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Rough Ride: A Cowboy Romance by Piper Stone – Sample

Chapter One


“Our next bull rider isn’t new to the rodeo circuit, Shane, but it sure is a surprise to see him here. I thought given his age he’d retired completely.” The box was perched above the crowd of thousands, their prime position allowing the commentators to see every square inch of the ring.

“You’re right about that, Randy. This is a bold move for Thunder Travers. After the career-threatening injury he sustained, no one expected to see him ride again.” Shane whistled several times.

“Let’s just hope his explosive temper has been altered by the experience,” Shane added. Both men laughed heartedly, causing a few cheers from the stands.

I glanced up at the box, seething as usual. The bastards had no idea how hard I’d worked to get here. The rodeo was my passion, riding bulls my specialty. And no one, including pansy- assed wimps who’d never been on a horse let alone a bull, was going to stop me. Fuck them. Fuck everything.

“Don’t listen to them, Thunder. You need to concentrate.”

I glared at my business manager and hissed. While Mike Barker had managed to convince the rodeo officials that I was ready, I didn’t need his bullshit either.

“Yeah, whatever. I just want to take this bull down,” I scoffed.

“Just be careful. You’re putting everything on the line for this. I mean everything.”

“Tell me something I don’t know.” I yanked on my gloves, swaggering toward the ring. As I threw my arm up in the air, only about half of the crowd actually cheered me on. The other half booed. The motherfuckers. So I wasn’t well liked. The brooding, dangerous Thunder was a persona and one I’d perfected over the years. Well, fuck them too.

As I was helped onto the bull, I leaned over as I always did, whispering in the beast’s ear, “You and me, buddy. However, I’m going to take you down.”

I grabbed the rope, twisting it in my hands then glared at the box. I could just make out the two men who’d presided over these events for years. They would be eating their goddamn words soon enough.

“Eight seconds. That’s all you have to do, buddy!” Mike called from a distance.

Eight seconds. Hell, I could do that in my sleep. I was going for more. I was planning on breaking the circuit record. As the clock ticked down, the crowd continued to roar. I knew some of them were trying to distract me. However, that was impossible. I’d learned to process the anger in an entirely different way since my injury. Within seconds, there was no other sound in my ears but the rapid beating of the bull’s heart. He was afraid as he should be.

He was also just as pissed off as I was.

Just before the gate shot open, I touched the amulet I’d almost forgotten to wear. The necklace gave me a feeling of peace.


The gate flew open and the bull charged out into the arena. It seemed as if all time had stopped. Come on, boy. Show me what you got.

I threw one arm back as the bull tore through the corral, bolting and jerking in an effort to toss me. The beast spun around in circle after circle, purposely running into the fence. I refused to be tossed. I knew the creature, had ridden him on three occasions. While he was massive and powerful, I had determination.

My heart slammed against my chest as I felt myself slipping, I dug my knees in, more determined than ever. I started to hear the roar of the crowd and could tell they’d gotten to their feet. I dared not look at the clock, but I knew I was approaching eight seconds.

Then nine.


I kept going although it was difficult to breathe. The bull jerked harder, launching himself several feet into the air. Nothing was going to prevent me from winning this freaking competition. The beast twirled again, kicking up dust and dirt. Just another few seconds. Come on, baby. Work with me.

Cheers erupted in the stadium area, the roar of the crowd heard over the snorting and bellowing of the bull. As exhaustion started to make my muscles tense, I did what I could to push on.

Then I was tossed like a ragdoll, slamming down on the very same shoulder I’d destroyed a few years before.

“Oh. My. God. Thunder just broke an all-time record. Thirteen seconds,” Randy yelled into the microphone.

“Un-freaking-believable. Who would have thought a broken-down cowboy could rise to the top again!”

I rolled several times in an attempt to get away from the thousands of pounds that would stomp down, crushing every bone. As I was finally helped to my feet and rushed toward safety, I jerked away from them as I’d always done before, yanking off my amulet, kissing it then lifting the piece toward the bright afternoon sun.

The crowd went wild.

“Thunder. Thunder. Thunder. Thunder.”

“Get the hell out of there!” Mike screamed.

I refused, turning in a full circle then glaring at the commentators.

“Jesus Christ. The bull is going wild. He’s doing everything he can to get to Thunder!” Shane yelled into the microphone.

After exhaling, I smiled. I wanted to drink in this moment. As the bull broke free, rushing toward me, I simply gave him a nasty look. Then I jumped over the fence in my classic style.

“Are you fucking out of your goddamn mind?” Mike huffed, pacing the floor as I walked toward him. “You are reckless and stupid. Are you trying to kill yourself?”

I grinned as I noticed reporters heading in my direction. I did so love preening for the ladies. “I’m just doing my job, my friend.”

“Yeah? Your fucking job is to stay the hell alive. I can’t take this. You are out of control.”

Huffing, I pushed past Mike, moving straight to the prettiest little reporter in the world. “Hiya, darlin’. If you don’t mind waiting for me for just a minute, I have something I need to do.”

“I’ll wait for you, Thunder. Anytime,” she cooed.

I hadn’t been down that road in one hell of a long time. Maybe it was time to saddle up again. The thought made me laugh. As I walked away, I heard Mike’s angry words. What the hell did I care? I was currently the star on the rodeo circuit. With my performance at 13.1 seconds, I would now be considered legendary.

I stormed through the crowd, hands grabbing at my arms, panties thrown in my face. I had one purpose in mind. As I climbed the stairs leading to the commentary box, I shoved up the sleeves of my shirt and wiped the dirt from my face. I burst into the room, immediately grabbing good ole Shane from his chair.

“You boys like to make fun of me. That’s not cool and not allowed any longer. The Thunder is back.” As I threw a single hard punch at the man’s face, a single camera was pointed in my direction, capturing the aggressive moment. I sneered at the man holding the lens before enjoying the way Shane fell to the floor, both hands wrapped around his nose. That should do the trick.

I didn’t pay any attention to Randy’s spew of curse words as I left the box, heading back toward what Mike liked to call the preparation rooms. By the time I reached the area, another dozen or so reporters had converged on the area, every one of them fighting for a closeup. I purposely found the cute little redhead from before, moving toward her at lightning speed. When I slid my hand around the back of her neck, pulling her onto her tiptoes, there was a blast of silence.

I gave her one of my rare but signature kisses, my body exuding the kind of passion that delighted the people behind the cameras and excited the ratings. This was all about reviving the tarnished aura that had once been bright and shiny around me. The Thunder was back, and he wasn’t going anywhere.

When I pushed her aside, she whimpered audibly. Then the questions started pouring in.

“What are your plans for the future?”

“How did you manage to stay on that massive beast?”

“Are you gunning for the championship?”

I gave another smile then headed straight for the room I’d been assigned, Mike closely at my heels. He slammed the door behind me, still cursing under his breath.

“Whatever you have to say, Mike, just do it. I’m tired and in no mood for a lecture,” I barked as I moved toward the small refrigerator, yanking it open. “No fucking beer?”

“You don’t need alcohol, Jake. You need a doctor. You fell on your damn arm.”

I shifted my arm, the shot of anguish rolling down to my fingertips a reminder that I wasn’t as young as I used to be. “I’m fine.”

“You’re not fine and whether or not you want a lecture, you’re going to get one. That stunt you just pulled, which was shown in vivid color on the monitors, will be on every news program this side of the Mississippi by six o’clock. No one is going to remember that you just broke a record. No one is going to care. All they are going to remember is that you punched a commentator. Jesus. What the hell were you thinking? I should fire your ass right now.” Mike’s voice had risen by at least two levels, something that almost never happened.

I grinned as I heard his phone ringing. “Are you sure you want to fire me, Mike? My guess is that’s the third or fourth call you’ve already received with invites to whatever rodeo is hot and upcoming.”

He glowered at me as he yanked his phone into his hand. “The sixth actually, but that’s not the goddamn point. You are out of control. If you don’t wrangle in your anger, you’re going to get yourself killed.”

“Maybe I don’t give a shit. Have you ever thought about that?” I rubbed my abdomen, my gut telling me I also had a couple of cracked ribs. Great. Well, it was worth it.

Mike continued to stare at me as he slowly shook his head. We both heard a sharp knock, the door immediately opening and the doctor sweeping in. He took a step back, rubbing his forehead.

I immediately jumped onto the table, unbuttoning my shirt and peeling it away. “Do your thing, Doc.”

The doctor had been around for a long time. He exhaled as he studied my naked torso. “Cracked ribs and a bruised shoulder?”

“Likely. Just tape me up so I can do a damn interview and get it over with,” I responded. I was already fidgety, eager to get the hell out of the place. I hated the damn press, but the accolades and money I’d take home were well worth putting up with a few smiles and cooing words.

“You need to slow the hell down, Jake. I already told you that your shoulder was still borderline on being able to compete,” the doctor stated.

I shrugged, the action making me wince. I’d never taken it slow, and I didn’t intend on starting. This was my last shot at being labeled the best and everyone in the room knew it. I thought about my career as the doctor did his thing. I’d never wanted to be anything else but a rodeo star, which I’d achieved at an early age. Then I’d allowed fame and fortune to go to my head.

At least that’s what I’d heard from more than one source. After my injury, I was considered a has-been. Well, I proved the assholes wrong.

“That should hold you,” the doc said. “But you need to rest, Jake. I also suggest you have x-rays taken of your shoulder. You could have caused more damage.”

“I’ll consider your advice.” I studied Mike, who’d pulled an envelope into his hand. What the hell was the man holding back from me?

“Yeah, of course you won’t.” The doctor gathered his things quickly, leaving the room in the same huff he came in. I had that effect on everyone.

Mike exhaled raggedly before turning toward me. “I received this in the mail yesterday.”

“What is it?”

“A letter from some attorney in Oklahoma. Is there something you need to tell me?” Mike’s tone of voice was completely accusatory. Granted, after my injury I’d gone a little off the deep end, but I’d never been to the state.

As least that I could remember.

“Never been there. Have no clue.” Montana was my home, the ranch I lived in my respite from the rest of the world.

“Sure you haven’t. Well, whatever you did, you need to fix it and soon. If you want to ride out your new success, you need to start acting like you give a damn.” He thrust the envelope in my direction, glaring at me in admonishment.

I hesitated before taking it from him. A portion of the months after I’d crushed my shoulder had been a huge blur, more from a drunk fest than anything else. I took a deep breath before peeling away the flap. There was no way I could have been expecting the letter I’d been sent. I read it twice and I still didn’t have a firm understanding of why the hell I’d received it. “What the fuck is this?”

Mike lifted a single eyebrow, yanking it out of my hand. As he read it, his eyes opened wide. “It would appear that your father has left you a substantial ranch and oil field corporation in Oklahoma.”

“I don’t have a goddamn father, Mike. You already know that.”

“You had a birth father, Jake. I’m sorry he was never present in your life but call this a gift.”

A gift. From a man I’d never known, and who certainly hadn’t given a shit that he’d had a son. This had to be some asshole trying to get to me for some horrible deed I couldn’t remember. “I don’t care about it.”

“Are you nuts? You’re thirty-six years old. You suffered a horrible injury that should have ended your career. Instead of spending your recuperation time trying to figure out the rest of your damn life, you drank it away. This might be your only chance at actually making something out of yourself. Don’t be a fool.”

I stared down at the paper, my stomach churning. The letter had brought up all the horrible feelings and thoughts I’d had over the years. A father who never wanted me or my mother. A man who I pretended was some hero saving the world until I’d gotten older. Now the asshole had finally wanted me in his life and he was dead? Fuck that.

I jumped off the table, grabbing my extra shirt. I refused to believe the bullshit, but there was only one way to find out if the man was actually my father. I jerked the letter from Mike’s hand, glancing at the name.

Rutherford Wallace.

Rich. Powerful. Ruthless.

I knew the asshole’s reputation. Was it possible my sweet mother had found passion with such a horrible man? I was certainly going to find out.

Chapter Two



I’d missed seeing the home I’d grown up in. Maybe a part of me had found returning to the small cottage far too painful. As I knocked on the door, I took a glance around at the pristine yard. My mother had always been a consummate gardener, adoring her flowers and fruit trees. While the house was small in comparison to so many in Montana, I’d never wanted for anything. She’d made certain of that by working two jobs in order to provide me with a roof over my head and all the essentials.

While I’d provided my mother with money and even a new car after I’d reached a pinnacle of success, she’d preferred to stay in the same place, naming the house ‘Serenity.’

As she opened the door, the smile on her face was matched by the shine in her eyes.

“Jakie. It’s been too long.”

“I know, Mom. I’ve just been busy.” When she squeezed my arms, I winced.

“So I hear. You’re injured.”

“You know I’m tough, Mama. Stop worrying about me.”

She laughed as she brushed her hand through her auburn hair. “A mother never stops worrying about her child. Come in. I watched the event on television. You kicked some ass. I hope you didn’t reinjure your shoulder.” Her laugh continued as she headed toward the sunniest part of the house, the living room where we’d spent so much time together.

“Nah. Just a few bruises.”

For some reason, I felt awkward being here, especially since I had an ulterior motive.

Maggie Travers had always been a friend to everyone, volunteering during crises situations and offering food and other support even when we’d had very little. She patted the leather chair before easing onto the matching couch. It was one of two luxuries I’d given her that she hadn’t refused.

Sighing, I glanced around the room before sitting. The sight of the various pictures on the fireplace mantel was a reminder of a childhood I missed.

“I can tell by your face that you’re here for a reason, son. You might as well spit it out.”

I could never hide anything from my mother. She always knew when I was hiding something or lying to her. I chuckled and pulled the envelope Mike had given me from my back pocket. The awkwardness remained. I fingered the flap before being able to look her in the eye. “I need you to read something.”

“Of course.” She reached out without hesitation, narrowing her eyes as she continued to study my face.

After placing the letter in her hand, I found it difficult to look her in the eyes. What was I supposed to say at this point? I could tell she was reading the contents, but instead of any exclamations, she simply folded the note, placing the envelope on the coffee table.

A moment of quiet as well as tension settled between us.

As a warm flush crept up to her cheeks, I forced myself to look away. I hadn’t bothered to pester her about the identity of my father for years. The subject had seemed far too uncomfortable for her to endure.

“I’m sorry, Jake. I should have told you the story a long time ago. I just… Well, I honestly thought it was best that you didn’t know. Maybe that was wrong for me to do. You’re an adult now and you deserve to know. I’m just so sorry your father was never able to see the kind of amazing man you’ve grown up to be.”

“You don’t have to apologize, Mom. I understand.”

“No, I don’t think you do. Your father and I were very much in love. He was my knight in shining armor, the kind of man that I thought only appeared in romance novels. I was young, barely eighteen, and he was the handsome rodeo star who swept me away. Being five years older, I thought he was worldly as well as the most handsome cowboy I’d ever laid eyes on.”

I could see the strange shimmer in her eyes as the memories flowed. “What happened?”

“We were going to get married. Then his parents intervened, threatening to cut him off from his trust fund and his inheritance if he didn’t walk away. At the time, my family seemed unseemly to the great Wallace regime, their heritage going back to the early days in Oklahoma.”

“So the piece of shit father of mine agreed?” I snarled as my anger surfaced.

She reached over, grabbing my hand. “No. That’s not what happened. Rutherford was ready to walk away from everything, but I refused to allow that to happen. I was the one who left him. Granted, I lied, telling him that I was in love with another man. I didn’t want him to lose everything. I figured at some point he’d blame me.”

“That’s bullshit.”

“Don’t judge me, Jake. I did what I thought was best. After a month, he finally believed me. Unfortunately, I didn’t know I was pregnant. I felt lost at that point. I did my best trying to raise you. Now I realize I didn’t do the right thing. What you need to know is that your father was a good man. Honest. Kind. Caring. And so romantic.”

The faraway look in her eyes still pissed me off. “So you’re saying I should accept this… inheritance?”

“I don’t know how Rutherford found out about you, but I’m so happy that he did. He obviously had no idea how to broach the subject. If he wanted you to have his company and his ranch, then he loved you very much.”

I’d never doubted my mother for any reason, but this was hard to stomach. “I don’t know, Mom. I’m not certain I want to shift my life because of a man I never knew.”

“Jake. I’m going to be harsh with you. You can’t continue getting beaten up in the rodeo. I can tell you’re hurting, even though you try and hide it. Your body is going to give out on you. Take this opportunity as karma telling you that it’s time to move on.”

She’d always been my greatest encouragement, the rock I’d needed when no one else believed in my skills. To hear her say this was gut wrenching.

“Go to the funeral. Take a look at his ranch and the oil fields. That’s his family’s legacy. You deserve to find a different kind of happiness.” The light in her eyes increased, but I was also able to see sadness.

“Do you want to go to his funeral?”

Exhaling, she shifted closer to the edge of the couch, rocking as she clasped her hands together. “I can’t do that. I want to remember him as he was all those years ago.” When she got up quickly, moving to another room, I was taken aback. The moment she returned I could see a photograph in her hand. She gazed at it lovingly before handing it to me. “This is your father at the height of his rodeo career.”

As soon as she’d mentioned his name from the rodeo circuit, I remembered seeing it somewhere on a plaque or something. I took a quick look, almost hating the fact I looked so much like the man. “Interesting.” That was all I could manage.

“You’re going to promise me that you will go to the funeral as well as talk to Rutherford’s attorney. I won’t take no for an answer.”

The defiance in her voice was actually refreshing. While I had no desire to honor her request, there was no way I’d disappoint her. “I will, Mom. I promise you.”

I kept my promise, although I loathed every minute of doing so. There didn’t seem to be anything special about Oklahoma, at least in my humble opinion. I’d arrived just after sunset, finding a typical cheap hotel in close proximity to the gravesite. The ranch was located twenty miles outside of Oklahoma City, the area much sparser, or as my mother would call it, quaint.

I had no intentions of going to the actual church service. That would be too much to deal with. However, I’d pay my respects as he was dumped into the ground. Why the hell should I care about a man who could have come into my life but didn’t? He had to have learned that my mother had done everything in her power to protect him and his… wealth.

I remained disgusted as I dumped my bags onto the floor of the hotel room, immediately jerking open the ugly drapes. There was very little of me with any desire to get to know Oklahoma. I’d already made up my mind to sell the damn place for a hefty profit. Then I’d force my mom to purchase a bigger home. Maybe I’d just surprise her with one.

At least the thought gave me a smile.

The flight had been a pain in the ass, the rental truck certainly not my Dodge Ram but it would have to do. I definitely didn’t have plans on being stuck in the area for very long. I’d made an appointment with the attorney, barely answering any of her questions. I didn’t want to lay an eye on the ranch under any circumstances.

After a few minutes, I realized my stomach was churning not only for food but for a tall cold one as well as a shot of tequila. Maybe that would ease some of the heartache.

At least the chick at the reservation desk had proven helpful, providing guidance to a decent barbecue place as well as sliding her number across the counter. She’d had stars in her eyes just like I remembered from the good ole days. Back then, I’d enjoyed a few of the carnal perks that went along with being famous. Not tonight. I was in no mood for anything but fueling my stomach and a good night’s sleep.

As I pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant she’d suggested, I couldn’t help but laugh. How times had changed. Maybe I was getting too old for the profession. I glared at the window as I killed the engine, eyeing the place with a mixture of curiosity and disdain. The name of the joint was in red neon lights. With a name like The Boxing Ring, I had my doubts just how good the supposed world’s best barbecue could be. The parking lot was full of trucks and a few cars, making it difficult to find an empty spot. From what I could tell, I’d grabbed the last one.

“What the hell?” I muttered.

From where I sat, the place looked like a rowdy bar and nothing more. And it was only a little after eight-thirty. Grumbling, I shoved the keys into my pocket and headed for the entrance, the scent of smoked food assaulting my senses. My stomach rumbled at that point, which might be a good sign. I half expected there to be burly bouncers at the door. Seeing none, I shook my head before walking inside.

We had our shared of interesting bars and restaurants in Missoula, but nothing like what I saw as I walked in. Honky-tonk music was blaring, jazzing the crowd of roughly two hundred. There was a main bar located in the back, but I could also just make out an auxiliary location in the distance with tables located on the right side of the place. That’s not what shocked the fuck out of me.

A huge boxing ring was off to one side, spectators lining the four sides as two brawny-looking men duked it out in the elevated ring. I couldn’t help but be drawn to the sight, my competitive nature kicking to the forefront. That wouldn’t bode well for the next rodeo I’d forced Mike into scheduling me for, let alone my shoulder since it was killing me. I smirked as I tried to ignore the draw, instead heading directly to the bar, successfully finding a lone barstool.

The pretty young bartender headed over after a couple of minutes, giving me a huge grin. “Whatdya have, cowboy?”

“Whatever you have on draft and a shot of tequila.”

“You got it.”

I scanned the area, surprised to see all walks of life in the place. From the corporate types who’d yanked off their coat and tie to cowboys, even older couples dressed for the evening, the place seemed to draw a diverse crowd.

The hard slam of the drinks on the surface of the bar drew my attention. The bartender leaned over, allowing me to catch a nice glimpse of the tops of her full breasts.

“Are you hungry?”

Her accentuated southern drawl was more like a purr, her smile coy.

“I could be.”

“Mmm… We have a couple of briskets on the smoker, which might suit your… needs. Might have to wait for about fifteen minutes though.”

“I can wait.” Her blatant come-on was enticing. I slipped a hundred-dollar bill across the counter, which forced her to smile.

“I just bet you can. I’ll start you a tab and let you know when the juicy meat is ready. Holler if you need anything else. The name’s Jennifer.”

“I’ll do that.” I turned away, tossing back the tequila before grabbing my beer. The shit was rotgut but just what I needed to soothe the savage beast inside. I’d remained far too agitated, the heavy adrenaline flow keeping me on edge. I fisted the glass, the sound of the cheering crowd drawing my attention. “Jennifer. I do need something.”

She returned quickly, the same smile on her face. “What do you need, cowboy?”

“What’s the deal with the boxing ring?”

Laughing, she shot a look in the direction of the ring. “I don’t know the whole story. The owner thought it would draw in business and he’s right. We book a few decent boxers a couple of nights a week when we can get them, then anyone can sign up to try and win the night’s cash prize. Kinda fun, although it can get rowdy depending on how much the crowd has had to drink.”

I just bet it could. “Interesting.”

“You should consider giving it a try. A big, strong man like you just might take home the money. Sometimes the kitty is a couple thousand dollars.”

“Is that right? I’ll think about it.”

Not a chance in hell.

After a few seconds, I had to admit I was curious as to the kind of man who would pretend that he had the skill needed to enter a boxing ring. As I walked closer, I realized a fight had just ended and a whole lot of betting was going on, legal or not. I moved closer, chuckling to myself from the sheer eagerness of the crowd.

I watched in amusement as what appeared to be the next contender walked closer to the ring, his arms in the air. “You have to fucking be kidding me.” I hadn’t realized I’d said the words out loud until the guy next to me burst into laughter.

“Some of them go all out. This dude keeps coming back for more. He ain’t very good, but that doesn’t stop him from trying.”

“Yeah, but satin shorts?” I found myself disgusted, rolling my eyes.

“Ladies and gentlemen. We have an exciting match ahead of you.”

I stared at the announcer with amusement, the dude parading around the ring as if this was some major event. “Unbelievable.”

“In this corner we have King Wally!”

This was getting more ludicrous by the minute. The guy in the satin fought his way through the ropes, barely able to climb onto the raised platform. There was a mixture of cheers and boos, which was as comical as the entire damn thing.

“And a contender considered to be one of your favorites, the Devil’s Angel.”

“What the hell?” Given I was taller than the majority of the crowd, I was able to catch sight of the second contender. A woman.

“Don’t know the girl but she’s damn good. She’s beaten a solid twenty guys over the last few months.”

The man from before lifted his beer in a salute as she took no time weaving her way through the ropes in a creative way. Instead of lifting her arms, she glared at the crowd, making eye contact with several of the hungry cowboys. I found myself inching closer, more than just my curiosity piqued. Even though the girl had painted her face with some gawdy pretend mask of some superhero, there was no denying that she was beautiful.

Her flaming red hair was in a braid that went halfway down her back, her bare legs long and shapely, and her hourglass figure making my mouth water. My cock instantly twitched, which hadn’t occurred in one hell of a long time. I couldn’t help but smile, more than just curious how she would do in the ring.

I found myself directly in front of the ropes where she was still preening. When she caught my eyes, her expression immediately hardened likely from the smug look on my face. For a few seconds, we stared at each other. Then she turned and huffed, stomping on the surface as she moved to one of the corners.

This ought to be good.

It didn’t surprise me that she came out swinging. What did was the fact that with three hard punches, King Wally was flat on his back. The crowd went wild, cheering and clapping, their whistles able to drown out the music.

I was even more amused than before, and I wasn’t certain if it was from the way the dozens of hungry piranhas were acting, some of the men even frothing at the mouth, or because of the way she gloated on stage. However, there was no doubt I was impressed by her fortitude, her agility, and her sexy aura. Goddamn, the woman made me hot, my cock now throbbing like a son of a bitch. While the others were cheering, I was laughing out loud to myself because of my reaction.

The Devil’s Angel noticed almost immediately, her mouth twisting in anger and her eyes flashing in the splash of overhead lighting. She yanked her gloves off, tossing them aside as if she was a princess with a maid following behind her. When she stormed toward me, moving under the rope, all I could do was give her my signature smile.

She slammed her hand against my chest, the force enough to push me back by a solid two inches. Almost immediately, the men surrounding us backed away, as if they were prepared for some kind of a brawl. I was surprised that the bottle slipped from my hand, the sound of shattering glass jazzing the crowd.

“What the hell was that?” she barked, obviously prepared to smack me again.

“I’m not sure what you’re talking about, sweetheart.”

A few of the men whistled, which caused me to roll my eyes.

She huffed, glancing toward the nearest group of them. “First of all, I’m not your sweetheart and never will be. I can tell that you’re not the kind of man who can handle me.”

Why did I have the feeling she was grandstanding for the audience? Sighing, I did something I knew would irritate her. I took my time gazing down the length of her, dragging my tongue across my lips.

“Yeah, you’re some kind of a prick cowboy, aren’t you?” the little vixen continued. She had the freaking nerve to smack me in the chest again.

While I issued another guttural laugh, she was starting to annoy me. “And what are you, a prima donna? Do you really think you’re tough enough to fight a real man? And yes, sweetheart. I am a real man, the kind of prick who could devour you in a deadass heartbeat.” I had to admit that from the intoxicating scent of her perfume to the wildness in her eyes, every carnal thought I’d ever had was brought rushing to the surface of my mind. I wouldn’t mind feasting on her sweet, juicy pussy, bringing her to one orgasm after another before thrusting my cock deep inside.

The crowd was prepared to go into a frenzy.

“Is that so?” she huffed, planting her hands on her hips.

“Oh, yeah, baby. That is the truth.”

She inched closer, crowding my space. I lowered my head just enough our lips were only inches apart. The thought of kissing her flashed in the back of my mind. Maybe I would do just that, breaking down every one of her defenses.

“You’re nothing but a piece of worthless flesh, asshole.”

“A little lady shouldn’t talk like that.” I growled after issuing the words. “If you were my woman, that would be cause for harsh punishment.”

She laughed, the sound filtering straight into my aching cock. Sultry. Provocative. Inviting. “I never said I was a lady, and you certainly aren’t a gentleman.”

My instincts were always active. I knew the second her lower lip started to quiver that she was attracted as hell. I could even gather a delicious whiff of her arousal. I also had no doubt she was going to take another swing.

And I was right.

I was also prepared, snapping my hand around hers, twisting just enough that even though she attempted to bite back a cry, she failed. Then I did what any good cowboy would do who’d been challenged in such an egregious fashion.

I tossed her over my shoulder, ignoring her cries. She struggled as I expected she would, even pummeling me with her fists, but I was too strong for her. As I pushed my way through the crowd, she released a string of nasty words, cursing me in what sounded like two or three languages. What she didn’t know was that I wasn’t the kind of man who would ever let her get away with such ridiculous behavior. She deserved to understand there were consequences for such blatant, disgusting manners.

And I was just the man to give her a much-needed lesson.

“Let go of me, you pig!” she cried, kicking her legs out and almost managing to get out of my strong hold.

I hoisted her over my shoulder again, smacking her bottom four times in rapid succession.

“What the fuck are you doing?” she demanded.

“Providing the kind of discipline that you obviously need.” Whether or not she heard me through the roar of the crowd honestly didn’t matter to me. I was prepared to make good on my promise. I moved through the customers until I found the perfect table.

“I’m going to kill you!” she muttered, the statement making me smile.

As I moved in front of the group of patrons enjoying a cocktail, I gave them a huge smile. “Would you mind if I used that extra chair?”

The couple seemed shocked, both of them nodding at the same time.

“Thank you so much. This won’t take long.” I pulled the chair further into the room, sitting down on the hard seat. Then I dragged her over my lap and within seconds, I yanked down her shorts and panties. The primal beast inside of me rushed to the surface, hungrier than he’d been in a hell of a long time.

“No. No!” she squealed, flailing in my arms to the point I was forced to toss one leg over both of hers.

Damn, the woman was strong. I was even more impressed than before.

“I suggest you try and act like a good little girl or I might have to pull off my belt.”

She seemed stunned by my words, at least at first. Then she started fighting in earnest, wiggling and throwing her arm back in some crazy effort to smack me. All she managed to do was excite the hell out of me, the friction as she rubbed her sweet pussy across my groin driving me to the point of madness. If she wasn’t careful, my beast was prepared to do more than just spank her for bad behavior.

The little filly also continued to irritate the hell out of me. If she thought she was winning points or that she could get the better of me, she was wrong on both counts.

“Good girl, my ass!” she yelled, still bumping and grinding against me.

I snagged her wrist, pulling her arm behind her back then proceeded to spank her properly. A good portion of the customers cheered me on, although there was another portion that seemed mortified that I would humiliate her in front of other people. In my mind, she deserved this and much more.

As the heat from her reddening bottom sizzled my fingers, I also realized that my mind had fallen into a haze of filthy desire. My tastes bordered on sadistic, and she was the kind of woman that I’d always hungered to dominate, requiring her utter surrender. The idea festered in my mind as she humped my leg, her cries of embarrassment and pain only fueling my actions.

I spanked her long and hard, making certain that every strike was severe. She needed to remember this moment for a long time.

“Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you,” she repeated over and over again.

“Hey!” I called, probably louder than I should have. “I think you also need to have your mouth washed out with soap. We might just do that after I’m finished.”

Shuddering visibly, she took gasping breaths, no longer fighting me. I knew that was going to be short lived.

I caressed her skin, my balls tightening as I continued thinking about all the vile things that I could do to her. My mouth was Sahara dry, so parched that I knew the only thing that was going to quench my thirst would be driving my tongue past her swollen folds.

After bringing my hand down in rapid strokes for at least a solid two minutes, the mighty fighter seemed to change her tune.

“Please, stop. Please. I’ll be good. I promise.”

I took a deep breath, surveying the crowd. “What do you think? Has she had enough?”

“Oh, you…” she muttered, although I could hear her. I also knew exactly what she was prepared to say at the end of her statement.

Exhaling, I waited as the crowd roared their comment. It was about fifty/fifty whether to continue or not. I erred on the side that I’d yet to be able to teach her a lesson.

So I gave her at least twenty more.

At that point she was no longer fighting; however, I did hear a few seductive moans.

Very gently I helped the brazen filly to her feet, keeping my eye on her as I yanked her panties and shorts back into position. Then I held her arms, grinning from the eat-shit-and-die look she was giving me.

“Now, maybe you’ve learned your lesson, although I’m not certain. Beautiful women should never act this way, especially in public.”

She took scattered breaths, hanging her head low while still being able to pierce me with daggers flying from her eyes.

I was surprised when she didn’t seem to have anything to say. I pushed the chair back after a few seconds, getting to my feet. I was still famished, although it had nothing to do with longing to taste the local barbecue. Maybe it was time to call it a night before I got myself into more trouble.

As I attempted to move away, I was surprised that almost the entire place started to clap. Maybe the girl had been a thorn in their side for far too long. I offered another smile then headed for the door.

Within seconds, I could feel her presence behind me.

“Where the hell do you think you’re going?” she barked. “We’re not done here, buster.”

Buster. I took a deep breath, the creature inside of me egging me on.

Fuck her.

Use her.

Dominate her.

Yeah, that would bode well for my first night in Oklahoma. I was sure the locals weren’t prepared for a porn movie to be played out.

When she smacked me on the shoulder, I gritted my teeth.

“I’m talking to you, asshole,” she snapped.

I knew that looking back on what I was about to do, I’d chastise myself for egging her on, but the girl had just gotten under my skin. Without any further hesitation, I swirled around, dragging her against my chest as I fisted her braid.

She jammed her fists against me as I pulled her onto her toes. But the spark of electricity that rushed between us was so damn powerful, I could no longer think straight. I crushed my mouth over hers, immediately thrusting my tongue inside. The taste of her was likely the most powerful aphrodisiac I’d ever had, adding gasoline to the lit embers.

While she continued struggling, trying hard to bite down on my tongue, I was far too strong for the naughty minx. I took everything I wanted from her luscious mouth, exploring the dark recesses until I was lightheaded. Damn, she tasted good, like sweet yet pungent nectar of the gods.

When she arched her back, pressing her voluptuous breasts against me, I thought I was going to lose my mind.

Then a sense of reality pushed into the back of my mind. Maybe I had a sense of humanity after all. I broke the moment of heated passion, shaking my head then resorting to the behavior that I’d always fallen back to.

I walked out of the bar and the beautiful filly’s life. After all, I would never see her again.

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