Authors: Judith Lee
Cowboy Save Me
Tiller Brothers Book 1
Published by Judith Lee, 2015
Kindle Direct Publishing
This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people are entirely coincidental. The real rodeo dates have been changed for the fictional story line and the fictional story characters did not really compete. Events in the rodeo scenes were fictional as well as order of events, and type of awards.
Cowboy Save me
First edition, May 2015
Copyright © 2015 Judith Lee
Written by Judith Lee
Cover Photo by CanStock Photo
Before you Begin:
Warning: Due to frequent strong language and detailed scenes of a sexual nature, this book is intended for mature (21+) readers only.
If these things offend you, then this book is not for you.
However, if you like books with a strong love connection, consensual sex between a hot rodeo star and his soul mate, brothers and a family who will stand behind their brother’s choices, an obsessed ex, and suspense that will keep you turning the pages, read on…
The bronc known as Diablo was living up to its name. The horse was in the air, bucking and grinding, more than it touched the ground. Cody, the bucking bronc contestant, was riding in the zone, sliding and shifting by instinct enhanced by his dozen years of competing. This bronco implored more from its rider than years of experience. Strength and grace, movement in sync with the beast, was required. There was no second guessing which way the horse would buck, roll, or fly into the air. It had only been ridden twice successfully this year and once last year by this rider at the National Finals Rodeo.
Finally the buzzer signaled the end of the ride, which was a good thing as Cody was on the verge of being thrown off Diablo, this year’s number one bronc horse. The support rider near Cody grabbed his shoulder, and he slid down the horse’s rump to safety and the cheers of the hometown fans.
Cody spun around to look at the score board already feeling that this had been a good ride on a killer horse. He anxiously waited to see if he was right. This one meant almost as much as the win at last year’s Finals, even though this was only a small town, mid-size rodeo. This one was for his family and all the local friends who had supported him over the years. And it was possible this was Cody’s last ride, although no one knew this yet.
“9.2” flashed beside his name at the top of the bronc riding scoreboard.
Hot damn! That’s for you dad.
Cody threw his Stetson up in the air and caught it to the screaming cheers of the crowd. He turned quickly to look for the one face that meant so much to him, and saw his father sitting on the fence. They exchanged smiles, both bursting with respect but tinged with an edge of sadness.
The men could almost be brothers they looked so much alike. The father, Josh Tiller, was just as broad and brawny as the son, not from pumping weights but from grueling work on the ranch. They were tan, chiseled and stood well over six feet tall. They wore rodeo leather leg chaps, strong working gloves, and worn boots with spurs. Josh had more smile wrinkle lines than his son and a touch of silver gray at his temples but the rest of his hair was as black as Cody’s. Both men had blue eyes, and killer smiles boasting white teeth, which added to the sex appeal that oozed from these real life cowboys.
His sister Jenny popped up next to his dad and waved him over. Cody trotted over and climbed the fence, first hugging his father, and then rubbing his sister’s curly hair.
“Quit that Cody, I’m not a kid anymore. And come on. We only have about five minutes to get to grandma’s award ceremony. Don’t worry... I’ll get you back for your buckle presentation. There are still a few riders to go before they finish.”
Cody told his dad he would try to get back in time to see him compete in the steer roping contest with Cody’s brother Cameron which would take place in the next arena. He knew this would definitely be his dad’s last ride.
His dad shrugged. “No problem, we need to support grandma. She has worked on that quilt for two years. And your mom’s with Matt at the steer ring.” He shook his son’s hand again and patted him on the back. They both knew Cody’s score would be good enough to win. Cody handed his Rough Rider safety vest and his gloves to his dad and asked him to put it in his gear bag.
He started to remove the leg chaps, but Jenny said, “Leave them, they will drive the women crazy. You look good in them.”
She grabbed his hand, pulling him toward a waiting ATV driven by one of the rodeo staff.
“How’d we get the special ride?”
“I didn’t know if we’d get there in time and Mrs. Snodgrass wants you to present the final two awards, being the hometown hero and all.” She smiled up at him, and he knew his little sister saw him as just her big brother, not someone famous. She just liked to tease him.
“You didn’t tell me I was going to be doing that.” He smiled as his sister.
Cody would have done anything for her or anyone in his family. He and Jenny were close and as the oldest at 28 years, he was fiercely protective of his only younger sister. She was 22. His youngest brother, Matt was 18 and showing his steer; Cameron, 24, was working with the bulls his ranch had provided for this rodeo and would be joining his dad in the steer roping arena; Dakota, 26, would go watch his brother and father compete before the evening events where he was scheduled to ride first up in the bull riding event.
He had been blessed with a loving family. His mom and dad were third generation Wyoming ranchers. They loved their kids, the ranch and lived the western style life to the hilt. They all worked, and participated in things together as a family and they respected each other.
It was going to be a full day. Cody was also scheduled in the bareback ride that evening. He wasn’t a ranked bareback rider like he was in the saddle bronc category. In bareback he had a tendency to ‘mark out’ before the ride even started which would result in no score. It frustrated him but whenever the schedule allowed he would compete in both competitions.
Damn this is going to be a busy day.
He removed his hat and ran his fingers through his shaggy black hair. He needed a haircut but with his traveling he hadn’t gotten around to it.
They entered the quilt awards ceremony just as it came time to present the final two awards. Mrs. Snodgrass looked up and saw them enter. She was the rodeo’s quilting director and a longtime friend of the family. She tended to be kind of bossy, but still the family all liked her.
“Well it’s about time Cody Tiller showed up. Cody get yourself up here and help me present the last two awards. If you folks don’t know, this is the reigning NRF Bronc Rider champion. And he was born and raised right here, in good ole’ Gillette, Wyoming. I’ve asked him to present the last two rosette ribbons.”
He jumped up on the stage, bypassing the stairs, to the cheers of the ladies waiting to hear who would be awarded the best hand-quilted quilt, and the Best of Show Grand Champion Winner.
“Without further ado, may I present the Best Hand-Quilter, who also received the Reserve Grand Champion award, to Katherine Tiller, with her quilt ‘Eternity’.”
Cody’s smile lit up the room and he jumped down off the stage to help his grandmother walk up the stairs to receive her award. He and his sister hugged her and he kissed her cheek before he took the purple rosette and handed it to his grandmother.
She had tears in her eyes and smiled at her grandson and granddaughter who were cheering and whistling louder than anyone in the center.
After it quieted down, Mrs. Snodgrass said, “Next I’m proud to present the award for Best of Show to a newcomer to our quilt guild, and she honors us with her creative art work. This award goes to Tammy Anderson for her ‘Sunshine and Roses’ quilt.” She pulled down the sheet uncovering the winning quilt, revealing a beautiful appliqued quilt.
Mrs. Snodgrass handed the rosette to Cody.
Cody turned around to see who had won the award. Coming up the stairs was a young woman with long red curly hair, probably in her mid-twenties, he thought. She had on a straight pencil skirt with fringe at the bottom, cowgirl boots with heels, and a green silk camisole top with a short fringe jacket.
Holly shit. She is good looking.
He felt his loins tighten as she got closer and he noticed freckles across her nose. Crap, he was sinking fast; he loved a woman with freckles. They had always turned him on and he had gone through his share of red heads with freckles. Although, he would say Tammy’s hair was not really red, but the color of copper with sunny blond highlights. And those curls, he wanted to reach out and touch one of them.
He stood there holding the rosette while his eyes ran up and down her more than generously curved body. He couldn’t help but check out her left hand to see if she wore a ring. She was ring less.
! It was a wonder he wasn’t drooling. Mrs. Snodgrass gave him a gentle push, indicating it was time to hand her the ribbon, which he leaned forward to do.
As he handed her the ribbon, Tammy whispered with a gentle laugh so only Cody could hear, “What, I don’t get the same treatment you gave your grandmother?”
A saucy smart-mouth.
He smiled his brilliant come-n-get-me smile. He liked a woman with spunk even better. Not some quiet little church mouse.
He raised his eyebrows before he leaned down into her space, removed his Stetson, and put his arms around her to give her a hug. She smelled of gardenia and he felt her silk covered breasts brush the front of his chest. His lips grazed her ears, “Darlin’, that’s a beautiful quilt.” He heard her take a quick breath as he nuzzled her ear.
He slowly pulled away from her ear with his lips a breath away from her face and gently kissed her cheek with his full soft lips, hesitating longer than appropriate. The room could have been empty at that moment as he gazed deep into her green eyes staring intensely back up at him.
Geez, talk about sizzling chemistry
“Congratulations,” he whispered in a husky low sexy voice.
Mrs. Snodgrass, pulled him back, and the sounds returned to the room, as the crowd hollered and hooted with roaring applause for both the quilter and the unexpected actions of their hero. He walked down the stairs to allow her to receive the full attention of the quilters and their families, and stood next to his grandmother and sister.
As he watched her receive accolades from the other quilters, he found it hard to breathe when she turned and looked directly at him, with a brilliant smile and a challenging twinkle in her eyes before she looked back at her friends who were gathered around the quilt.
He gave his grandmother another kiss and turned to head out the door. He stopped and backtracked to his sister. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out an extra ticket he had for the night’s rodeo events and handed it to his sister.
“Hey sis, would you give this to Tammy, and tell her I’d like her to come… and tell her where the families and friends get to sit for the rodeo tonight?”
“Cody, you know she is too good for you, not one of those buckle bunnies that keep you company every night,” she laughed, but took the ticket.
“Come on sis, I’m just inviting her to the show, not to marry her for gripes sake.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of, but I’ll do it on one condition.”
She smiled up at her brother, “Will you introduce me to that new bull rider, Jared Stevens, after the event?”
“No way in hell am I letting you get involved with a bull rider rodeo star. You are not becoming one of his buckle bunnies,” he growled at her.
She handed him back the ticket, “Okay, just asking.” She turned her back on him.
He stood there glaring at his sister’s back. He could wring her neck for wanting to meet Jared. He was a worse womanizer than he and his brothers were. Last month, Cody had walked into the corral late at night where a naked full-breasted woman was giving Jared a blow job to the hoots of a few other riders. Oh Cody knew how to get a woman off and he loved what they did to him as well, but he did it with respect and in the privacy of his room. The thought that it could have been his sister on her knees in front of a bunch of cowboys made his fists tighten and his knuckles turn white.
Hell and damnation!
But he knew his sister had better sense than to throw herself at Jared. She just wanted to meet him, right? Maybe just get his autograph, right?
Cody tapped her on the shoulder. “Okay, on one condition. No making out with him or getting drunk with him, or any other buckle bunny type behavior. You got that?”
“That’s three conditions, but I promise.” She threw her arms around her brother, and grabbed the ticket before he could change his mind and took off up the stairs to get a closer look at the quilt and the woman who had caught her brother’s attention.
As Cody walked out he wondered what was wrong with him. He usually let the woman come to him, and most even threw their bodies at him. He had been through more women than he could count. He was too busy traveling the rodeo circuit to get tied down, even though some of the women had thought they could settle him down. Why was he pursuing a woman he didn’t even know?
Those damn freckles
. And her breasts tantalized him and sent him back to the ATV with a hopeful smile on his face. He needed a distraction tonight and maybe she could give it to him. But thoughts of despair filled his insides as he started the ATV and he really needed to go watch his dad compete more than anything right this minute.