MARIA AND HER COWBOYS
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Maria is an independent insurance in the sleepy country town of Bear Creek. After a vicious two-year fight to get her divorce, she is finally a free woman. What she never counted on was meeting Cooper and Butch, two local cowboys who own a sizeable ranch that has a very profitable future. When the cowboys start flirting with Maria, she knows she must decide which one she likes the most. Since she has been celibate for nearly three years, she's aching to have romance in her life. But what decision will she make when the cowboys tell her she doesn't have to make a decision between them...when she can have both of them?
MARIA AND HER COWBOYS
An Erotic Modern Western Romance for YP Erotica
By [email protected]
Maria Monetti was nervous, and she felt this to be rather ridiculous, since, at thirty-six years of age and a divorcee, she was a long way away from being a quivering teenage virgin about to get together with a new boyfriend that she may, or may not, allow touch her breasts if he wanted to get fresh.
They’re just men, she thought. Simple cowboys. Get a grip on yourself.
Only it wasn’t quite as uncomplicated as that. Not with Butch and Cooper Sandstrom. They owned a sizeable cattle ranch and they bought all their insurance through Maria, an independent agent. For the past month they had been stopping by her small, tidy office in a renovated motel that had gone bankrupt and turned to office space, asking her questions that could easily have been dealt with over the telephone. They’d also seen her several times at Jimmy’s Saloon, where she sometimes stopped after work for a libation. She would like to pretend that she hadn’t truly anticipated a meeting with them, but she didn’t really like to lie to herself like that. At least she tried to pretend she didn’t, though the truth of it was in the murky ground between fact and fiction.
The conversations which had started out being strictly professional had turned into subtle flirtation over time. But the last time they were having a drink at the saloon, the flirtation was more than just mild banter—both Butch and Cooper had turned up the heat until Maria wasn’t at all certain she wouldn’t simply burst into flames right there sitting at a booth in the bar. And they hadn’t even kissed.
It didn’t help that the Norwegian-American brothers were drop-dead gorgeous. And the fact that it had taken two long years for Maria to finally get her divorce hadn’t helped matters any, either. Since her ex was a total jerk and would do anything to torture Maria more than he already had, Maria had remained celibate during the entire two-year legal process. And it damned near drove her to the brink of insanity because Maria was passionate by nature.
They’re coming here to talk about life insurance policies for the cowboys who work for them. Nothing more than that. Stop worrying so damn much.
But worrying was one of the things that Maria practically had a master’s degree in. In fact, she did it so well it was nearly an art form. On occasion, she thought of trying to get a patent for it. People who sold insurance thought of things like that.
From her purse she extracted a compact and checked her makeup in the small, round mirror. She decided that a touch-up on the lipstick was in order, and promptly took care of that. She always put on eyelashes first thing in the morning, so they were fine, but she decided that maybe her cheekbones could use a little more magic. She applied the required beauty aid with an artist’s touch.
She thought about it for several seconds before she added a touch more perfume behind both ears. She didn’t want to overdo it—she believed that nothing was worse than a woman who bathed herself in perfume—but she wanted the men to notice that she was someone who had a feminine fragrance to her. Things like that were always important. Overlooked, but critical just the same.
It’s ridiculous that I’m this nervous.
Alone in her office, she smiled to herself. It had been a long time since she had done anything to please a man.
So, which of the brothers is most appealing?
That was the sixty-three-thousand-dollar question, the one that Maria knew she had to have an answer for, and the one that she had avoided asking herself for nearly a month now.
Butch and Cooper were both Alpha males—in the extreme. They were the kind of men who had never taken a backward step for anyone, and never would. Maria had met men like that only a few times in her life, but she’d never gotten to know them as well as she wanted to, for one reason or another.
She wondered how long it had been since a man had caressed her.
It was not a question Maria liked to ask herself, mostly because the answer without fail embarrassed her.
She thought of pouring herself yet another cup of coffee, then remembered that her doctor had warned her about high blood pressure, and the need to treat herself “more compassionately.” Her doctor wasn’t her friend, but he did know his business.
The knock on her office door made Maria flinch. She looked at her wristwatch—it was gold-plated, and a gift to herself for living through a divorce process that would have caused lesser mortals to turn to drugs, alcohol, or bizarre cult beliefs.
Maria smiled, the wristwatch reminding her that she was stronger than she sometimes suspected she was, and called out, “Come in. The door’s unlocked.”
She had remembered that the Sandstrom brothers were handsome, but seeing them for the first time that day, in their boots and jeans and cowboy hats, and those red neckerchiefs that made them look right out of an Old West movie, made her suddenly wonder whether she hadn’t given them enough credit for being truly and righteously panty-wetting drop-dead gorgeous. They were both tall, broad-shouldered, lean-hipped, blond haired and blue eyed. With the right clothes, they would look perfectly natural on a Viking ship.
“Hello,” Butch said, smiling broadly, an d showing the dimples in his cheeks that were erotic enough to make scores of women lose their panties, and be thrilled with their loss.
It wasn’t an exaggeration for Maria to think that way. She had heard the rumours about the sex lives of the Sandstrom brothers.
Cooper walked in behind his older brother, and said with a handsome smile, “Hello, Maria. It’s good to see you again.”
Maria rose to her feet—or rather her stilettos, since at an even five feet in height, she nearly always wore five-inch heels, and considered any shoe with a three-inch heel or less to be a flat—and walked around her desk, her hand extended, her smile genuine.
Butch looked at her hand, then slipped his own hand around the back of Maria’s neck, beneath the fall of her ebony hair, bent low from his six-foot-four height, and kissed her lightly on the cheek, very near her right ear. She could hear his breathing when he kissed her.
It wasn’t a terribly intimate kiss. It was quick and casual, the kind of kiss big, strong men like Butch give to their sisters or cousins.
But it was the first time that Maria had felt his lips touch her, and the electricity that had shot through her body was high-voltage and profoundly evocative. Her heartrate instantly accelerated. And though she didn’t want to, she wondered what pleasures she would experience if she allowed his lips to caress her body elsewhere.
Don’t start thinking that way. Nothing good can come of thoughts like that.
Cooper kissed her cheek. When he had started to bend down toward her, Maria knew this time what was coming, so she wasn’t quite so surprised. The kiss was brief.
Still feeling rather disoriented, Maria made a waving motion toward the two bentwood chairs that faced her desk, and said, “Please, have a seat. I have all the paperwork ready for your signatures.”
That’s better. Be professional. Stick to the facts and what must be done.
She sat in her chair, and as she looked at the legal documents that she had helped prepare, she felt her confidence returning. The gorgeous Sandstrom brothers had rattled her for a moment, but not for longer than a few seconds, she told herself. She was once again a top-flight insurance agent who knew how to protect her clients, no matter what insurrection was broiling. She knew how to protect her clients. She was back to playing a game that she played so very well.
* * * *
There’s no reason in the world she should be selling insurance in a barely existing, nowhere city like Bear Creek. She could make a fortune in a big city.
Butch was no stranger to feminine charms, but when he had opened the door to Maria’s office and she stood up, every masculine instinct in him went from slumbering to high alert in an instant.
She was simply dressed, looking every bit the professional in a simple white blouse, with snug black slacks that defined her hips. She walked around the desk to greet him. She was wearing heels that made her significantly taller than she would otherwise appear.
“Hello,” he said to her, and wondered whether he heard the sexual tension in the single word that he spoke. She simply touched every nerve in him that was responsive to eroticism.
Her hair was raven black and pulled back in a ponytail that was held with a white ribbon at the back of the crown of her head. Her eyes were the colour of onyx jewels that were moist and glittering. She had an hour-glass figure with extravagant breasts, a narrow waist, and well-rounded hips.
“Hello,” she replied. Her smile was warm and inviting. “I’m so glad you could make it.”
“We always show up, and on time,” Butch said. He made it sound like it was a point of honour with him—which, in fact, it was. “Got all the papers set for us?”
“You’ve already read them, but maybe you should read them one more time before you put your signatures on the line.”
“No need for that,” Cooper said. “We only made a few insignificant changes to the last draft.” He grinned. “Besides, I’m hungry, and we did promise to take you out for lunch once we got the papers signed all right and proper.”
“That’s a kind offer, but you needn’t put yourself out.”
Butch said with quiet authority, “We insist.” Then, to soften what was very nearly a command, he said, “Our ranch’s word of honour, and that sort of thing. Old fashioned, but we’ve got to follow through on our promises.”
“Ranch honour? I like the sound of that.”
“Then show us where to sign, and the three of us will head off to the Jimmy’s Saloon and Grille. Seems like hot steaks and cold whiskeys are in order.”
Maria walked around her desk and picked up a manila folder. She placed two separate, multi-page documents on her desk, bending at the waist to present them to Butch and Cooper. In doing so, she gave both men a mouth-watering, cock-hardening view of lusciously mounding cleavage that was made all the more erotic because its display was seemingly unintentional.
Unbelievable. She’s amazing. In a thousand different ways, she’s damned amazing.
“You sign here,” Maria said, putting the tip of her forefinger on one of the documents, “and then here.”
He noted that her fingernails were quite long and immaculately filed and polished. He suspected they were acrylic. The polish on them was a sparkly metal flake red.
Butch signed where he was supposed to. When Cooper took his turn at signing, it gave Butch the chance to enjoy the sight of voluptuous, virtually flawless breasts, lovingly held in a white balconette bra, trimmed in floral pattern lace. Butch had a “thing” for women in pretty lingerie.
Breasts that beautiful deserve nothing less than the best. If she were my lady, at home she’d wear nothing more than a bra and panties. He smiled, his gaze lingering on Maria. Or maybe some nice lingerie, like a baby doll, or something like that. Nothing trashy. Nothing slutty. Sexy, but classy.
When the documents were all signed, and the hired hands of the Flying S Ranch were guaranteed life insurance policies, Maria immediately photocopied them, then gave the photocopies to Butch, and prepared to send off the originals to office headquarters in Fargo.
“Well now, doesn’t it feel good to have that business behind us?” She smiled. “You know, maybe after all we should go out for lunch.”
“Yes, but not just yet,” Butch said in a low baritone.
* * * *
Maria heard the sexual undercurrent in Butch’s tone, and her heart seemed to do a summersault in her chest. She hadn’t seen Butch looking down her blouse when she had presented the contracts, but she could sense it with feminine instincts. And it hadn’t been an accident. She knew exactly what she was doing, as women always do whenever they want to be looked at, but don’t want to admit it. A month of flirting with the Sandstrom brothers had made her bold. Or at least impatient with their gentlemanly country-folk ways.
She pretended she was unaware of the rapidly escalating sexual tension as she walked around the desk toward them. She felt the sudden urge to run, to flee, even though the Sandstrom brothers were the anthesis of a physical threat to her. They were men who would protect her from harm, even if it meant putting their own lives in jeopardy.
As she rounded her desk, Butch moved a half-step to his right, blocking Maria’s path to the door. And instant after he did that, Cooper moved to his side. The two presented themselves as a thickly muscled wall of masculinity, barring Maria from escaping. She stopped instantly.
She looked up into Butch’s handsome face. Standing so close to him, even in her five-inch stilettos, she felt herself to be small—but oddly, with these men, this didn’t make her feel diminished in any way. They seemed very large and powerful, but this strength did not make her feel weak or by comparison diminutive.
“When people come to an agreement, they generally shake hands,” Butch said, and Maria felt a ripple of desire go through her entire body. “But where you’re concerned, that just doesn’t seem the right and proper thing to do.”
Another shiver went up Maria’s spine. She said softly, “Oh?” She thought it the most naïve, silly thing she could have possibly said.
“I’m thinking the phrase ‘sealed with a kiss’ is a lot more appropriate.”
Maria uttered a soft sob at the words that echoed in her ears.
Butch raised his right hand, intent on sliding it around the back of Maria’s neck. She moved quickly to raise her hand, blocking him—but this was effective for no more than a second. In a move that took only the blink of an eye, Butch wrapped the fingers of his right hand around Maria’s slender wrist and pulled it to the side.
An instant after that happened, Maria felt Cooper’s hand wrap around her left wrist, and pull her arm straight out to the side. They acted as though their moves were choreographed.
“Oh…” Maria said softly, unable to look anywhere but up into Butch’s ice blue eyes. They were seductive, and she though she should look away, but she couldn’t. “Oh, no…”
With his left hand, Butch eased his fingers around the back of Maria’s neck, beneath her ponytail. Then, very slowly, very deliberately, he bent down from his six-foot-four height.
Maria felt that the right thing to do would be to scream. If not actually scream, then at least make some show of protest.
But as Butch’s lips drew nearer to her own, all she managed was a soft, ambiguous, “Oh…”
She closed her eyes a split second before Butch’s lips touched her own. She was surprised—with Butch being such a hulkish man that he was—that he kissed her mouth with astonishing gentleness. It was almost a butterfly kiss, very nearly tentative, as though he was testing the waters of her libido to find out just how far, how ardent in his passions, he could be. She was being questioned, and she knew it. And she liked it because it meant he was concerned about her desires.
Second passed. He kissed toward the right side of her mouth, then made his way leisurely to the left side. These were almost casual kisses. It was a kind of kiss that Maria had never before experienced.
And then he did something completely unexpected, and when he did it, sensual nerve endings in Maria were suddenly awakened, and she knew that they wouldn’t go back to sleep any time soon, no matter how much she wanted them to.
Butch kissed her nose, then kissed both of her closed eyelids. The kisses were infinitely gentle, delivered with an artisan’s sense of both strength and delicacy. These were kisses meant to elicit pleasure rather than demand it.
Maria had never felt any kiss affect her so powerfully. Butch could have kissed her intimately anywhere on her body and not have had the same effect he had when he kissed her eyelids.
These things don’t happen to me.
It was an annoying, discordant thought, and she tried with effort to push it out of her consciousness and never think of it again.
The men, still holding her wrists, held her arms apart. Maria made a small effort to free herself, but the glaring reality that couldn’t be denied was that the muscular Sandstrom brothers were holding her captive, and they would continue to hold her until they decided to set her free.
Until that time, she was their hostage.
And the implications of being held hostage made Maria’s pussy clench and become suddenly very moist, and astonishingly sensitive.
Butch kissed his way slowly down to Maria’s mouth again. But this time, when he kissed her directly, there was more firmness in the kiss, and the hand at the back of her neck kept her from pulling away. When the tip of Butch’s tongue touched her lips, seeking entrance into her mouth to deepen the intimacy, Maria initially resisted, but scant seconds later let the kiss become more passionate when she opened her mouth.
My God this man knows how to kiss.
It was an epiphany, but not one that she was particularly happy about. She always liked to feel that she was in control of her own life, but the longer she kissed Butch while he and his brother held her captive in her own office, she realized that while she may be in charge of her own life, it was the Sandstrom brothers that were controlling her libido.
They may not have taken her heart captive, but they certainly had taken complete, dominating control of her body. Especially her sex organs, which were all on high alert—and wildly alive and ready for anything!
Butch’s tongue danced with Maria’s, gliding, moving, probing. And when it retreated entirely, Maria shocked herself by putting her tongue in Butch’s mouth, initiating the deeper intimacy—even though she was still trying very hard to pretend that this kissing while in pseudo-bondage with two cowboys wasn’t really any of her doing. It was self-deception she did not believe. Not even a little.
Butch ended the kiss, and Maria leaned forward slightly. She did not want the kissing to end. She was a long, long way from the finish line where she would want Butch’s kisses to stop.
Then he started kissing first her cheek, very briefly, but then he moved down to her throat, his lips warm and moist and endlessly evocative.
Oh, God, not my neck.
Maria was quite certain that her throat was even more sensitive than her clit. She knew in her heart that it wasn’t really that way, but what logic and reason told her was adamantly refuted by a libido that simply liked what it liked and didn’t give a damn what Maria thought or said.
I’m a strong woman. I know what my limits are.
Then Butch bared his teeth, and instead of kissing and licking Maria’s throat lightly and leisurely, he began biting her softly, teasingly, using just his incisors, hinting at pain but never quite reaching that disconcerting threshold, where what was implied became a unpleasant fact. Butch, it seemed, knew exactly how far to go…without going too far.
He knows how to go to the edge of the envelope but not cross it. The reality of this made Maria shiver in her five-inch heels. That makes him more dangerous than any man I’ve ever known. Ever. Maria suspected he was a master of his trade craft.
She heard a soft, feminine voice say, “Oh, Butch…that’s so…”
It took several seconds for Maria to understand that she had just heard her own voice. She hadn’t intended on speaking aloud. Gentle kisses to her neck made things like that happen.
She felt hands on her body, and the sudden awareness that she was being touched by two different men at the same time sent a jarring awareness through her psyche.
I’m so wet.
The reality that her pussy was hungry for stimulation, that her clit needed attention and couldn’t be ignored, was an awareness that exploded in her brain like a bomb.
I don’t do things like this.
The thought died in the ether of sexual purgatory. She felt a strong hand on her bottom, cupping one cheek of her ass through her slacks. The touch was firm, confident, distinctly masculine. Even more precisely, it was distinctly Alpha male. She just didn’t know which brother’s hand it was, and the not-knowing made it that much more erotic. She was in new territory sexually…and that was exciting.
She felt another hand on her left breast, touching her through her blouse and balconette bra, tantalizing a nipple that hadn’t been caressed by anyone but its owner in more than months, in years. She could feel the lips of her pussy swelling, becoming more moist, getting ready for the penetration from powerful men that her body most definitely wanted, even if her better judgment was screaming quite the opposite advice.
“I don’t do things like this.”
This time Maria actually heard herself say the words aloud. She considered it, under the circumstances, a not insignificant achievement. When she heard her own words, there was so little conviction in her tone….
“We know,” Butch said. His was voice was, deep-toned, and terribly seductive. She wondered if he could induce a climax just by talking to her. It was possible. “But not having done something isn’t the same as not wanting to do something…now is it?”
The breath caught in Maria’s throat at the truth of Butch’s words. She wanted to refute them, but to do that would be to lie, and though she accepted the fact that she had lied to people, generally to spare someone from getting hurt, she didn’t want to lie to herself. Not knowingly. That was the worst kind of untruth, the one that did the most damage to the person who told the lie, and who the deception was about.
A sob caught in Maria’s throat, and then she said, soft as a whisper, “No…no, it’s not.”
Firm fingers closed around the nipple of her right breast, and then squeezed. Maria was suddenly quite afraid that her knees would collapse beneath her, and that she would fall to the floor, helpless against the sexual excess that Butch and Cooper seemed effortless capable of inspiring.
And then something happened that Maria had never even fantasized about. Dominating masculine lips captured her mouth, while another man kissed her throat.
This is too much. I’ve got to stop this now.
She felt the sensory overload, the runaway freight train of emotions that she was certain would only eventually end in a wreck of epic proportions.
When her head turned to the side, she moved her tongue, dancing it with Butch’s. While she did this, his brother nipped lightly at her throat, his teeth profoundly evocative, teasing at pain, tempting her to leap head-long into the world of submission.
She turned her face sharply to the right, and said, “Wait. Wait. I’ve got to think.” It was one of the most honest things she had ever said to men in her life.
“No,” Butch said, softly but with dictatorial authority, “you don’t have to think…all you have to do is feel.”
This is madness.
The thought went through Maria’s brain, and though she knew in her rational self that it was entirely the right attitude to take, she resisted it.
I’m tired of being the polite divorcee Bear Creek says I’m supposed to be.
The thought, when it finally registered in her consciousness, hit Maria like a sledgehammer to the forehead. The truth of it, simply and honestly and utterly without artifice, shocked her with its sincerity.
With her head turned aside, she said to Cooper, “You don’t have to mean it, but kiss me like you lust for me like no other woman in your life.”’
Things started happening very quickly after that, and Maria had the vague sense that she really had very little control over what was being done. She felt the buttons of her blouse being undone, and though there was a part of her that said—and it was a mild suggestion, at best—that maybe she should put up some protest, she said nothing at all. She didn’t even make a sound of protest. Not even the slightest moue.
But when she felt strong, masculine fingers at the buckle of her belt, the warning sirens in her brain started to clang, and it certainly seemed to her that a good, righteous woman should make at least some defence of her virtue…she found herself unable to make so much as a squeak.
There wasn’t anything that was happening that wasn’t joyfully accepted…even if she wouldn’t admit it aloud.
She felt her slacks being opened, and the soft, feminine sob that she issued was one of utter, complete feminine acquiescence. She had surrendered, and even though she didn’t want to admit it, she knew that she had done exactly that…and she wondered what the future held in store for her. She felt rudderless, no longer truly in control of her own life. She was on a boat that she wasn’t the captain of, sailing in uncharted waters.
“Kiss me,” Butch said, his lips brushing hers as he said the inciteful words.
She kissed him. Or, rather, she allowed him to kiss her. It was a dominating, forceful kiss that stole her breath. One that was meant to reach her soul—which it did. It touched every .nerve in her body.
Once again Maria found herself swirling her tongue against Butch’s and just as before she could feel the juices of passion lubricating the lips of her sex, readying her for the penetration that her body was certain—or at least certainly wanted—would follow.
With some effort, Maria turned her face away to end the kiss. She breathed in deeply several times, trying to compose herself. It seemed to her, at that moment, that the men weren’t really men at all, but were devils of some sort, demonic creatures that had been put on this world to strip her of her better judgment and reasoning. Only something supernatural could so completely take away the reasonable woman she had been when she woke up that morning.
But the rational side of her mind knew that wasn’t true. Those men weren’t demons, and they weren’t monsters. What they were was frighteningly sexy men who were directing their charms toward her, and there was nothing—as in absolutely nothing—that they were doing to her that didn’t arouse every sensual nerve ending in her body.
Continuing to hold her wrist, Butch got down on his knees.
She felt her belt being unbuckled and opened. Then she felt the zipper to her slacks being tugged down slowly, and though a part of her wanted to protest, another part of her—a part much more dominant under the circumstances—made her remain silent. What was happening to her was unprecedented, scary as hell, and wildly, wickedly arousing.
She shivered as a man’s hand curled into the waistband of her slacks and pulled them down to her knees. A moment later, her panties were around her knees.
She heard Butch say, “Beautiful.” She could feel the warmth of his breath.
Maria would have said something then, but Cooper kissed her fiercely, passionately, and that made speaking words impossible. And a moment later, when Butch’s tongue was gliding between the lips of her pussy, working its magic on her clit, coherent words were completely impossible.
“Eat,” Maria said, shocked at the single word she had spoken. “Eat me.”
She had never before spoken so coarsely to a man. Not in a romantic situation. But under the circumstances, it seemed like the only rational thing to say. She understood these were unprecedented times.