Authors: Sandy Sullivan
FOREVER KIND OF COWBOY
Secret Cravings Publishing
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Forever Kind of Cowboy
E-book ISBN: 9781-63105-232-3
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This is for the fans of my cowboys.
I love you all!
For Angie Stanton-Johnson
Thank you for your feedback and friendship.
You’re a doll!
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Trouble With a Cowboy
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had her heart until one hard-up cowboy found her
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Something not a lot of women do. Littleton Oklahoma is just a dry stopover for
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FOREVER KIND OF
Marie Lewis glanced out the big
bay doors of the gas station when Jeremiah Young pulled his truck up to the gas
pump. Absent-mindedly, she swiped at the beads of sweat trickling down her neck
heading for her shoulder blade and dropped her wrench from her wet palm in the
process. The wrench hitting the cement under her feet made a loud clang.
Damn, it’s hot today.
Or was it the man
standing at the pump causing her to perspire?
picked up the tool, she noticed the jacked-up silver dually didn’t fit
Jeremiah’s style from what she knew of the man. Ever since high school, he’d
been the quiet Young brother, not too assuming and not one to draw attention,
letting his brothers be the rowdy bunch. He crunched numbers on a daily basis.
A whiz at math, he’d tutored her for a short time in algebra, but it hadn’t
lasted long enough for her. By then she’d been smitten.
heart thumped loudly in her chest as she tried to go back to work, denying the
way she reacted to him. He always did this to her every time she saw him. From
the moment he’d called her darlin’ one day in high school, she couldn’t think
straight with him around. Her hands shook when she tried to ignore him standing
at the pump in his Wranglers, cowboy hat, dusty boots, and button-down western
shirt. “Why does he do this to me?”
just talking to myself.”
father glanced out the bay doors and said, “Ah. I see.” He set the carburetor
down he’d been working on.
been tied up in knots about that boy for longer than I can remember.” He patted
her on the shoulder. “I understand, honey. I know what love feels like.”
not love, Dad. It’s infatuation. That’s all. He doesn’t know I’m alive.” Callie
reached up to the bottom of the vehicle on the garage lift and pulled the plug
to drain the oil from the engine, paying no mind to her dad moving to the other
side of the car. She didn't want to see the look on his face. Ignoring the
charismatic man outside was like forcing herself to stop breathing for minutes
on end. It didn’t happen without her feeling lightheaded.
don’t you go out there and see if he needs anything else besides gas?”
wiped her hands on the rag she pulled from the back pocket of her coveralls. “I
just might do that,” she said, not taking her eyes off the well-built man
standing near the pumps tapping his fingers on the bed of his truck.
she knew it, she stood next to him as he swung around, giving her a blinding
toes curled in her steel-toed boots.
She stuffed her hands in her pockets. “I thought I’d check to see if you needed
anything else besides gas today? I could check your fluids, or
think I’m good.” Jeremiah reached up and wiped a smudge from her cheek. “You’ve
’ hard today, huh?”
stomach knotted at the touch of his fingers on her face. God, she wished he’d
touch her with passion, burying his hands in her long hair, pull it a little
and crush his mouth to hers.
“Uh, just changing old man
girls shouldn’t have grease smeared on their cheek.” The pump made a clunking
sound as it turned off. He turned to remove it from the gas tank on his truck
and return it to the side of the pump.
sure I can’t check your fluids for you?”
that sounded really desperate, you dummy.
have an appointment so I need to
, but I’ll see
Thanks for coming in. We appreciate the business.”
grasped the brim of his hat between his fingers, tipping it slightly as cowboys
do. “I’ll see you later.” A soft whistling sound escaped his lips after he
grinned and winked.
minutes later, he pulled out of the gas station, squealing his tires a little
on the smooth pavement.
heart rate slowed as he went down the road then pulled into the diner his aunt
owned. When he jumped out of his truck again, she couldn’t help but sigh the
second he swept Lydia Wiley up in his arms in a twirling hug. After her feet
hit the ground, he brushed his lips against the girl’s, earning himself an
unseen frown from Callie. She didn’t realize he was seeing Lydia, but then
again, when wasn’t he seeing someone?
turned her back on the scene to walk into the garage. She’d seen enough to know
she’d never have a chance with Jeremiah Young in this lifetime. Her type didn’t
get the gorgeous hunk of a man. That only happened in fairy tales and her life
wasn’t a fairy tale by any means.
her mom at a young age didn’t help. Her dad did the best he could. But being
the only child raised by a man had her dressing and acting like a boy while
enjoying things like dirt bikes, working on cars, and doing general tomboy
stuff. She tied her hair back in a low ponytail just to keep it off her face.
Dresses didn’t do anything for her. Although once in a while, she broke down
and wore something feminine to feel like a woman.
wished she knew more about how things were supposed to work between two people
when she’d given her virginity to David Burger in high school. The experience
sucked. Never mind it had happened in the bed of his truck with very little
foreplay involved. Somehow she knew things would be different with a man she
cared about or one who knew how to handle a woman.
escaped her in a rush. She just knew someday things would be different. They
had to be. She didn’t want to spend the rest of her life alone.
* * *
Young stared out the window of the diner as Lydia prattled on about something
or another. Why did woman talk nonstop sometimes? Was it just to hear
themselves yap about one thing only to change subjects and go on about
something totally different?
you even listening to me, Jeremiah?”
he answered automatically while his gaze fixed on the garage across the street.
Callie Lewis moved through the double bay doors in her overalls and boots.
Nothing specific to indicate she was a woman in any sense of the word except
when she took her hair down and shook it out before putting it back up in the
ever-present low ponytail. He’d known her since high school when he’d tutored
her in algebra. They’d been in the same classes most of their lives including
. He’d noticed her right away although she
wasn’t the type he normally took a second glance at. She didn’t have huge tits nor
was she particularly thin. Curvy would be the word he used for her. Nice
curves, but she hid them under long T-shirts, baggy jeans and work boots most
of the time. Once in a great while, he would see her in woman’s clothes,
something pretty like when she went to church on Sundays. The garage was closed
those days while she spent the day with her dad. They would go out for Sunday
supper at his aunt’s diner. He always seemed to be driving by when they went
in, not that he’d been looking or anything.
cell phone beeped indicating an incoming message. He smiled as he checked his
phone. As the financial planner of his parents’ ranch, he had to keep his pulse
on the bank accounts, investments, and inner workings of the ranch at all
times. One of the stocks he’d invested heavily in with his own money had
doubled today on the market. Good. He would make a tidy profit if it kept
increasing before he sold it off.
had been one of his past times since he could remember. He’d started running
numbers in his own stocks from the time he’d turned eighteen, then he was
careful with the family fortune when he chose to broaden the horizons on their
behalf. His parents’ trust in his ability to keep them afloat came with a heavy
load. If he lost it all, they would be out on a limb, but he’d been lucky. So
far, everything he’d put their money into had done well on the market. His own
little nest egg seemed to be growing quite well. At this rate, he’d be able to
that he didn’t love his family or the ranch he’d grown up on,
but he wanted to be financially
stable enough to do his own thing rather than riding rough stock for the rest of
jabbered on about something to do with her dress, or shoes, so he focused his
gaze back out the window.
town of Bandera, Texas wasn’t much to look at, but it was home. His family
moved there before he was born. They proceeded to run a cattle ranch as each of
his eight brothers came into the world. His parents never had the daughter his
mother craved. She made do with the ever-growing number of daughters-in-law and
grandchildren as each of his brothers found their life mate. He wasn’t sure
what the hoopla was all about.
One girl for the rest of his
He wasn’t into that quite yet. He had too much living to do. He
wanted to see the world a little at a time. Go to Paris, live on the east coast
somewhere, see Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Florida, and maybe even New
York. He thought it would be totally cool to see the New York Stock Exchange
one day since he dabbled so much in stocks now. Plus, someday he wanted a fancy
sports car to zip around in. A
or maybe a
What the hell he would
do with it in Bandera, Texas he wasn’t sure, but having one might be fun. To
have so much money he’d never have to work again seemed to always be at the
forefront of his mind.
this thong was so cute, Jeremiah. You would have loved it on me.” Lydia’s voice
dropped to a whisper.
continued to talk as she stirred her Coke with the straw. Her voice faded out
when he saw Callie walk across the main road of town headed for the diner.
Must be lunchtime.
bell over the door dinged when Callie walked in. Jeremiah kept her in view the
whole time as she approached the counter to place her order. Her voice soothed
the grating of Lydia’s on his nerves. The sing-song lilt sounded so good to his
What did you say?”
you weren’t listening. What did I say last then?”
about a thong.”
ten minutes ago.” Lydia glanced over her
shoulder, catching the direction of his gaze.
Lewis?” She snorted—actually
it was funnier than hell. Laughter burst from his lips, earning him a frown
turned toward him for a moment, stuffing her hands in her pockets as she
hunched her shoulders.
really not your type, you know. She doesn’t even own a dress from what I hear,
and makeup? Forget it.”
doesn’t need it.”
she does. A woman doesn’t go out of the house without makeup. It’s just not
womanly. The mere thought is as hideous as those clothes are.” She leaned back
in her chair, sipping on her drink a minute before she continued. “She works in
her father’s garage, for God’s sake. A woman doesn’t work on cars, dress in
overalls, drink beer or cuss like a sailor.”
about her bugs you, Lydia?” He rapped his knuckles on the table. “That men
actually look at her while you’re in the room?”
She’s nothing to look at.”
think she is. She’s got something you don’t have.”
personality beyond everything revolving around her.
She doesn’t care if she’s all
decked out in a pretty dress. She cares about the people around her. She’s not
all about herself, like you are.”
jumped to her feet. “Then go out with her!”
smiled. “I’m glad you give your permission although it’s not needed, but thank
you anyway. I’ll do that.” He got to his feet and walked toward Callie as she
stood there openmouthed. “I could kiss you right now.” Her blue eyes were wide
as her mouth hung open like she was ready to catch flies with it, so he put a
finger under her chin to push it closed.
I won’t. Not yet at least.”