BBW ROMANCE: BWWM Romance: A Cowboy’s Southern Comfort (Military Cowboy Pregnancy Romance) (Interracial Army Contemporary Fantasy Romance Short Stories)

 


Copyright 2016 by Samantha Forest - All rights reserved.

 

 

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A Cowboy’s Southern Comfort

 

A BWWM BBW Romance

 

 

 

 

By: Samantha Forest

 

 

 

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A Cowboy’s
Southern Comfort
by Samantha Forest

“God damn it,” Jake Carey muttered under his breath as he stepped out of his dust filled house and surveyed the wreckage of his once working ranch. He should have known better than to trust Adam to look after it.

Apparently, while Jake had been off risking his neck in the deserts of Afghanistan, Adam had been running around with the money Jake was wiring monthly to keep up the ranch.

Adam was the continually down on his luck little brother of Jake’s childhood friend Sam. Both Jake and Sam had gone into the Army right after high school while Adam had graduated then wandered around trying to make it as a musician.

When Jake had been deployed, Sam had called him up and practically begged him to hire his little brother to take care of the ranch Jake had inherited from his parents.

“I know he’s not the most reliable guy in the world,” Sam had said, “but he’s good with animals and he could really use the work. I’ll call once a week to check up on him. I promise!”

And, like an idiot, Jake had agreed.

Now that Jake was back, Adam was nowhere to be found. He’d asked in town and been told that the asshole had left for Dallas the day before. Jake couldn’t blame him. Adam knew what Jake would do to him when he found out how he had let the land go.

Apparently, the only thing left living and in good condition was Jake’s dog, Buddy. The yellow lab had greeted Jake with a wagging tale and a multitude of licks as soon as Jake had walked in the door. Buddy had apparently found the food stored in the cupboard. And, when that had run out, he’d hunted the chickens in the backyard and drunk the water from their coop.

When Buddy lead Jake out to the chicken pen, Jake found that the gate had indeed been broken into and most of the chickens lay dead on the ground. Buddy proudly brought his latest kill to Jake and reverently laid the old dead hen at his master’s feet. Apparently, Buddy expected to be praised for this action.

There was one whom Buddy had apparently taken pity on. But, she was thin and sickly squawking in her nest.

The rest of the land did not look much better. Weeds grew high in the fields and the small corn crop had withered and died in the summer heat. Few of the cows remained on the land. The ones who did, like the lone hen, looked thin and sickly.

“I don’t know Buddy,” Jake said to the yellow lab following at his side, “should we check the horses in the barn? Or, should we just go hunt Adam down now?”

The yellow lab at his side offered an excited whine in reply. His tail was still wagging and his tongue lolled to the side of his mouth. Clearly, the elation he felt at Jake’s return made the sad state of the ranch pale by comparison.

“You’re right,” Jake said ruffling the dog’s head, “it’s not worth it to go after the fucker. Best see the damage to the horses.”

The three horses Jake kept in the stables, Jake was surprised to see, looked much better than the rest of the animals. They were thinner than he would have liked. But, it looked as though someone had provided them with fresh water and feed.

The youngest, a black horse named lightning at the end, had even had his mane and tail brushed out.

“Apparently Adam has a soft spot for horses,” Jake said looking down and expecting to find Buddy at his side. He was surprised to find that the dog had rushed off to the empty stall at the end of the row.

He could see Buddy’s yellow tail wagging as he made his way towards the stall. When Buddy began barking a high pitched, excited bark, Jake smiled but did not walk faster.

He knew that, whatever it was, it couldn’t be a threat. He knew Buddy’s bark when he felt threatened and this wasn’t it. This was Buddy’s happy bark. He had clearly found something he liked.

Perhaps it was some small creature like a raccoon or, maybe, one of the stray chickens.

When Jake finally reached the stall, he stepped back at the sight he saw there. A large body was curled up in the hay, a blanket over its legs. Long, straight black hair covered the face. Judging by the curves, this was clearly a woman.

Also, judging by the matted hair and tattered clothes, it was a woman who hadn’t seen a shower or a proper bed in several days. This woman had also clearly bypassed the chain link fence as well as the ‘No Trespassing’ sign.

So, not only had Adam allowed the ranch to fall to ruin, his barn had also become a haven for bums. Slowly, he moved to the side of the barn and grabbed his rifle. Whoever she was, he would have to scare her off. If he let her get away with sleeping on his property, that would start a precedent. Then, who knew how many bums and layabouts would seek shelter there.

So, grasping his gun, he headed back to the stall. He wouldn’t shoot her of course, not unless she directly attacked him. He would just scare her enough to ensure she wouldn’t return.

When he reached the stall, he took the barrel of his rifle and gently nudged her in the shoulder. She moaned and shifted in her sleep so that her hair fell out of her face revealing black skin and several freckles nearly covered by dirt on her nose.

He prodded her one more time. And this time, she groaned before fluttering her eyes open and sitting up straight. She stared at him confused for a moment. He felt the same way when he looked into her large brown eyes that, he had to admit, were quite pretty.

Then, those pretty eyes widened in terror and she let out an ear piercing, horrified scream.

***

Instinctively, Jake lifted his rifle to her and shouted

“Hands up! Don’t move!”

He was not quite sure where the harsh tone came from. This girl clearly had no weapons and did not pose any sort of threat. Still, he supposed Afghanistan still played in his mind. Somewhere in the darker parts of his instinct, he still imagined that every man woman and child he met was a potential terrorist, prepared to detonate a bomb at any moment.

The girl, thankfully, stopped screaming and put her hands up. She was still breathing heavily and her eyes were wide with terror.

“I...I’m sorry I-”

“What the hell are you doing here?” he asked, his rifle still pointed at her and his voice still raised as though in battle.

“I-I didn’t think anyone lived here,” she said shakily, “I’ve been here for the past week. No one’s come by to check I...I thought it was abandoned.”

“Well, you were wrong, weren’t you?” Jake said.

He looked for a moment at her terrified face. Her hands, still raised in appeasement were shaking in terror. Something more civilized in the front of his mind told him that not only was she nonthreatening, she was much more terrified than he was. And, the rifle pointed at her was not doing anything to help.

Slowly, he lowered his rifle and set it aside. Just as slowly she lowered her hands.

He offered a hand to help her up. She stared at it for a moment as though she was not sure what it was or what to do with it. Slowly, she looked up at him and took his outstretched hand.

As he helped her up, he took full stock of her. She was relatively tall for a woman. She stood only a few inches below his six-foot frame. Her height, unfortunately, did not balance out her weight which was well above average. And, he saw even more clearly now judging by her too-large flannel shirt, tattered jeans and smeared face that she had not changed clothes or washed in days.

“You never answered my question,” he said. “What are you doing here?”

“I told you,” she said her voice more confident now that he had set the gun aside. “I thought the place was abandoned. I didn’t think anyone’d mind if I slept here for a few days.”

He looked her up and down again. Though tall and large, her face suggested a certain youth. If he were to judge, he might put her in her late teens. Very early twenties at the most.

“Why’d you need to sleep here?” he asked, “don’t you have parents? Or...anywhere else you could go?”

“If I did, you wouldn’t have found me sleeping in your barn, would you?” she asked. Her eyes were now glaring at him and he sensed a certain fierceness in her quip.

He rolled his eyes at her.

“Well, I’m back now, so you can’t stay here anymore,” he said. Her face fell and those brown eyes softened again. She didn’t answer but opened her mouth several times as though she was trying to think of something to say.

He had to admit, she looked pathetic like that. When he took in her dirty face and tattered clothes once more, he felt a twinge of pity. He should, at the very least offer her a shower and some clothes.

“Look,” he said, “you can follow me up the house. I think I’ve got some of my mom’s old clothes that might fit you. And you can clean up. But, then you’ve got to leave. I’ve got a lot of work to do.”

He turned and made his way out of the barn, he heard her scurrying to follow him.

“It looks like you’ll need some help with that work,” she said catching up to him.

“I’ve done more on my own before,” he answered. “I can manage.”

“Is that how the ranch got like this?” she asked. “‘Cause you thought you could manage on your own?”

Jake’s stomach twisted and he felt his teeth beginning to grind against one another at that. This girl, whoever she was, was too much of a smart ass for her own good.

“It got like this because I trusted someone else to look after it while I was away,” he said. “I don’t plan on making that same mistake again.”

He quickened his pace hoping that she would fall behind. Unfortunately, she kept up with him step for step.

“You do realize that I’m the one who’s been feeding and watering the horses for the past week, don’t you?” she asked, “they were close to death when I found them.”

He didn’t answer. The truth was, when he found her in the barn, he had guessed that she had been the one looking after the horses. And, he couldn’t help but feel slightly grateful for that. Still, he did not want to express that gratitude now. That might give her the idea that she could stay. And, babysitting a young girl on top of everything else was the last thing he needed.

“I was raised on a ranch,” she said. “I know how to work. I know how to look after animals. I can build. I can do anything you need me to do.”

“Don’t have the money to take anyone on,” Jake answered hoping this would deter her. It clearly didn’t. As they moved through the now abandoned chicken coop to the back door, she moved in front of him, barring his way inside.

“You wouldn’t have to pay me,” she said. “Just let me stay on the property. Room and board that’s all I ask.”

“I don’t-”

“Don’t tell me you don’t need the help,” she challenged fiercely. “I know you do.”

She crossed her arms in front of her chest and looked at Jake with a steel-eyed glare. Something told him that she would not move from the door before he had agreed to let her stay on.

He heaved a sigh as he considered. He had to admit, she was right. He would need help getting the ranch back up and running again. And, despite her size, Jake could see developed muscles in this girl's arms and legs. Clearly she hadn’t been lying about growing up doing hard labor.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

“Felicia,” she answered.

“Felicia what?” he asked.

“Felicia’s all I go by,” she said. “If you’re not paying me, you don’t need anything else.”

He rolled his eyes wondering if he was going to regret hiring a woman with such a big mouth.

“Ok, Felicia,” he said. “I’m Jake. And you can stay the week and help out. But, eventually, you’re going to need to find your own place.”

Her face suddenly broke into the first smile Jake had ever seen her wear. He had to admit that the smile, like her eyes, made her look quite pretty.

“You won’t regret this!” she said happily before rushing into the house. He followed slowly, praying to God that she was right.

***

One week had turned into three and, as it turned out, Felicia had been right about a lot of things. She did know how to work. She took care of the horses practically on her own. She went into town and found more hens and one rooster to protect the coop.

Jake had been free to weed the cornfield, track down the missing cattle and repair the barn as best he could. Though, he was starting to fear that some of the roofing in the barn might be a lost cause.

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