Authors: Bailey Bradford
A Total-E-Bound Publication
©Copyright Bailey Bradford 2011
Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright August 2011
Edited by Claire Siemaszkiewicz
This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Total-E-Bound Publishing.
Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Total-E-Bound Publishing. Unauthorised or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.
The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.
Published in 2011 by Total-E-Bound Publishing, Think Tank, Ruston Way, Lincoln, LN6 7FL, United Kingdom.
This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
Love in Xxchange
This is for the wonderful people who asked for it, and kept me going at it with the many kind comments and support.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:
YouTube: YouTube, LLC.
Dodge 2500: Chrysler Group LLC
Chevy: General Motors
Stetson: Stetson Hats
Walmart: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Hoover: Techtronic Floor Care Technology Limited
“Come on, baby,” Annabelle gasped, “you
I’ll ride you hard and dirty if that’s what it takes! Uhn!” Her ass hurt, her thighs were screaming, and she was being pounded within an inch of her life. She was pretty sure her internal organs had been battered and were even now free-floating in her body, her ovaries and kidneys high-fiving each other as they switched spots. “Christ!” A particularly hard slam had her teeth snapping together and black dots dancing in her vision, but she was still…hanging…on!
Take that, you stubborn, crazy—
“Annabelle! What the fuck are you doing?” Rory yelled and diverted Annabelle’s attention at the worst possible time. The horse beneath her kicked his back legs out at as he lowered his shoulders and twisted, then jerked and reared up—and Annabelle hit the dry, hard dirt with a bone-jarring thud that surely turned those floating organs into a sloppy pulp. “Annabelle! Shit! I
you to leave Manilo to me! He’s too ornery and just too much horse for you!” Rory slid to his knees beside her, reaching for her before stopping with his hands just above her shoulders like he was afraid to touch.
He should be
, Annabelle fumed, despite the pain in her body.
If he hadn’t been such a damn
momma about this, I wouldn’t have been distracted.
As much as she’d love to point that out to him, she wasn’t sure she could even breathe yet, much less light into him. Somehow she managed to sit up and suppress the shudders that wanted to rip through her. Getting thrown sucked. Getting thrown while your hovering brother watched sucked stubby monkey toes.
“Sis, how…where does it hurt?” Rory rolled his eyes at his question before Annabelle could. “Stupid question, I know. Manilo tossed you off like you were nothing, and you landed damned hard.”
“No kidding,” Annabelle huffed out, the words scraping her throat. Was there nowhere on her that didn’t hurt? “’Cause you screeched like a momma at me, distracted me. Thanks.”
Geez, her chest hurt. She glared at Rory until the prancing horse behind him caught her eye.
Manilo looked inordinately pleased with himself, and in case she didn’t get the visual clues, he nickered and tossed his head before bolting across the corral.
Rory must have decided if she was well enough to snark at him, she was okay to touch.
He grabbed her shoulders and shook her lightly. “If you hadn’t got on Manilo like I told you not to, then there’d been no startling you, would there?”
Annabelle groaned and knocked his hands away. “If
would stop treating me like a helpless female, then you wouldn’t have screeched and scared the beejeezus out of me! I’d still be on Manilo!”
Manilo made a sound which she was sure was the equine version of laughter and reared up. Rory’s hand on her cheek brought her attention back to him. The concern in his midnight eyes, so like her own, almost made her not quite furious with him.
“I can’t help worrying about you. You’re the only sibling I have, the only
Rory’s eyes grew damp and his lower lip trembled.
Well, crap. That
kills my mad.
“I know, but—” Annabelle raised her hand to cup his and hissed as pain shot through her wrist. Tendrils of heat speared down to her elbow and up to her fingertips.
Rory rocked back on his heels as he chewed on his bottom lip. “You need to get checked out. Is that the worst of it, your arm…wrist?” he corrected when Annabelle shook her head.
“Anything worse that would keep me from helping you up? I can call an ambulance.” Rory glanced over his shoulder. “Chance!”
“No,” Annabelle muttered, because everything hurt, but her wrist was definitely throbbing in a worrisome way. “No ambulance. Just my wrist is all that’s hurting.” She could hear the heavy thud of boot steps, knew Chance was running over after hearing Rory’s frantic yell. In seconds he was there too, looming over both her and Rory. His lips twitched as he looked down at Annabelle.
“Just couldn’t stay off of Manilo, could you?” Chance asked, amusement tinting his voice.
Annabelle thought she did well to refrain from an answer of ‘duh’. “Obviously I couldn’t stay
him.” Then she gave Rory a withering look. “Although, maybe I wouldn’t have gotten thrown if doofus there hadn’t started screeching like a banshee at me.”
Chance huffed out a laugh. “I’m rather fond of his, hm, screeching, myself.”
“Gross,” was the only answer she had for that.
“So where’s the most damage?”
“My left wrist,” Annabelle snapped out before Rory could answer for her. The pain was steadily increasing in her wrist, and she wasn’t the type to handle pain gracefully. “And it hurts like a mother.”
“I can imagine,” Chance agreed. “Let’s get you up and to the doctor. He can fix you up in no time. Then you and your brother can have a throw-down over whose fault it was your ass got dumped.”
One of the things Annabelle loved about Chance was that he stayed out of her and Rory’s disagreements. She knew he most assuredly sympathised with Rory in private, but he’d never intervened or criticised her openly, and she could respect that. Chance should be on her brother’s side. Rory deserved someone who’d stand by him through any and everything after the crap he’d been through.
But it’d be nice, not that Annabelle would admit it out loud, if she had someone who would stand by her, too.
The doctor’s office was moderately crowded as usual, but Annabelle guessed her injury took precedent over some of the other patients. It wasn’t long before she heard, “Let’s get you into a room.”
Annabelle nodded, not paying much attention to the petite man in vibrantly coloured scrubs who was gesturing her towards the exam rooms at the back of the clinic. Chance cupped the elbow of her uninjured arm, which still managed to make her other arm throb.
His low ‘Damn’ snapped her out of her misery long enough to glance around for the source of Chance’s irritation. Her gaze settled on the pert, plump ass covered in hot pink material smattered with cartoon characters. The owner of that ass glanced back over his shoulder at her and Annabelle felt like cursing herself. Men shouldn’t be that pretty, damn it!
“Yeah, yeah, he’s cute,” Annabelle muttered for Chance’s ears only. Too bad her own were still ringing from getting tossed off Manilo; she might have been a better judge of the volume of her voice. A snort, then a chuckle came from the hot little guy in front of her.
Chance groaned and looked like he wanted to slap his hand over her mouth to prevent further embarrassment. Annabelle’s cheeks burned but she shrugged it off then promptly groaned as pain speared from her shoulder to her fingertips.
“Now, that’s not the kind of groan I like to hear,” the smaller man said, stopping at an empty exam room. His lips were tipped up in a flirty smile and his green eyes twinkled as he winked at Annabelle. “I’m Josh. Come on and have a seat and let me check your stats real quick. You—” Josh turned that wide-eyed look on Chance, and Annabelle barely managed to stifle a snicker as Chance’s lips tightened and his cheeks darkened. Twinks weren’t his thing, he’d said more than once, but it was obvious he found this one a bit less annoying than most—which, of course, seemed to piss him off. Josh’s eyes widened even more until he looked like a green-eyed Bambi, all innocence and confusion. “Maybe
should sit out in the waiting room.” He turned and entered the exam room, murmuring, “Or get over yourself, sheesh.”
Whether they were supposed to hear or not, they did. Annabelle felt Chance go rigid beside her. She glared at him and tugged her arm free. “Behave or you get a waiting room BEND
time-out. Think of all the screaming kids and coughing and hacking, there’s all kinds of cooties just waiting for you out there.”
“Sorry,” Chance muttered, “guess at this rate I should have just let Rory bring you after all.” He flicked a look at Josh. “Or maybe not.”
“Max could have brought me,” Annabelle said as she sat on the edge of the exam table, referring to Chance’s foreman. Max was the epitome of laid-back, and an almost complete contrast to his more outgoing and flashy fiancé, Bo. “He’s totally unaware of other people in a…” Josh turned, blood pressure cuff in hand, and seemed to be waiting for her to finish that sentence. Annabelle smiled brightly at him, only she thought it was probably more of a grimace, because she fucking
and didn’t feel like putting up with this male ego bullshit on a good day, much less one where her pride and her body had both been trounced.