Authors: Cara North
Cowboy, Take me Away
Please Do Not Pirate
Cowboy, Take me Away
Copyright© 2013 Cara North
Cover Artist: A.D. Roland
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews. Contact
It was the sporadic communication that kept her hanging on. Roy wasn’t talkative so phone calls didn’t work for them. Once she graduated and started working, she realized too late he may have been hoping she would return to see him. The brief phone calls became fewer, the text messages and e-mails stopped too.
Then one day h
e had surprised her with a picture of a path and the tagline, you’d like this trail. After that he sent occasional pictures to her phone with taglines such as, ‘thought you might like this’, and any water related things were tagged with ‘reminded me of you’.
She had done the same, sending him texts of a sheriff’s vehicle or a group of cops eating lunch.
On more than one occasion she had to explain to a police officer why she was taking that kind of picture. Eventually, she just sent pictures of funny or neat things at work instead.
In the last two months the texts had picked up, the communication increased, and then a week of nothing had her crawling out of her skin with worry. He was known for going a whole month without responding to her
in the past. After getting used to the increase in communication, it was tough to let go like that again. The dangers of his job, even in a small town, were always on her mind.
All that mattered was every single time she saw law enforcement, she thought of Roy. Every single sunrise, she thought of what it would look like in the Big Sky state. It wasn’t like Montana needed a marine biologist. It was very much like a marine biologist needed what was in Montana. At twenty-seven years old, she was about to do something ridiculous.
“I object!” she shouted as she stepped into the great hall on the Johnson Family Ranch. Everyone turned to look at her. She was out of breath. She was also stopping the wrong wedding.
“Do I know you?” Lucky asked. She closed her eyes and laughed a little. She remembered him, what woman could forget meeting that man, but he obviously didn’t remember her. Then the man she had come all this way to see stood up.
“Lexi?” Roy quirked his brow and tilted his head.
“You’re not getting married!” She was losing her mind. She was thrilled by the revelation. Then she looked at the bride ready to strangle her. The entire hall looked scandalized, and Roy didn’t look happy either.
getting married,” Lucky said.
She realized then, both men might have thought she was there to stop Lucky’s nuptials. Embarrassment pushed the relief to the side and she held her hands up as she explained, “Oh, Oh God. No. Not you, you can get married, of course. I’m so sorry. I thought…”
It seemed as though Lucky and every other man in the place was now smiling at her. Every other man in the place, but Roy. He looked mad as a wet hornet. She gulped, took a few steps backwards and said, “I’ll just…uh…go now.”
She heard the crowd shift back to face the bride and groom. The preacher, with a sigh of relief, continued. She was shaking like a leaf when she stepped out into the warm sunshine on a lovely summer day. It was midafternoon and the breeze wrapped around her like a soft blanket before slipping away again. She took several deep breaths and then started to walk towards her car. She had packed everything she owned into it. She wasn’t exactly sure what to do next.
She heard the sound of a man’s voice call out, “So that’s it?”
She turned to find a brooding sheriff looking at her. He was every bit what she had remembered him to be. Tall, handsome, rugged through and through. He was thirty-three this month. When she had broken down her resolve to wait for him to text her back, she sent him a text asking what he was up to lately. He had responded, ‘wedding plans’. She never sent him a message back. She acted on gut level impulse to get her ass to Montana toot sweet and stop him from marrying someone else.
She had driven straight to the police station and they explained he was at
said wedding. She knew by now the only place to have a wedding was on that ranch. She had researched the area thoroughly this time, expecting it would be her home from now on. Things weren’t quite working out as she had planned. He wasn’t running over to sweep her off her feet and pick up where they physically left off years before.
His blue eyes were piercing. He had let his soft brown hair grow out a little bit more
, but it was still in a short cut that seemed reserved for law enforcement and military men. He was stunning in the suit and tie. She cleared her throat and said, “Hi.”
“Hi,” he said and tilted his head. She could feel the look he gave her like a touch.
She gulped, took a few steps towards him. “I uh, didn’t mean to make a scene. Well, I guess I did, but not that scene. I really just wanted to tell you…I mean…I.”
“You bring a dress?” he asked. She could not read the man’s mood. She nodded. “Well, put it on. It’ll help you blend in. It is a wedding after all.”
She closed the distance to stand in front of him. She looked up at the big hulking man and said, “Will you think I’m crazy if I said, I really missed you?”
“After you barged in and tried to stop what you thought was my wedding?” He half smiled. “I think I figured that much out.”
She took another bold step towards him and wrapped her arms around him. He didn’t hug her back. She inhaled deeply and said, “I missed you.”
“When are you going back?” he asked simply.
She gulped. Okay so here is where she revealed the really crazy part of this plan. “I’m not. I quit my job at the aquarium. I packed everything I own into that car and drove here hoping I could convince you to…”
He let his right hand touch the small of her back briefly and then stepped back as he looked down at her. “I’m flattered. Really, I am. I just…it’s a bit…crazy, you know?”
She straightened herself out and held her head high as she admitted, “Yeah. I know. I really do understand how nuts this was. I just…couldn’t go another day seeing a police officer, thinking about you, wondering…I just…”
“I have to stay for the reception,” he said. She frowned. Her heart was thumping so fast in her chest. She didn’t know what to do with this man. She had just taken a huge leap of faith and he was going to let her face plant on the concrete.
“Are you going to put on a dress and stay or what?” He looked just as confused as she felt.
“Do,” she whispered. She found her voice and said, “Do you want me to?”
“I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t.” He wasn’t exactly smiling at her.
“Okay.” She knew it was going to be awkward going to a reception of the wedding she just barged in on. It was going to have to work. If that is where he wanted her, that is where she would be.
Roy was still a bit stunned as he watched her walk towards her vehicle and pull out a suitcase. She rifled through it and pulled out a dress. He tried not to get his hopes up despite the fact she had dropped everything to come convince him to give her a chance. He wanted that. He wanted to. He just wasn’t sure if he could take it if she left again. She had a way of drawing him out, making him talk, laugh, and long for more.
She disappeared into the back seat of her car and he grew more aware of what she was doing by the second. The doors to Momma’s Kitchen, one of the larger halls in the area, opened up and he fixated on her car as people walked out. She emerged in a pretty blue sundress with white polka dots on it. She shut the door and started to walk towards him. She paused, adjusted the strap on her blue sandal and then continued.
He was so focused on her, her voluptuous figure, the way her hair blew in the wind, he didn’t realize his little brother had come up next to him.
“The one that got away returns.” Buck slapped him on his back. It pulled Roy from his fixation and he looked at his brother.
“Don’t you have a wife and kid to tend to?” Roy frowned at him. Buck had married young and by most accounts had no idea what it was like to be unlucky in love. He didn’t grow older and watch everyone around him get hitched and have families. Roy was tired of being alone. Hell, he had been tired of being alone a year before he met her. He just wasn’t going to settle for anyone less than someone he could grow old with.
“Hi,” Lexi said with a bashful smile. “I’m Lexi, the wedding crasher.”
“But are you still a good dancer?” Rafe Johnson, the man who had introduced them in the first place all those years ago, asked as he approached.
“I hear she’s good at a lot of things.” Buck added. Rafe smiled. Lexi looked up at Buck and Roy grumbled.
“I haven’t danced in years.” Lexi blushed. Roy tried not to keep looking at her, though he was terribly unsuccessful at it. Her brown hair was longer, and in the sun it was shinier. Her big brown eyes were so dark he was sure he had gotten lost in them the first time they met and never found his way out.
“Well,” Rafe looked at Roy and said without much concern for discretion, “I think you should rectify that.”
Roy grunted. Lexi looked up at him. Of course he would dance with her if she wanted to dance. He just didn’t like the whole situation. Everything was happening too fast. People continued to file out and more than one concerned, curious, and scandalized expression was plain to see. He put his arm around her, letting his hand rest at her hip. He tried not to focus on how his fingers instinctively curled in to feel the body beneath the fabric. He told himself he had to do it, he didn’t want Lucky’s five sister’s thinking they could come kill her for interrupting their baby brother’s wedding.
“Come on, Lexi. Let’s take a short walk while they turn the place over into the reception.” He watched as tables were being carried in and other arrangements carried out. The guests had all disbursed into different directions to take a break and prepare for the reception. He placed his hand lightly on her back and led her up a path and away from everyone. “Where are you staying?”
“I hadn’t gotten that far.” She admitted with a wince.
He tried not to smile. “I think this place is booked up with the wedding and the tourists. You need a place to stay?”
“I do,” she admitted. “You offering?”
“Apparently.” He frowned because he really hadn’t realized he was until he had. He liked her. A lot. He referred to her as the one that got away and that suited him just fine. She had stolen his breath away, talked about things he thought were interesting, and then right when he had given in to temptation and they were almost naked, he had been called away. She could remain perfect to him. Perfect in that moment for all time.
“Hey,” she said and started towards a particular path. “This is in the picture you sent me.”
He was surprised she remembered it, but then she surprised him again by pulling out her phone and pulling it up for comparison. “You kept that?”