Authors: Vanessa Vale
Table of Contents
Wildflowers Of Montana
By Vanessa Vale
© 2015 Vanessa Vale
All rights reserved.
No part of the book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
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and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.
Cover Design: RomCon - www.romcon.com
Cover Photos: elisanth - fotolia.com
Wildflowers of Montana – Book 5
I’d never seen a woman stop in the middle of the thoroughfare before, especially not one as busy as Butte’s Granite Street. She was a small thing, but all soft curves. Her modest dress did nothing to hide plump breasts, a trim waist and rounded hips. The green color of the garment made her red hair vibrant in the sunshine. It was striking, almost blindingly vivid, even pulled back into a prim bun at her nape. Her mouth was open in the shape of an O and in an instant I wondered what those rosy red lips would feel like stretched about my cock. I’d noticed all of that about her in the few seconds I’d stared at her. In times such as this, it paid to be a detective. When my senses returned—barely, since all the blood had drained from my head right to my cock—I wondered if she was right in the head. Perhaps she was trying to kill herself, but then I realized she was staring at me. Me! Why would this stunning woman be staring at me?
I’d only been in town for a few hours and I might have missed her. Missed the instant heat, the instant connection. Receiving their summons by telegram, I’d pushed my horse as hard as I dared, arriving just in time for my meeting with the colonel and the copper kings, but not early enough for any kind of grooming. Those men didn’t wait, not for me to bathe and shave. If I’d smelled overly ripe and bothered their more genteel natures, that had been their fucking problem. I’d listened as they detailed my next job—an insane task that would surely have me hung—and I negotiated hard for the terms I wanted before a round of handshakes sealed the arrangement. Back on the street, women gave me plenty of room as I made my way to the nearest bath house. I’d since scrubbed the dirt away and rid myself of the week-old scruff so I no longer looked like a miner lost in the wilderness. Fortunately, I cleaned up well with a haircut and fresh clothes.
Therefore, this woman who stood stock still in the middle of the street, her mental lapse wasn’t because of my fearful appearance. The reason didn’t matter, because she was going to die. The fucking stage was barreling down on her and she was staring at me. Didn’t the driver see the gorgeous woman? Hell, I had. I even
her and had turned my head. It was like a punch to the gut in a bar brawl, the feeling of meeting her eyes for the first time.
I swear I almost had a heart attack when I saw the stage approaching. The sound of it, the horses’ hooves, the creak and groan of the heavy wood, was thunderous. I hadn’t thought, just leaped over a water trough and ran into the street, grabbed her up in my arms and kept on running. Once I reached the edge of the boardwalk, I stopped, placing her down before me, but definitely not releasing her. I was enjoying the plush feel of her full breasts against my chest, especially the way they kept pressing into me as she tried to catch her breath. Her hands gripped my biceps and had yet to let go. Long tendrils of hair caught the slight breeze and I breathed in a scent of flowers.
“Ma’am, are you all right?” I asked the top of her head. My heart pounded and surely she could hear it. She had yet to tilt her head up and because of that, I could smell wildflowers and sunshine coming from her silky hair.
She stiffened in my arms. “I am
a ma’am,” she countered, her voice melodic but with a
I pushed her back from me and bent down so I met her eyes. Yup, sucker punch to the gut. They were as green as emeralds, yet full of fire.
“I beg your pardon,” I replied, noticing the smattering of freckles across her pert nose. “I thought I just rescued a lady from a moving stage.”
She pursed her full lips and I wondered how soft they would feel when kissed. “I do not like being called that.”
She was a prim little thing. Instead of thanking me for saving her from a certain death, she took objection to being called ma’am. Instead of breaking into tears from such a perilous fright, she sniffed and brushed back her hair. Intriguing.
“I am well aware of that now and will be quite cautious in the future with the use of it.”
For some reason, I knew if I smiled at her odd behavior she’d probably clobber me with her basket.
let go of her soft shoulders. I
tip my hat and be on my way. But fuck, no. This woman with the prickly demeanor had me enchanted. And aroused. I was standing at the edge of Butte’s main street and I had a cock stand. I’d say it was a first for me.
“Ma’am, are you hurt?” A burly man with a mustache and full sideburns wiped his hand on an apron smeared with blood. He was a butcher, an easy assumption since we were right in front of a shop with headless chickens in the window.
Her fingers dug into my biceps and I saw her eyes narrow, but she smiled a little too brightly up at him. Obviously, he was not to be calling her ma’am, either.
“She’s quite well,” I told him. “Aren’t you, Miss...?”
“Lenox,” she replied, her voice tight, although she dropped her hands to her sides after a fashion when she must have realized she was touching me in a way—I liked immensely—that was slightly inappropriate for two strangers. Regardless, I refused to let go of her.
“Would you like to come into the shop and rest in the shade for a minute?”
The man was a gentleman and I wanted to punch his face in.
“No, thank you, Mr. Brainerd. I am quite well.”
I was jealous, fucking jealous of a butcher, for he knew this woman and I didn’t. I was going to change that right now.
“I’ll see to her,” I told the man.
“You’re sure?” he repeated, looking me over more than Miss Lenox. It was clear he was well acquainted with her and was concerned for her welfare. I was thankful, now more than ever, that I’d cleaned up directly after my meeting. My new suit, tie and hat gave me the appearance of a copper king, even though I was just a mere Pinkerton detective.
“Yes, thank you, Mr. Brainerd.”
The butcher gave a nod and returned into his shop. The few passersby who had stopped to witness Miss Lenox’s harrowing escape continued on their way.
She tried to pull out of my hold, but I wouldn’t let her. I had my hands on her and I wasn’t letting go.
to myself, thank you,” she replied primly.
“Mmm, yes, I
that readily enough.” I wasn’t sure why, but I had to continue. “Be sure to look both ways next time.”
She tensed at my intentional barb, then lifted her head and met my eyes once again. “I was distracted.”
By me. The hot thrill of that knowledge felt… good. Not that she was almost run over by four horses and a barreling stage, of course, but it was the first thing I’d really felt in a while. I’d been tracking down the worst sorts of people for years and I rarely came in contact with anyone such as herself. She was… precious and because of me, she’d almost been killed.
Maybe it was the days in the saddle or the months of being alone that had me intrigued by this sharp-tongued woman. I’d met many a beautiful woman from one side of this country to the other who also turned out to be either a complete ninny or a sharp-toothed harpy. Miss Lenox was a prickly one, but she was neither. Although why she paused in the middle of the road at the sight of me made me question her smarts. While I gave the appearance of a well-to-do businessman, I was anything but. I chased criminals, so I was jaded and hardened by the darker side of society. Hell, the meeting I just had with the colonel and the copper kings, newspaper and railroad owners was just the beginning of my latest assignment. Tracking Bert Benson, bank robber and murderer was not unusual; sending me undercover to do so was.
As I stood with Miss Lenox, a story was being written about me, a very fictitious
story that painted me as a ruthless outlaw. It was only a matter of days before that was printed and spread as truth. I should send her on her way with a tip of a hat and another ma’am just to rile her, but I couldn’t.
“Distracted by something in particular?”
I enjoyed seeing the bright pink flush of embarrassment creep up her cheeks, although I wished she’d kept her eyes on me instead of looking over my shoulder.
“I saw something that interested me.” She lifted her chin as if that was all she had to share.
“Tell me, precious, what was so
that was worth being run down?”
Her eyes widened at my use of the endearment, but she ignored it and licked her bottom lip. Damn the woman! Did she know what that simple gesture did to me? I was a hardened detective. I’d seen war and knew all kinds of evil and depravity without even flinching. But one swipe of that wet tongue of hers and she almost brought me to my knees.
“Good day,” she replied, starting to turn away. Good day? She thought to end this that easily?
“Oh, no, you don’t.” I grabbed her by the elbow and stepped beside her, leading her down the sidewalk. While she accompanied me willingly, she did it more out of surprise than eagerness. I’d pushed her and while she didn’t seem to scare easily—who would when they defied death in the Butte streets?—I made her wary.
She needed a little bit of wariness in her life. Me.
And I needed to keep her with me as long as possible because I hadn’t been… intrigued for, well, forever. It was as if I’d been the one stopped in the middle of the street and I wanted that feeling to continue. I wanted to be with her. Strange, this. Insane, actually. Maybe I’d been alone too long, but this feeling… I needed her. Not a whore from the saloon.
While I certainly wanted to fuck the starch right out of her, I wanted to know why she held her chin at such a stiff angle, why she had an ink stain on the fingers of her right hand. I wanted to know why she had a small bloodstain on her cuff. Why did she have three scissors in her basket? The detective in me noticed all of this in the short minutes she’d stood before me, but the man in me wanted to learn completely different things about her; the color of her nipples. Hell, the color of the hair that shielded her pussy. Was it as red as on her pretty little head?
I also wanted to know if she felt the same as I did, that my life had been irrevocably changed. I might have to go after Benson, that was my job, but needed to make this woman mine. The colonel had given me two days to rest, shave, bathe, even fuck a whore or two—his direct words—before I was to follow Benson’s trail. Two days with Miss Lenox. I wasn’t letting her go.
“I will see you home.” More than that. I would make her mine.
“See to yourself. I know.” I smiled then and I enjoyed seeing her lips pinch with a hint of displeasure. Yes, she needed a little bit of rattling and I was going to enjoy watching and learning every one of her expressions as I did it. If rattling meant making my hotel bed shake while I fucked that prim attitude right out of her, that was fine with me. I grimaced, my pants now a little snug. I had to assume the prim miss might not be quite so accommodating about my wayward thoughts. I would not act on any of these ponderings without my ring on her finger, so I had work to do.