Authors: Ashley Johnson
He pulls his lips away from mine a little too abrupt for my liking but flashes me a sexy grin as he helps me into the truck. My heart is racing, my breathing is erratic and I’m a bundle of nerves. He definitely has my permission to help me forget all about what’s his name.
We drive for a few minutes before Wesley pulls up to the arena. This arena looks a little different than the one in Houston but as he drives down the small dirt road leading to the trailers, it looks familiar. I immediately spot Bandit as Wesley parks and I don’t wait for him, I just jump out and approach the trailer. It’s funny, last week I was terrified to approach this animal. I talk to Bandit stroking his mane like it’s something I am used to doing.
Wesley comes up behind me whispering in my ear, “You really have adjusted to Bandit.”
“I guess I have a soft spot for him.” I shrug my shoulders chuckling. He leans in kissing my ear and the chills come back. I can feel my nipples firm and I know my body is about to be in trouble.
“I have a birthday present for you.”
“You do?” I ask bringing my hand back to stroke Bandit’s soft mane.
He produces a small Tiffany’s box from inside Bandit’s trailer. I gasp as he opens it revealing a white gold chain with a heart pendant on it. “Wesley, you didn’t have to get me anything like this.”
“Do you like it?”
“I love it. It’s too much though, I can’t accept this.” I just met him last week and this necklace had to cost a pretty penny judging by the Tiffany’s box. I’ve never been given anything so beautiful in my life.
“Hope, please accept it. It seemed perfect for you when I saw it. I don’t know what it is about you, but I’m immensely drawn to you.”
My heart is pounding so loud, I can hear it in my ears. He takes the necklace and brushes my hair out of his way so he can place it around my neck. The cool metal tingles against my skin causing goosebumps to stand firmly. I want to cry but I don’t, I’m too happy for my own good right now.
“You ready for your next gift?” he asks wearing a grin. I cock my eyebrow up thinking he can’t be serious.
“There can’t be more Wesley; this is more than enough.”
“No way, come on.” He grabs my hand leading me back to the truck. I’m overwhelmed right now but in a good way. All of this feels like a dream but I’m so very glad it’s real.
I can’t believe how much he is spoiling me, I’m absolutely smitten. The drive back to the hotel is a whirlwind as I try to control my body and think about what the hell else he has done for me. The hotel room is freezing when we walk in. He pulls me into his arms instantly warming me. The way his arms fit around me is too perfect. He grabs my hand leading me out the back door where I find a hot tub. Our own hot tub and I didn’t bring a bathing suit. I frown, thinking about how I’m not even going to get to enjoy this. There’s little candles placed all around it, a bottle of Chardonnay and a wine glass. A completely romantic gesture and it’s going to go to waste.
“What’s wrong Hope?” he asks looking a little worried.
“I didn’t bring a bathing suit. I’m so sorry, this looks absolutely amazing. Thank you, really, for everything tonight.”
“Do you have a bra and panties? Same thing, right?” His smile is sending me over the edge and for once I’m not afraid to fall.
“Let me get out this dress,” I stammer out, turning to walk back into the hotel room. This is it. We are going to have sex. I’m feeling braver than I’ve ever felt in my life. He’s still someone I barely know, but I’m willing to let my guard down. Why? I’m not sure to be exact. Everything about him sets my world on fire and it’s time to start living my life. I’m going to give myself to this cowboy and pray he doesn’t tear my world apart. How could he though? He’s been nothing but the perfect gentleman.
I slide the maxi dress off my shoulders and slowly step out of it. I’m wearing my black lacy bra and panties under it. Instantly, I feel my nipple harden under the bra and I’m hoping it stops before I get outside. I need to control this. I walk out the back door finding all the candles lit setting the mood for a romantic night in. His eyes meet mine and he lets out an approving whistle. I slowly step into the hot tub letting the warm water flow over my body. I purposely sit away from him to make him chase me after he hands me the glass of wine. I sip it, adding to the buzz I already have. And he chases me. Before I can bat an eyelash, he’s in front of me completely getting ready to own me.
“Wesley,” I moan as he crushes his mouth against mine taking me in. His hands move under the water and find themselves on my stomach. I ache for him, I want to feel him. My hands run across his stomach then around to his back, pulling him in closer needing to close that space in. His mouth leaves mine panting for more; he leans down to my breast and teases my nipple through the fabric sending my body into a frenzy again. My back arches in delight wishing he would just remove the damn thing, I want to feel his mouth on my bare breast more than my next breath. His other hand moves down to fumble with the waist of my panties bringing me closer to the point of ecstasy, where I long to be. Wesley reaches behind my back removing the bra and I all but squeal in delight as he begins to knead my breast before pulling it into his mouth. I can barely get his name out my mouth as he switches to the other breast. His hand dips slightly below my waistband as he stops and looks up asking for permission. The look of desire in my eyes tell him all he needs to know. In a matter of seconds his thumb is on my clit and I’m in a whole new world.
“Wesley…” I pant trying to catch my breath as he continues to keep me on my high.
“I want you so bad,” he whispers before taking my tongue against his.
“I want you too,” And I do, so bad. My brain is still feeling fuzzy but no way in hell can I deny what I’m feeling right now for him.
“But not out here.” His eyes are hooded. I’m lost but it’s the lost I don’t mind being.
He leads me into the room laying me on the first bed he can get to. “I’ve wanted you since I laid eyes on you Hope,” he murmurs sliding his shorts off exposing his long cock. I gasp as I take him all in. He has the kind of abs you see in the magazines and if I weren’t looking at them face to face, I’d swear they were fake. He has to be the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen in my life.
“Show me how you want me,” I dare him and immediately his head disappears between my legs. He’s licking and sucking everything that sends me straight to heaven. Oh my God, if I die right now at least I’ll die a happy woman. Clearly Wesley knows exactly what he’s doing and I am more than happy to submit to him. When I come, I come hard, my body convulsing around the two fingers he has in me. I’m panting, wanting more. I want to feel all of him.
He reaches down for his wallet grabbing a condom. I watch him intently before I tell him, “I’m on the pill.”
“Shit, I should have asked. I’m sorry. Do you want me to still wear this?” He holds the condom up in question.
I shake my head yes. I’d rather be safe than sorry. Brad hardly wore a condom because of the pill but I can’t take that risk with Wesley. He slides the condom on before locking eyes with me. “Are you sure Hope? We don’t have to do this.”
“I want this.” I convince myself. He steadies himself as he slowly enters me. He’s big, bigger than Brad and I have to slowly breathe as I adjust around him.
“Are you ok, Hope?” He asks carefully.
“Perfect, just be gentle at first.” I wince at the thought of him pounding relentlessly into me.
“Of course sweetheart.” He plants a soft kiss on my lips before beginning to move in and out. He keeps his word being gentle until I reach around his back and pull him into me.
His eyes ask before he continues but I’m sure I need to feel this, my body is on the verge of letting go again. With each thrust, I feel it build. He can feel it too and he must be awfully close.
I kiss him fiercely as he collapses on me. I’ve never felt anything like this in my life. Everything Wesley does continues to shock me more and more. He doesn’t jump up and run to the bathroom leaving me alone on the bed. He lies right beside me stroking my hair and kissing me. I plunge head first off this cliff and as happy as I am right now; I’m so terrified I’ll never be able to climb out of this. My mind is racing toward a certain someone I’m supposed to be forgetting about. Yes, I was hurt immensely when I found him in the position I did but I never cried. If I loved him that much, I should have cried my heart out. If I didn’t cry, did it really break my heart? Maybe not, we’d been so different for so long and finally I’ve met someone who just may be able to make my heart soar.
“I’m scared Wesley,” I admit out loud to him.
He stops stroking my hair to look me in the eyes. “Of what sweetheart?”
Deep breath, here it goes. “What are we? What are we going to be and how is this going to really work? You said you were scared of your feelings, well I’m scared of mine.”
He sits up pulling me into his lap and kisses my forehead as he replies, “We’re two people who are crazy about each other, despite the short amount of time. . That’s what we are Hope. And I’d like to think we’re going to be something amazing one day. I want to make you mine. I believe with all my heart we can make this work.”
I smile. That’s all I can do. “Who said I was crazy about you?”
“Hey! Play fair!”
I laugh placing my hands on his sides in an attempt to tickle him. He jumps trying to avoid me; apparently I’ve found his ticklish spot. He manages to grab my hands and pushes me back onto the bed and hovers over me lightly kissing my neck. I’m in so deep. I can easily see myself falling for him in the future. Karlee would’ve loved him; she loved anyone who made me happy.
“Hey Wesley, do you have to ride tomorrow?”
“No, I don’t need to. I was probably going to run home for a night and make sure my ranch is still standing.”
“You live on a ranch?” My eyes widen as I ask.
“I do. My grandfather left it to me in his will when he passed. It’s where Bandit and I lay our heads when we aren’t on the road.” I smile on the inside. Karlee would have given him two thumbs up.
“Well, I know we hardly know each other and it’s probably way too soon, but would you like to maybe come with me to my parent’s for my birthday dinner? I swear it won’t hurt my feelings in any way if you say no,” I’m rambling and I am forever grateful when he interrupts me.
“Are you done talking yet, sweetheart?”
“Yes,” I sheepishly reply.
“Well then here’s my answer, I would be more than happy if it means I get to spend a little more time with you.”
I calculate the whole plan in my head. He can follow me home although I’d much rather ride next to him and he can leave his truck at the apartment and then we can ride together to Mom and Dad’s. I want to warn them, but Karlee always liked surprises and I’m feeling a little bit like her right now.
“Promise? Please don’t say it if you don’t mean it.”
“One thing I want you to never forget about me is I always keep my word, especially when it comes to you.” Gah, he always says the right words to melt my heart. After one week, my heart is slowly starting to become his. How is this possible?
I can’t think of a better way to show my gratitude other than to wrap my hands around his neck and kiss the hell out of him. And I do. He’s hovering over me again, my heart dangling in front of him, waiting for him to take it. He positions himself at my opening but suddenly moves to grab a condom. After sliding it onto his hard cock, he completely owns me, thrusting in and out making sweet love to me. With every passionate kiss that he gives me, I crumble a little more as I begin to lose myself and that’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks. Wesley Tyler just stole my heart.
Memories can be good, but they can also be bad. I have many good memories but the bad still surface even today. The last thing I remember after making love to Wesley was falling asleep not long after in his arms. His arms make me feel safe but not even the safety of his arms can keep the bad memories away. It feels just like it was yesterday. Karlee and I had a blast at the rodeo; I made a mental note to thank Brad when I got home for agreeing to let me go with her on our anniversary. I can still smell the arena and the food coming from the concession. I can see the contagious smile on her face as we climb into the car getting ready to head home. I see her telling me it’s ok to go to sleep, that we’ll be home soon. Little did I know, I’d be going home alone.
“No!” I scream. I can feel my arms flailing around but my eyes stay shut. “No, no, no!”
“Hope, baby I got you. You’re ok. Open your eyes for me.” Wesley says quietly.
My eyes jerk open, tears immediately spill down my face. Those memories were nothing but a bad dream and it seemed so very real. So real, I felt I could reach out and touch the metal of the car.
“What happened?” I ask looking around the room to see where I am. I’m lying next to Wesley, his arms are holding me tight. I feel safe again.
“You must’ve had a nightmare but you’re ok now.”
“It was so real,” I say between tears. “It’s like it was happening all over again. The tree and Karlee, she’s gone.” My sobs are thickening and I can’t speak anymore. I hate that I feel weak in this moment but I know I’m safe.
“I got you Hope, its ok. Everything is ok, I’m here.”
He continues to hold me like he didn’t just witness me completely have a meltdown and just a few short minutes later I’m able to fall back asleep.
Today I’m 25 years old. Today I feel like I can smile again thanks to Wesley, my cowboy, my knight in shining armor or whatever you want to call him. He doesn’t bring up my meltdown and I don’t bring it back up either. My duffle bag is packed and I’m in a pair of jeans and a casual t-shirt. My birthday dinner isn’t too big of an ordeal. Mom most likely will cook a roast and hopefully have a chocolate cake with Funfetti icing. That makes me smile just thinking about it.
“Happy birthday sweetheart.” Wesley whispers against my ear. I shiver instantly thinking of last night with him.
“Why thank you.” I blush trying to stay composed which is very hard to do with him around.
Morning came way too fast and because of the drive we have to make, we don’t get much time alone. I can’t be late for my own birthday dinner. Mom and Dad will kill me.
Wesley plants a kiss on my cheek before softly kissing my lips. It’s time for us to begin the drive back to my and Amber’s apartment. I think it’s best if I call her and at least warn her plus I want to know about her date. I drive away first looking in my mirror to make sure he hasn’t changed his mind, but he’s right there behind me sending the butterflies straight into my chest.
Amber answers on the first ring, I’m surprised she’s awake right now. “Happy birthday Hope! Did you get lucky last night?”
I roll my eyes as I transfer the call to my Bluetooth in my car. Once I’m sure it’s connected I respond, “Thank you and I don’t kiss and tell.”
“That’s so a yes. Was it good? Tell me hot cowboy sex is good!”
“It was better than good; it was amazing, life changing; whatever you want to call it.”
“I KNEW IT!” she shrieked. Her voice came over the speakers in my car a little too loud and I winced trying to adjust the volume until she stopped.
“And, he’s following me right now. I invited him to my birthday dinner.”
“Did you really? I’ll be there too.”
“I already know you will, if not, I’ll drag you there. So quit beating around the bush, how was your date?”
“Eh, it was alright. I had fun but I’m just not ready yet, I guess. Or maybe he wasn’t the right one.”
She’s too harsh on these guys. She’s always been and always will be. If they don’t pass the test, she throws them out on their ass and moves on with her life. I should’ve taken a page from her book a long time ago.
“Well, I’ll see you when we get to the apartment. Get our bras out of the bathroom please.”
“Will do ma’am. See you soon.”
I can’t lie, I’m excited about today. I know that Mom and Dad are going to like Wesley. Amber already approves. Every few seconds, I check to make sure he’s still behind me and he is. Seeing him behind me is what is keeping me calm right now. As we enter San Antonio, he’s a little closer to me to be sure he doesn’t get lost. We park and immediately he’s outside my car door opening it for me, leaning down to give me a kiss. What a kiss it is. I’m talking hands in each other’s hair like we haven’t seen each other in forever.
“I missed you.” He smiles.
“You’ve been behind me the whole time!” I laugh, grabbing my bag and placing the strap on my shoulder.
I knock lightly on the door before barging in, in case Amber is walking around naked. I feel jealous thinking about him seeing her in even a tank top and shorts but I know he wouldn’t be affected by it. I don’t like this jealous feeling, it’s way too new to me.
“Amb, we’re here,” I call out, as I throw my keys on the counter and begin to make my way to my room. I drop the bag immediately and Wesley scoops me up into his arms cradling me like a baby. I kiss him fiercely wanting him to take me right here and now but Amber is lurking somewhere.
“Where are you?” she calls out. Dammit, I knew she was close by.
“In my room, we’re coming.” Wesley doesn’t set me down, instead carries me out to the living room. Amber bursts out laughing at the sight. She can laugh all she wants, I’m comfortable like this.
“Well check you out missy. Hey, Wesley.”
“Hey Amber.” He winks. “Nice to see you again.”
She continues to smile watching Wesley and I intently before winking at me and sealing her approval.
The whole five minute drive to my parent’s house has my stomach in knots. I don’t like to go home too often anymore. I can’t stand to see the memories of Karlee, but I know it’s not fair to Mom and Dad who have to constantly be surrounded by them. As I park in my normal spot, I stare at the spot next to mine where she used to park her car. No one has parked there since she’s been gone and probably never will again.
“Well, last chance to run Wesley. We’re here.” I laugh trying to lighten my mood.
“I’m all in sweetheart.” He brings my hand to his, kissing my knuckles.
Amber parks behind me, honks her horn just to be a bitch. I flip her off as I exit the car drawing in a deep breath. It’s my birthday, I can do this.
I walk straight through the dark brown wooden door and the aroma of roast immediately hits me. I smile knowing I was right. The foyer looks the same to me, the same table with a different arrangement of flowers sits in the middle and just beyond that is the staircase. Up those stairs are all the memories I am not ready to revisit.
Wesley squeezes my hand smiling as we walk through the living room. He chuckles as he looks at a few throwback pictures of me. Shit, I didn’t think about this, especially the one from seventh grade where I’m full on metal mouth.
Dad is carving the roast while Mom puts the finishing touches on my cake. The Funfetti icing is on it and I feel like a little kid again. I notice my dad has a little more gray in his hair than before, he always blamed his gray on me and Karlee. He said we caused him to age prematurely. I sneak up behind the two and wrap my arms around both their necks.
They both turn around surprised pulling me into a sandwich hug. “Happy birthday baby girl! It’s so good to see you.”
“Thanks mom, oh I’d like ya’ll to meet someone. Mom, Dad, this is my friend Wesley. I invited him today if that’s ok.”
Mom’s face lights up as she steps forward to give him a hug. Dad firmly shakes his hand smiling and when he sees Wesley’s belt buckle, he had to ask. “You rodeo son?”
“Yes sir. I do a little bareback bronco riding.”
“A little?” Amber scoffs, “He’s a two time title winner. Don’t let him fool you Mr. Trahan.”
My parents seem thoroughly impressed, which I’m glad for. Birthdays and holidays were always kind of awkward with Brad around; he was more about himself than anything. Wesley sat there holding conversations with both my parents as if he’d known them forever. I knew last night he stole my heart but in this moment, at my birthday dinner, I know I will never get it back.
“Let’s do presents before we eat.” Mom insists. I want to tell her I’m ok with waiting but Amber grabs my hand leading me into the living room.
Amber notices the necklace I’m wearing and raises her eyebrow, “Is that from Wesley?” She whispers nudging me with her elbow.
“Yes!” I’m beaming again and she smiles her approval.
Amber hands me her gift, I open the box to find a new Coach purse. I immediately grin because I’ve been lusting after this one for a while now. I never expected her to get it in a million years. She’s already done so much by letting me stay with her. I hug her and tell her thank you before taking the gift from my parents.
My mom hands me a pink gift bag that I open to find a photo album with a red bow wrapped around it. It’s pictures of me and Karlee, memories of our childhood. I flip through it laughing and smiling at each picture as if she were beside me. I want to turn and ask her if she remembers this one picture of the two of us sitting up in our tree house having a tea party with Barbie. But I can’t. I have to shake that feeling away so Mom and Dad think I’m fine. There’s also a gift card at the bottom of the bag for me to indulge in a little shopping. I hug them, trying my best not to cry, I love their present so much. This is my second birthday Karlee hasn’t been here for and with that album, I feel her here.
I start flipping through the album again showing Wesley many more embarrassing pictures. I laugh out loud when I see the one of us wearing bubba teeth and dressed like hillbillies two Halloweens ago. I’m caught up in all of the memories when Dad clears his throat. “Most of the pictures we got from Karlee’s room. We found this gift with your name on it, I don’t know how we didn’t see it last year, but we know she would have wanted you to have it.”
Mom has silent tears streaming down her soft porcelain face and Dad is consoling her as I take the small box from him. Amber is on one side of me and Wesley grabs my free hand holding onto me. I’m glad he’s here for this; he has no idea how much this means to me.
I pull my hand away from Wesley’s as I stare down at this gift from Karlee. I draw in a deep breath as I untie the pale pink ribbon. I remove the lid to find a note sitting on top. With shaky hands I open the note and fight back tears as I read:
Happy birthday little sister!! I know I’m early but who cares right? We’re getting ready to leave for the rodeo and I am so glad you’re coming with me! Anyways, I bought you this ring to symbolize our sisterly bond. You’re the best sister I could ever ask for!! Never forget you deserve the best and I hope when you wear this ring, you remember that. I know I was just probably supposed to write To: Hope From: Karlee, but you know me. I had to tell you a whole story so here’s the end of it, I love you little sister. Here’s to a fabulous birthday, drinks on me later!!
I look down to find a white gold ring with two hearts on it. One heart has a ‘K’ and one has a
n ‘H’ engraved on it. I’m a blubbering mess; my eyes struggle to find a second where they can dry. I can’t pick up the ring, I’m shaking so badly. Karlee’s present stole the thunder from everyone else; she always had that effect. I close my eyes and whisper a thank you to her and I wait for an answer that doesn’t come. Wesley reaches down picking the ring up and places it on my right hand ring finger. It fits perfectly and that’s where it will stay. I hug everyone one more time before excusing myself for some fresh air.