Authors: Leigh Curtis
Ride A Cowboy
Ride A Cowboy is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are all created by the author and bear no connection or resemblance to actual events, persons, living or dead.
Copyright 2007 Pamela Labud
All rights reserved
As always, this book is dedicated to the one true hero in my life, my husband Bill. Love you, honey!
I’d also like to acknowledge the following people for their help, wisdom, and friendship. I am so blessed to have them in my life!
And many thanks all the great authors who have inspired me along the way.
Avery, Texas, 1881
Madame Lily’s Pleasure Ranch
Come on over, Cowboy. Let’s see if your dick is as big as your ego.” Lily Barnett had written her response on lavender scented paper.
Wade MacReynolds narrowed his eyes at the tall, elegant female script that was scrawled across the page. Feigning anger, he crumpled up the parchment and stuffed it back into his leather vest pocket.
Minutes from riding onto her property and showing her just how well endowed he was, Wade reined in his mount. The animal neighed in annoyance but did as he was bid. The wind stirred around them, and a wolf howling in the distance echoed the unrest that stirred in his chest.
It wasn’t exactly fear that kept Wade from meeting with her. Any man would be quick to satisfy the itch in his drawers with a fine‐looking woman like Lily. Nearly as tall as a man, red haired with skin as pure as cream, she was every man’s fantasy. And it wasn’t worry for his own performance in the sack that bothered him, either. Wade had always enjoyed a healthy sex life. Well, up to a couple of years earlier when his life had gone to shit, that was.
No, he was pretty sure performance anxiety wasn’t holding him back. It was Lily herself. To his way of thinking, she must have a set of stones on her to say stuff like that to a man on the open range. Still, he had to admit that deep down, a part of him admired the whorehouse madam. She had taken a run down rotting pile of wood and stone and turned it into a thriving business.
What that woman needs is a man to settle her stew,” Wade’s chief cook and house man, Gus, had said that morning before Wade left his ranch house to do his morning chores.
Rumor had it that Lily loved the smell of leather, especially when applied to the wrists and ankles of a randy cowboy being taught a delicate lesson of manners in her infamous ‘Parlor of Passion and Pain.’ It was also common knowledge that she often enjoyed the scent of male sweat and the sound of a well‐placed riding crop smacked against a bound man’s more sensitive parts.
Wade adjusted his seat on the gelding to relieve an all too familiar ache in his britches. It had been a long, dry stretch for Wade, sex wise. To be honest, if it had been any other woman, he’d have jumped on her like a stallion on a mare. But this was Lily Barnett, and men said she could shrivel a man’s private parts like a grape left too long in the sun with a single glance.
So, here he sat, facing her property and trying to figure out how he was going to convince her to give him what he wanted and still keep his dignity not to mention his balls‐‐intact. Well, balls he had plenty of; he had precious little dignity left of these days.
And though he didn’t really know Lily, he knew her kind. She would take what she wanted and to hell with the consequences. Still, Wade had no choice. He’d have to serve himself up on a silver platter and hope there was enough left over to put his life back together when she’d had her due.
Wade grimaced. Sitting there and staring wasn’t going to get this over with any sooner. He gave his horse a nudge to move forward, cursing his own wretched luck and the voluptuous Lily Barnett for making this so damn hard.
As he made his way down the path that led to the main house, Wade tried to put down the thoughts of a night alone with willful whorehouse madam. It was just sex, after all. A contract between two parties for services rendered. Wade ground his jaw. It was damned irritating. Not that he thought anything bad about exchanging sex for what he wanted. But he feared it wasn’t just sex that Lily wanted from him.
Sure, he wasn’t in this for the romance, either. He only wanted one thing from her and that was it. No rough sex, no tie‐me‐up‐and‐tease‐me‐all‐night‐long romps, and definitely none of those leather straps rumored to be hanging by her bedposts. He just needed her to sign off on some water rights so he could access the creek that ran through her land and divert it to his property and the six hundred head of thirsty cattle he owned.
Like any good cattleman, he’d made his offer. Five hundred dollars and the pick of his herds for her own use. She’d written back that it sounded like a fair deal, except she always sealed all of her business transactions one way. She’d said if a man wasn’t any good in the bedroom, he wouldn’t be any good at business. Damn hard‐hearted bitch, he thought, although without as much malice as he should have had.
Truth was, Lily was a curiosity around these parts. He figured a lot of the stories about her probably weren’t true. Half of the ‘upstanding’ citizens of Austen County hated her; the other half lusted after her like male dogs after a bitch in heat. Those who found their way into her charms quickly learned what a double‐edged sword her affections could be. She gave a whole new meaning to ‘leather and lace,’ if the marks she’d left on a few of her personal favorites were any indication.
Wade reined his horse in. No need in putting off the inevitable. He’d have to give in to her demands if his ranch was going to make it through the winter. Taking a deep breath, he noted a change in the air. A storm was coming. Minutes later, a light drizzle started, and in the distance dark clouds gathered.
With the storm, the rain barrels might go up a few inches, but it likely wouldn’t last. Although he dreaded giving in to the demands of any woman, yielding to the owner of the Pleasure Ranch was inconceivable. She was a woman who knew how to wield power over a man. And Wade had long ago vowed that no one would ever control him—in any way, ever. But it was either get the water or lose everything he’d worked six years to build up. If he didn’t keep his cattle alive to get them to market next spring, then he’d default on his loans and his ranch would go to the bank. If he lost his ranch, then there was no chance to pay the remainder of his restitution and he’d go back to prison.
So there was nothing left to do but give into the damn woman’s demands. He ground his jaw so hard his teeth ached. Unfortunately, whenever he thought of sex with Lily, there was a part of his anatomy that got very excited, if his cock pushing hard against his denims was any indication. Damn, just thinking of fucking her made his balls ache.
To a self‐ made man like Wade, any time a man was in conflict with his balls, it was just plain unacceptable.
The wind started to pick up as he rode closer to her property, and now the rain pelted him like a thousand tiny needles prickling his skin. Shit, he thought. Could this night get any worse?
Take that, you no good son of a bitch!” Lily shouted as the last strap struck against the white flesh of the cowboy’s hairy ass. “Touch one of my girls again, and I’ll cut your balls off and feed them to the coyotes.”
Lily threw the horsewhip down and stormed from the barn. The bastard had cut up her youngest girl, Sadie O’Malley, her wounds so bad, she’d probably never recover. Forget that she would never be a working girl again. What man would ever want a woman so disfigured?
Take it easy,
, you’re going to hurt yourself,” Marie Ambrose said behind her. The older woman had spent her youth catering to the needs and wants of men, but now she labored only for the women of the Pleasure Ranch. Her prime concern was its madam, of course. If anything happened to Lily, all the staff knew that they’d starve.
I’m okay, Marie. You’ve no need to tatter over me.”
Perhaps, but you’ve been pushing yourself too hard. You’ve not slept more than a few hours a night for days. You’ve hardly eaten. With this upset, you’ll be falling down before long, mark my words.”
Lily reached the house and opened the door for them both. A light rain had started, and that meant the cattlemen coming in late from their chores would be in no good mood. They’d be hungry and abusive if the past was any measure. God, how she hated this life.
Have we got enough beer and jerky for the night? What about the whisky? God, tell me the delivery wagon’s been here.”
We’ve enough supplies until the end of the month. Not to worry.”
Marie followed Lily down the long hall to her study. Once inside, Lily went right for her polished mahogany liqueur cabinet. Pulling out her best bourbon and two glasses, she set them on the service table. “Here, one for each of us. God knows we’ve earned them.
Marie took the glass and hesitated. Although she had gone completely white‐headed, the French immigrant didn’t carry a single wrinkle on her skin nor did her pert figure look any softer than those of any of the girls upstairs. She could still be kindling the hearts and loins of men if she chose to, Lily thought. But according to Marie, her time ‘beating the hay’–as she called it–was past. She was happy running Lily’s household, for the time being, and Lily was glad of it.
Drink up, Marie. One glass won’t hurt you.”
, it’s the five that come after we have to be careful of.”
Lily nodded. They’d both seen too many times the effect of alcohol and rough life on women of their occupation. Neither of them would allow that to happen. They bathed regularly, used fine soaps and oils for their skin, and except for entertaining their clients, both of them denied the harsher habits of a life borne of excess.
You certainly took a measure of that cowboy’s hide,” Marie said after a moment.
Not near as much as I should have. Poor Sadie. When she’s healed, we’d best set her up for a job as a domestic, though I don’t know how we’ll be able to afford to pay another housekeeper.”
Not to worry,
, she can have my portion for a while. I’ve got enough in my savings for now.”
I won’t hear of it. You deserve to get paid as much as anybody. I’ll sell some more of my jewelry to make up the difference. I’ll also send an accounting to Clayton Drake, that lowlife’s employer. He’ll have to settle the bastard’s debts.
Be careful. We have enough enemies as it is, Lily.”
Lily took a deep swallow of the burning liquid. God, how she hated men. Loud and bawdy, hard‐hearted and cruel, every one.
Well, almost every one, anyway. The truth was, a woman in her line of work didn’t get much of a chance at the other kind of man. The ones that married one woman and stayed true to her forever. She’d seen damn near every man in the county sneak over to the Ranch at one time or another. The ones who didn’t either couldn’t walk or couldn’t screw.
Lily didn’t hold it against the women who managed to land a husband and hold him, though. She felt a peculiar sympathy for all of her gender. Why, even the married ones didn’t get a fair shake. They’d spend their whole existence serving their men, raising children, and currying favors in the bedroom for room and board and decent treatment. At least Lily got paid for her efforts. Paid well.
It’s not fair, Marie. Men have every goddamned thing in this life.”
” Marie sipped her bourbon. “Oh, there is a gentleman in your parlor. Says his name is MacReynolds. Something about a water rights contract, I think.”
Lily drained her glass. She remembered his letter. “Wants me to give him permission to divert my creek to his land. Seems his water supply has dried up. Too bad for him I’m not in a charitable mood right now.”