. He was shocked that she knew his real name and not just the nickname given to him in grade school. He’d always been a big boy—always the tallest and heaviest kid in class. He’d never formed close friendships with the boys of his age due to his imposing size and his responsibilities on his family’s heritage ranch, the Rocking B.
Feeling her fingers clutching at his forearm, Hoss placed his hand over hers and said to Steve, “Guess I got off the line faster than you this time. Remi and I are looking forward to going together.”
He led her away from a flabbergasted Steve, who was being subjected to some not so good-natured ribbing by those who surrounded him.
She grinned at him. He thought, perhaps, that her smile could light up the entire eastern half of Texas.
They both laughed and Hoss had finished escorting her to class. Over the next few weeks, the two had become the school’s oddest couple, despite the fact that both of their fathers had been opposed to their dating. Hoss and Remi found they had a lot in common. She taught him Beethoven and Mozart; he taught her Cash and Cline.
The fact was that from the moment she’d linked her arm through his, Hoss had fallen completely in love with her. He was shaken from his reverie when Steve joined him by his truck.
“Come on, Hoss. Face facts, she’s the prettiest thing to ever hit this town and you’re… well… you. I think she was just trying to make me jealous. I know you’ve been too much of a gentleman to tap that, and that’s a shame. She’s got a nice, tight little cunt that can barely hold all of me in it. She’s one helluva ride.”
Hoss saw red. He knew Steve was lying, had no respect for women and talked about them in the most derogatory ways. But for a while, Remi had been his girl, and nobody, not even Steve Sanders, was going to talk about her that way. He balled his fist, turned on Steve, and struck out, flattening him in one blow. Hoss got in his truck and headed for home.
Hoss and his father watched as the flashing blue lights came down the drive.
“I told you no good would come of you running around with that Caulder girl,” his father spat. “Her father is one of those wildcatter roughnecks—white trash through and through.”
“Don’t talk about her that way. It isn’t her fault…”
“How do you know? Hell, for all you know Sheriff Sanders’ son was telling you the truth.”
Sheriff Sanders had pulled up in one of the county’s SUVs with another one for backup.
Hoss stood and approached the man. “I hope I didn’t hurt Steve too badly.”
“My son will be fine. You, on the other hand, can kiss those scholarships and dreams of the NFL goodbye.”
Hoss had been given a choice: a felony conviction or enlist in the armed services. He left in the company of the military police, heartbroken, and never looked back.
In the end, Hoss had joined the army’s elite ranger corps. The rangers had been the making of Hoss. While always tall and beefy, the intense physical training had sculpted him, resulting in a man of intimidating size and musculature. The rangers had molded a strong, hurt, angry boy into a powerful, and at times ruthless, man with a unique, laser-like focus. Hoss and three of his friends made it through the wars and into private mercenary work. Dubbed the Four Horsemen by most, they had always seen themselves as family.
Remi had been the one thing he ever truly loved and now she was gone. Gone was the quiet boy who had been in love with Remi Caulder. What emerged was a battle-hardened warrior.
Remi had spent the most glorious afternoon. She saved money by making her own prom dress so that she could splurge on getting a manicure and pedicure as well as having her hair and makeup professionally done. She slipped into the back of the house and got dressed. For once in her life, she thought she looked beautiful as she spun around.
She couldn’t remember being this happy since before her mother had passed away. Remi liked to think that her mother would have looked more kindly on her relationship with Morgan than either of their fathers did.
Remi knew she’d have to remind her father that she was attending the senior prom with Morgan. Taking a deep breath, she tried to calm her nerves and entered the living room. Her father looked up. She twirled around to show him her dress and all her finery.
“Do you like it, Daddy?”
“Where the hell do you think you’re going?”
“I’m going to the senior prom with Morgan. Remember? I told you.”
He snorted. “I thought I said you couldn’t go.”
“You said you’d think about it.”
“I did. You can’t go. Now get out of that dress and put on something comfortable. I’ve almost got the truck loaded. They’re sending someone to pack and transport the rest of our things.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean we’re leaving here. I got that job in Saudi Arabia. It’s good money.”
“You just want to take me away from Morgan!” she cried.
Her father shook his head. “That’s not the reason but it is a side benefit. Get changed, Remi.”
Remi reached for the phone. Her father snatched it out of her hand and jerked the line out of the wall. Grasping her upper arm, he directed her back to her bedroom.
“Get changed now, Remi, or you can get on the plane dressed like that.”
Defeated, Remi began to cry but went into her room, changed her clothes, and packed the small bag. She left the dress in a heap on the floor. She never wanted to see it again. It represented all of her shattered dreams. Later that night, she boarded the plane bound for the Middle East.
Her father, Remi realized years later, was a shrewd character. He let her grieve her loss and enchanted her with the wonders of the world. She needed time to get past her hurt and he gave her that and so much more. The Saudis paid well and allowed her father to show her a life she never would have had if they’d stayed in Texas. It was difficult at first, and then impossible, to resist his innate, good-ole-boy charm and an ever-expanding wealth of experiences. In the end, they had embarked on a journey of self and mutual discovery.
The first thing Remi did when she was able to place a phone call was to try to reach out to Morgan.
“Mr. Bishop? It’s Remi Caulder. Is Morgan there?”
“Here? Why would he be here? Because of you, he left me with the ranch and went off and joined the army rangers. He’s been deployed. For all I know he’s dead. As far as I’m concerned, you’re dead; don’t call here again.”
Remi hung up and tried to contact anyone she thought might be able to help her locate or contact Hoss; she had failed. Finally, she talked to one of Hoss’ teammates who explained what happened—Hoss thought she’d stood him up, and in his grief, he’d abandoned his father and their ranch. Unfortunately, the friend had no clue as to where Hoss was stationed or how to contact him.
The head judge listened to the other two judges’ assessments of this week’s finale meal, nodding solemnly. The remaining six contestants looked on with a mixture of concern, relief, and delight.
“I thought, on the whole, that tonight’s dinner was disappointing. Most of you seem to have forgotten the basic necessity for seasoning. I’m not going to rehash what George and Judith said. I’m not going to go down the line and point out to executive chefs of your level what should have been obvious to even the most inexperienced line cook. As my fellow judges pointed out, there was only one offering tonight that was not only adequate, but really outstanding. Remi, you’re tonight’s winner. Your tuna with kumquats, jalapeno, and mint was sublime. The fish was poached to perfection and the subtle play of the other citrus fruit with the kumquats and lime was inspired.”
Remi smiled and nodded as several of her competitors glared at her. Bistro Wars was a competition cooking show, sponsored by Le Meilleur, an elite line of chef knives. The reality show pitted executive chefs from all over the world against each other in a ten-week competition. The prize? Half a million dollars and a year’s worth of consultation with experts in the restaurant and marketing industries.
Each week, one contestant was chosen as the winner. That person and a diminishing number of the remaining contestants advanced to the next week, and one competitor was sent home. Next week would be the quarter final and there was no margin for error. One bad dish and even a great chef could be eliminated.
“Tonight, Jeremiah, your dream of being the owner and executive chef of the next great American bistro is over.”
Jeremiah looked as though someone had gut punched him. He was surrounded by all of his fellow chefs except one. Julian stood apart, managing to somehow look aloof, smug, and annoyed at the same time.
Remi liked Jeremiah. She was going to miss him. He’d been a reminder of her home in Texas and a past she had come to mourn.
He clung to her as the feelings were reciprocated. “I’m telling you, I didn’t add capers to my dish. Someone spiked it to ruin my chances,” he whispered.
Remi said nothing. There was nothing to say. The judges’ decisions were final.
Everyone backed away as the producers indicated they needed to wrap up the episode. Jeremiah gave Remi a final squeeze.
“Knock ‘em dead, Remi,” he said as he exited the massive doors that led, ostensibly to the street and not back to the cooking space.
The director called cut, and asked Remi to do a quick confessional.
“So, what do you think of Jeremiah’s accusation that someone corrupted his dish?” the producer, who would be heard as an off-camera voice, asked.
“I believe him. Jeremiah is too good a chef to have made a mistake of that magnitude. You have to remember that everyone here wants this really badly and he was a huge impediment to someone.”
“You think it was one of your competitors?”
“Who else? There’s no other reason for it to have been done. And I’m not alone in my thinking. I don’t think anyone will be safe leaving their dish where they can’t keep an eye on it.”
The chestnut-haired beauty had always been the dark horse of the competition. The cameras loved Remi Caulder, almost as much as her competitors hated her—all except Jeremiah and her roommate for the show, Becca. The others believed she had only auditioned for the purpose of stroking her ego. Lord knows she didn’t need the money. And it had always been rumored that she had slept her way to the top as the protégé of a famous French chef.
“Is that it? Am I done?” she asked.
“Yeah, we got what we need for the show. But do you believe what you said?” the producer asked.
Remi stopped, turned, and looked him dead in the eye. “Yeah, I do, and I’m not alone. This is the richest prize of all the cooking competition shows and could make the dreams come true of anyone here. That’s enough to tempt a saint… and none of the saints made it onto the show.”
“Except you,” he said with a smile.
Remi laughed. “Hardly. I’m the biggest sinner of all. I’m young, not unattractive”—the producer chuckled—“talented with an excellent reputation and résumé, but worst of all, they don’t think I need the money.”
“Well, do you?” asked the producer.
“Do you know anyone that couldn’t use a spare half million? You know the old joke—how do you make a small fortune in the restaurant industry… start with a large fortune. But for me, it’s having access to the consultants for that first year. It’s critical to my business plan.”
“Critical?” drawled Julian, the celebrated chef from Seattle. “Why not just take the restaurant Andre left you? I know his family wanted you to stay on and offered you part-ownership. Or wasn’t that enough for you?”
“You know, Julian, of all the people I want to beat, you’re at the top of the list and you get my vote for who screwed Jeremiah,” said Remi with more venom than she would have liked.
“Really? The rest of us were pretty sure you’d been taking care of that,” he responded.
Remi was tired and upset about her friend; Julian’s brand of arrogance and spite was beyond her ability to ignore. She crossed back over to him.
“Never forget, Julian, I may be seen as one of Baltimore’s up and coming chefs, but I was born and raised in Texas. In Texas, we take guys like you, cut their nuts off, fatten them up, and then carve them into steaks,” she hissed quietly.
Julian recognized the vehemence in her attitude and physicality and stumbled backwards.
“I’d be careful if I were you,” cautioned Jimmy, the chef from Atlanta. “Remember how expertly she butchered that side of beef the first week of the show? We wouldn’t want that to happen to you… well, that’s not true, we would, but we wouldn’t want Remi to get put away for it. Come along, Remi, the rest of us are going for cocktails.”
He wrapped his arm companionably around her shoulders and led her away.
“I hate that bastard,” she said as they joined the others.
“That makes four of us,” quipped Becca, the only other remaining female contestant.
“At least they didn’t have the cameras rolling,” added Joel. “Now, let’s go find some place to get shit-faced. I’m not going to miss the competition, but I will miss Jeremiah.”
As the four linked arms to head down the street, Remi glanced back over her shoulder and saw Julian lurking in the shadows. She almost felt sorry for him… almost.
The harried waitress looked up as he entered the diner.
“Hey, Hoss! Just find yourself a seat. If the table still has dishes on it, just scootch ‘em aside and I’ll get it cleared off for you in a jiffy. There may be one or two places left at the counter.”
Hoss grabbed a menu and headed for a small booth where he’d have his back against a solid wall and a good view of the both the front and back exits. He walked by the large booth in the corner, occupied by the sheriff and several deputies.
“I’ll be damned. If it isn’t the big man himself,” called Sheriff Steve Sanders.
When Steve’s father had retired, he passed the mantle of sheriff down to his son, who also ran a private, discreet gentleman’s club outside of town. The club catered to men with money to indulge their secret erotic fantasies. It was rumored that some of the girls were professionals and some were just pretty amateurs looking to get their own needs met. Hoss was a member of the club and frequented it when he felt the need to express his dominance and be less than gentle with his partner.
Hoss shook his head—so much for a quiet lunch before heading back to the ranch.
“Fuck off, Steve,” he said as he passed.
“Well, who put the burr under your saddle? Did you see our lovely homecoming queen, Remi Caulder on that show last night? She won again.” The sheriff got up and sauntered over to stand in front of his table, preventing the waitress from getting the table cleaned off. “Poor ole Hoss,” he tossed back into the room. “She stood him up for senior prom; just left him standing there with a corsage. Heartbroken, he joined the army the next day.”
“It wasn’t like that and you know it,” grumbled Hoss, wondering now why he’d come into the restaurant in the first place.
Even sitting down, Hoss’ size was impressive and imposing. He’d been a tall, beefy teenager. The man staring back at the sheriff was still tall, but all that beef had been molded into chiseled slabs of muscle and sinew. This was a powerful, dangerous man. Several people in his nearby vicinity shifted uncomfortably. There had been a time Steve Sanders had made people feel insecure and self-conscious. Those days were long past.
“You know, Ellie,” called Hoss. “I think I lost my appetite. Suddenly, there’s a stench I can’t quite place.”
Hoss stood and pushed past the sheriff; the ranchers and lawmen whistled and catcalled, making Steve blush and whirl around.
“You watch how you talk to me, Hoss. I’m the sheriff now and I can demand to see your ID.”
“You can also huff and puff and threaten to blow my house down, but neither threat is much more than that. My wandering in here is precisely none of your business unless I choose to make it so, which I don’t,” he said in an icy tone.
Steve took a step toward him. Before he could do much more than that, Jerry, the diner’s owner, stepped between them.
“That’s enough, Steve. Hoss has a right to be anywhere he wants, and that includes my place. He can do whatever he wants until and unless he’s broken the law. You can go run a warrant check on him, but I’d suggest you wait until you actually have something on him before you hassle him again. He flattened you once and I daresay he can do it again.”
Hoss tipped his Stetson to the waitress, handed her a ten-dollar bill, and headed out the door. The big man just kept walking toward his vintage truck. He smiled. Truly few things had changed; he took some comfort in that.
As he started past the fence that marked the border of his ranch, he smiled. When news had reached him that his father was gravely ill, Hoss had left the private mercenary firm that he’d worked at for more than a decade and returned home. The two had gradually repaired their relationship and by the time he passed, Hoss was genuinely sorry that he was gone.
His former employer had asked him to reconsider and sign up for another tour of duty, but he’d vowed to return the Rocking B to its former glory.
Although at one time, it had been one of the prime beef producers in the country, the market for beef had taken a nosedive. Hoss had done his research and realized there was still a healthy market for Wagyu beef, but knew that establishing a breeding program that could be certified would take time.
In the interim, one of his oldest friends had known a great deal about thoroughbred racehorses. Hoss had been able to buy out the breeding stock of a small, well-respected, but failing farm in Kentucky. While the land had gone to developers, the broodmares had been transported to Texas. Hoss had been able to begin producing young stock that he could sell at a tidy profit.
For the most part, he slept well these days. No longer was there a high-powered rifle within easy reach or an automatic handgun under the pillow. These days his dreams were filled not with the memories of the horrors he had lived through, but rather a recurring fantasy of having met up again with Remi Caulder after his first tour of duty. They were both adults and she would find herself draped over his knee getting spanked for having stood him up.
They would have run into each other at a bar and gone back to her place. She would have been a bit shy and would have tried to apologize for standing him up. He would have grabbed her by the wrist and yanked her over his lap.
One huge, beefy hand pinned her in place while the other had rucked up her tight leather mini-skirt and yanked her lacy panties down to reveal her very shapely ivory bottom. He intended to see it didn’t remain that color for long.
Raising his hand, he brought it down, connecting with her ass in a satisfying manner. She screeched and called him names, but Hoss enjoyed giving her what he suspected was her first taste of some old-fashioned discipline. Over and over he spanked her generous globes, quickly infusing them with color. He liked the way her butt cheeks were firm, but still had a nice give and bounce to them. Her skin was cool and soft to the touch, but as he spanked, its surface temperature increased as more color stained her flesh. He wondered what it would feel like to have her on her back with those lovely heated orbs cupped in his hands as he drove into her wet heat repeatedly.
“Let me go! You bastard!” she wailed.
“That’s no way for a good girl to talk.”
Hoss chuckled and continued to inflict a considerable amount of pain across her backside. Silence, except for the sound of his hand spanking her ass, enveloped the room. His cock grew stiff as he held Remi over his lap and inflicted some well-earned discipline before he gave her asshole a good finger fucking.
His rough use of that virginal passage caused her to yowl and try to get away. He ensured that her squirming did little to stop him. After that he planned to sink balls-deep into what he was sure was a soaking pussy. His cock got harder and harder as she began to cry, the orders turning to pleas for him to stop.
“You think you can behave yourself and apologize to me?” he asked.
“Yes, please stop.”
The sound of submission to his authority was evident in her voice. He patted her now reddened globes with affection and a kind of acceptance of her surrender. Hoss pulled her off his lap and allowed her to pull her panties up and straighten her skirt.
In the beginning, the dream always ended with a sort of fade-to-black scenario. After that, they attended the prom and had a wonderful time that resulted in the happily ever after he’d always wanted. As he became older and more hardened, the dream started as before, but then instead of fading to black, his imagination conjured up a much more visceral fantasy. It had come to include having Remi stripped naked before him quivering in fear and need.
Once he’d allowed her up, he would dry her eyes and then order her to strip.
He sat back and watched while she removed all her outer clothing, including her thigh-high stockings, hesitating at removing her bra and skimpy lace panties.
“I said naked, Remi.”
An almost virginal blush crept all over her body infusing it with a pale pink hue. In his fantasies, she was fairly inexperienced. The sight of her made his already stiff cock even harder, bordering on painful.
“Morgan,” he liked how she called him by his real name, “I never meant to do that…”
“I’m glad to hear it; you’re about to make up for that. I told you to strip… that means all of your clothes. Take off the bra and panties. Good girls do as they’re told; naughty girls get their fannies spanked some more before they get their bottom hole finger fucked and then get stripped naked for their man to see them as God intended—ripe and ready for the taking.”
Remi quickly obeyed before standing shyly in front of him. He imagined her large tits to be pale ivory with darker-hued areola and large, erect nipples just begging to be suckled and pinched. Her figure showed a small waist that flared out into hips that cradled a man when he had her on her back or offered him a good handhold when she was on her knees in front of him.
“Come stand between my legs and take my shirt off.”
When she obeyed him, he reached up and took both of her breasts in his hands, squeezing them and hearing her moan. Leaning forward, he latched onto one of her pebbled peaks and began to suckle while kneading the other breast and pinching and tugging on its nipple. Remi moaned softly, enjoying his less than gentle caress, and cradled his head in order to encourage him.
Hoss’ hand stole between her legs, stroking the fine, curly hair that covered her sex. She was reticent and tried to pull away; he tugged on her clit to prevent her from doing so and evoked a more aroused response. Hoss played and rubbed the nubbin at the apex of her sex, causing her to sigh and part her legs.
Emboldened by her response, his fingers moved deeper between her thighs to find her engorged labia and dripping pussy. Remi welcomed his touch and when he penetrated her dripping slit, she cried out and came, drenching his fingers with her honey.
Removing them, he brought them up to his mouth and released her nipple, inserting his fingers between his lips to suck, all the while holding her gaze. She lowered her eyes and pressed herself against him as he stood. He folded her in his arms, stealing his hands down her back and grasping her butt cheeks to bring her into more direct contact with the hard bulge contained within his jeans.
“It’s time you made it up to me for standing me up. Unbutton my fly, Remi.”
He raised and lowered his hand with a harsh strike to her already tender globes, making her wince.
“Looking back, I should have taught you to mind me back then and should have had you that night. But you’re going to make it up to me now. Bend over the arm of the couch.”
“Morgan,” she started to protest.
Slapping her ass with even more sting, he took her roughly by the arm and dragged her over to the side of the couch, tossed her over the arm, and pinned her in place while he stepped behind her. Spreading her legs, he guided his cock up to the entrance of her sheath and then surged forward, completely engulfing himself in her warmth, groaning as he did so.
Remi whined softly from the contact his groin made with her punished ass.
Smiling, he said, “That’s what happens to naughty girls who get their bottoms spanked and then their pussies fucked.”
He thrust into her, enjoying the way her inner walls shook and quivered as he tried to wrap his head around the intense pleasure he was taking from her. As her breathing sped up, the noises from their mutual rush to climax increased. He needed to feel his cum gushing inside her, filling her up.
Remi began to pant as she neared the edge of completion. Giving one brutal thrust, he sent her careening over that edge, screaming in ecstasy, her pussy spasming as it clamped down hard on his cock. She writhed in his hold as he spilled himself, her cunt greedily milking his cock as he savored her response.
The orgasm seemed to last for eternity until she was begging for it to end. The tremors continued throughout her body as he continued to move, drawing little mini-orgasms from her as she cried softly in complete and abject submission while he finished.
Hoss would uncouple from her, watching as his cock withdrew, glistening with their comingled juices. He could see the excess of his creamy essence dribbling from her gaping, well-fucked pussy onto the inside of her thighs. He liked the idea of the remainder drying on her sex and in the short hair covering it.
The fantasy always ended with him picking her up, tossing her ravaged body over his shoulder, and taking her to her bed before spending the rest of the night rutting, only to leave her the next morning as gutted and destroyed as when she had left him.