Read Cowboys Know Best Online

Authors: Breanna Hayse

Tags: #cookie429, #Kat, #Extratorrents

Cowboys Know Best (7 page)

BOOK: Cowboys Know Best
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“Not so hard!”

“Since when do you tell me how hard to spank my bratty girl? Just for that, let’s see how you like this.”

“Eeeek! That hurts!”

“Yup, it should. It’s also turning you nice and pink. Let’s see if we can improve that.”

“Nooooooo! Ow!! Stop it!” Perlita ordered, trying to escape his hand for real. Play or not, it hurt! It also left a very uncomfortable sensation between her legs, one that would demand release very soon.

“Just where do you think you’re going? I’m not done with your bottom yet. It’s not hot enough to remind you to behave,” Hank announced, now rhythmically smacking her backside from left to right, paying special attention to her soft creases and the delicious curve of the bottom cheeks. Perlita kicked, trying to escape his hand. She knew she was not being punished, yet his dominance made her want to cry out in submission. She also did not fail to notice the firmness that started to grow underneath her wiggling body. Neither did Hank.

“Do you think you can get to sleep now?” he asked as he abruptly pulled her to her feet, quickly fixing her trousers as she stood before him. He tried not to let his eyes wander down to her soft, dark mound and the pale sweetness that lay hidden between those plump folds. He reprimanded himself.
She was getting under his skin and it just was not decent!

Perlita noticed his blush and felt a sense of power. She flung her arms around his neck, grazing his lips before kissing his cheek. “
Grazie per avermi nella vostra casa.”

“Now, Perl, you know I don’t speak Italian.”

“I was just thanking you for taking me into your home. I am very grateful.”

“You are welcome. Go to bed, now. You will be getting up early to start your chores.”

 

Chapter Five

 

 

Perlita groaned at the sound of the rooster crowing right outside her window. Where was a gun when you needed it? Didn’t the stupid bird know the sun was barely up? The sound of noise in the hallway alerted her to the presence of Hank.

“Time to get up and moving, Perl. Chores need to be done then you are gonna cook us some chow.”

“It’s too early,” Perlita groaned, throwing the blankets over her head. Hank pulled them away, admiring how her little white dressing gown bunched around her hips. She yanked the blankets back and then yipped when his large hand smacked her left thigh.

“Up and at ‘em, girl. Be down in five minutes and don’t make me come back up here to get you,” he ordered gruffly.

Too tired to argue, Perlita got dressed in another set of Becky’s old clothes and dragged her body down the stairs. Hank was leaning against the wall in the kitchen, sipping some coffee.

“Grab some brew and wake yourself up. This is Texas ranch life, little girl. We don’t waste our day sleeping. You need some clothes.”

“Huh?” Perlita looked at him, still unable to focus on his words. “I have clothes.”

“We’ll go into town and get you some more things. Becky’s old stuff is good for chores, but you need more, uh, you know… personal items.”

His blush mollified her when she realized he was talking about her undergarments. She had forgotten that he had seen the threadbare material she was wearing that morning, and that dressing gown was all she had when it came to underwear, other than what she had been wearing when she fled New York.

It only took her thirty seconds to determine that ranch life was
not
her idea of fun. The chickens attacked her as she attempted to gather eggs from the nasty, smelly birds. Her attempt at milking was interrupted by the cow kicking over the pail, slapping her with its tail, and then turning to lap her face with the its, disgusting tongue. Finally, the vegetable garden had an unpleasant visitor which sent her screaming into the house.

“For Pete’s sake, Perl. That possum won’t hurt you. Old Mille just hangs out looking for grubs and maggots. Heck, the old thing doesn’t have a tooth left in her mouth. We let her stay cuz she hasn’t gone after the vegetables. Now, why are you crying?” Hank sounded frustrated.

“It’s hideous! And your stupid cow licked me! And your chickens bit me! I’m tired and I want to go back to bed. I hate it here!!” she bawled like a five year old, kicking her heels on the floor.

Astonished at her tantrum, Hank stood in front of her with his hands on his hips, looking at her sternly. “You may stop that fussin’ this minute, young lady. It takes time to learn how to do these chores, but they will be yours for every day you live here. Go get washed up and make breakfast while I finish up.”

“With what?” Perl wiped her eyes, feeling guilty that he had to take up the slack for her.

Hank’s lips twitched. “With the eggs you got from the hen house and the tater’s you dug up from the garden. Got fresh milk too, right?”

Perlita groaned, realizing he was not going to let her hide in the house. Dragging her feet, she followed him back outside. The sun was already starting to heat up the air.

“It’s hot.”

“Stop your whining. That’s why we do these chores early. Toss some chicken feed on the ground. While they eat, gather the eggs.”

“But there’s poop on them! I’m not touching them,” Perlita said stubbornly. Hank just pointed at the nests with a frown. Grumbling curses under her breath, the girl gathered the eggs, resisting the urge to throw each of them into Hank’s smirking face.

“That didn’t kill you, now did it?”

“Oh, shut up.”

“Not nice, missy. Wash your hands. Let’s try the cow again. Hey, Hannah,” Hank cooed to the large black and white cow, patting her head as she butted up to him affectionately. He ran his hands down her side and to the heavy, tight udders. After wiping the dirt off his hands with a wet cloth, he easily pulled them to gain a steady stream of milk into the bucket. Perlita shuddered with disgust, shaking her head when he called her over to learn.

“I’m not touching that thing. That damn cow slapped me with its stinky tail!”

“No swearing. I’d slap you too if you were yanking on me like a train horn. Watch my hands… Perlita? You get back here, young lady!”

“I’m not gonna do that,” Perl said stubbornly, stomping out of the barn.

“She’s gonna wear me thin, Hannah, old girl. Yeah, I know…” Hank said as the animal mooed at him, swishing him with her tail. Hank poured the filtered milk into a jug and placed it in the ice box before going to find Perl. She was back in the garden, poking around the vegetables with a long stick.

“What are you doing now?” his tone was filled with exasperation.

“I want out of this heat.”

“Yeah, I know. But what are you doing?”

“Trying to scare away that creature.”

“Millie only comes out at night and early in the morning. Grab some tomatoes and a squash, and dig up an onion and a couple of potatoes… yes, from the dirt. Some dirt under those nails is not going to kill you!”

“You keep telling me that but I don’t believe you. I’m not digging anywhere.”

“Perl, I am giving you two days to change this attitude of yours. I promise you that if there isn’t improvement, you will be feeling the sore end of my strap.”

“You wouldn’t dare!”

The look on his face told her otherwise. She sullenly kicked the soil with her boot and picked up a potato that stuck out of the ground. She shoved it into her pocket and, with a glare, picked up a second one. Hank pointed to some greens and she yanked an onion from the ground. After picking out a couple of tomatoes and a big, yellow squash, she followed him back into the house.

Hank proceeded to show her how to make a ‘proper’ omelet, using some cheese he kept cool in the cellar. Perlita was disinterested, her mind wandering to the nice, soft mattress and the cool dark room. The two ate quietly, with Hank speaking only to give her the list of expectations he had for her that day. She nodded absently, not hearing anything except the droning of his low voice. With a quick kiss on the top of her head, he grabbed his hat and left for work.

Perlita watched as Hank drove off in his truck and, with a yawn, returned back upstairs to bed. She needed a few hours’ sleep before she could even think of doing anything. The warm breeze wafted through the window and, within minutes, she was back in dreamland.

 

* * *

 

Hank grumbled to himself as he drove toward the county courthouse to meet up with his old friend, and mentor, Sheriff Dennis Wilson. The older man waved his hat in Hank’s direction as he parked. “Welcome home, Hank. How’s Nana?”

“As stubborn as a mule and as ornery as a badger. I’m gonna try to get her to come down for the winter.” Hank grinned, shaking his friend’s hand.

“So she’s doing well. How long did it take before she started trying to shove you out of her place?”

“Three weeks this time. And with reason. I have myself a little houseguest, thanks to her.” Hank sat next to the sheriff and filled him in on the details of Perl’s situation and related concerns regarding her protection.

“I don’t think those men will find her with the false trail you left. Great Price isn’t exactly the biggest town on the map. We’ll just have to keep her under wraps for a few weeks and things should be fine.”

“I didn’t know we actually made it to a map, yet!” Hank chuckled, staring off.

Dennis elbowed him. “Out with it. What’s really bugging you?”

“This girl… There is something about her that I’m finding mighty nice. She’s pretty, funny, and even more stubborn than Nana. My thoughts… well, they aren’t decent, Den.” Hank blushed.

“It’s been a long time since Laura left. Maybe it’s time to move on.”

“I don’t want to leave myself open for betrayal again. Can’t do that.”

“When you met Laura, you were a naïve kid from a well-to-do Pennsylvania family who wanted nothing more than to rebel. She simply wanted a rich husband and to be in the spotlight. When she agreed to come to Texas with you, she thought she was moving into a big old mansion where she would have fancy clothes and lots of servants. She did not share your passion, Hank. She never did. I tried to warn you.”

“Yeah, I know… I still loved her though. I believed her when she said she’d go to the ends of the earth with me and didn’t care if she had to live in a tent.” Hank sighed loudly, thinking of the delicate, golden-haired debutante who had deserted him in a huff when she realized that her new life meant having to milk cows and gather eggs.

Dennis elbowed him with a grin. “Just remember that she walked away with less than fifty bucks. She was madder than a wet hen when she found out you put almost every penny into buying the ranch and starting your law practice.”

Hank smiled back with a nod. “Good thing I did, too. She went to the bank that day to empty my account. I must have been born stupid to have fallen into her trap.”

“Most men are when it comes to a pretty face and a nice pair of legs. But then we make enough mistakes to finally learn something. When am I going to meet this little Perl of yours?”

“Come by anytime. She’s supposed to be making an Italian dinner tonight… if she remembers. She has some problems with being responsible,” Hank chuckled.

 

* * *

 

“Oh no! I forgot about the sauce!” Perl exclaimed, hopping out of the bed. She looked at the cuckoo clock on the wall. 3:15 PM. She had slept the day away! She rushed downstairs and began to toss the tomatoes in a pot and set them to simmer. With a groan, she realized that she would have to go to the hen house to get eggs for the pasta.

By the time Hank arrived, Perl was beside herself. She was covered with flour and hay, had tiny cuts on her hands from the ill-tempered hens, the kitchen was a mess, and her face was red from the heat. Hank paused to take in the sight before erupting in a gale of loud laughter.

“I guess I shouldn’t ask how your day was, little one.”

“It was terrible,” she muttered, embarrassed.

Hank stuck his nose in the pot of simmering sauce. “This smells mighty fine. Let me help you clean this mess up and then you can go get changed. We are having a guest tonight.”

“What? I have nothing to wear to greet a guest!”

“Sweetheart, in this part of the world, guests need nothing but a handshake and an offer to take a chair. It’s the sheriff and he’s one of my oldest friends. Don’t you fret, ok? I’ll wash, you dry.”

Perl was quiet as he directed her in the kitchen duties, blushing when he commented that the morning dishes had not been done.

“I went back to bed,” she admitted shamefully. He eyed her, making her continue her explanation. “I was still so tired. Everything just caught up with me, I guess.”

“It’ll take some time to get used to this life. Just do your best and watch your temper. That will get you into the most trouble. And mind your manners with Sheriff Wilson. He doesn’t take kindly to being back-talked. I won’t try to stop him if he decides to take a hand to you,” Hank warned.

“Is this place a magnet for old fashioned good old boys? Isn’t that the term you cowboys use?”

“Perlita, just because people aren’t afraid of some hard work and a little sweat on their brow doesn’t make them stupid, ignorant, or out of touch with the modern world. We’ve made the choice to live a simpler life because we enjoy the rewards. You need to learn to respect that, and the people who choose to live this way,” he scolded.

Perl’s face clouded with anger. “My father worked just as hard for his rewards, Mr. Billings. Just because he didn’t rake cow manure doesn’t mean…”

“Your father killed and cheated people to give you a pretty house and nice clothes. People like him destroyed the lives of so many others to gain for themselves. I try not to judge, but that is my job. Your father was a criminal, Miss Perl. You need to face that fact.”

The sound of the slap against his cheek echoed through the still room. Perl’s eyes were black with rage and she balled her stinging palm into a fist. “Don’t you ever talk against my father again. He was a good man!”

“To you. But not to the rest of the world. Baby, listen…” Hank grabbed her hand as she went to slap him again. “He is listed as one of my ten most wanted. I can’t condone anything he’s done, or forgive him for the people he’s murdered. Not even for you.”

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